Everybody loves Batman (he’s a cool guy, when he isn’t making little kids dress in bright colours and bounce around to distract attention away from himself). And of course, the vast majority of the planet adored Christopher Nolan’s take on the caped crusader in 2008’s superhero flick, The Dark Knight.
To that end, it always seemed strange that there was never a videogame tie-in released alongside The Dark Knight. A Batman videogame that was also based on a new smash film? It would have made some serious cash, especially considering the Batman Begins videogame was actually a pretty decent stealth adventure.
Well, according to the folks at Unseen 64, there was supposed to be a Batman game based on his exploits in The Dark Knight. Pandemic Studios, the chaps behind the original Star Wars: Battlefront were working on the planned open world title, but development was rife with problems.
The Dark Knight was unofficially confirmed by Gary Oldman in an interview, who had reprised his role as Jim Gordon for the game. Oldman didn’t reveal much, save for the fact that an awful lot of effort had apparently gone into getting Batman’s gliding abilities to feel just right.
Perhaps because they’d spent so much time fucking about with the Bat’s cape, Pandemic Studios missed the intended release date (it was to launch with the movie). Pandemic’s acquisition by EA also helped to further complicate matters.
Pandemic readjusted their sights, and aimed to get the game for December 2008, to launch along the DVD release of the movie. It soon became clear however, that they wouldn’t meet this deadline. The game was finally put out of it’s misery in October, leaving EA to pick up a $100 million bill.
In the Unseen 64 video (below), you can see scraps of concept art and a few models for buildings and characters. It seems pretty obvious there was a lot of work left to do on the game, but we can’t help but wonder if it would have been any good.
Provided you didn’t have a job a Pandemic, everything worked out in the end though. Rocksteady was handed the rights to console Batman games, and the world was given a sweet little title called Arkham Asylum.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.