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Rocksteady Explains Batman: Arkham Asylum’s Rhythm Game Origins; Praises ‘Complete Freedom’ Given by DC

Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham series creator Rocksteady Studios has today explained how the franchise’s first title, Arkham Asylum, initially started out as a rhythm action game.

Studio co-founder and creative director Sefton Hill took to Reddit earlier today for an ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) session primarily focused on the Arkham franchise.

One user asked Hill about reports from several years ago that Batman: Arkham Asylum started life as a rhythm game. The developer confirmed that that was indeed the case, explaining that rhythm-action gameplay eventually evolved into the series’ trademark Freeflow combat:

“The combat system initially started out as a rhythm action game. It was based on my love of classic Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, and Sammo Hung movies. They have this lovely cadence to the combat which I’d never seen done in a game. Even though we remove the rhythm action requirement, the core of that idea lived on through FreeFlow.”

Later, another user questioned Hill about the extent to which the studio had been able to draw from the Batman mythos. He replied that Rocksteady had been able to pull from “anything and everything”, adding:

“We were very fortunate that Geoff Johns gave us complete freedom to tell the stories that work best in our medium. Although we would speak to DC fairly often, there was never any significant limitations placed on us, and I think it was this approach and freedom which allowed the games to work. I have to give those guys a lot of credit and appreciation for trusting us with their most prized possession!”

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