Every player needs to be their own Batman, according to Batman: Arkham Origins creative director Eric Holmes.
Holmes told Polygon that the decision to launch so many extra Batman costume skins as downloadable content is just one way the studio hopes to help players connect with the Dark Knight.
"Batman has been around for a long time, and people have their favorite variants of Batman," said Holmes. "It could be a particular narrative arc or a particular artist's look, or something like that, and we really wanted to offer people the option to be their Batman.
"It's visually refreshing, it's something we're very proud of," he added. "It really puts a very different feeling in it, if you're one of those many different incarnations of him.
"For example, the [whackiest] one has to be the Adam West costume. But when you put it on [Batman] it's not Adam West, it's our character wearing the costume from the TV show. It adds a little bit of goofiness to it, which is fun."
Adding these additional costumes is also one way to break up the soberness of Batman's story, Holmes said, without detracting from the narrative. In Arkham Origins, players will watch an early-career Batman as he becomes the superhero of legend, going from vigilante to police accomplice to the most dangerous at in Gotham City's sky. In a demo shown at Gamescom 2013, we saw just that as Batman tracked down the crazy assassin Firefly on a snowy Christmas Eve.
The demo introduced a new, powerful gadget to Batman's Origins arsenal: the shock gloves. While wearing them, players can send bolts of electricity through any enemy they punch. After rounding up a gang of thugs positioned on either end of a collapsing bridge, Batman was able to use another tool — a small tablet-like device that allowed him to disable explosives — to stop an explosion from further destroying the bridge, until the assassin Firefly appears to challenge the Bat to a duel.
This kind of serious scenario, built on a somewhat silly foundation, is what allows those working on the Batman universe to create such a compelling story, he noted.
"Our game is quite serious, our narrative is very serious, and we now take a situation which is somewhat crazy — a man running around in a bat suit, think about it — and we build a narrative that's actually very serious, and it becomes immersive,' he said. "His gadgets are very serious and not silly, but these sorts of cautions let you explore other aspects of Batman and kind of change the tone a bit."