A new Batman: Arkham game is coming later this year, and, oh, it's a VR game

Nearly 10 years after the release of Batman: Arkham Knight, a new addition to the series is finally on the way called Batman: Arkham Shadow, and it gives me no pleasure to tell you that it's a VR game, exclusive to the Meta Quest 3.

The new game is being developed by Camouflaj and Oculus Studios, in partnership with Warner Bros and DC. It's set to come out later this year, and will be properly revealed on June 7 during the Summer Game Fest.

There's not much to the announcement, beyond the fact of the game's existence: "Evil stalks the streets. Gotham City is in danger. And you're the only one who can stop it," Meta said in the reveal, a descriptor that could very easily be applied to pretty much every single day in the Caped Crusader's life. Let's be honest about it, in terms of meaningful crime reduction the man just is not having an impact.

Purists will note that this isn't actually the first new Arkham game since Arkham Knight. Confusingly, that would be Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League—which, while available on PC and console, suffers from some pretty well-documented issues and struggling player numbers. Gotham Knights, meanwhile, which came out in 2022, is a much more Batman-centric experience but is not an Arkham sequel (and is also not great.) It's all very confusing.

This also won't be the first VR game in the series: That honor goes to Batman: Arkham VR, which came out in 2016 and was by all reports pretty good. It holds an aggregate review score of 74% on Metacritic, and we found it "an incredibly impressive and vivid first-person Batman experience that lets you use the controllers to throw Batarangs or use his grapple gun, as well as meet his allies and enemies in unprecedented detail" when we spent some time with it at Gamescom in 2016. Developer Camouflag previously worked on Iron Man VR, which was also well received.

The issue isn't that VR games inevitably suck, but that they're so limiting. Only a tiny portion of PC gamers have VR headsets, so no matter how good Batman: Arkham Shadow ultimately proves to be, the vast majority of potential players simply won't have access to it—and as popular as the series is I don't imagine it will be enough to convince many people to drop $500 on a VR rig.

Anyway, getting back to the teaser: My first reaction was that it's supposed to be bats, not rats, but then I recalled Ratcatcher, a C-tier bat-villain who's been referenced or appeared in past Batman: Arkham games and other media. He was also killed in Batman: Arkham Knight, which is not especially convenient for this bit of theorizing, but hey, it's comics—I remember when Bane snapped Batman like a twig and he got better, so why not Ratcatcher? We'll find out in June.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.