Batman | Footage from cancelled game that became Shadow Of Mordor revealed

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Based on the Christopher Nolan era films, a Batman game was in development in the 2010s, only to be cancelled and turned into Shadow Of Mordor. Previously lost footage has emerged.

Back when Christopher Nolan was still making Batman movies, developer Monolith Productions was making its own game set in the same universe, codenamed Project Apollo.

Seemingly an open-world game in which the player could zip around Gotham fighting crime as a Caped Crusader in the Christian Bale mode, it had a fair bit in common tonally with Rocksteady’s own Arkham series of games. In fact, this may be why publisher Warner Bros Interactive wound up scrapping it, since having two similar Bat-themed series floating around could have ended up dividing its own customer base.

Here’s the interesting bit, though: Project Apollo contained an earlier version of what would become known as the Nemesis System, in which non-player characters would react differently if they’d met the player (as in Batman) before. It’s a concept that would later be retooled to acclaimed effect in Monolith’s own Middle-earth: Shadow Of Mordor, based on a fantasy franchise you may have heard of called The Lord Of The Rings.

Indeed, the Nemesis system was considered to be such a good idea that the company slapped a patent on it.

Over a decade later, footage and images have emerged from Project Apollo, and provide a rare inside look at what the game would have looked like. In fairness, it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a console action game of the early 2010s era, with players able to customise their Bat-suit with gadgets of their choosing, and its action being a mixture of combat, stealth and light puzzle-solving.

The footage comes to us courtesy of Twitter’s SpideyRanger (via IGN). Judging by what’s been shown off here, the project got a reasonable way into development before it was cancelled, with combat, stealth and detective mechanics all at least somewhat fleshed out. Such is the harsh, unpredictable world of game development.

Interestingly, Rocksteady hasn’t made another full Batman game in almost a decade; after it concluded its trilogy with Batman: Arkham Knight in 2015, it made the virtual reality spin-off Batman: Arkham VR the following year, and then spent an incredibly long time making Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League, which finally emerged in February.

We must be due another decent Batman game soon, surely…?

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