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Batman: Arkham Shadow looks like a dark return to the Arkhamverse's heyday, but you'll need a Meta Quest 3 to play it

The Batman: Arkham franchise is returning with an all-new entry exclusively available on the Meta Quest 3 VR headset called Batman: Arkham Shadow. And aside from the Quest 3 exclusivity, we couldn't be more excited. 

In the 49-second cinematic trailer that just came out we watch as a rat scurries through the alleys of Gotham City; it looks terrified as it tears down drain pipes and leaps through debris while trying to escape something that’s hunting it down from the skies – a pursuer we eventually learn is Batman.

Just as the rat appears to have been cornered the tables turn on the Caped Crusader as hundreds of blood-red eyes illuminate the foggy street. They all rush towards Batman right before he detonates a smoke bomb and escapes the horde of vermin.

Beyond this short showcase which reveals the platform exclusivity and title, we also learn Arkham Shadow is due in “Late 2024” – and that it's being developed by Camouflaj and Oculus Studios. Oculus Studios has been behind some massive hits like Asgard’s Wrath 2 and other titles worthy of being called the best Oculus Quest 2 game and even some of the best VR games in general.

Meanwhile, Camouflaj is the award-winning team behind the stealth VR game R̩publique VR and Iron Man VR Рwhich allows you to live out your superhero fantasies as Tony Stark. We're expecting stealth, action, and a dash of horror gameplay Рingredients for a fantastic VR game.

The trailer ends by revealing that we’ll find out more during Summer Game Fest on June 7. But we don’t think we need to wait that long to know what's going on in Arkham Shadow; this short teaser has already revealed a lot about the upcoming Batman VR game including who we might be up against, and when it’s set.

Batman: Arkham Shadow: Unmasked 

The trailer’s focus on one particular pest has us convinced that the central villain of Batman: Arkham Shadow is none other than The Ratcatcher. In the comics, he’s able to control rats, which is what appears to be happening here when the horde turns to attack Bats.

Supporting this theory further is that during one blink-and-you’ll-miss-it segment while the rat is being pursued by Batman it crawls through a gas mask - a common part of Ratcatcher's costume given his other affinity for toxic gasses.

A Collector's Edition book tells us more about the Arkhamverse's Ratcatcher (Image credit: WB Games / Rocksteady)

Ratctacher has previously appeared in the Arkham game series via Easter eggs – his gear is found in Asylum’s ventilation system, and posters advertise his pest control business in Arkham City – and he’s made appearances in the Arkhamverse comics so we know he’s a part of this Batman’s rogue’s gallery.

He’s also not yet had a chance to feature properly in a game, which gives Camouflaj and Oculus Studios a lot of room to provide their own spin on the character without any major constraints of wider in-universe lore.

If The Ratcatcher is indeed a key villain in the game then we also have a good idea when Arkham Shadow is set in the universe's timeline (spoiler alert for the games and comics up to the beginning of Arkham Knight). 

Batman posing menacingly against a wall in Arkham Shadow

Rats are everywhere in these Arkham Shadow assets (Image credit: Camouflaj / Oculus Studios)

The Ratcatcher City Story from Arkham City tells us that the villain ended up on The Penguin’s bad side and he “was dragged screaming through the streets of Arkham City, followed by a trail of rats, into the museum and never to be seen again” (via Arkham Wiki).

We later learn he survived this encounter (minus his left arm and an eye) and was hiding in Gotham’s sewers. That is until the Batman: Arkham Knight - Genesis comic series – which serves as a prequel to the Arkham Knight game – when Ratcatcher is killed by the Arkham Knight.

These details suggest that Arkham Shadow is set before City – before Ratcatcher disappeared and was later murdered. Though we'll have to wait until more concrete details are announced to know for sure,

With June 7 coming up quickly we won't be left in the dark for too much longer. We just wish it was coming to other of the best VR headsets like PSVR 2, which has had an unfortunately disappointing run so far.

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