For many children, the character Batman is a part of their earliest memories. They watched the television cartoon on Saturday mornings, poured over Batman comics and watched the films. But then, the popularity of the caped crusader faded for several years – until the Dark Knight Rises.
The Batman comeback
The earlier Batman films, whilst popular, did not have any notable effect on video gaming of any kind and over time, these feature films were forgotten. However, the Dark Knight Rises made by Christopher Nolan became one of the highest grossing films of the Batman franchise and brought this character to the forefront of not only the silver screen, but also of the video gaming industry. There are many theories on why this happened; some say it was Heath Ledgers astounding performance as the sinister villain, the Joker. Others say that it was the skill of the director Chris Nolan that reinvigorated the franchise; Nolan went over each scene until it was absolutely perfect, insisting that each stunt, each line and each movement was rehearsed again and again. Others say it was a combination of factors which led to the Dark Knight Rise’s popularity and the resulting increase in children playing Batman video games.
Redefining the genre of the comic book superhero
The somewhat dated Batman character became redefined with the Dark Knight, as did the simple notion of the comic book superhero; the film was a gangster drama and a crime thriller all rolled into one, providing children with a modern hero to look up to. Someone who could leap from one skyscraper to the next, fight crime and live a double life, with what seemed like hardly any effort at all. This new version of a classic character is thought to be one of the driving forces behind the huge popularity of Batman games following the release of the Dark Knight Rises.
In addition to this, the Dark Knight Rises was very different from other sequels, in that the quality of its content not only matched the first Dark Knight film, but ultimately surpassed it. The mythic fantasy, narrative styling, incredible character depictions found in the first film were, in this sequel, combined with dramatic plotlines, clever thematic element and urban warfare, effectively creating one of the best superhero films of all time. Video game creators, inspired by the movie, then went on to mimic these features in the new Batman games they developed, resulting in some of the most impressive cartoon video games of the last decade.
The intricate story line, intelligent characters and the death-defying stunts that were carried out by them can all be found within the Batman video games which children still love today, several years after the DarkKnight Rises was first released. With these games, children get to see what it feels like to be the hero, the person who saves the day and makes the world a better place – with the help of some cool gadgetry and fast cars!
About the Author:
Jones is a part of Cartoon Network community and writes about video gaming on a regular basis for several of the leading blogs, publications and websites on the subject. She is an avid fan of batman games, loves to play video games with her own children.