There have been many provocative tales featuring Batman over the years, but one that stands out for many longtime fans of the Dark Knight is “Gotham By Gaslight,” an Elseworlds tale from the creative team of Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola. The 1989 one-shot placed Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego in 1889, pitting him head-to-head against one of the most notorious killers of that time: Jack the Ripper. It made for a fascinating and rather popular story, spawning a sequel, several toys and statues over the years — and, at one point in time, it was the subject of a potential video game.
Siliconera has posted video footage for a pitch for a game based on “Gotham by Gaslight” put together by Day 1 Studios, the team behind “F.3.A.R.” and “Fracture.” The game would have been an adaptation of the comic’s story, placing the player in Batman’s shoes as you attempted to solve the mystery of and stop the murders in Gotham City by Jack the Ripper.
As you can see from the footage, the game was developed to be similar to the “Arkham Asylum” and “Arkham City” games, with Batman running around in a 3D environment, exploring old Gotham. In addition to being able to scale buildings and take a look at his surroundings, seeking out clues to Jack’s whereabouts, Batman has the ability to see in the dark, a necessary skill considering all the fog that has set into the area. The game footage also features him in two outfits, including one with a massive black cape and what appears to be a fighting suit.
Day 1 prepared this footage for a pitch for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 between 2009 and 2010, possibly after the release of “Arkham Asylum,” in the hopes of taking Batman in a new creative direction in gaming. It had attempted to collaborate with THQ on the project, but the pitch failed and the project was scrapped.
Still, it’s interesting to think what could have been with this alternate take on the “Batman” legacy, and how Augustyn and Mignola’s world could’ve come to life in a full video game release. With luck, gamers will one day explore the world of Victorian-era Gotham City.