Batman: Arkham Origins will star Black Mask as its primary antagonist which lends the game a twisted tone, based on his criminal history around Gotham.
Black Mask based on the character Roman Sionis debuted in 1985, born to wealthy and utterly self-absorbed parents who cared more about their social status than their son.
In the original comic fiction, Sionis had rich parents like Bruce Wayne, but killed his parents and fashioned a mask out of his father’s casket to signify that he was taking over the business, presumably because “CEO” business cards are kind of boring.
Black Mask returns to his family home to wipe out any traces of his old life as Roman Sionis, When he’s caught in a fire in his old bedroom, Batman attempts to save him and inadvertently drops him into the flames, merging the mask permanently onto his face.
“We realize that Black Mask is not necessarily as prominent in people’s minds as some other classic Batman villains, so we realize we also need to do work to explain why he’s really cool and make him felt in the game.
It’s not something people bring a lot of baggage to when you see the Black Mask, so we have to do the work to make him scary,” creative director Eric Holmes told Game Informer.
In the game, Black Mask is presented as the original character, an evil, sadistic individual in the game. The public head of his father’s corporation, Janus Cosmetics, but has been running the Gotham mob on the side.
“Black Mask is new money. He’s rich. He’s very, very powerful. He’s made it, he’s known for being brutal and sadistic. And particularly at this point in the Arkham franchise he has enormous resources. He is the number one gang leader in Gotham. And has easily the most power in the city,” said Holmes.
“He is slowly but surely taking out his competitors within the organized crime world, and as the game begins he’s solidifying his power in the city.
In the Arkham universe, the masks that Black Mask and his cronies wear act as a shield for their far more public personas. No one knows that Roman Sionis is Black Mask, and Sionis is able to maintain power within the city by exploiting both identities.
Roman Sionis is suspected for a lot of things, but nothing’s pinned on him. The Janus Cosmetics company is his background. He inherited a family business related to cosmetic chemicals and ran it into the ground, and then turned it around into a huge criminal enterprise selling drugs,” Holmes added.
“The sadistic nature of Black Mask is a fun thing for us to play with – the lengths to which he’s willing to go to get what he wants,” said senior producer Ben Mattes.
Black Mask is the No. 1 gang leader in Gotham, and for Arkham Origins, he hires a collection of the world’s best killers to take down Batman on Christmas Eve.
“It’s basically Batman’s worst nightmare,” says narrative director Dooma Wendschuh. “We have eight of the best assassins in the world who’ve come together to Gotham City for one night, Christmas Eve of all nights, to kill the Bat.”
Batman: Arkham Origins will releases on October 25, 2013 for Wii U, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.You can like our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or add us to your circle on Google+ to keep yourself updated on all the latest news around the web.