The canceled Dark Knight-era Batman game that eventually turned into the best Lord of the Rings game has appeared online after a 10-year absence

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Monolith's scrapped Batman game that eventually became the best Lord of the Rings game has resurfaced online, 10 years later. 

As spotted by Eurogamer, a Twitter user known as SpideyRanger has shared a thread featuring several screenshots, videos, and bits of trivia about the canceled game. According to the thread, the game was codenamed "Project Apollo" and featured an open-world Gotham where players would get around by gliding, driving around in the Batmobile, or utilizing Batman's grappling hook.

SpideyRanger shares Monolith's version of the Batmobile, gameplay, stealth sequence, combat mechanics, gadget loadouts, and more. The Twitter user says the Batman title would have marked the debut of the 'Nemesis System' - now mostly associated with Shadow of Mordor - which would cause enemies to retain memories and encounters to differentiate it from Rocksteady's title. 

They also reveal that the reasoning behind the Batman game's cancellation was due to Warner Bros. believing that it wasn't a good idea to have two Batman games competing at the same time - Batman Arkham Origins, Batman Arkham Knight, and Batman: Return to Arkham all released between 2013 - 2016. This is how the project ended up as the most beloved Lord of the Rings game, Shadow of Mordor. 

Judging by Shadow of Mordor's release date, it's possible that this game was in development around the early 2010s meaning it's been mostly kept under wraps for around a decade. The Twitter user claims they sourced the images, clips, and trivia from the YouTube channel DidYouKnowGaming, Internet Archive, developer portfolios, and other fans on Twitter. 

In the YouTube video, we learn even more about the game as it's revealed that it was supposed to be set in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight universe and would be released on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. According to sources, Monolith needed Nolan's "explicit approval" for the movie tie-in and reportedly had a hard time contacting the filmmaker due to him working on other projects at the time of development. 

It's a shame that the game never made it to release, but at least it eventually gave us Shadow of Mordor. Now, Monolith gets a second chance at making a DLC game as in 2021 it announced it was working on a Wonder Woman game. Info on this is a little scarce right now, but we do know that might have branching narratives and that Gotham Knights studio Warner Bros Montreal is onboard as a support studio

Find something to play in the meantime with our best superhero games list. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.