What do we know about Batman: Arkham City?
Batman: Arkham City is the next Batman game developed by Rocksteady studios. It’s the much anticipated sequel to the ever so amusing Batman: Arkham Asylum that was released in August 2009. Batman: Arkham City has its releasedate set on the 18th of October 2011.
Story of Arkham City
Batman: Arkham City is an action-adventure videogame with a lot of stealth gameplay mixed into it. The story takes place one year after Batman: Arkham Asylum. Mayor Quincy Sharp (the former warden of Arkham Asylum) is looking for new solutions to imprison all the criminals as Arkhum Asylum had proven to be unrelient at the time. The solution at hand was to take a part of Gotham City and set it up as a giant city prison where criminals were set free within the city perimeter. This perimeter is protected by a private mercenary army called Tyger. Penalty for escaping is death and Tyger is responsible for executing this penalty if anybody tries to escape.
Within Arkham City different super villains have formed gangs, while the new head job of the prison facility was appointed to Dr. Hugo Strange. This is pretty distrurbing as Dr. Hugo Strange has proven himself to be more of a villain than a friend to Batman. Batman has to be cautious when dealing with Strange as Strange knows the secret of the man behind the mask. The city has the look and feel of a dark, criminal city, owned by no one besides the criminals themselves. It gives the game a very raw, grim feel and rival gangs will battle eachother on the streets as there is a power struggle going on between the different super villains. Several of these you will fight in their own strongholds throughout the city.
Confirmed characters for Batman: Arkham City are, besides Batman ofcourse:
- The Joker
- Harley Quinn
- Dr. Hugo Strange
- Mr. Freeze
- Talia al Ghu
- Calendar Man
- The Riddler
- Victor Zsasz
Wandering around Arkham City
The world in which Batman will operate is 5 times bigger than Arkham Asylum and will feel more as an open world game. Developer Rocksteady Studios did however mention that this would not be appropriate for the Batman game they have in mind, so don’t expect Batman: Arkham City being completely similar to GTA for instance. You will spend more outside than in buildings. Almost 80% of the game will take place in the streets of Arkham City and only a minority of the game will take place inside buildings. Batman can get around the city quickly by using his bat-claw and gliding technique, which has been improved for longer air-time. In trailers we have also seen you can just hold on to a patrol helicopter if you want to move around the city in a fast manner.
The main storyline will keep the player busy for more than 10 hours. If you add the side missions, challenges and riddles you get over 20 hours of gameplay out of Batman: Arkham City. These side missions are called the Arkham City Missions and tell mini-stories about other villains and investigations in Arkham City. There is a rumor co-op missions will be introduced as it is clear that Catwoman would take on the role of an ally after you save her from Two-face. A multiplayer has not yet been announced and it will probably not be incorporated into Batman: Arkham City. The Challenge Mode is back and improved to compensate for the lack of multiplayer.
The Riddler in Arkham City will be more present than in Arkham Asylum. You will get more clues and mini-missions, where, for instance, you need to save innocent citizens from The Riddler’s deathtraps. His trophies, which are hidden in the city, will be more difficult to get and will need some cunning gadget-use and bat-claw aiming.
Playing the super detective – Combat and gadgets
When tackling the different missions you will have to mix hand-to-hand combat with stealthy sneaking around. The combat system has improved and should feel less repetitive. Countering multiple enemies, power diving into the ground, disarming enemies and using the weapons in your advantage, grabbing thrown objects in mid-air and launching them back into an enemy… these are just some of the new things added to Arkham City’s combat gameplay. You will also be able to use your gadgets during combat, such as sticking explosive gel to an enemy or using your bat-claw to pull an enemy closer to you. It will also be possible to taunt enemies during combat. Not something I really needed in the game, but it will hopefully add some funny quotes and moments.
Detective Mode also makes it re-entrance but has been adapted to a tool you only use when it’s really needed and not, as I experienced in Batman: Arkham Asylum, all the freakin’ time! If it makes Batman: Arkham City more difficult and challenging, bring it on! In Batman: Arkham City you will now get assistance from Alfred, your butler. Oracle, who helped you out in the previous game has dissapeared for some reason and Alfred will take on the role of your intel side-kick.
The gadgets of Batman will now be upgradable and most of the gadgets from the previous game will be equipable in Arkham City. Furthermore, some new gadgets will make their introduction, one of them being a smoke bomb to disorient enemies or cover up your getaway.
The game looks very nice and the improvemens they did will not change the look and feel of the first game, which I loved. It seems the game just got better and even more darker. I just hope it will be worth it eventually.