Batman: Arkham City is out today, and if you’ve played the first one, then you know you’re in for a great gaming experience. There are some new features and some new scenery in Arkham City. Lets take a look.
The confining setting of the Arkham Asylum has been left behind, and in its place lays the sprawling metropolis of Arkham City. Make no mistake however; this city is the new Asylum. Criminals own the night, and under the new mayor Quincy Sharp – promoted from his old post: warden at the Asylum – the city is teeming with the most gruesome criminals Arkham has to offer.
Rocksteady hasn’t really changed any of the core dynamics in the game, but simply added more of what we love. While the city itself is open to the player from the beginning of the game, some inner levels are mission specific. In an interview with CVG.com, RS’s Dax Ginn says “Interiors are locked to specific missions,” says Ginn, “But 80% of the game takes place on the streets. This means you can begin the game and just start exploring.” Where as Arkham Asylum was a more linear game, players will have much more freedom, and less tedious quests in the new city. “Plot is really important to us, so side-missions won’t be like, ‘Collect 50 of these random things,’ Ginn says, ‘they’ll be tied directly into the narrative – like ‘track down Zsasz’ or ‘interrogate the Riddler’s informants’. So you’ll always feel like you’re part of an overall plot arc, whether you’re following the core story or not.”
Players have the ability to play as Batman, who – as in the previous game – relies on his heavy hands and combos to dispatch foes, and Catwoman, whose fighting style – though strikingly similar to that of the caped crusader – it is somewhat more elegant. Her main story arc – which starts with her kidnapped by Two-Face and awaiting execution – is, of course, to steal things from the main villains. She spends the majority of the game infiltrating hideouts and trying to get her hands on whatever she can. It is a nice switch up that adds some variety to the gameplay. Robin is also a playable character, though as of this article, only in the challenge mode. His style has been described as more of a street fighter, so it should make for an interesting time.
Some of the new features include Batman’s new gliding ability, which seems to be the new method of fast travel as the city setting is significantly larger than the asylum in the previous game. It’s quick and generally easy to use. Plus, the view from the sky isn’t too shabby either. Also, he can boost-grapple, grabbing a light post or some other object and propelling himself into the air, which he can use either as a start point or to keep himself afloat. All of the traditional combat controls are back, and it is truly a game that can turn button-mashing into an artform. Although it is essentially that, you never really get tired watching Bats kick a criminal in the head or batarang one into a hard right hand.
The batvision has also been tweaked. It’s more of a combination of sonar and an infrared device. In gameplay footage it looks good, and seems like it will be pretty useful, detecting things like cracks in windows, and the ability to see through the floor beneath you into cells and such.
It seems that Rocksteady has created a hit in the making with their sophomore effort, and time will tell if it is going to be as big as the buzz around it. All in all, it looks exciting, and while not much different than the previous game, it looks much bigger and far more detailed. I personally can’t wait to get my hands on it, and I can only imagine that if you’re reading this article, you can’t either!
Let us know what you think of the game, and whether it lives up to your expectations in the comments section!