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Batman: Arkham City – What We Know So Far

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Rocksteady Studios decided that confining a player to the psychologically pressuring boundaries of Arkham Asylum was just not enough. It is time to give fans a larger yet more threatening ground to play batman in. The sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum is set to be released this year on October 18th worldwide, and Rocksteady hasn’t been too shy about giving everyone intriguing information regarding this game.

New Elements
Arkham City brings with itself some drastic changes from its predecessor, most being courtesy to the change in environment. Our stealthy, bat-obsessed hero will no longer move through narrow corridors but will actually have an entire city at his disposal to – well, dispose of the villains.

Speaking of villains, Batman won’t be facing just one or even two super main super villains from the DC Comics, but will be facing more than three main super-villains, with the regular sprinkle of some additional notorious baddies here and there.
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The main villains will be the malefic psychiatrist Hugo Strange, the once-sane insane Two-Face, the strangely riddling Riddler, and of course our beloved (or maybe not so beloved) hero – I mean villain, Joker. Alongside them, we’ll also see a newly outfitted Harley Quin, Talia Al Ghul, Mr. Freeze, and the sassy Catwoman.

I’m quite confident that I’m not the only one who’s anxious to know how things will turn up with not one but multiple maniacs eager to rip off Batman’s head or anything equivalent.

Publisher Warner Bros has confirmed that the roles played by the villains will be more physical than in the predecessor, which means we’ll be seeing a physically present Riddler, instead of distant, remote communication. To what extent this physical presence will be played out is something yet to be revealed.

The game is referred to as ‘really, really dark’ by the famed Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy, who stated that the involvement of so many villains makes it go to that really dark area.

Story
The question that will come into everyone’s mind is how an Asylum for crazies became an entire city for lunatics. The answer to this lies within the introductory story. The story of Arkham City takes place roughly one year after the events of Arkham Asylum.

Quincy Sharp has taken all the credit for the apprehension of Joker, and has used the notoriety to advance himself up the hierarchy to become mayor of Gotham City. As both Arkham Asylum and the Blackgate Prison faced some fairly decent damage from the events of the previous Batman game.
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Sharp buys out a rather large area of Gotham to act as a substitute for the prisons, sealing the region’s parameters with privately hired military contractors. Quincy also decides to hire Hugo Strange as a psychiatrist, and obviously that turns out to be pretty bad, since Strange has his own set of not-so-nice motives for Arkham City.

On the other hand, Two-Face has his own independent plans of gaining status among the in-mates of the city, and decides to publicly execute Catwoman. That’s where Batman comes in, and that’s where the seemingly wrong starts to happen; and before Batman knows it, he’s trapped in a massive metropolis filled with nothing but madmen who want to make minced-meat out of him.

Gameplay
Though the game release has been targeted in the 4th quarter of this year – a good seven months from now, its development has been well paced by Rocksteady studios. We’ve already heard/seen quite a few added features; though the successful stealth-based gameplay remains pretty much the way it was – along with the occasional beat-‘em-up fights.
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For instance, Batman will be retaining all his clever devices that he worked hard to collect in the predecessor at the start of Arkham City, with many possessing improved or new capabilities. A good example is how the hacker-loved sequencer gadget will now be able to scan airwaves for radio chatter or allow Batman to input a specific frequency to eavesdrop on baddies.

Additionally Rocksteady has shunned all speculations of a possible multiplayer mode; so no, you won’t be able to run around as Joker attempting to squelch Batmans and Two-Faces in a weird sort of a multiplayer mode.

Developers claim that they have taken this step to ensure they give their full attention into making Arkham City’s single player campaign at least as enjoyable and mesmerizing as its predecessor.
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Being in a metropolis-like area rather than confined structures will ensure a much more open ended gameplay, making some of the battles occur in open areas which would allow for a more tactically challenging scenario.

That would also allow for a better opportunity of avoiding unwanted attention, and that’s something everyone will be doing quite a bit because, despite Batman being the main target of the super-villains, we’ll also see fights among the gangs and followers of these villains.

Summary
There’s still quite a bit of time left until Arkham City comes out, but it has already attracted rightful attention simply because it seems to be a genuine continuation of a great game; and often genuine continuations make a lasting impression on gamers.

What we’ve seen and heard so far regarding Arkham City has been magnetizing, and everyone’s hoping that it will at least live up to the towering standards set by its predecessor, if not exceed them.