Taking the Show to the Big City
It’s not often a game single-handedly changes the way people feel about an entire franchise. However, Batman Arkham Asylum did just that. With entertaining gameplay, an intriguing storyline, and a bevy of extras, Rocksteady dragged the hopeless license out of the comic book game stigma and into the spotlight. Batman was finally fun to play!
Now Warner Bros. Interactive & co. are looking to take their show to the big city with Batman: Arkham City. The game picks up a year after Batman defeated the Joker in the events of Arkham Asylum. Warden Quincy Sharp is now mayor of Gotham City. He faces a major problem in that Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison are no longer able to hold prisoners. But where everyone else sees lemons, Mayor Sharp sees lemonade! Eschewing an expensive rebuilding process, he has cordoned off Gotham’s slums and thrown all the baddies in, leaving the parameter to be guarded by a private military group called Tyger. Thus, Arkham City is born.
- Batman can really brawl, but stealth action will still be a mainstay -
Not surprisingly, allowing Gotham’s most wanted to run amuck has consequences. Factions arise and battle each other for control of the city. Batman keeps a vigil over Arkham, fearing what this experiment may create. The action picks up when super villain Two Face decides to schedule the public execution of Catwoman as a show of power.
Batman voice actor, Kevin Conroy has confirmed that Batman: Arkham City will be “very, very dark”. A sobering claim considering Arkham Asylum wasn’t exactly The Care Bears. But, with a bevy of super villains vying for top dog in a city where there are no rules, it’s not surprising that things get a little twisted. Not to mention the fact that the whole sadistic experiment is run by none other than Hugo Strange.
While the first game centered on the Joker playing his own sick game of cat and mouse with the Caped Crusader, Batman: Arkham City focuses more on the chaos of evil unchecked. Can Batman work through this chaos to see what is really going on? Will he figure out who is pulling the strings before it’s too late?
Developer Rocksteady dug a little deeper into the Batman roster this time around. It’s not like Batman won’t already have his hands full with the Joker, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy all making a return. Joining the fray in Batman: Arkham City are Two Face, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Talia al Ghul, Hugo Strange, Catwoman, Victor Zsasz, Calendar Man, and the Penguin.
- The villains of Arkham City won't disappoint -
But not to worry, as Batman will return with a bigger supply of his wonderful toys. Rocksteady has promised that all the gadgets from the previous title will be back with new and improved capabilities in Batman: Arkham City, as well as two new items: a broadcast tuner Batman can use to locate signals and track them back to their source, and smoke bombs Batman can use to… make smoke.
Batman: Arkham City is shaping up to be all the fun of Arkham Asylum in a bigger world with more characters and more gadgets. Imagine dropping a smoke grenade into a group of baddies from some building on high, plunging into the smoke below, nabbing one of the goons, and disappearing into the night. How about gliding from rooftop to rooftop in pursuit of some hapless criminal, or putting explosive gel on the sidewalk and blasting the next sucker who walks by into little bits! The possibilities of Batman in an open world are endless. With what Warner Bros. and Rocksteady are showing us already, October can’t come fast enough!
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