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Batman: Arkham City exposed! First image of villains, plus new details on story, characters and gameplay

Well, that didn't take long. Just yesterday, I wrote about what we at GamesRadar would most like to see in the sequel to our 2009 Game of the Year, Batman: Arkham Asylum. And this morning, thanks to the latest issue of Game Informer arriving in subscribers' mailboxes – then, of course, quickly making its way onto the internet – I can excitedly report that many of our wishes for Arkham City are coming true!

First is this scan of how Catwoman and Two-Face will appear in the game. What do you think?

Personally, I love that Catwoman has the exact same goggles and pointy ears we found in the original's museum case. I also approve of Two-Face's "evil" side, which is more dark and charred than wild and wacky (ahem, Batman Forever.)

Now for the details! Various forums have summarized and condensed the contents of the Game Informer article into one mind-blowing list of information overload. There's almost too much good stuff here to process in one sitting, but I'll try to guide you through…


- A year has taken place
- Sharp took credit for getting the Joker situation under control
- Sharp used that incident to help win the election
- He then declares Blackgate and Arkham unfit
- Sharp buys off a portion of the slums of Gotham
- He walls off the area, calls it Arkham City

A pretty tidy explanation for why the asylum is now within the limits of Gotham City, don't you think? The real mystery is Quincy Sharp's motivation. Those who finished the first game 100% will remember that the former Arkham Warden and current Gotham Mayor is not only corrupt, but also a delusional schizophrenic who believes that the only way to cure insanity is by killing it off.


- Sharp contracts a mercenary group named Tyger into defending the walls
- Prisoners given one rule: “Don’t try to escape”
- Penalty is death
- Prisoners free to do anything besides that within
- A lot of the super villains have formed gangs, have control of different areas in the city

Is this Sharp's idea of a Final Solution? No order, no regulation… he wants the new Arkham to descend into chaos and destruction. He's locking all the animals together in a single cage and waiting for them to tear each other apart. What's really intriguing, though, is the freedom for inmates to do whatever they please. Yesterday, I asked for settings and enemies in Arkham City that better match the uniquely bizarre styles of the super villains. This revelation practically guarantees that.


- Psychiatrist Hugo Strange is now heading the new facility

Wow, that is bad news for Batman. Hugo Strange was one of the 28 hidden characters in Arkham Asylum, and if you read his file during that game, you'll understand the complications. He's even crazier than Quincy Sharp, but with the added danger that – in most versions of the character's story – he's discovered Batman's secret identity and often attempts to sell the information to interested bidders. Perhaps that's what the villains in Arkham City are competing for, which forces our hero to pay a very necessary visit.

 


- Two-Face is admitted into Arkham City
- Two-Face realizes he needs to make a move to assert himself in the prison so that he won’t be eaten alive
- He captures Catwoman, thinking that a public execution would help out his situation
- Catwoman, meanwhile, will play Batman's love interest, and will team up with him throughout the game

Sounds like Batman successfully apprehended Harvey Dent at the bank robbery mentioned during the epilogue of the original. The fact that Two-Face comes across as slightly vulnerable in these story details makes me confident that Arkham City will touch on his previously noble life and explore the duality of his relationship with Batman. Meanwhile, Catwoman is obviously confirmed as an ally rather than antagonist, bringing us one potential step closer to either Catwoman co-op or a second playable character.


- Oracle is missing
- Because of this, Alfred is the one in Bruce’s ear
- There are several broadcasts Bats can listen to, including the GCPD dispatch and Gotham FM

Yes! Alfred Pennyworth, as requested in our wish list yesterday. His long history with Bruce Wayne, and his dryly sarcastic demeanor, should make for way more interesting – and way more humorous – dialogue than Oracle could ever provide. I know I can't wait to be addressed as "Sir" for an entire game.


- Can use gadgets while fighting
- Example of this: Putting explosive gel on the back of an enemy
- Press a button and Batman will taunt enemies

The combat in Arkham Asylum was extremely well-executed, but did grow repetitive after awhile. Rocksteady seems to be mixing things up for the sequel, enabling players to customize their moves to a greater degree. And taunts? Brilliant – especially if two of them are a growling "I'm Batman!" and "Swear to me!"


- Devs hoping to use more of the “forensics” angle from the first title, incorporate puzzles in them that will get more complex as you progress
- Interrogations instead of Riddler maps now

I applaud Rocksteady for including Batman's brainier side in the first game, but the World's Greatest Detective often did most of the thinking for us. Don't tell us to follow a DNA trail… give us the necessary tools and wait for us to figure out cool CSI solutions like that on our own. The developers clearly agree, and are beefing up the puzzles for the sequel.


- Optional side stories for some characters, including Zsasz

How do you top the character cameos in the first game, which included hidden mementos and extensive profiles for over two dozen of Gotham's heroes and villains? I would have suggested rewarding the player with digital comic issues featuring those characters… fully realized side stories, however, is clearly better. I feel a little spoiled, and the game is still over a year away from release.


- Rocksteady not talking about multiplayer plans yet

Uh oh.


 
Sources: ArkhamCity.co.ukIGN

Aug 11, 2010
 

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Topics

DC Comics

53 comments

  • John151 - August 14, 2010 1:56 a.m.

    I Honestly didn't think they could make AA better. However everything new for Arkham City sounds fantastic. Btw playing through Arkham Asylum a second time, i never knew how much info is in the game if you spend the time completing it 100%
  • EroticInvisibleMan - August 13, 2010 3:59 a.m.

    Woah, it's the story from Escape From Los Angeles. Still, very excited for it.
  • Axcleblade - August 13, 2010 2:16 a.m.

    Officially my "Second most anticipated game of 2011". And my recaptcha wants me to use a few letters that aren't on my keyboard.
  • YuGiOhisbetterthanMagic - August 12, 2010 6:08 p.m.

    when i first saw the "multiplayer" picture, i thought it was batman fighting Hugo.
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - August 12, 2010 5:19 p.m.

    @system1988 That dialogue was perfect. Exactly why I can't wait to hear Alfred in the sequel.
  • gamingfreak - August 12, 2010 5:10 p.m.

    Aw man, we have to wait a full year.
  • ThatSkinnyGuy - August 12, 2010 3:29 p.m.

    I sure as hell don't want a multiplayer mode, but IF they're going to insist on doing one anyway, might I suggest the 'Predator Hunt' game mode from the not-very-good AvP game as a mode model? One player as Batman, the rest as goons, dropped in a map. Goons can work together or kill each other. One player is Bats, picking off the goons until he's killed, and swops characters with the player that offed him. Just sayin'... could work... *ducks and runs*
  • matchew - August 12, 2010 3:19 p.m.

    Two Faces' hand is bigger than his head!
  • system1988 - August 12, 2010 11:14 a.m.

    I still have a hard time believing that Alfred is going to be Batman's informer throughout the game. The great thing is that Alfred's presence has always been descreit in all the Batman franchises (comic books, movies, tv shows etc). It is a brilliant idea for him to stay on the sidelines as a voice and not as an actual character. Alfred's parentish figure will be an excellent addition to the game especially if he uses his sarcasm and critisise every move Bruce makes. I can imageine the dialogue: "I'm at the gates Alfred any tips?" "Other than the whole news coverage thoroughly explaining to the ignorant public of how Sharp's reputation will be destroyed in case the inhabitants of the city use the common sewer system and reign havoc accross Gotham by crawling through it and over the gates? I am afraid not sir." "Thanks Alfred" "Use caution while making your way through the sewers sir" "You believe Crock might be down there?" "To be frank sir I was thinking about how your suit will be ruined from all the sewer dirt. My day off is coming and I'd rather not spend it washing off your mess" "I'll be carefull" "My original point sir. Good luck" This game is gonna be awesome. Catwoman and Dent look really cool but I guess they had to after the Dark Knight movie.
  • system1988 - August 12, 2010 11:13 a.m.

    I still have a hard time believing that Alfred is going to be Batman's informer throughout the game. The great thing is that Alfred's presence has always been descreit in all the Batman franchises (comic books, movies, tv shows etc). It is a brilliant idea for him to stay on the sidelines as a voice and not as an actual character. Alfred's parentish figure will be an excellent addition to the game especially if he uses his sarcasm and critisise every move Bruce makes. I can imageine the dialogue: "I'm at the gates Alfred any tips?" "Other than the whole news coverage thoroughly explaining to the ignorant public of how Sharp's reputation will be destroyed in case the inhabitants of the city use the common sewer system and reign havoc accross Gotham by crawling through it and over the gates? I am afraid not sir." "Thanks Alfred" "Use caution while making your way through the sewers sir" "You believe Crock might be down there?" "To be frank sir I was thinking about how your suit will be ruined from all the sewer dirt. My day off is coming and I'd rather not spend it washing off your mess" "I'll be carefull" "My original point sir. Good luck" This game is gonna be awesome. Catwoman and Dent look really cool but I guess they had to after the Dark Knight movie.
  • dugfinger - August 12, 2010 10:44 a.m.

    Does no-one else think that Two-Face looks shit? After all the awesome designs in the first game, I thought they'd do something a bit more imaginative than what's on show here. I thought the image you unlock for him in the first game looked awesome. Well I spose you can't see him in real detail in that image, but my first impression isn't great I've gotta say. Game sounds awesome otherwise though. Wish they hadn't revealed so much with over a year to wait. It's gonna be painful.
  • BigLandoz - August 12, 2010 10:32 a.m.

    I really wouldn't mind multiplayer. Not in the story, with the exceptions of where Catwoman teams up with Batman. Have something like 2 player Predator and Combat maps. If it's set in the "No Man's Land" story, it could possibly be expanded to 4 player maps with Nightwing and Robin. Hell, maybe the PS3 would have an exclusive mode where you could play with Joker, Two-Face, Zsasz and Black Mask. Then again, I'd rather have a superb single player with no multiplayer over an above average single player an above average multiplayer. And I echo Batman5273's post: too much info too soon?
  • nikgrid - August 12, 2010 6:18 a.m.

    I posted this on Kotaku a year ago. A friend of minne works at Rocksteady, and I caught up with him. Anyway he told me that MP is def happening, and that DC are very involved in the game. So much so that DC stipulated, Batman MUST NOT be teamed up with a villain in MP. I asked about any possible sidekick action, and he said hypothetically there may be an old sidekick showing up for MP. Believe it or don't I'm just passing this info on. Nick
  • Denrok - August 12, 2010 5 a.m.

    Don't be so worried about the multiplayer. It's probably gonna be some kind of co-op and will probably be awesome.
  • drmongoose77 - August 12, 2010 4:51 a.m.

    please no multiplayer. just please
  • SenatorPepper - August 12, 2010 4:36 a.m.

    Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
  • spawny0908 - August 12, 2010 4:17 a.m.

    Sounds effin AWESOME but goddamnit NO MULTIPLAYER!!!!!
  • tienesmota - August 12, 2010 4:10 a.m.

    NO F*CKING MULTIPLAYER
  • mahabat - August 12, 2010 3:49 a.m.

    its not unlikely that two face has been on a crime rampage batman might have been distracted after AA not to mention it would take more then one bank robbery to be declared criminally insane and obviously after being punched in the face by explosive gel and batmans fist, the joker is looking kind of down.
  • HawtKakez - August 12, 2010 2:25 a.m.

    Well, this is good news all around. Just out of curiosity, the events of this iteration takes place one year after the last game, correct? So, since Two-Face is admitted into Arkham City, has he just been recently captured after a one year crime streak? Also, when viewing the last trailer, the Joker is in a state of illness which was assumed to be from his recent beat down in the last game. If one year has passed, is the Joker possibly in a state of terminal illness or has Batman just ruffed him up a little recently? Man, I ask too many questions whenever I should be happy that Rocksteady may strike gold twice in this franchise.

Showing 1-20 of 53 comments

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