It seems that
exposure to Titan in Arkham Asylum has left Joker more than a little ill, and
to help him get better, Harley went and kidnapped a few emergency doctors –
none of whom have been able to cure Joker. One unlucky medic got shoved out of
the high door in which Harley stood, dropping a good 20 or feet to the ground before
writhing around in a fetal position. Joker’s goons slowly closed ranks around
him, and at their center was Mr. Hammer: a hulking, one-armed clown covered in
Russian prison tattoos, who tapped out a steady rhythm against the floor with
his sledgehammer as he stared down at the helpless doctor.
Above: A big chunk of the footage in this trailer comes from this demo - and, we're guessing, shortly afterward
that Batman probably wouldn’t just sit and watch an innocent man get smashed,
we started looking for a way in – and instead saw another doctor, one Stacy
Baker – get thrown up against the grating of our tunnel and menaced by more of
Joker’s men. Harley ordered her dragged away and – after picking our way
through a few inconvenient jets of flame that shot out regularly – we followed.
When we found
Baker, it turned out she was under guard by several armed thugs. Clearly, the
situation called for stealth, and - using Detective Vision to keep an eye on
everyone’s movements – we snuck up behind a couple of guards and used a new,
silent double-takedown move to knock their heads together. It wasn’t too long before
someone saw us, unfortunately, and as they opened fire, we were able to rapidly
duck out of the way with Batman’s dodge move.
work forever, though, so we selected a smoke pellet from Batman’s (surprisingly
expansive) arsenal of tools – accessed with a simple d-pad menu – smashed it
against the ground and used the momentary confusion to grapple up to the
gargoyles and swing to the other side of the room. With the thugs thrown off
the scent, it was easy to take one down with a glide kick and creep up on the
rest to dispose of them silently.
left the guard standing over Baker, who was locked in a control room with her.
He was also getting jumpy, so we ran up, smashed Batman right through the
window, and took him down before he could start shooting.
By the time
Baker was free, however, Harley had grown wise to Batman’s presence, and
ordered her thugs to weld the room’s entrance doors shut. It turned out to be a
momentary setback; while Baker fretted, Batman walked over to a workbench,
picked up what looked like random components and quickly fitted together an REC
(for Remote Electrical Charge) gun. Using this, we were able to fire little
balls of lightning, good not only for stunning thugs but also for opening
previously inaccessible, electrically controlled doors.
the REC, we short-circuited one of these and made our way back to the huge,
open chamber where Harley had addressed her troops – and where, unsurprisingly,
we ran afoul of the same goons we’d seen earlier. Shooting them with the REC
and watching them spasm a little was entertaining, but nowhere near as fun as
Arkham City’s free-flowing combat, which still manages to straddle a unique line
between frantic button-mashing and expert precision.
thugs were down, we used the REC to open the door Harley was hiding behind, and
grappled up to its ledge – only to immediately
get kicked in the face by Mr. Hammer and sent sprawling back to the ground. After
he’d come down to play, attacking him head-on turned out to be unwise,
especially when he had a few wingmen along. Opting to take out the small fry
first, we found ourselves getting hit with leaping, hard-to-dodge smash attacks
from Hammer, which brought us near death more than once.
hanging back and hitting him with the REC sent him into a literal spin, during
which he’d blindly smack down anyone unlucky enough to be near him. And while
that proved somewhat effective, it was only after we’d delivered three
consecutive cape stuns that he was vulnerable to attack. And once he was, we
were able to run up and – by hammering the punch button – deliver a
cartoonishly rapid flurry combo that finally knocked the big clown unconscious.
All things considered, he went down pretty easy once we’d gotten him alone.
was time to pay Harley a visit – and when we did, we found her sobbing over the
Joker, who slumped motionless in a chair, wearing a respirator mask. As the
cutscene continued, Harley yelled accusations at Batman, saying it was his fault, that he’d hounded “Mr. J” too
far until Joker’s body gave out. Scanning the scene with Detective Vision
revealed that the body in the chair was indeed the Joker – and his status was “deceased.”
So yeah: Joker dies at the end.
But yeah: Probably
not. Either way,
we’ll all find out in a few weeks, when Arkham City ships on Oct. 18 (or Oct. 21 in the UK).
Sep 30, 2011