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E3 2011: Batman: Arkham City First Impressions

Feature; Jun. 10, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Ryan Goodman
Subtypes: Opinion, Preview
Batman must deal with an entire borough of Arkham this time...
Los Angeles, CA, USA

One of the most anticipated sequels of the year is only a few months away from being released. Batman: Arkham City is promising to be a much bigger game than its successful predecessor, Arkham Asylum. The game was on the E3 floor, and from what I saw and played, this sequel will live up to the hype.

Batman: Arkham City

From what we can gather from the demo, it appears the warden of Arkham Asylum has been elected mayor of Gotham City and decides he is going to quarantine a borough of Gotham, making it a personal playground for the inmates of the asylum. Batman suspects something bigger is at hand, and with the warden knowing his secret identity, he decides to break into Arkham.

The demo starts with the caped crusader just first getting into Arkham City. His main objective at the moment is to save Catwoman from Two-Face, so he can get some vital information from her. There is an optional task available as well, involving the Riddler, but I decided to stick to the main task at hand. The first thing I got to try out was the newest enhancement to detective mode: a device that lets Batman clue in on the activities of some of the inmates running rampant. In the demo, the device clues in on Catwoman’s location, which turns out to be a nearby courthouse.

After you glide your way to the front door and fight your way in, you’ll have to maneuver the caped crusader to the top of the courthouse, and then drop in on Two-Face’s “courtroom trial." After a large fight with some more baddies, another cutscene occurs. The end of that cutscene also marked the end of my time with the demo.

Besides the detective enhancements, Batman will also have some other things in his arsenal. The new move featured in this demo is a power dive that sends Batman straight down into an enemy. Other devastating moves will be in the full version, and you’ll also get some time in the shoes of Catwoman as well.

A Rocksteady rep told me that Arkham City will be about five times as big as Arkham Asylum and take about 28 hours to complete the main storyline. Adding in side quests, such as collecting Riddler trophies, then you’re looking at a 40-plus hour Batman adventure!

Graphically, Arkham City looks even better than the stunning original. Every detail of the city is top notch, full of Batman lore. The dark knight himself looks as close to real as you can get. Weather elements, such as rain, also looks well detailed.

Overall, Batman: Arkham City is shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest hits when it hits stores on Oct. 18.

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