Batman: Arkham City


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Batman's adventure is bigger in the sequel to Arkham Asylum, one of 2009's top games. Set 18 months after Batman's defeat of the Joker in the previous game, the new title is five times bigger, says Dax Ginn of development studio Rocksteady. Arkham Asylum "was primarily an indoors kind of layout," he says. "We wanted to take the action to the streets of Gotham."

The game starts with Batman learning that Catwoman has been taken captive by Two-Face. "All these main criminal masterminds have their own agendas," Ginn says. "Two-Face is looking to establish himself as the guy to be feared and the gang to be joined." Look for the Joker and Harley Quinn, too.

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Guest TFG1Mike

While I like Tara Strong, she shouldn't be Harley. I guess Arleen Sorkin wouldn't do it this time.

I think maybe Arleen retired? I'm not sure been trying to find a news itm on it with no luck.

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I don't know how I missed this from 1Up back in February:

1) The Batclaw Can Grab Items Now

In addition to tearing down walls and thugs' faces, the Batclaw can now be used to grab items. In the demonstration we saw, Batman grabbed a hidden Riddler Trophy from a distance because he was too lazy to walk over to it.

2) Batman Has Super Mario World's Cape

Much like Mario's yellow cape in his 16-bit debut, Batman can fly long distances by swooping down, catching wind, and gliding back up. We're told that you can fly through all of Arkham City without ever touching the ground.

3) There Are Smoke Bombs

Among Batman's inventory are Smoke Pellets, something that really should have been in the first game. In the demonstration we saw, Batman threw these down at his feet like a magician to "disappear" from the eyes of some of Joker's minions.

4) Catwoman and Two Face Have New Voice Actors

Fans of Batman: The Animated Series may be disappointed to hear that neither Richard "Bull from Night Court" Moll nor Adrienne "That Girl From The Fog" Barbeau will be reprising their roles as Two-Face and Catwoman, respectively. Interestingly, Barbeau was in Arkham Asylum, as one of the asylum physicians Batman rescues.

5) ...And So Does Harley Quinn

Surprisingly, Arleen Sorkin did not provide the voice for Harley Quinn in the demo we saw, despite being in Arkham Asylum. When pressed, we were given a stone cold "no comment" on whether this would be true in the final game. The actress we heard was a pretty good imitation, but obviously not the real thing.

6) Alfred Replaces Oracle

In Arkham Asylum, Batman was in constant radio contact with The Oracle, who was able to monitor his situation and provide remote help. In the demo we saw of Arkham City, this role was being fulfilled by Batman's faithful butler, Alfred.

7) Calendar Man Knows What Day It Is

Not only is series villain Calendar Man confirmed to be in the game, he's also got some unique dialog during most major holidays. Play the game on St. Patrick's Day, for example, and he'll tell you all about a murder he committed on that day in history.

8) Bad Guys Can Take Hostages

There was one scene in Arkham Asylum where Mr. Zsasz took one of the doctor's hostage, in a scripted event that forced players to batarang his face. In Arkham City, the average grunt can do this contextually, providing a new challenge for Batman: if the hostage dies, it's game over.

9) Forget Double Takedown, There's a Triple Now

Those of us who have kept up with Arkham City previews probably knew about Batman's ability to counter two bad guy sat the same time, but we can now confirm that there is a triple takedown too. We didn't get to see it, but we're told it's "awesome."

10) Weapons Are Highlighted in Detective Mode

Just like in Arkham Asylum, baddies holding guns appear red in Detective Mode. New to Arkham City, however, is that melee weapons are now clearly visible. It's easy to tell if a guy is holding a pipe, as that pipe will appear as a visually striking yellow.

11) Some Enemies Have Armor Now

A new enemy type now has Batman-proof armor, making a traditional takedown impossible. Batman must use the new "Beatdown" move (which involves first stunning the enemy then hammering on the attack button to beat him rapidly) to weaken and, eventually, destroy the armor.

12) You Can Beat Up Major Characters Now

One valid complaint about Arkham Asylum is that Batman's major rogue's gallery was mostly inaccessible in the game -- Scarecrow only showed up in hallucinations, Harley could only be interacted with in cutscenes, and The Joker was always behind a wall or something. We're promised that in Arkham City you'll be able to get up close and personal with the major characters. We saw a moment in our demo where Batman grabbed Harley Quinn and tossed her aside.

13) Batman Goes for the Jugular

Among the various new moves Batman has now is the Throat Grab, which serves as an alternative to the Glide Kick: rather than using his boots, Batman will literally grab a guy's throat mid-flight and slam him into the ground.

14) Batman is a Lousy Electrician

One of the new hazards are doors locked by broken fuse boxes that require an electric charge to activate. It's difficult to do, but Batman can throw a remote-controlled Batarang at a stream of electricity to charge it up, then fly that into the fuse box to short it and force a door open.

15) The Game Rewards Eavesdropping

Something made very clear from our time watching Arkham City is that the game has significantly more NPC dialog. Much like the No One Lives Forever series, the game rewards you for sneaking around and listening to conversations before taking bad guys out. The dialog even changes contextually --

once the watchtower blows up

, for example, it becomes the talk of the town.

16) You Can Fight 25 Guys At a Time

Arkham Asylum's brawls maxed out at 12 bad guys. In Arkham City, we're told that the number will be at least 25, possibly even 26. That's a lot of dudes.

17) Batman's Great Great Great Grandfather Makes An Appearance

It's not really an appearance as much as it is a reference, but the courthouse that Two-Face is holding Catwoman captive in is named the Solomon Wayne Courthouse, after Bruce Wayne's dad's dad's dad's dad's dad. Rocksteady did its homework!

18) You Can Answer Distress Signals

While exploring Arkham City in detective mode (either by grappling from rooftop to rooftop or taking a ride on a helicopter), you will occasionally get a message saying "Person in Distress Located," allowing you to go help a Gotham citizen in need and open up a new quest path. Or you can be a jerk and ignore them too.

19) A Surprise Involving Radio Frequencies is Coming

The Arkham City team is saving one surprise for Game Developers Conference next week. We don't know what it is, but we know that it involves radio frequencies. We were shown a hand-painted billboard in the game that provided a clue, and read as follows: "Turn on and tune in before someone checks out: 275.00 325.00."

20) We May See An Appearance from The Rainbow Beast

Okay, so the chances of this actually happening are very slim, but we're told that the team at Rocksteady read our list of Twenty-One Villains We Probably Won't See in Arkham City and enjoyed it quite a bit, particularly the Rainbow Beast, and that they've at least joked about making reference to it in the game. Please, please, please make this happen.

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today confirmed that Robin will be a fully playable character in the new and improved challenge mode in Batman: Arkham City. The Tim Drake Robin pack is currently available exclusively to North American fans who pre-order the game from Best Buy for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Robin will come complete with his own unique gadgets and special moves, and will be playable in all challenge maps in the game, as well as two additional challenge maps that are included with the pack – Black Mask Hideout and Freight Train Escape. The pack will also contain a bonus Red Robin character skin.

Batman: Arkham City builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of Batman: Arkham Asylum, sending players soaring into Arkham City – five times larger than the game world in Batman: Arkham Asylum – and the new maximum security "home" for all of Gotham City's thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new, all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight.


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