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The Escapist Staff | 10 Jun 2011 22:00
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Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham Asylum took the gaming world by surprise by delivering a nearly flawless, AAA title based on a licensed character, going so far as to win the 2009 Game of the Year award here at The Escapist. The sequel, Arkham City, is an even more ambitious title, expanding the game's freedom and allowing the player to explore Gotham City, a locale five times larger than the previous game. Given their track record, Rocksteady Studios has the means to come through on their claims, and their preview supports it.

Read Steve's full preview of Batman: Arkham City here. The game is due for release October 18, 2011 on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3, and in 2012 on Wii U.

Steve Butts:
Starting with a close shot of a large sign for Arkham Asylum, the camera slowly pulls back to reveal the enormity of Gotham City. The cluttered chaos of the city is apparent right away and this opening shot says more with its muted color palette and lighting than any voice over ever could. It also says a great deal about scale as the camera closes in on a barely distinguishable caped figure crouched atop a gargoyle outside the Gotham City Police Department. He stares off the right, to Arkham Asylum out in Gotham Harbor and then leaps into the air to glide across the city.

This is going to be good.

Not only can Batman glide as he could in the previous game, but he can also perform a power dive by gathering his cape around him and falling towards the street. Even better, he can use the grapple gun now to launch himself up into the air. Get good enough at it and you can traverse the entire city without once touching the ground. But there's more on Batman's mind than just getting to and from well-known sites like Crime Alley or the Courthouse.

You'll alternate between two stories in Arkham City. As Batman, you're on a quest to recapture the inmates who escaped at the end of the last game. But as Catwoman, you're more than content to use the chaos and confusion in the city to advance your own interests. In this case, Catwoman is on the hunt for Hugo Strange's vault, which is rumored to contain all the valuables confiscated from the Arkham inmates.

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