Arkham City’s New Game Plus mode will allow players to bring their batarang back again with new, not just harder, challenges.
It’s always fun to check out your character just before Arkham Asylum’s final boss battle. You’ve already upped your skills and strength to near godlike levels, and just look at all of those powerful new toys and gadgets you found along the way. You walk into the room, start the showdown, do everything right, and mop the floor with the big bad. Now what? All the boosted stats and sweet techniques in Gotham don’t mean a thing when the credits are rolling. The game is over. It’s time to move on. Right? Not this time, Batman! Rocksteady Studio’s upcoming bat-sequel Arkham City is changing things, ready to throw your beefed up caped crusader back into the ring for a second round, toys and techniques included.
Arkham City is including a New Game Plus mode for anyone who finishes the game, but this mode won’t simply be harder, however, it will be different. Yes, you can expect higher-level thugs to appear earlier in the game, but interestingly, you’ll now find them hanging around town in different configurations than they were the first time. Once you rethink your entry strategy and start the fight, you’ll also notice the usual counter icons normally seen floating ominously around their heads have disappeared, meaning you’ll need to pay extra attention to the character animations if you want to deliver the old one-two like a champ. According to Rocksteady, even bosses will provide greater challenges, becoming “even more cunning” in this new mode. I’m not exactly sure how “cunning” will translate into gameplay, but at least it seems like Arkham City isn’t simply sticking us with the tired “just give the boss more hitpoints” maneuver.
In keeping with the mode’s philosophy of making things different instead of just linearly harder, Arkham City’s New Game Plus will actually be identical for those who played their first run on either the normal or hard difficulty. I think this is great news. What’s the point of being stronger if your enemy is simply harder to kill? The only real way to offer something new is to offer something new, and it seems like Rocksteady knows it. Personally, I’m extremely appreciative of anything developers can do to tweak my replay experience beyond just amping the tough factor. With new game prices what they are, it’s modes like these that make me feel much more confident in the longevity and quality of my investment.