BIFF! Batman: Arkham City Is “Open”

By Jim Rossignol on April 12th, 2011 at 10:00 am.


Gosh, Batman, this interview about Arkham City makes me a bit more excited about the game. It sounds like Rocksteady aren’t resting on their laurels, and are really reaching with the new game. Speaking about the open nature of the city Rocksteady’s Dax Ginn said: “Everywhere that’s open to the sky is available to the player from the off. So they can go anywhere they want and that was the emotional feeling that we wanted to convey; you’re Batman, you can do what you want… there’s loads of content out there in the streets and you can engage with in any order you want right from the beginning.”

So that sounds interesting.

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50 Comments »

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  1. Brumisator says:

    “you’re Batman, you can do what you want”.
    That’s just a beautiful statement.

  2. CaspianRoach says:

    Sounds like a description of DC Universe Online.

  3. littlewilly91 says:

    Yay. I was expecting a zig zagging street with an invisible wall on the rooftop, which would have made it really hard to sink into the setting. Do we get Batmobile?

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    Lambchops says:

    This post was written with correct grammar; have I missed some gameplay footage?

  5. fionny says:

    Ohh I like the sound of an open non linear world!

    • gorgol says:

      Yah, me too, this warms me to the game.

      But one thing that put me off Arkham Asylum was the combat sytem. It really felt very consolized. You basically just mashed buttons to perform “cool” animations. Which was very boring to me.

      Looking at the gameplay video that doesn’t seem to have changed for this game.

    • Urael says:

      I’d disagree with that, Gorgol. Simply mashing the controller got you fairly dependably killed; in the more involved fights you certainly had to work to press the right button at the right time or it was all over. For me it was pitched in the nice mid-point between full-blown, control heavy Streetfighter-esque combos and ‘press a to punch, b to kick’.

      What would you have preferred as a more PC combat system – pause and select?

    • gorgol says:

      Lol no, just a bit less scripted fighting. For example the best melee combat system I’ve seen can be found in Zeno Clash.

    • MrMud says:

      I couldnt stand the combat in Zeno Clash and promptly quit after an hour.
      Batman on the other hand has a brilliant combat system.

    • gorgol says:

      Well, “different strokes for different folks” I guess. EDIT: Or in other words, “you sir, are wrong”.

    • Calabi says:

      I als hated the zen clash cmbat. Nt s much the cmbat but the AI it gt dull and predictable pretty quickly. Its ne tactic was t just verwhelm yu. S yu had t run arund like a headless chicken.

      Batman n the ther hand, was abut making the cmbat fun. The trick wasnt t survive its t beat the enemys while being badass. Getting the multiplyer scre and nt getting hit, and extending the cmb fr as lng as pssible. T flat like a buttefly and sting like a bee.

      :srry my keybard is brke specifically yu can guess what key.

  6. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    The downside of this is that most of the progression will then take place in sewers or some linear cramped corridors. I hated the sewers in Batman:AA. I just wanted to get back out there!

    Feeling a bit pessimistic today, in general. humour me.

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      TheApologist says:

      Yep – this was kind of my reaction too, though I’m not sure I think it would necessarily totally be a bad thing. I liked lots of the quite scripted stuff that happened in the first game. Maybe a blend would give it a little narrative focus and the player a direction.

      Batman can go where he likes, but he doesn’t just wander around biffing naughty people he stumbles across. He’s driven

  7. Bhazor says:

    Dang, this is actually what I was most afraid off when I heard it was set in a city. Its going from a Metroidvania openess (steadily unlocking new areas with new abilities) to something more akin to Just Cause.

    I know it will still be a good game but I honestly don’t see how it can be as tight as the original. Even the best sandbox games can’t help but feel padded with long boring commutes (GTA) or tedious random battles (Red Faction, Just Cause). If Batman has to jog briskly for ten minutes to get to a goon fight I’ll be very disapointed.

    • ulix says:

      To be fair every Metroidvania game has tons of “boring” backtracking, its in the nature of the thning.

      I was hoping for this. I still hope there’s some Metroidvania-style progression, but not as restricted as in a Metroid or Zelda game.

      A nice balance between this and lets say Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (where you had enough to do and discover at every corner right till the end) would be nice.

    • Bhazor says:

      Yes but a good Metroidvania (like Super Metroid or Arkham Asylum) sort of loops itself. When you beat a boss or gain a new power you open a shortcut that lets you travel almost straight to the most obvious place you’d need to use your power.

      Also Batman doesn’t back tracks. He investigates. Sometimes he investigates places he’s already been. Sometimes he jumps up and down in front of a wall thinking there’s a ledge there. Sometimes he stares into space.
      Brooding.

      For ten minutes. While I look for a map on GameFAQs.

  8. Inigo says:

    Haven’t they already said this about three or four times already?

  9. man-eater chimp says:

    I feel a sudden urge to play arkham asylum again…

    • Loopy says:

      I am playing Arkham Asylum again, for the third time I think… it’s very good! :)

  10. Baboonanza says:

    That’s a bit of an assumption!
    In fact an open world isn’t that different from how it worked Batman:AA, just with more open areas and allowing you to access them straight away. I would expect the main missions to be inside buildings blocked off by skill progression (as in AA), with minor sidequests etc. to complete in the outside world plus some triggered missions (say, chasing an escaping maniac, finding a criminal before he commits his crime etc.).
    Just Cause 2 is completely different.

    Edit: Obviously meant as a reply to Bhazor

  11. Navagon says:

    Holy fuck, Batman! Do want!

  12. Rii says:

    I will never understand the American fascination with superheroes.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      I don’t like superheroes, but still think Batman is interesting.

    • phosgene says:

      I’ll never understand the European fascination with generalizing Americans.

    • Rii says:

      It’s largely an American phenomenon, yes.

      Don’t believe me? Check the foreign/domestic split for superhero flicks over at Box Office Mojo. The Dark Knight in particular is positively conspicuous amongst top-grossing flicks in taking in more domestically than internationally.

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      stahlwerk says:

      You can’t say Superman without saying Nietzsche. (gesundheit)

    • Jake says:

      Isn’t it just because Americans have grown up with comic books more widely available? I’d guess Batman in particular is just more ingrained in American culture than British. The British comics industry has had a bunch of problems, but I’d still expect a Dan Dare or the Dredd film (due this year) to do well domestically compared to internationally.

      Also a lot of the top comic writers are British, so it’s not an exclusively American obsession, but maybe it ties into the American dream – especially Superman – while the British dream is more about having a nice cup of tea.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      One of the things that stood out for me when I moved from Holland to Ireland was the huge amounts of superhero comics in (comic)bookshops.

      It’s not that I didn’t grow up with comics, it’s just that I grew up with stuff like Suske en Wiske. (Though my favourites are the Meccano books by Hanco Kolk.)

      That’s probably why I prefer stuff like the Invisibles or Transmetropolitan over regular superhero comics.

  13. Ybfelix says:

    The interview spends thousands of words saying basically “this aspect of game design is not finalized, either”… does this game actually come out this year?

  14. godgoo says:

    I have conflicted feelings about this game, on the one hand I’m a big fan of the 3rd person sandbox game and Batman is my favorite fictional character of all time, they did a great job with the last game and I have always fantasized about a Batman game with the freedom they describe here.

    however, what really worked in Arkham Asylum was it’s story; open enough environments for a bit of choice in the stealth segments but a fairly linear and scripted whole which made the game really feel like you were playing out a brand new Batman graphic novel, which really felt appropriate for the licence.

    A smaller issue I have is with movement; in AA Batman felt solid and heavy, this worked really well along side the hand to hand combat and the grapple reliant aerial movement but with this rooftop setting I would like to see a more nimble parkour-esque Batman otherwise the game could end up seeming like a bit of an effort. Also, as a fan of the AssCreed games anything much slower than Ezio might feel like a bit of a let down.

    Unless there is something seriously awry I will be buying this game on release but I’ll be interested to see how the open world stuff affects the pace of the game.

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    The Sombrero Kid says:

    Can’t wait

  16. Ian says:

    Tight,

  17. phenom_x8 says:

    Batman Creed sounds reasonable! (I hope that its take the idea from assasins creed 2 open world setting)

  18. WJonathan says:

    Eric Cartman as Batman: I can do what I want!

  19. clownst0pper says:

    Hmm. Having only just begun to play Batman, I can’t say I’m overly excited about this. Invisible barriers will be the order of the day here. Its hardly going to be GTA is it…

    Focus is never a bad thing, and it works well in B:AA

    • Jake says:

      I’m not sure, my first thought on playing Just Cause 2 was how well this freedom would translate to a Batman game.

  20. Outsider says:

    I’m really looking forward to this! Batman: AA was an amazing game, and I’m eager to see how they do with a more open environment.

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