12 Minutes of Batmens & Catwomens

By Alec Meer on July 4th, 2011 at 12:50 pm.

'Holy thinly-veiled S&M reference, Batman'

Batman: Arkham City gets closer and closer, and we get exciteder and excitider, and in the heat of our anticipation become less gramatickly accurate. After what feels like years of teasing, concept art and pre-order incentives, finally we get to take a long, lingering look at what it’s really like in action. Below: 12 minutes of the game, including playable funtimes from both Batman and Catwoman, good acting, awful acting, Two-Face’s disgusting head and many many many goons and hi-tech shenanigans.

Let’s start with the moaning, eh? Catwoman’s vocal performance makes me wince like I’m watching one of those awful Channel 4 programs that show someone having plastic surgery in excruciating detail. I know lousy puns and softcore innuendo have been that character’s shtick since the dawn of DC time, but c’mon: “”you certainly know how to keep a girl hanging, Harv” and “and I thought it was cats who have nine lives” are straight-up clunkers that really don’t sit with the game’s glowering grimness. Light relief is welcome, especially in broody, hyper-earnest superheroics, but Kittylady really needs some irony in her leaden bon-mots.

Fortunately, the rest of the game’s looking pretty amayayayayayazing. You’ve got bona fide talky bits, you’ve got a pleasingly huge city with tons of freedom of movement, you’ve got something peppered with goons apparently talking and plotting rather than just lurking around being mad, you’ve got fights against a good couple of dozen guys simultaneously and you’ve got high-tech gadgetry straight out of the Nolan films. That there stuff is some pretty spectacular stuff indeed.

Also: Batman appears to have moobs and a long cutscene appears to prevent you from doing the logical thing, which is thumping Two-Face, but it appears to be early-game exposition, so that’s probably ok, right?

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45 Comments »

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  1. Vexing Vision says:

    I love Catwoman’s combat style. I can see myself playing her Challenge levels over and over again. Until GFWL corrupts my saved game profile again, that is.

  2. Inigo says:

    I can only hope Mr. Nice makes an appearance.

  3. Outright Villainy says:

    It looks pleasingly open ended, yet still polished, which is what’s hyping me up most; very few games manage a good level of detail in open world games, but if this is indicative of what the full game is like I’ll be a happy camper indeed.

    Plus Arkham Asylum was awesome, so there’s that. Waaaaaaaaaant.

  4. Burning Man says:

    You guys are a tad late with a lot of today’s updates. This vid in particular has been out for at least 2 days now.

    That said, Catwoman’s VA and character design trump any lack of ironical dialogue. I will listen to ANYTHING she has to say. Anything.

    Reminds me of this dubstep track I like where the woman threatens to ‘seek me out and flay me alive’, all in rather lovely dulcet tones. Ahh. I could listen to that all day.

    • Alec Meer says:

      When games news is SLIGHTLY OLD the world ENDS.

    • Burning Man says:

      *nods* Precisely so. Try not to do it again, will you?

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      This late news coming after several days of nice weather…

      The RPS crew haven’t been outside have they?

      HAVE THEY??

    • Ian says:

      If only RPS would stop branding themselves as an up to date news site. Oh, wait.

    • Tams80 says:

      And you’re a tad obnoxious. Swings and roundabouts, swings and roundabouts.

    • crushanator says:

      Ugh. Incorrect, the VA is terrible. Why couldn’t they get the animated series actress who played her like they did for everyone else? They got Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill and Tara Strong to all reprise their roles, why no Adrienne Barbeau?

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      The VA is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from games? It’s mediocre. Thankfully, games are not strictly an auditory experience, and the graphics, punchy biff bammery, and other game elements of it all makes up for it.

      Also, awesome song link.

  5. Bhazor says:

    8:15
    Man that’s got to sting.

    10:55
    The hell?

  6. rareh says:

    Bad things i noticed:
    hook cannot be shot anywhere u want
    cannot pick weapons
    other then that looks decent

    • ShineDog says:

      It’s batman. These characters have signature abilities that do the job just fine, and it’s entirely out of character for batman or Catwoman to bludgeon someone with a piece of pipe.

      Edit – ok, this site doesn’t use tags like that.

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      MrPants says:

      Bit sloppy on the rules, but a nice haiku nonetheless.

  7. kael13 says:

    I hear.. STEVE BLUM! BLUM BLUM BLUM

  8. ChaosSmurf says:

    I recognise the VA of one of the goons in the first bit, the guy who’s all LOL, BATMAN WOULD NEVER COME HERE. Has he been in every video game ever?

  9. TheLordHimself says:

    “Are you a fan?”
    “No.”

    :D

  10. Brutal Deluxe says:

    Is the guy at the beginning from bulletstorm?

  11. Teddy Leach says:

    B-but Steve Blum was in the last game too!

  12. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    28 hit combo

    Could do that with my eyes closed

  13. Gundrea says:

    There is no game Stephen Blum has not been a VA in. Those which he was not are being redubbed to include him as we speak.

  14. Nallen says:

    She looks like a cross between Batman and the joker, combat wise.

  15. fallingmagpie says:

    Nice to see they’ve differentiated Cat and Bat’s combat. Bat looks very solid still, and Cat is more quick and bouncy. Also excellent gliding around the city.

    Am disappoint: press A to crack safe. Where is my safecracking minigame? Also sad that Bat didn’t fight all 47 unarmed goons, cos 41 of them ran away.

  16. Anton says:

    Whoa! One of the goons has the same voice actor as Cyrus from DoW 2 =P

    • EOT says:

      Yes, as has already been mentioned more than once. It’s Steve Blum, a man who’s been in more games than Nolan North (that might not actually be true…but who fact checks on the internet? Not I.)

    • Tacroy says:

      On the Internet, facts are for making, not checking!

  17. misterk says:

    mm, bats and catwoman’s fighting style look different, but I wonder how different they will be in mechanics terms. Certainly seemed to be the same button combos. I’m really quite bad at asylum, but enjoyed it nonetheless.

  18. Sepulchrave76 says:

    The City itself looks really impressive. Have they changed Batman’s chin? He looks almost comically square jawed now. Not pleased with the new chin rendering.

  19. MuscleHorse says:

    I’m just into my first playthrough of AA and very much enjoying it, so I do realise that completion of the game may answer my question, but what exactly is Arkham City in the context of the comics? Is it a particularly crime ridden part of Gotham?

    • ShineDog says:

      Plot things!

      In the continuity of this game, Arkham asylum is ruined, and so a rundown section of Gotham is purchased by the city, the tenants and owners evicted, and a huge wall is built around it. Prisoners are sent in and so long as they don’t try to escape, pretty much left to their own devices.

      For whatever reason, all the prisoners from Blackgate are sent there too. Don’t know why.

      So it’s kind of escape from NY in Gotham, in terms of plot.

    • Thants says:

      Was Batman created as a critique of the prison system? Because I’m starting to see a theme here.

  20. Alaric says:

    Tied up in chains and suspended upside-down. BDSM FTW! =)

    • LionsPhil says:

      The only reason on this thread is to agree with the mouseover text on the opening image. Subtlety, they don’t has it.

  21. Evil Otto says:

    Mister Dent proves an excellent punforger. He could easily apply at RPS, if he wanted.

  22. wintermute says:

    Am I the only one bothered by the dialogue being:

    BATMAN: Growl.
    CATWOMAN: Pun
    TWO-FACE: Pun
    BATMAN: Cliche
    CATWOMAN: SexyPun

    Or the fact that Catwoman shows 75% boob for no reason?

    I am, aren’t I.

    • Sepulchrave76 says:

      well, no, the dialogue hardly sparkles

    • gwathdring says:

      Were you not present for the discussion/argument about this particular Catwoman when the “Get Some” trailer came out?

      A lot of people think the permanently unzipped suit is at least silly (there’s no way it would stop there with all of that acrobatic wriggling) ranging out to indecent over-sexualized pandering. I don’t like it either. :\

      As for the dialog, I’m hoping it’s an unusually mediocre sampling. I’m very unhappy with Catwoman’s character from the spacey feel of her animation (love the combat style, not the inertia-less feel of the animation), to her reaction while hanging over a pit of acid (I expected her to feign nonchalance … but something was WAY off about the way she did and not just the dialog), to her terrible lines.

      Other than the incredibly “off” performance of Catwoman … it’s not brilliant dialog, but up to the court house scene it felt a hell of a lot like the first game which felt a hell of a lot like the animated series which was about as Batman as it gets, good or bad. The court house wasn’t unprecedented, but it also wasn’t quite up to par with the feel of the dialog in the first game. At the same time … I sort of expect bad lines and crappy puns from Two Face. I expect lame innuendo from Catwoman, Captain Obvious comments from Batman, and forced, stereotyped posh-ness from Alfred. It’s unsurprising to the point that, bad or not, I don’t mind.

      It would be NICE if it were better though. Again, here’s hoping it’s a particularly mediocre sampling.

    • wintermute says:

      It’s just that, she’s hanging over that pit, but she obviously doesn’t care. You save her from a certain death snipe – “do you want a kiss?”. Last I checked Catwoman wasn’t some nihilist who throws herself about so she can die. Why be a thief if you can’t spend the profit?

      Sure the mechanics look good, and the game will probably rock, but is it so much to ask for some writing and character design that doesn’t pander to the 15 year old LOL BOOBS crowd?

  23. DOLBYdigital says:

    Gameplay and combat look really good!
    Do not like Catwoman’s character design/style. Either way looking forward to this game, even with the cheesy dialogue/cutscenes.

    Steven Blum, I believe he’s a popular voice for anime VAs as well.

  24. BunnyPuncher says:

    Catwomans in-game depiction always makes me sad. See the new style Lara for a sexy character done right. I’d be perfectly with catwomans % of boob and outfit even but not in that overt, plastic “this is a sexy woman, we told you so” style.

    …. but the actual game elements of the game look excellent. Reminds me of thief 2. Gosh I wish this was more like thief. It looks good and all but, well, awwwwwww :(

  25. gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

    Hot damn. Hot merciful damn. This cannot be in my grubby paws soon enough. I loved playing Arkham Asylum, my wife loved watching it, as she loves a) watching fun cinematic games she can’t play, b) Batman the Animated Series, and c), d) , and e) Harley Quinn.

    I want this so bad.

  26. Batman64 says:

    What I want to know is this:-
    In the video posted above, how did Harvey get his ankles and wrists bound so quickly?

    Someone mentioned BDSM earlier; did you mean:-

    Batman Does Something Magical?

    It’s the only way I can think of to explain his BatBinding skils.

  27. WJonathan says:

    I’m looking forward to the future. Where you excitedness will get bigger always, and it’s making your grammar getting worse. and worse.

  28. ethicks says:

    The fighting is missing impact. In the first batman when you hit you felt like you really fucking hit. This looks like it is missing something very crucial and core to the game. I can’t exactly put my finger on it but the fighting looks bad. Everything else looks awesome.