BUT THEN: Batman: Arkham Asylum

Beats the LA Noire interrogation techniques.
Ah, these beers are working a treat, which is great because I beginning to get brain qualms from all the game footage. Next: Batman: Arkham City. The first game was rather special in the RIGHT nature of its action, but the open world of this game is what is selling it to me. I mean just look at it. Rocksteady were saying earlier today that they are aiming for the open-world here to be detail over size, and that’s paying off. I can’t wait to do some fancy swooping.



  1. man-eater chimp says:


  2. Legionary says:

    More broadly, who’d have thought before Arkham Asylum that we’d see a comics-inspired game turn out to be not only good, but the best at what it does (punchy swoopy fun)? Arkham City’s going to be a smash.

    • Wooly says:

      No, BAD!

    • egg-zoo-bear-ant will e 91 says:

      After about 1:40 in this Disney Beauty & Beast fighting wolves scene, it is all totally gameplay concept footage for how punchy fun should be done.

      I saw that a few years ago and imagined using mouse/stick motion to control his momentum of grabs and attacks, the details and flair happening on the fly.. I have this sensation of the fluid automatically targeted movements, (on the plane of whatever direction I am facing, not which direction the avatar’s shoulders are squared to, since I am a beast afterall and such tedious things don’t enter my consciousness). And still with me totally in control, slipping intuitively into 1:1 motion over the most essential bit of the avatar in the fight often, such as a swinging arm, but with cleverly designed context sensitive business handling the targeting and stuff that comes naturally, like grabbing them by the scruff of the neck or over the snout, and with the cinematic camera all the time wheeling round low to the ground presenting me with the next enemy, or zooming when I’m in a tight scrape and leaving the next attacker to periphery glimpses.

      It’s ironic that simulating a quick scuffle seems to demand the highest of technical achievements.

      Anyway, since then my standards have been set unrealistically high. For sure Arkham Asylum, with it’s smooth animation transitions and great variety of context sensitive moves and everything, was getting towards that ideal, and it had me pretty chuffed about it in a ‘right all along’ sort of way. It seemed a bit off though, when I was playing as batman, who presumably nerds out and is totally in control of every arm angle in a carefully orchestrated martial arts grapple, to have those things automated. But emulating those intricacies with the current input devices seems impossible and probably wouldn’t be very enthralling. I guess we just play as the unconscious spirit of batman, the instinct pushing him on, like in Dinner Date or Dear Esther XXDD

  3. Flameberge says:

    He’s not the blog king, he’s a very naughty boy!

  4. wodin says:

    Loved the first game…my only complaint was clearing the asylum once only to suddenly having to take on endless amount of knashing teeth and the halluncination bits where tiresome…..still if BAC improved then I shall be buying on release

    • Optimaximal says:

      So basically you didn’t like the bits that broke up the repetitive (but still fantastic) fighting and exploration bits?


  5. DainIronfoot says:


  6. gwathdring says:

    This game is going to be awesome. Still disappointed with Catwoman’s animations … they just don’t quite connect with the on screen results. They’re too … spacey … I don’t know, it looks weird to me.

    • Sic says:

      I agree, they look off. Not enough mass or something.

    • Fredrik Sellevold says:

      I agree that Catwoman’s moves don’t look quite right. For such a small and agile character a soft style would make more sense. Less hard blocking, more helpfully guiding face into ground.
      Probably too much work to create an entirely new animation set for a secondary character, but still: Would have been cool to see!

    • Optimaximal says:

      Of course, the game is still 6 months(?) off and there’s plenty of time for feedback to be acted upon.

      After all, I doubt Catwomans fighting style would match Batman’s so it may just be some placeholder stuff for E3.

    • gwathdring says:

      They did create a new animation set. There are some rather wildly different movements, and they at least claim the animations are “all new,” but of course bits appear borrowed, and that’s not a bad thing on it’s own by any stretch of the imagination. Which is part of what makes it more bizarre that they didn’t tighten it up a bit more.

      Edit: But it is of course a work in progress still, good point.

    • Stochastic says:

      Just a guess, but maybe they’re trying to emulate what combat looks like in comics i.e. very disjointed and exaggerated movements. Makes me think of this video a bit: link to youtube.com

  7. The Dark One says:

    Pele is king of the soccer field. To be king of your blog posts, use WordPress.

  8. Daiv says:

    Long have I awaited further Bat-Biff.

  9. Urthman says:

    I am so psyched that the team thinks they’ve done for acrobatic navigation what they’d done for combat in the previous game. I thought the gliding and grapple hook were fantastic in the first game, and the additions you can see in this trailer look amazingly fun.

    I can already see myself spending hours swooping around without stopping to punch a single thug.

  10. Thants says:

    Hopefully I’ll be allowed to choose when to jump this time. I promise I can take the responsibility.

  11. Metonymy says:

    I called the ‘cowtrops’ as he pronounces it. I was just making a joke, but yeah, even the combat style is exactly the same. It’s still good, but definitely more of the same.

    • wodin says:

      If it’s not broke then don’t fix it…more of the same and some extra goodies will do me fine…just no scracrow bit’s…

  12. Saul says:

    Blog king got the post title wrong?

  13. Sic says:

    Have they said anything about it using GFWL, because if it is, I won’t play it.

  14. hocevar says:

    The whole gliding and hook grappling seems awfully ripped off of spider-man, does Batman actually does this things on the comics ?

    I can understand the point of adding it since it would be otherwise extremelly boring to navigate since it’s an open-world but I was curious in knowing this, any avid comic reader out there ?

    Also, can you use the car ingame ?

  15. Vexing Vision says:

    This is the third game in 2011 that’s pre-ordered.

    Man. Killer year.

  16. Arbodnangle Scrulp says:

    Looks nice, but I already own Just Cause 2.

  17. Brutal Deluxe says:

    None of these videos work properly for me. Stoopid internet.

  18. BreadBitten says:

    The new guy voicing Two-Face sounds exactly like the original voice actor from Batman: TAS…!

  19. chelseascum says:

    Sefton Hill has a bit of a girly voice.

    Also I wish people would use Youtube for videos, this video hosting service is garbage.

  20. Buttless Boy says:

    Holy crap, I didn’t know Catwoman’s superpower was being MADE ENTIRELY OUT OF BAD MAKEUP.

    (yes, I know Catwoman doesn’t have powers, shut up)

  21. Iskariot says:

    After I bought the first game I left it collecting dust for a few months. I had no idea that it was an epic gem. When I finally started playing I couldn’t believe how well it was made. It is of a quality and perfection we rarely see in games. The lighting, the texturing, the level design, the character models, the animations, the voices etc etc…. it is all awesome. I will buy and play Arkham City on the first day of its release. That is for sure. This game is number one on my wishlist.

  22. Ziv says:

    SO EXCITED. Looks so awesome, I’m a bit worried about how the catwoman bits play out in the open world but I’m guessing rocksteady will do it right.

  23. Vinraith says:

    I really wish I didn’t hate the boss fights in Arkham Asylum so much, because I absolutely adore the rest of the game. I have no idea what I’ll do about Arkham City, I can’t believe for a moment it’ll have fewer boss fights (lore-wise that wouldn’t even make sense) but I’m made only the smallest dent in AA because pushing past the stupid things is such a chore.

    • matrices says:

      They’re really not that hard. Most of them can be defeated using the same gimmick.

      Anyway, what’s the accent of that dev there? Sounded almost like a cartoon character. Or is that partly because of his own voice?

  24. cairbre says:

    Looks good got the first one on 360 might get the next one on pc. Does anyone know if the pc one will look better? I can only imagine that the game plays best with a pad.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It does play best with a pad. And the PC version of the first game doesn’t look noticeably better than the 360 version, as I recall, but this might be different.

    • cairbre says:

      Thanks Jim. You get paid double time for working on a sunday!