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?