Batman: Arkham City Preview Round-Up

Late last week Microsoft let a small group of press watch a rougly 20-minute demo of Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham City game several times. Everyone who was able to soak in Batman’s next adventure came away equally impressed.

The demo took place on the game’s first level with Batman once again out to take down his arch-nemesis, The Joker. First he receives a communication from Alfred and discovers that Catwoman has been captured by Two-Face and is being held in a courthouse where she’s certain to be executed.

As Batman heads out the main difference between Arkham City and Arkham Asylum becomes clear. Whereas the first game took place predominantly in a more confined indoor setting, the sequel’s action goes down mostly outdoors. As such the world of Arkham City is much, much bigger and players will have more space to explore and operate in.

Exploring this bigger world is aided by Batman’s new gliding mode in which he uses his cape to cover large distances from the air. You take advantage of gliding by leaping from a rooftop and aiming down to pick up speed, then pull up to regain altitude.

For more a more intimate tool, Rocksteady has revamped Detective mode to use a combination of sonar and x-ray to determine what weapons a thug may have in their possession. Speaking of thugs, Rocksteady has improved the number that can attack Batman at once to around 25.

Though Rocksteady has opened up the city to play through, Batman:L Arkham City is not a true “sandbox” game. Nor is it necessarily linear. Rocksteady says it falls somewhere in between with you following a path to play the campaign but having some freedom to explore off to the sides. How much freedom wasn’t evident in the demo but was foremost on the minds of those who got the eyes-on look.

Check out these sights for their eyes-on impressions of the Batman: Arkham City demo: Gamespot, Gamerant, Joystiq, GamePro, Kotaku and IGN.

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