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Batman Arkham City has been released on 360 and been provided for us to preview/review by the publisher.
Believe it or not we are still playing it. Here are some extracts of what we made of it in chronological order:
"Batman: Arkham City transforms you from the first game's skulking infiltrator to a true city-wide vigilante, policing the skies and responding to nearby calls for help. It's a lot for a newcomer to grasp, but it's worth learning all the skills to be a true superhero..."
- Novel Gamer (Sat, 04 Feb 2012)
"Batman Arkham City is a carefully written love letter that stayed with me long after I'd finished it. But what was less expected is how appealing and accessible this is to casual gamers and those uninitiated in the charms of the comic..."
- Perpetual Gamer (Fri, 04 Nov 2011)
"Batman Arkham City 360 expands on the brilliant Arkham Asylum to present a truly epic comic book narrative, only slightly tripped-up by adolescent attempts to be overtly badass..."
- Story Gamer (Wed, 26 Oct 2011)
Batman: Arkham City follows arguably the most successful and popular comic-book based game ever and may possible be Mark Hamill's final performance as The Joker. As the action moves to the mean streets of Gotham City itself can this prove a worthy successor?
The previous title in the series, Batman Arkham Asylum, finally demonstrated that a well-designed game could do justice to comic-book tie-ins. The melee combat was fluid and achievable whilst still providing a great challenge. The story, environments, puzzles and characters were all first rate -- and even the collectibles and secrets were hailed as some of the best ever implemented.
As Batman: Arkham City setps into these huge armour-plated bat-shoes, the question has always been: how to improve upon that formula? Especially since the location of the former game was left in ruins by the end of the story.
So far, this game promises to deliver thrills by the bucket-load. Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy reprise their roles as voice actors for Joker and Batman, continuing the legacy from the excellent Warner animated series. According to MTV Hamill has stated that this is the last time he will voice The Joker but was excited to repeat the role as Rocksteady had secured the writing services of Batman veteran writer Paul Dini. Hamill describes this outing for his Joker character as a "last hurrah."
Gameplay-wise the combat system has been expanded to add more depth and additional strategic options to the already excellent fight system. The developers have said that they wanted to leave the successful elements from the first game intact and have opted to build upon those parts. The environment for Batman Arkham City is also five times larger than the island from the first game, allowing a similarly open, non-linear form of exploration and strategy. Various parts of the city itself are under the control of a different super-villain, with each area promising a different flavour of danger to be overcome and unique artwork.
The game's detective mode has been changed from an x-ray vision style to an Augmented Reality style interface. This should ensure that players can fully enjoy the beautiful environments while still keeping a keen eye out for leads.
Batman: Arkham City currently has a release date of 21st October for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Arkham City takes centre stage for the next Batman game as we settle down for the long wait. In the meantime we have to console ourselves with the Wii/DS Batman - The Brave and the Bold.
Batman: Arkham City follows up the widely praised Batman Arkham Asylum. It is again developed by Rocksteady Studios and extends the atmospheric foundations of the first game.
Players now get to leave the asylum and head out onto the city streets. But far from a safer place, this has become the new home for Gotham's low life. Within the city's fortified walls a story is promised to draw together a mix of classic villains from the Batman universe.
Game play details are sketchy at this stage, Suffice to say we are promised a vast range of new and enhancements that revolve around the creating a genuine and compelling Dark Knight experience.
Batman Gotham City will hitting shelves for PS3, 360 and PC in Autumn 2011.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: