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Batman: Arkham City is the sequel to famed action-adventure stealth video game Batman: Arkham Asylum, based on DC Comic's Batman for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. It is being developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Comics. The game was officially announced during the beginning of the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards, under the title Batman: Arkham Asylum 2. The game was, however, retitled to Batman: Arkham City.
Batman: Arkham City, like its predecessor, is an action video game that incorporates elements of stealth and predator tactics. All of the gadgets previously obtained in the first game will be present at the start of Batman: Arkham City, some possessing improved or new abilities. At least two additional gadgets have been revealed: smoke bombs which Batman can use to sneak away in confusion, and a broadcast tracer device to locate signals and track them to their sources. The game incorporates more puzzle elements; the use of Batman's "Detective Mode", which highlights elements such as enemy skeletons and clues on-screen, is used to perform forensic analysis at crime scenes, such as tracing the origin of a sniper round. The player also has access to a criminal database that tracks the major villains across the city that is used within Detective Mode and the forensic puzzles. However, Rocksteady's art director David Hugo stated that the use of Detective Mode will be changed to an "augmented reality mode", as they found players had completed Arkham Asylum using Detective Mode all of the time. Challenges from the Riddler will also be present, but it will require additional effort to locate these, such as through interrogation of men loyal to the Riddler.
The player once again controls Batman, making his way around Arkham City to complete mission objectives. In addition to the primary mission, the game will introduce secondary missions which will feature a number of key characters and their stories within the city. The player can opt to move silently, avoiding inmates and other enemies using a combination of gadgets and to sneak up on his enemies to take them down silently, using new tactics to surprise the enemy. At other times, Batman may be forced to fight through inmates using an improved version of the combat system from Batman: Arkham Asylum, allowing for multiple simultaneous counters, reactions to thrown objects, and the use of all of Batman's gadgets within combat. Movement about the city is made difficult due to the formation of gangs and territory between rival villains, such as Two-Face and the Joker, that causes in-fighting that Batman needs to avoid.
The story for Batman: Arkham City takes place one year after the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Quincy Sharp, the former warden of Arkham Asylum, has taken credit for stopping the Joker and used that notoriety to become mayor of Gotham City. As neither Arkham nor Blackgate Prison is in any condition to hold inmates, Sharp buys out a large section of Gotham's slums and arms the perimeter with mercenaries from a group called Tyger in order to create "Arkham City". The prisoners are brought into Arkham City and given free rein, told only to not attempt escape. To oversee the city, Sharp uses psychiatrist Hugo Strange, who appears to have his own secret plans for the city. Batman (as Bruce Wayne) protests against Arkham City and is placed inside it by Hugo Strange. Hugo Strange reveals that he knows Batman's identity and says that in ten hours he will activate Protocol Ten and become more famous than Batman. Bruce Wayne is taken by the Penguin and is attacked by his goons, only for Bruce Wayne to escape. He changes into his Batman suit and hacks the radios. He then discovers that Catwoman is about to be executed by Two-Face and Batman heads to save her. He frees Catwoman and the pair tie up Two-Face. Suddenly a bullet shoots through the window and almost kills Catwoman. Batman traces the bullet to the church, where he frees some hostages from Harley Quinn. He heads to the Joker's base, the Steel Mill, and is knocked out by Joker. Batman discovers that the Joker is dying after being exposed to Titan in the previous game. The Joker reveals that he injected some of his blood into Batman, poisoning Batman too. Batman refuses to help the Joker until he learns that the Joker has poisoned all of Gotham with his blood. The Joker says that Mr Freeze was trying to make a cure but that he had mysteriously vanished.
Batman heads to Freeze's base, the Police Station. Here, he discovers that the Penguin has kidnapped Mr Freeze, and is hiding in the Museum. Batman heads to the museum and evades all of the Penguin's traps, eventually saving Mr Freeze and attacking Penguin. The Penguin knocks Batman down into an arena where he fights Solomon Grundy. Penguin is locked up and Mr Freeze informs Batman that he needs the blood of someone who's immortal to form the cure. Batman searches for Ra's Al Ghul and meets his daughter and Batman's love interest, Talia Al Ghul. Batman fights Ra's and takes some of his blood. He returns it to Mr Freeze who attacks him, thinking that Batman is working with the Joker who has abducted his wife. Batman defeats Mr Freeze and attempts to take the cure, discovering that it was stolen by Harley Quinn. Batman tells Mr Freeze that he will find his wife, and heads off to fight the Joker.
Batman breaks into the Steel Mill and fights the Joker plus most of his goons. Suddenly, Hugo Strange activates Protocol Ten and part of the Steel Mill explodes, trapping Batman. The Joker is about to kill him when Talia arrives and convinces the Joker to leave Batman alone in return for the secret of immortality. The Joker departs, leaving Batman to die. Batman is rescued by Catwoman but is forced by Oracle aka Barbara Gordon to stop Strange first. Batman climbs Wonder Tower, Strange's base, and interrogates Strange, who reveals that Protocol Ten was to kill all crime in Gotham. Ra's Al Gul suddenly stabs Strange and reveals that Arkham City was his idea all along. Strange causes Wonder Tower to implode and he is killed, along with Ra's. Batman heads to the theatre to fight the Joker, who is stabbed in the back by Talia. It is then revealed that Talia had stolen the cure off of Harley Quinn and that the cured Joker was actually Clayface. The real Joker shoots Talia, killing her and Clayface attacks Batman, who had grabbed the cure. Batman defeats Clayface and takes the cure, but Joker then stabs him in the arm, causing him to drop the last of the cure. As Joker dies, Batman informs him that he would have given him the cure all along, causing The Joker to die laughing. Batman carries Joker out of Arkham and leaves him on the road, walking off silently.
Arkham City features a large ensemble cast of characters pulled from the history of Batman comics. Returning characters from Arkham Asylum include Batman (Kevin Conroy), the Joker (Mark Hamill), Quincy Sharp (Tom Kane), and Jack Ryder (James Horan). Riddler (Wally Wingert), Victor Zsasz (Danny Jacobs) and former Arkham Asylum antagonist Bane (Fred Tatasciore), who returns as an ally to Batman, are featured in side missions. Poison Ivy (Tasia Valenza), also returns, featured in Catwoman's storyline. Harley Quinn also returns, voiced by Tara Strong, who replaces Arleen Sorkin. Playable characters introduced for Arkham City include Nightwing (Quinton Flynn), Robin (Crispin Freeman), and Catwoman (Grey DeLisle). Catwoman takes advantage of the chaos in Arkham City to steal valuable items hoarded by the inmates. David Kaye replaces Tom Kane for the voice of Commissioner Gordon. On his Twitter account, Hamill confirmed that this was the last time he would voice The Joker, and said "Hello/Goodbye Joker! I've enjoyed every minute behind the wheel of the Crown Prince's crazy car- I'm going to miss him more than I can say!!".
Other characters making their debut in the series include the warden of Arkham City Hugo Strange (Corey Burton), Two-Face (Troy Baker), and the Penguin (Nolan North). Maurice LaMarche voices both Mr Freeze and Calendar Man, while Stana Katic lends her voice as Talia al Ghul. Alfred Pennyworth (Martin Jarvis) joins the cast, supporting Batman via radio alongside Oracle (Kimberly Brooks). Other characters include the undead zombie Solomon Grundy (Fred Tatasciore), who has been captured by the Penguin, reporter Vicki Vale (Kari Wahlgren), the shapeshifter Clayface (Rick D. Wasserman), and the immortal Ra's al Ghul (Dee Bradley Baker), who are featured in the main storyline. The Mad Hatter (Peter MacNicol), the assassin Deadshot (Chris Cox), who has infiltrated Arkham City to kill a "high-profile character", Hush (Kevin Conroy), vigilante Azrael (Khary Payton), and Nora Fries are featured in side missions. Killer Croc and Black Mask appear in cameos, with Steven Blum reprising his role as the former, and Nolan North voicing Black Mask.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Vore, Bryan (October 2010). "Diving into Darkness: Batman: Arkham City". Game Informer: pp. 48–59.
- ↑ Douglas, Jane (2010-07-14). Arkham Asylum art director talks mistakes. Gamespot. Retrieved on 2010-08-11
- ↑ Pereira, Chris (2010-09-01). Batman: Arkham City to Feature Multiplayer. 1UP.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01