|Batman: Arkham City|
| File:Batman arkham city|
|Publisher(s)||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment/DC Entertainment|
|Release date(s)||Q3 2011|
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, beat 'em up, stealth|
Batman: Arkham City is the upcoming sequel to famed action-adventure stealth video game Batman: Arkham Asylum, based on DC Comics' 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.
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 Arkham City, some possessing improved or new abilities. At least two additional gadgets have been revealed: smoke bombs which Batman can use and sneak away in the 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 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 Arkham City takes place one year after the events of Arkham Asylum. Quincy Sharp, 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 are 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 maintains a vigil over the city, worried that the situation may get out of hand. Part of the setup for "Arkham City" was contained in plans in a hidden room in Sharp's office in Arkham Asylum.
The events of the game are set in motion when Two-Face, seeking to gain status among the inmates and other villains outside the city, devises a plan to publicly execute Catwoman. Batman decides for both the safety of Gotham and of his past romance with Catwoman that he must stop the execution by entering Arkham City himself.
A teaser trailer was released, and featured a battered Joker, apparently still recovering from his wounds in the first game, being nursed by Harley Quinn, while Gotham descends into chaos. The sequel was confirmed by famed Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy to be "really, really dark". While relating the game's dark nature to the animated movie Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Conroy also said, "It involves a lot of the villains and it goes to that area – it's that dark."
Three voice actors have been confirmed to reprise their roles from Batman: Arkham Asylum. Batman will be portrayed again by Kevin Conroy, and the Joker by Mark Hamill. Hamill has confirmed this will be the final time he voices the Joker. Wally Wingert has confirmed that the Riddler will also be in the game, though did not specify whether the character would appear physically. Additionally, voice artists Maurice LaMarche and Stana Katic revealed that Mr. Freeze and Talia al Ghul will feature in the game, having mentioned they will be voicing the respective characters. David Kaye has also confirmed his involvement in an unspecified role. Kevin Conroy revealed that Two-Face is officially in the game. Hugo Strange, Catwoman, and Victor Zsasz will also be included and Harley Quinn will be returning, as confirmed by Game Informer's first reveal of the game. Official Xbox Magazine UK revealed that Calendar Man will be in the game.