Batman just can't get a break. When he's not knocking heads together to save yet another batch of hapless hostages, he's snubbing his nose at public transportation by gliding and grappling his way across town. Thankfully, these elements (and many more) comprised the cool aspects of Gotham's costumed underworld during a demonstration of Batman: Arkham City, Rocksteady Studios' sophomore dive into the murky world of Batman.
This time around, the Dark Knight has an area five times the size of Arkham Island to safeguard; the abrupt shift from the asylum's narrow halls to the unpredictable chaos of Arkham City's streets is quite daunting at first glance — until you realize that the coolly composed Batman is in his element more than ever. Check out these three features that are sure to turn some heads when the game releases for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC platforms later this year.
Exploring Arkham City, Batman-style
As a lawless section of Gotham City cordoned off by tenacious paramilitary mercenaries, Arkham City isn't exactly an idyllic town to take a leisurely stroll in. Batman's apparently upgraded grappling hook can now latch onto nearly any surface in the city — including roving attack helicopters — which provides a quick escape onto a shadowy perch or a boost into the always stylish air glide. Of course, if sailing through the sky like an overgrown bat starts to get boring, you can always turn that glide into an effective "tackle out of fucking nowhere" divebomb on an unwitting thug.
Not to be outdone by Arkham City's enigmatic antagonist Hugo Strange, Calendar Man is a bit of a joke compared to his fellow villains, but Batman's initial encounter with him is the stuff of nightmares. Found wallowing in a holding cell of a courthouse — which binary addict Two-Face has turned into a makeshift hive of scum and villainy — Calendar Man (real name Julian Gregory Day; spot the multi-pun and receive a cookie) will recount his sordid acts of mass murder on actual calendar holidays. So, for example, if you boot up the game on St. Patrick's Day and pay Calendar Man a visit, he'll launch into a blood-drenched tale of decapitated leprechauns and rainbows leading to cauldrons filled with bloody machetes. OK, not really, but you get the idea.
Detective mode turns Batman into a surveillance gargoyle
Batman: Arkham Asylum touted the Caped Crusader's formidable powers of deduction via the plethora of scanning and forensic tools available in the game's Detective mode. Now, Arkham City refines Batman's inquisitive nature by augmenting his reality to provide in-depth crime scene analysis, such as tracing the origin of a sniper round. A number of secondary missions reveal themselves by simply observing the streets of Arkham City in Detective mode, as an auditory clue can reveal additional information or progress the story beyond the main narrative.