Batman: Arkham City is an action-adventure game developed by Rocksteady and published by WB (also by Square Enix in Japan) for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on October 18, 2011 (November 22, 2011 for the PC version). Sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum, players reprise the role of Batman, as he uncovers a conspiracy in a vast prison colony comprised of Gotham City's slums.
Set a year later after The Joker's attempted plot to develop an army of monstrous mutations inside Arkham Asylum (himself being infected by the Titan venom), the mayor of Gotham City (former warden of the asylum, Quincy Sharp) deemed both the asylum and Blackgate Prison unfit and sectioned off part of the city to create a mega-prison (known as Arkham City), with psychologist Professor Hugo Strange as its warden and private military firm TYGER as its security. The game begins as Bruce Wayne, vastly opposing the project, becomes incarcerated as a political prisoner. After becoming the Dark Knight, he must figure out the conspiracy between Strange's "Protocol 10" while fighting gangs (led by The Joker, Two-Face, and The Penguin) and encountering numerous other supervillians (including Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, and Harley Quinn).
The game received a promotional spinoff by NetherRealm for the iOS platform, titled Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, on December 7, 2011.
The game was released as a Wii U launch title on November 18 2012 in the US, November 30 in PAL territories and December 8 in Japan. This new version ported and enhanced by WB Games Montréal is titled Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition. Along with all the downloadable content, this version features unique controller-based features, as well as a special "armored suit" that grants Batman and Catwoman some perks.
Batman: Arkham City is set one year after the events of Arkham Asylum. After taking credit for the take down of the Joker, Quincy Sharp has managed to become the new mayor of Gotham City. Despite knowing that Sharp was dangerously psychotic from reading his journal in the first game, Batman did nothing to prevent this. Due to the fact that Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison are both unfit to store prisoners, Sharp has the slums of Gotham walled off in order to create a new "prison" for the inmates, nicknamed " Arkham City". With the walls in place, Sharp lets the inmates loose with one simple rule: not to try and escape. Psychologist Hugo Strange is brought in as the 'warden' of this new prison.
Sharp secretly hopes that by placing all the dangerous Gotham criminals into an isolated part of the city, they will simply all kill each other, thus getting rid of the criminal problem in Gotham. However, the criminals quickly form into different gangs, all led by Batman's toughest enemies. One is lead by the Joker, with Harley Quinn at his side. Two-Face also leads a gang, but since he was only recently placed in the facility, he has to prove his worth to build up a powerful gang. He plans to do this by killing Catwoman. The third major gang belongs to the Penguin, who has somehow manged to arm his minions with cutting-edge military technology.
The game begins with the player playing as Bruce Wayne, who has taken a sudden interest in politics, and is trying to get Arkham City closed down. During a press conference, Strange's men (a mercenary strike team called TYGER) interfere and capture Bruce. Batman's alter-ego wakes up strapped to a chair, as Strange reveals that he knows Bruce is Batman, and that soon everything will end when he unleashes "Protocol 10". Bruce is set free in Arkham City, briefly tangles with the Penguin's men, and climbs a building in order to get a signal to his allies. Bruce orders Alfred to send him his suit via the Batwing, and Bruce Wayne gives way to Batman.
Batman hears that Catwoman is being held by Two-Face in the courthouse. Determined to find out what Protocol 10 is, the Caped Crusader decides to go and save Selina in hopes that she'll know more about what's going on. After saving the cat and barely avoiding an assassination attempt from the Joker, Batman decides to go and pay the Joker a visit at his base in the steel mill. The Joker is deathly ill, suffering the aftereffects of the massive dose of Titan he injected himself with at the end of the first game, and his gang is controlled for the most part by Harley Quinn. Upon arriving at Joker's location, Joker fakes his death with a double and captures Batman. The Bat wakes up tied to a wheelchair, with an IV in his arm administering Joker's contaminated blood to him. The Joker explains that he will be dead in a matter of hours and now, so will Batman. There is no cure to his sickness, as all the doctors the psycho brought in have failed to cure him. Mister Freeze was developing a cure before he was kidnapped by the Penguin. Furthermore, the Joker has anonymously donated his poisoned blood to every hospital in Gotham City, so that even if he dies, he'll have the last laugh. Batman now only has a couple of hours to find a cure before he, and the innocent people who receive the Joker's blood, die. As a token of his gratitude for his "help", the Joker pushes Batman's wheelchair out a five story window, almost killing him.
Batman succeeds in stopping the Penguin and rescuing Freeze, who reveals that he is nowhere close to a cure. Batman figures out that a cure could be fabricated by using Ra's al Ghul's blood. Batman tracks down al Ghul's hideout with a little help from Robin and reunites with Talia al Ghul, his daughter, who loves Batman and knows his secret identity. The only problem is that Batman is sick, very sick. He's so sick that at one point, Oracle asks him what his will to Robin should be, how should he carry on the flame. He even passes out and sees "The Light" and his parents, beckoning him to come and join them. He eventually makes it to Ra's' hideout, and has no choice but to accept the trials to become the master of the League of Shadows, as it allows him to drink a mysterious potion called the Demon's Blood, which gives him his strength back, but will only delay the onset of his symptoms by a matter of hours. Batman passes all the trials but refuses to kill Ra's and replace him as the new master of the League. He still succeeds in getting the master's blood and heads back to Freeze, who creates an antidote but betrays the Caped Crusader, hoping to use the antidote as leverage to force Batman to rescue Freeze's wife Nora, still in her cryogenic chamber, who has been 'kidnapped' by the Joker's men. They do battle, and Batman wins, but the antidote was stolen by Harley Quinn during the fight.
Now genuinely pissed off, Batman goes back to the steel mill to get the cure from a much-healthier looking Joker. Just as the Dark Knight is about to defeat the Clown Prince of Crime, Strange initiates Protocol 10, which is in fact the mass extermination of all prisoners in Arkham City, in order to make the world a better place. Batman is crushed by rubble and is about to get his face ripped off by the Joker when Talia suddenly appears and offers the Joker immortality via her father's Lazarus Pit. Talia takes the Joker away while triggering a homing beacon previously planted on one of her ninjas, so Batman will be able to find her again. Batman is saved by Catwoman, and wants to go after Talia, but Alfred blocks his access to the WayneTech tracking satellites, claiming that Bruce mustn't let emotions get in the way, that Batman was destined to save the world and that this is what he must do.
With no other choice, Batman goes after Strange, who gloats to his men that soon, facilities like Arkham City will be constructed in other major cities like Metropolis and Keystone City. It's revealed that Strange is but a puppet, and has been working for Ra's al Ghul all along, sharing his vision of violently ridding the world of criminal scum. For failing to defeat Batman, Ra's murders Strange, who then triggers Protocol 11, a safeguard which even al Ghul didn't know about - which causes his tower headquarters to violently explode. Batman and al Ghul jump out but Ra's commits suicide with his own sword in the air in an attempt to take Batman with him, which fails. With Protocol 10 stopped, Batman goes to save Talia, who is being held by Joker in a movie theatre. The Joker holds Talia at gunpoint, but she manages to escape her captor and kill the Joker by impaling him with her sword. Batman reprimands Talia for killing the clown right before Talia is shot in the back and killed by... the Joker. It's revealed that the Joker is still very much alive, and very much sick, inches away from dying (much like Batman). The Joker lying dead on the floor isn't actually the Joker, or dead; the healthy Joker Batman has been dealing with since the theft of the cure was Clayface all along. It turns out that although Harley stole the cure from Mister Freeze, Talia went and stole it right back before it could be administered to the Joker.
Batman is forced to fight Clayface, and eventually defeats him thanks to the ice grenades he was given by Mister Freeze, and obtains the cure. Batman drinks half of the cure, becoming healthy again, as the Joker laughs his head off at Talia's death. The Clown Prince of Crime explains that despite the fact that the Joker has created so much mayhem and has killed the one woman who has ever loved Batman, the Dark Knight is still forced to save him as that is his rule of conduct. As Batman debates whether or not to save him, the Joker attacks him, causing the hero to drop the cure which breaks on the ground. Batman looks on as the Joker tries to save the cure, and states that despite all the mayhem, he would've saved him. Shocked, the Joker dies with a smile on his face. Batman walks the Joker's corpse out of Arkham City and leaves it on a police car. Commissioner Gordon arrives, asking Batman "What the hell happened in there?". The Caped Crusader ignores the question and just walks away.
If players go back to the steel mill, where Joker's base of operations were set up, they'll see Harley Quinn's original uniform. By the uniform is a pregnancy test. The pregnancy test shows positive (+). In the finale of the credits, players can hear Harley Quinn singing a lullaby. The song goes, "hush little baby don't say a word, momma's gonna kill for you the whole damn world." This was originally interpreted by fans to mean as a hint towards a potential plot point in a sequel with Harley carrying the Joker's child. However, the follow-up story DLC Harley Quinn's Revenge puts this possibility to rest as it shows that the original pregnancy test was actually a false positive and that Harley was not in fact pregnant.
Catwoman, Selina Kyle, has a different storyline than Batman's that takes place over four episodes. Catwoman starts the game while trying to steal a microchip from Two-Face, who captures her and dangles her over a vat of acid. She's saved by Batman, and further damages Two-Face's face. After leaving Batman's company she resolves to steal the valuables Dr. Strange has seized from Arkham's prisoners. Catwoman asks Poison Ivy for help, and after fighting some of her goons, she is convinced to creates a hole allowing Catwoman to get inside the vault.
After defeating several guards she leaves the vault only to be confronted by a picture of Batman trapped underneath some rubble. There are two possible endings to the situation. One is that she has a sudden change of heart and decides to go to Batman's aid. The other is that she abandons Batman to his fate, and the game ends. After a while the credits will rewind and give the player the opportunity to make the "right" choice. After saving Batman, Catwomen goes back to her apartment to get the rest of the loot that she stole from Strange before escaping from Arkham. Only to discover that Two-Face has stolen all of it. Selina tracks Dent down but realizes that he's sold half of the loot already. Catwoman's role ends with her searching for her missing loot.
Arkham City's gameplay is similar to its predecessor with some added touches. Batman's movements default to a walk. Holding down the run button will make Batman run and jump over certain obstacles. Pressing the run button twice will make Batman roll.
Movement in Arkham City isn't just limited to running around. Batman has his trusty grappling hook and cape to help him fly around. Batman can use his grappling hook to shoot himself up to ledges, and the grapnel boost upgrade propels him above ledges where he can use his cape to glide. Batman can now dive bomb while gliding. This can be used to take out enemies, solve puzzles or glide some more. Batman can also wall jump to keep on gliding in tight spaces.
Combat in Arkham City is a mix of one button combos and counters. Batman kicks and punches with the press of one button. As he racks up a combo, his moves become quicker and more aggressive. Batman can also counter enemy attacks. He can counter up to 3 attacks at once. Finally, if an enemy is knocked down, Batman can finish them off. Chaining attacks makes the multiplier go up. Once the player has reached x10, he can unleash a devastating attack (Batman calls in bats that stun all surrounding enemies; Batman jumps into the air, throwing Batarangs at all enemies on the ground, finishing them off). Some of these attacks will stop the multiplier while getting hit by an attack will set the combo multiplier back to zero. Arkham City adds critical strikes where if the player times his strikes correctly, he can inflict a critical blow on his foes. Batman can also use stealth, hiding on top of gargoyles or in vents, silently taking down enemies (there are also smack-downs during these stealth takedowns where players can quicken the takedown but risk alerting nearby guards).
Detective Vision lets Batman see weak structures, hidden fuse boxes and power lines. It's also very useful during stealth as it tells the player how many enemies there are in the area, how many are armed and what their state of mind is. Detective mode can also be used to solve Riddler Challenges. Addition support during the game is provided by both Alfred Pennyworth and Oracle AKA Barbara Gordon.
Batman has a wide array of gadgets that he uses against his foes
|Grapnel Gun||The grapnel gun is a gas-powered pistol that fires a piton attached to a high-tension wire, which has the ability to retract that line while accommodating the weight of the user. The Grapnel now has the ability to brake and boost while in use. Additionally, a new ability called "boost grapple" can launch Batman into the air.|
|Batarang||The Batarang may be used to stun enemies that are not aware of Batman's presence, to activate otherwise inaccessible buttons, or to cut down hanging enemies.|
|Line Launcher||The line launcher is a gas-powered pistol that fires two pitons in opposite directions attached to high-tension wires. The two pitons bury themselves in parallel objects and allow the user to "zip" between the two points.|
|Batclaw||The Batclaw is a grappling hook used to pull far away objects and enemies towards Batman.|
|Explosive Gel||The explosive gel is a jelly-like substance that can be sprayed on surfaces and explode later at Batman's command.|
|Cryptographic Sequencer V2||Version two of the Cryptographic Sequencer from the first game.|
|Smoke Bombs||Smoke bombs are used to confuse and stun enemies. It also provides Batman a means of escape.|
|R.E.C. Guns||The R.E.C. Gun resembles a shotgun and has the same ferocity. Instead of bullets, Batman placed stun slugs within the weapon, thus rendering his enemies stunned and open for a quick take down.|
|Broadcast Analyzer||Listen in on radio stations, Gotham Police radio chatter, and other stations with the Broadcast Analyzer.|
|Ultra Sonic Emitter||The Sonic Emitter summons a swarm of bats.|
|Cryo Bomb||The Freeze Blast gadget allows Batman to freeze his enemies in place.|
Catwoman is also a playable character for those who bought the game new. Catwoman fights the same way Batman fights (one button combos, counters...) but controls slightly differently. Catrwoman gets around thanks to her whip and claws. When aiming for a ledge, the player plays a minigame where he must press the jump button at the right time to make the cat jump faster. Furthermore, Catwoman can crawl on ceilings and collect special Riddler statues.
Robin has also been confirmed to be playable in Arkham City. The Tim Drake version of Robin, he will only be playable in challenge maps when pre-ordered at Best Buy. Robin will have two exclusive maps and will have access to all the challenge maps in the game. Robin will be able to equip his own unique gadgets, special moves, and be able to change his costume to the Red Robin suit. Finally, Nightwing was made available in challenge maps as a DLC character on November 1st.
Arkham City's side missions are accessible during and after the main plot.
|Where - Krank Co. Toys next to the GCPD building|
|When - Accessible as soon as Batman's equipment is air-dropped|
Bane is in Arkham City to rid it of the tanks of the Titan strain of Venom that were smuggled from the former Arkham Asylum. Being a catalyst for its creation, Bane doesn't want anyone to be transformed into mindless Titan monsters again.
There are 12 tanks in total, to which Batman strikes a deal that they destroy 6 each. Batman's allocated tanks are spread along southern Arkham City.
Heart of Ice
|Where - The GCPD building|
|When - As soon as Mr. Freeze's involvement in the main plot ends|
|After The Joker kidnaps Nora Fries, Mr Freeze turns to Batman to save her. He provides an area in south east Arkham City in which Nora is hidden. Tracking her down to a hideout, Batman must infiltrate the building and secure Nora by defeating Joker's goons (Players must approach the GCPD building from around the back to access it once the mission has begun).|
Watcher in the Wings
|Where - At four different points in Arkham City|
|When - Accessible as soon as Batman's equipment is air-dropped|
|A mysterious figure can be spotted watching Batman, leaving a section of a map each time he is found. Upon meeting him at the map's destination, he provides Batman with an ominous prophecy.|
Shot in the dark
|Where - On the roof of one of the buildings in the Industrial District, near the Steel Mill|
|When - After you leave the Steel Mill for the first time during the main plot|
|Receiving an SOS, Batman investigates. The man explains that he worked on the Wonder Tower for Hugo Strange but once he was finished he was sent down to Arkham City. He is then assassinated before Batman's eyes. Further investigation reveals that this is the work of the "world's most deadly assassin," Deadshot. Batman must stop the assassin before he assassinates his remaining four targets, including Jack Ryder.|
Riddler Challenges return from the previous game. The developers have over 400 challenges planned for this game. Speed, Stealth, and Predator challenge modes have been confirmed for the game. Dax Ginn, Rocksteady's community manager has stated that there will be 436 Riddler Trophies in the game.
The list of confirmed challenge rooms are:
- Black Mask Hideout (Robin only)
- Freight Train Escape (Robin only)
- Iceberg Lounge (Collector's Edition)
- Joker Carnival (Pre-order from GameStop)
- Wayne Manor (Nightwing Only)
- Main Hall (Nightwing Only)
After the wildly successful launch of Batman: Arkham Asylum, the team at Rocksteady wanted to expand what they had started with the original game. They did this through the expansion of Batman's moves, gadgets, and abilities. With the addition of all the new elements the number of animations in the game double from the previous one.
Another key difference in this game is the addition of an open world for Batman to navigate. The game world is five times larger than the secluded island Arkham Asylum was set on and around. To offset the increase in game size, Rocksteady added more side missions and challenges for the player to take on, while still steering players to the main path storyline. With Batman gaining the ability to dive and maintain forward momentum while gliding, players will be able to navigate Arkham City more quickly.
Each section of the city that is controlled by a villain will have its own unique characteristics based upon that villain. Joker's section will have green graffiti over all the walls and clowns will be present throughout the sector, while Penguin's sector has a snow and ice motif.
The game is not directly based on the comic book series "Cataclysm" and "No Man's Land", but they are a source of inspiration. Sefton Hill, Game Director of both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City , has stated that they read multiple Batman comics to get ideas for Batman's game. Kevin Conroy, voice of Batman, has stated that the game would have a dark nature like the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker movie.
At PAX Prime 2011, Rocksteady announced that Batman: Arkham City would have built-in support for three different types of 3D. Stereoscopic and Anaglyphic support will be available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners and NVIDIA's 3D Vision support for PC's. New Game Plus was also announced, where all the gadgets and upgrades are carried forward. The enemies become tougher through less visual feedback for players to rely on.
On September 14, Rocksteady announced that Batman: Arkham City had achieved gold status. Additionally, it was revealed that new skins would unlock for the player after they had completed the game. On September 15, it was announced that Deadshot would be making an appearance in the game. It was said that he is in Arkham City to kill a high profile target.
On October 11, Rocksteady announced that Nightwing would be a playable character in the challenge rooms through a DLC pack. He will have his own move set and gadgets and will come with two exclusive maps that are Nightwing only.
Batman: Arkham City Comic Book Miniseries
It was announced on February 9, 2011 that DC would be publishing a five-part miniseries that bridges the gap between Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. The story is written by Paul Dini, who also wrote for Arkham Asylum, and drawn by the game's art designer Carlos D'anda. The comic was released on the May 11, 2011 and ended with issue 5 on August 24. DC Comics also released digital chapters for smartphones or tablets, which would be $.99 and would be only two or three pages, expanding on the main five-title story. All the digital chapters and main story was stated to be collected into one graphic novel later this year.
Video Game Award Show 2011
During the 2011 VGA's although Batman: Arkham City didn't win best game of the year (which the award went to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim), Rocksteady was amazed to find out that Joker won the best character of the year award. At this time Joker 'accidentally' revealed a possible sequel to Batman: Arkham City.
Two soundtracks were released for Arkham City.
The first, Batman: Arkham City: The Album, is a compilation which includes original songs by third party artists. It was released on October 4, 2011. A copy of this was included in the collectors edition of the game.
|Track Number||Track Name||Artist||Length|
|1.||Mercenary||Panic! At The Disco||2:41|
|2.||Deranged||Coheed and Cambria||4:26|
|3.||Creature||The Duke Spirit||2:32|
|4.||Shadow On The Run||Black Rebel Motorcycle Club||4:48|
|8.||Trophy Widow||The Damned Things||3:45|
|9.||Drown In You||Daughtry||4:22|
|10.||Losing You||The Boxer Rebellion||3:34|
|11.||Total Paranoia||Serj Tankian||2:56|
|12.||In The Shadow||A Place to Bury Strangers||3:10|
The second album was the original score, composed by Ron Fish and Nick Arundel. It was released on October 18th, 2011.
|1.||Arkham City Main Theme||Nick Arundel||2:47|
|2.||Sorry, Boys||Nick Arundel||1:49|
|3.||A Monument to Your Failure||Ron Fish||1:56|
|4.||Have You Got My Location||Nick Arundel||4:20|
|5.||This Court Is Now in Session||Nick Arundel||2:16|
|6.||It Was The Joker||Nick Arundel||2:19|
|7.||I Think You Should Do as He Says||Nick Arundel||2:35|
|8.||Refusal Will Not Be Tolerated||Nick Arundel||2:44|
|9.||Wham! Gotcha!||Nick Arundel||3:29|
|10.||Let's Hear Him Squeal||Nick Arundel||3:01|
|11.||I Know What You Guys Are Thinking||Nick Arundel||3:34|
|12.||It's Initiation Time||Nick Arundel||1:59|
|13.||What's He Doing Here?||Nick Arundel||2:14|
|14.||How Does It Feel, Pig?||Nick Arundel||2:19|
|15.||Call Him Off||Nick Arundel||4:36|
|16.||You Should Have Listened to My Warning||Nick Arundel||2:10|
|17.||You Need to Think This Through||Nick Arundel||2:43|
|18.||Bring Her Back to Me||Ron Fish||2:08|
|19.||It's Not Even Breakfast||Nick Arundel & Ron Fish||3:51|
Contents of Batman: Arkham City CE:
- Batman: Arkham City game and manual
- Premium statue produced by Kotobukiya
- Batman: Arkham City album from WaterTower Music
- Arkham City art book
- Early access to DLC including the Iceberg Lounge Challenge Map
- Batman: Gotham Knight animated feature
- Dark Knight Returns skin
- R.E.C. Gun
- Joker Carnival Challenge Map (Pre-order from Gamestop in USA)
- Four collectible cards
The European version of the collectors edition did not contain the R.E.C. Gun or collectible cards.
Game of The Year Edition
On May 29th, 2012, Warner Bros. released the Game of The Year Edition for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. This edition includes:
- Harley Quinn's Revenge: Over two hours of content, new storyline and enemies, play as both Batman and Robin, new environments and new collectables.
- Bonus Contents: Catwoman Pack, Robin Bundle Pack, Nightwing Bundle Pack, Arkham City Skins Pack and Challenge Map Pack.
- Download Batman: Year One movie from PlayStation Network (US and Canada only)
Wii U Version - Armored Edition
While a Wii U version of Arkham City, developed by WB Games Montréal, had already been announced at the console's E3 2011 reveal, it has received another big demonstration at Nintendo's E3 2012 media briefing with an lengthy on-stage segment. The Armored Edition of the game will feature motion controlled remote batarangs (reminiscent of the Sixaxis controls in Arkham Asylum on PS3), detective mode scanning with the Wii U GamePad, a new version of the hacking mechanic tailored specifically to the GamePad, touch-based menus and item selections and maps displayed on the touch screen. The titular "armor" is exclusive to this version, giving both playable characters (Batman and Catwoman) a special suit of armor with additional perks for combat.
All previously released DLC content will be included in Arkham City: Armored Edition.
Arkham City's PC version was delayed to November 18 for unknown reasons.
The title features Steamworks integration.
The game was originally released with Games For Windows Live integration, however this was removed in October 2013 as Microsoft began shutting down the service.
The full game and its subsequent DLC will also be released through Onlive.
- OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 4800+
- Memory: 2GB RAM
- Hard Disk Space: 17 GB free hard drive space
- Video Card: ATI 3850HD 512 MB or NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB
- DirectX®: 9.0c
Xbox 360 HDD Install Requirement
The game requires 7.7 GB to install on an Xbox 360 Hard Drive.