Batman: Arkham CityBatman: Arkham City is a 2011 action-adventure video game developed by Rocksteady Studios and released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles, and Microsoft Windows. Based on the DC Comics superhero Batman, it is the sequel to the 2009 video game Batman: Arkham Asylum and the second installment in the Batman: Arkham series. It was released worldwide for consoles, beginning in North America on October 18, 2011, with a Microsoft Windows version following on November 22.
Written by veteran Batman writer Paul Dini with Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill, Arkham City is based on the franchise's long-running comic book mythos. In the game's main storyline, Batman is incarcerated in Arkham City, a massive new super-prison enclosing the decaying urban slums of fictional Gotham City. He must uncover the secret behind Arkham's sinister scheme, "Protocol 10", while protecting inmates from the notorious criminals housed there. The game's leading characters are predominantly voiced by actors from the DC Animated Universe, with Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprising their roles as Batman and the Joker, respectively. The game is presented from the third-person perspective with a primary focus on Batman's combat and stealth abilities, detective skills, and gadgets that can be used in both combat and exploration. Arkham City expands Batman's arsenal of gadgets and combat attacks and offers a more open world structure, allowing the player to complete side missions away from the primary storyline.
The game received critical acclaim, particularly for its narrative, character and world designs, and Batman's combat and navigation abilities. It was tied for the highest-rated video game of 2011 according to review aggregator Metacritic, and was the recipient of several awards including: Game of the Year, Best Action Game, Best Action Adventure Game, Best Adventure Game, and Best Original Score from different media outlets. A Game of the Year edition was released on May 29, 2012, in North America, and on September 7, 2012, for the rest of the world. A Wii U version of the game was released in November 2012, and an OS X version was released in December 2012. A spin-off game, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, was released on December 7, 2011. A successor, Batman: Arkham Origins, is scheduled for release in October 2013.
There, Batman learns that the unstable properties of the Titan formula are mutating in Joker's blood, gradually killing him. Joker captures Batman and performs a blood transfusion on him, infecting him with the same fatal disease. Joker also reveals that Gotham hospitals have been poisoned with his infected blood. Desperate to save himself and innocent citizens, Batman seeks out Mr. Freeze, who had been developing a cure but has since been kidnapped by the Penguin.
Tracking Penguin to the Cyrus Pinkney National History Institute, Batman defeats his forces, his imprisoned monster Solomon Grundy, and ultimately the Penguin himself, before liberating Mr. Freeze. Freeze tells Batman that he has already developed the cure, but its instability renders it useless. Batman deduces that the restorative properties of Ra's al Ghul's blood can complete the cure. Batman tracks one of Ghul's assassins to his underground lair, leading Batman into a confrontation with Ra's and his daughter Talia, Batman's former lover. With Ra's al Ghul's blood, Freeze is able to develop an antidote, but it is stolen by Harley Quinn before Batman can use it.
When he returns to the Joker, Batman finds him restored to health. While the two fight, Strange activates Protocol 10, which is revealed to be a scheme to wipe out the entire population of Arkham City and destroy the criminal element of Gotham. The TYGER troops begin mass executions, while Strange launches missile strikes from his base in Wonder Tower. A missile hits the steelworks, burying Batman under rubble. Before Joker can take advantage of the situation, Talia arrives and offers him immortality in exchange for sparing Batman's life. After escaping with the help of Catwoman, Batman is convinced by Alfred to end Protocol 10 before pursuing Talia and Joker.
Batman infiltrates Wonder Tower and disables Protocol 10. Ra's al Ghul is revealed to be the true mastermind behind Arkham City and mortally wounds Strange for failing to defeat Batman. With his dying breath, Strange activates "Protocol 11", the self-destruction of Wonder Tower. Batman and Ra's escape, but Ra's commits suicide rather than risk capture. Joker contacts Batman, threatening to kill Talia unless Batman meets him at the Monarch Theater. Once Batman arrives, Joker demands the cure but is stabbed and apparently killed by Talia while distracted. While Talia admits to stealing the cure from Quinn, she is killed by a second Joker, still stricken with the disease. The healthy Joker that Talia stabbed then reanimates into the shapeshifting Clayface, who is revealed to have been masquerading as a healthy Joker at the ailing villain's request.
Batman incapacitates Clayface, but Joker blows up the theater floor, sending Batman plummeting into Ra's' lair below. Batman destroys Ra's' rejuvenating Lazarus Pit before the Joker can use it, and drinks a portion of the antidote. Batman debates curing his foe, but before he can act, Joker attacks Batman and inadvertently smashes the antidote vial. Batman admits that in spite of everything Joker had done, he would have saved him. After Joker finally succumbs to his illness and dies, Batman carries his body out of Arkham City. As Commissioner Gordon asks what happened, Batman places Joker's body on the hood of a police car and leaves in silence.
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