Batman: Arkham City"Batman: 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 the sinister scheme, "Protocol 10", orchestrated by the facilities warden, Hugo Strange. 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."
Batman: Arkham City Plot"At a press conference held by Bruce Wayne to declare his opposition to Arkham City, TYGER mercenaries arrest and imprison him in Arkham City. Hugo Strange discloses his knowledge of Wayne's dual identity as Batman before releasing him into the prison's criminal populace. While Strange prepares to commence "Protocol 10", Wayne obtains his equipment via airdrop from Alfred Pennyworth, allowing him to become Batman. He first saves Catwoman from being executed by Two-Face, who hopes to gain respect by murdering her. After Joker attempts to assassinate Catwoman, Batman tracks him to his hideout in the Sionis Steelworks, believing Joker may know the truth behind Protocol 10.
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."
Batman: Arkham City Gameplay"Arkham City is an open world action-adventure game that incorporates elements of stealth game tactics.It is presented from the third-person perspective, showing the playable character on screen and allowing the camera to be freely rotated around them.The Arkham City facility is open to the player from the beginning of the game, allowing them to freely travel anywhere within its boundaries. The player can opt to move silently throughout the game, using a combination of gadgets and stealth moves to sneak up on enemies and incapacitate them. Batman can use his cape to glide around the city, diving downward and swooping upwards to extend his flight, and he can use the grapnel gun's retracting rope to attach to out-of-reach ledges. As Batman, the player is able to use "Detective vision", a visual mode that highlights elements of interest on-screen, such as character status, collectables, and clues; the mode is also used to perform forensic activities such as tracking the source of a sniper rifle round. The player has access to an in-game criminal database which includes forensic puzzles, as well as a network for hacking communication frequencies.
Using an improved version of the Freeflow combat system from Arkham Asylum, the player can now counter multiple blows simultaneously, catch hurled projectiles, attack aerially, and administer a succession of consecutive strikes. Many of Batman's gadgets can now be used in combat. Enemies are armed with varying levels of armor and weapons; attacks from basic weapons like baseball bats and lead pipes inflict minor damage and can be countered, while guns deal significant damage. Certain enemies must be disarmed in specific ways before they can be neutralized in combat: enemies with stun batons can only be attacked from behind; enemies with shields require aerial attacks to disarm; and enemies wearing body armor must be stunned with rapid successive strikes before they can be harmed. Larger enemies must be tackled with stuns and combo attacks, and can be manipulated to take out their allies. Disputes between gangs allied to rival villains often spark turf wars, which complicate the player's ability to move about Arkham City. Combat, among other actions, rewards the player with experience points that allow the player to periodically level Batman up and purchase upgrades for his Batsuit, gadgets, and combat and stealth skills. Each category contains approximately 15 different upgrades. For instance, an upgraded grapnel gun can be used to remotely disarm enemies, while a combat upgrade makes it easier to activate special attacks.
Some gadgets obtained in Batman: Arkham Asylum are present at the start of Arkham City, while others become available during play. Most of these have improved or new capabilities; for example, the Cryptographic Sequencer, used for hacking security consoles, can also monitor shortwave radio channels, while the line launcher can now be deployed as a tightrope or alter direction during flight. Other equipment returning from the first game include: a remote-controlled batarang; Explosive Gel that can now be detonated to knock down enemies in combat; and the grapnel gun, which can now be used while gliding to facilitate transportation. New equipment in Batman's arsenal include: smoke bombs that disorient opponents and assist with stealth tactics; a Remote Electric Charge (REC) gun that can stun enemies and temporarily power motors; Freeze Blast grenades that encase targets in ice and can be used within water to create makeshift platforms; and the Disruptor, which can remotely disable guns and explosive mines.
The game has approximately 40 hours of gameplay, with the main campaign lasting 25 hours and side missions lasting 15 hours. The side missions, which can be attempted at any time, feature prominent characters from the Batman universe. One such character, the Riddler, provides 440 optional "Riddler challenges" to solve. Most of these challenges consist of collecting trophies hidden throughout the city through the cunning use of gadgets to disable traps and barriers. The player can mark Riddler trophies on the in-game map once found if they do not initially have the necessary equipment to complete the puzzle.Additionally, the player can reveal the locations of Riddler trophies on the map by identifying the Riddler's henchmen with Detective vision and interrogating them, which requires the player to save the henchmen for last in combat among a wave of enemies.There are also environmental challenges which require the player to solve riddles by locating a specific item or location (which are rewarded with stories relating to the answer), and to locate question marks painted around the city, some of which can only be viewed in whole from certain vantage points. After completing a select number of challenges, Batman must rescue a civilian hostage held in one of the Riddler's death traps.
After completing the story mode on "normal" or "hard" difficulties, a "New Game Plus" mode is unlocked, enabling the player to replay the game with all of the gadgets, experience, and abilities that they have attained; enemies are tougher and the on-screen icon that warns players of imminent attacks is disabled. Arkham City features a series of challenge maps separate from the game's story mode. The maps focus on the completion of specific goals, such as eliminating successive waves of enemies in combat, subduing patrolling enemies while employing stealth, or traveling to a specific location as efficiently as possible. The methods and variety of abilities used to achieve these goals earn an overall performance score that is ranked online against other players.
Catwoman is another playable character available via the Catwoman campaign, which was initially downloadable content (DLC) on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles but was later included with the PC version and Game of the Year editions. Catwoman's campaign features her own heist-focused storyline that intersects with the main story at specific points in the game. Her combat emphasizes agility and allows for the use of unique weapons such as clawed gauntlets, bolas, and her iconic whip. A portion of the Riddler challenges are specific to Catwoman and can only be completed by her. Batman's allies Robin and Nightwing are also playable via optional DLC and feature their own combat abilities and gadgets. Both characters are available in the challenge maps, while Robin has his own main story narrative.
The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Arkham City include a stereoscopic 3D (S3D) mode for 3D HDTVs and for 2D HDTVs via Inficolor 3D glasses, while the PC version supports Nvidia 3D Vision on compatible monitors. It uses TriOviz for Games Technology, which is integrated with Unreal Engine 3. The Wii U version uses the Wii U's touch screen controller to let the player manage Batman's equipment and upgrades, selectively detonate Explosive Gel placements, and view a map of the city. The Wii U version adds a Sonar mode which highlights points of interest nearby, and the Battle Armored Tech Mode (BAT Mode) that allows Batman to accrue energy during combat and, when activated, inflict increased damage.
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