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Arkham City Aiming For Open World "Sweet Spot"

The bigger an action/adventure game gets, the more difficult it is to present every environmental detail with perfect clarity and sharpness. It's also tough to keep the storyline constantly present.

But Rocksteady is aware of this, and they're shooting for the ideal with Batman: Arkham City. While the game's predecessor, Arkham Asylum, was located within the walls of that asylum, the action in the follow-up title will spill out into the streets. Hence, it's more open-ended. It's usually a bonus, but it can also cause the narrative to take a hit.

Then again, we're talking about a talented, dedicated team. When Digital Spy asked how difficult it is to keep the player engaged in a new, more open world, Rocksteady Marketing Manager Dax Ginn replied:

"Very, but we are up to challenge. We wanted to take the lessons that we learned from Arkham Asylum and write them large on the canvas of Gotham. We moved the action out into an open world structure, and it is genuinely an open world but I wouldn't say that it its sandbox as it doesn't have flippant physics puzzles and things. Our objective wasn't to make the biggest open world game, it was to make the most detailed open world game.

So when you are gliding across the skyline you have freedom of choice, but when you hit the streets the aesthetic is amazing. We wanted to get the sweet spot between action-adventure games that are big but not very detailed, they generally copy and paste buildings to fill out the world, and the games that are very small but very detailed. There has never really been an exploration of what happens in between those games, so we wanted to explore that ground and still really tell a tight story."

It's always a conundrum- the more freedom a game provides, the less the narrative grips us, simply because that freedom impedes on the inherent linearity of a storyline. But Rocksteady knows what they're doing and at the end of the day, Batman: Arkham City ought to be a clear-cut winner.

Related Game(s): Batman: Arkham City

Tags: batman arkham city, rocksteady, batman sequel

8/10/2011 10:14:46 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (18 posts)

Kiryu
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 11:05:11 AM
Reply

Even Sucker Punch focused more on detail than scale of the city for Infamous 2.Yet the city was huge.
The freedom you have as cole moving across the city cannot be found any where else.
I hope Batman has the same freedom.

Last edited by Kiryu on 8/10/2011 11:07:42 AM

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 12:23:28 PM

i agree as well. i do wish the lightning tether was available a lot earlier in the game. by time you get it the game is almost over. another thing is i can't believe how quickly i blew through infamous 2. looking back i think i would have been better off renting it. i'm like at 96% complete in 6 days of gaming.

more in depth side quests would have helped extend the game. most of those quests can be banged out in a few minutes. good game but kind of short imo. i have a feeling that is why the ugc is there...to try to compensate for length.

oh yeah, i hate how the screen goes black and white when you take damage. it's very distracting in my opinion. did it do that in the first game? i don't remember.

as for batman ac i will keep an eye on it it. will definitely give it a playthrough. it will be interesting to see how batman ac handles the open world aspect when compared to infamous 2. i'm expecting better side quests from batman for some reason. my top priorities this fall are skyrim and the mgs hd collection. i love mgs and have yet to play peacewalker. can't wait. i hear it is very good and has a lot of depth.


Last edited by Excelsior1 on 8/10/2011 12:42:29 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 3:39:16 PM

inFamous 2 is not short by any stretch of the gaming imagination, the addictive quality simply makes time go by faster. Add to that that a second ending and path that almost makes it 2 different games and I can't agree with you that it's short at all. Check how many hours you put in, then compare it to your average action game's length.

If nothing else it's worth having in the collection so it's best to own.

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FM23
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 9:47:26 PM

@Kiryu...Yeah, but Infamous still doesn't feature a real detailed art style...just a very artistic style which works, but I'm assuming Batman will be much more detailed, but this is based off of vids I've seen.

@excelsior1...yeah, you have a point. ALot of very useful powers in Infamous 2 open up too late in the game. Infamous 2 stops feeling like Infamous 1 maybe 2/6 through the game, but Infamous 2 definitely was better than Infamous, but I2 focused on side missions a little too much which were mostly repetitive and hardly story related. This definitely ruined the story in my book which I thought was interesting, but lack in true form of strong storytelling. And YES, SKYRIM will be money well spent I hope. That MGS collection will have to wait, got like 6 must haves this fall.

@World...Definitely agree, Infamous 2 was endless it felt. Still playing throught bad on and off.

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Dead_Starr
Friday, August 12, 2011 @ 12:57:23 AM

@world I love inFamous 2, but it was very short. I beat it twice within 2 days. The story was great though.

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tornado03
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 11:28:45 AM
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I agree Kiryu.

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A R K H A M
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 11:57:34 AM
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Can't wait for this should be good one

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AshT
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 12:24:59 PM
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this is a day 1 purchase for me along with U3 and AC: Revelations

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 1:21:15 PM
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Has the ability to enter a lot of buildings been confirmed in Arkham City? If they want detail, that's how they do it. Have levels set in different houses or office blocks.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 3:46:00 PM
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I think L.A. Noire got really close to the sweet spot, ultimately it was a bit disjointed, but I could really appreciate how the cases and mini adventures used the detailed historical landscape to augment the experience. I think Batman is going to have to do something similar insofar as not juts having the open world be a backdrop for action but be a part of it as well.

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GuyverLT
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 5:14:16 PM
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Why did I bother with this post (no offense Ben) all it did was make me want this game more then I already do. I'm like having withdrawals, every time I read a post about this game I have to go back and play Arkham Asylum again and again & I'll be doing so until I get this new one.

I'm not even that big of a batman fan as far as the comics are concern.
Like seriously shame on you Rockstaedy for making these games that are filled with a big whooping pot of AWESOME-SAUCE.

*SIGN* I feel like an addict addicted to crack or something.

Last edited by GuyverLT on 8/10/2011 5:14:49 PM

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McLovin519
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 6:53:08 PM
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I am thinking strong candidate for GOTY!
On the edge of my seat waiting for the release of this game.

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FM23
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 9:48:48 PM

Same here...been paid for this badboy already!

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mastiffchild
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 11:32:52 AM

Am I the only person who's not convinced of Ac's greatness before we see a single review or even a great big reveal?

I LOVED AA but I feel the risk here is that they might lose a lot of feeling LIKE you ARE Batman when they lose focus and all the talk of playing as Catwoman or Robin makes me fear it getting watered down. the essence of Bats was in every pore of AA and the open world they talk of makes me think they may just stray a little too far away from that to keep the form up this time out. I pray I'm, wrong and admire the ambition just hope it's within them to pull it off a second time.

Everyone else seems convinced, though, with little to go on bar last game's greatness and when they're changing so much I dunno if it's that wise.

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GuyverLT
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 1:23:56 PM

"I LOVED AA but I feel the risk here is that they might lose a lot of feeling LIKE you ARE Batman when they lose focus and all the talk of playing as Catwoman or Robin makes me fear it getting watered down."

LOL! You're saying that they're watering it down by adding double the content AA had?????REALLY??

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LittleBigMidget
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 9:27:48 PM
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GOTY.

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___________
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 4:16:48 AM
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eh, if its half as good as arkham asylum ill be happy!
i just wish they would turn it into more of a puzzler, i mean come on the dark night is suppose to be the best detective in the world!
so why not make us feel like him?
batman is about more then pounding faces and setting traps.
thats what disappointed me with AA.
the combat was freaking awesome, but the puzzles, well, a freaking 2 year old could solve them!
turn your bat vision on and follow the fingerprints.
oh wow, you really need to be a genius to be able to do that!
come on, batmans suppose to be the greatest detective in the world, give him a challenge!!!!!!!

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Spanky
Friday, August 12, 2011 @ 1:47:10 PM
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EGADS...I'm going to have to refinance my car to buy all the games I want in the 4th quarter!!!

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