A wealth of new information about Batman: Arkham City has surfaced. None of this is significantly spoilery but if you want to crack open the seal and play the game entirely unawares of its contents, you might not want to read on. For the rest of us, though, this news should be considered beyond exciting. It comes from GameVicio, the I assume well-known Brazil gaming site.
New to combat is the ability to block two attacks at once, and special attacks that hit three foes at once. Gadgets will be better integrated, so you can spray explosive gel on a baddie's back, keep fighting, throw a batarang and then detonate at will. Batman can speak to enemies to shock, scare or provoke them into a fight. Objects thrown at you can be dodged or caught and thrown back, and enemies with firearms can be disarmed. Batman can also stay in near perpetual flight, allowing you to swoop down and pick up enemies, or circle a building and then dynamically smash through a window to attack.
With a world said to be five times larger than Arkham Asylum, there are some new navigation tweaks. The perpetual flight helps, as does the ability to grapple while already hanging on something, and to use gadgets while on the run instead of pausing constantly for a cutscene. Likewise, the silent takedowns of enemies can be cut short if you're under fire and then resumed for a faster knockout later. Plus, you can grab two enemies at once. Batman also seems to have got ideas from another comic franchise, and can use the grapple to swing between buildings. He can also climb any building, wall or wire, and can traverse obstacles with a similar dynamic run to the Assassin's Creed series.
Multiplayer has been confirmed, but it's unclear if that's co-op or something different. The world will be filled with secrets and side missions, and each building will be highly detailed inside and out. The game takes place a year after its predecessor with Quincy Sharp now mayor of Gotham. Crime scenes are more complex and involve puzzles to be solved - some require interrogations of suspects, while others require you to hunt the city for clues.
Enemies will be tied to gangs headed by the game's villains, and all gangs will have different colour identifiers when scanned in Detective mode. The crooks will also be logged in a big criminal database for your perusal and tracking. Unassociated bandits will roam the street to make things interesting, and some of them will have information about the Riddler's plans. When one of them is involved in a brawl, you need to keep them alive while taking out the rest so that you can interrogate them elsewhere after the fight.
Yeah, that's a lot of very exciting news. Batman: Arkham City will arrive in 2011 and make me very happy.