Paws-on Demo of Batman Arkham City

Paws-on Demo of Batman Arkham City

With the release of Batman Arkham City nearing upon us, many gamers (including us here at Manatank) are getting giddy in anticipation to get our hands on the game. I was fortunate enough to play a ten minute demo at FanExpo Canada this weekend which has made the wait for the release even more unbearable.

With the competitive nature at conventions between gaming companies, Warner Bros. ensured that they were to be taken seriously by providing an early access demo of Batman Arkham City at FanExpo Canada. Being lucky enough to have gone to FanExpo, I wasted no time in waiting in line to play the E3 demo of this game. With two Xbox360’s set up to demo the game, the line-ups started as soon as the convention opened. The bittersweet aspect of the demo was that you had ten minutes to play through the demo, that meant even a short line-up could have you waiting for hours. Luckily, I only had 4 people in front of me which gave me a chance to watch even more game play.

For those of you who have not checked out Dan’s thorough preview of Batman Arkham City, I encourage you to read it here first.

The demo starts off with inmates waiting for their boss (Two-face) and discussing the rumor of Batman visiting Arkham City. As if on cue, Catwoman enters the building to get her paws on the contents of an in-wall safe. Catwoman is the first playable character in this demo and I could not be happier with this. I absolutely love the combination of femininity and power that Catwoman has and she displays this in her outstanding combat ability. Playing as Catwoman allows you to use a combination of strikes (punches and kicks) as well as her whip which does some serious damage. Catwoman is a very quick and agile character, making it very easy to evade attacks. The character is very easy to control and the self-targeting system that is in place makes it easy to take down the bad guys. She has some very unique methods of taking down villains which create some very powerful combinations. By using these combinations, it is easy to achieve a high hit-streak and game bonuses. Unfortunately, after defeating the criminals and robbing the safe the fun ends for Catwoman as she is taken prisoner by Two-face.

Enter Batman. The Caped Crusader has been keeping a close eye on Arkham City and hacks into Tyger communications to discover what is happening within the city. Batman discovers that Catwoman is being held in the courthouse and is facing execution. With that news, Batman starts the next mission which is to save Catwoman from Two-face.

One of the most exciting parts of the game is being able to glide off of buildings with Batman. When gliding, Batman is very easy to control and can perform a very effective drop attack on opponents. This glide kick attack is easy to do, as there is a targeting system in place. The gliding system has been improved as you can control the flight pitch. Once you arrive at the courthouse, you are immediately attacked by a group of inmates. Here you can see that there is a huge difference between playing Catwoman and Batman. Catwoman is much quicker and more agile, whereas Batman seems to pack more punch in his attacks. His attacks are pretty straight forward and can be used in combinations as well. Even though he is less agile than Catwoman, he is still very easy to maneuver and can dodge attacks quite well. What is great about playing Batman is that you can use his grappling gun to pull enemies close and then strike them down. After defeating the inmates outside of the courtroom, it is now time to defeat Two-face and the prisoners inside.

In true Two-face style, half of the courthouse is in shambles while the other half remains intact. Once inside, you get to explore some of Batman’s upgrades from the original Arkham title. By using the detective mode Batman can take a tally of how many enemies are present and whether they are armed or unarmed. This makes it a lot easier to determine who you should be targeting first when entering combat. Another great option that Batman has is the ability to sneak up on characters to take them down. The sneak attack comes in very useful when trying to maintain the upper hand. When in combat, you can also use objects against other players (bats, chairs, etc.). The detective mode also allows you to track clues in order to determine what your next step should be by highlighting flashing objects.

The game also has a free-world aspect to it, allowing you to wander, or glide, through the streets of Arkham City fighting crime within a city of crime. There are many side missions that are easily accessible by exploring the city and many instances when gangs of criminals will decide to attack you, which ensures that the game play stays exciting.

All in all, I am oh-so-very excited to play Batman Arkham City. Playing the demo allowed me to see firsthand what the game play will be like and I can honestly say that it looks amazing. The addition of Catwoman provides a whole new dynamic in this game and allows gamers to take a break from the Caped Crusader. I am certainly looking forward to playing this title and cannot wait until October.

What are you looking forward to most in this title? Let us know in the comments!

Comments are closed.