Batman: Arkham Asylum was technically a free roaming game but not in the broadest sense. There were four or five main areas you could visit and there wasn’t too much reason for exploration. Developer Rocksteady want to change that for their sequel, Batman: Arkham City, with game director Sefton Hill stating that “The footprint of Arkham City is about five times bigger than Arkham Island.”
What does this mean for the gameplay? “In Batman: Arkham Asylum, we really focused our effort on creating an intense, pressure-cooker atmosphere by locking Batman in the madhouse and allowing The Joker to turn up the heat. In Arkham City, we want to take that attitude to the next level, so we created an experience in which gamers will have a huge amount of navigational freedom, but they will also feel the extreme pressure of the challenges that they face.”
Arkham City certainly sounds like a massive expansion on what Asylum established. We can’t wait to roam around Gotham later in the year. Until then we’ll have to make do with the four new screens in the gallery.