It may sound cruel to not include “fascinating twists” to a game that is bound to be just as successful as its predecessor without really needing them, but the fact is that none of us will probably ever know what these “twists” are, or were meant to be, or what kind of impact they would have had on Batman: Arkham City had they been implemented. In fact, reading what writer Paul Dini had to say about them may sound like a lot of gibberish to us because of the lack of context. But to Dini, they seem to make perfect sense.
“There are always big ideas that you have when you start a project and that you fall in love with almost instantly, that you think are going to define whatever it is you’re working on,” said Dini. “And I’d say that with Arkham City there were some story elements that I came to the table with, and that Rocksteady also presented that we thought were just perfect and they were really going to shake up Batman’s world and it was going to lead to this whole other area of gameplay and different locations to explore.” However, due to directional changes, “we wound up using very little of it.”
Arkham City is bigger than Arkham Asylum. Much bigger. Not only has developer Rocksteady confirmed this, but the name itself implies it is. As opposed to Arkham Asylum, Arkham City will let players free roam throughout a thug-infested district of the city rather than be restrained to a single building. So, with what seems to be a major change to the fantastic formula created already, not to mention a contrasting — and playable — Catwoman, what kind of “twists” are we actually talking about?
“I can’t really go into detail about what was discarded or what those elements were because some of them are incorporated,” said Dini. “Some did get reconfigured and reincorporated into the game, and we just don’t want to touch on that yet.” A less than surprising answer given the game is single-player only, and is therefore built around its campaign or story. Giving any of it away would hardly go down well among fans.
Dini did mention, however, “where we were going with it originally was something much more Batman exploring different aspects of the city rather than him in a situation where he has to fight through it and accomplish goals.” But this presented a fundamental issue with games like this: Passivity.
“You can’t have the gamer be passive,” explained Dini. “I think what we were heading for was something very interesting but it would have put the gamer in a more passive role, and you can’t be in that. Not in a Batman game.”
Batman: Arkham City is out on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, October 18th (US) and 21st (EU).