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The Next Level In Gaming

Batman: Arkham Asylum was one of last year’s biggest games – taking a fresh look at the Dark Knight’s world and building up a game from scratch – a dark and atmospheric title with the psychopathic Joker entering the halls of Gotham’s Psychiatric Ward and letting loose the madness within. A sort of semi free-roaming title, perhaps in a similar vein to Bioshock, Arkham Asylum had it all – fun combat, plenty of gadgets, exploration, beautiful graphics, your own Batcave and a fun story. The only downside really was that at some point, it had to end.

But where could they go from there? Arkham Asylum was perhaps the Batman title, and it made me wonder – who could possibly follow as a villain after the Joker, Batman’s most renowned villain? And how could they possibly beat Arkham Asylum for a setting?

Well, the answers have now become clear – in the form of a new teaser site. At the moment, it’s little more than a short trailer, but the video gives us some answers, while leaving us with ever more questions.

The teaser begins with a view over Arkham Asylum – the battlefield where the last game took place, where the Bat conquered his foes in an insane war against the Joker and his henchmen, the place now looking quiet after the events of the first title. However, as the camera pans past the gates of the Asylum and into Gotham itself – it’s apparent that something is wrong.

People are fighting in the streets, fires and explosions are going off every few minutes. What’s going on here? Are these people civilians, or ex-Arkham inmates? The camera pans through the wreckage, and through some doors into some sort of dilapidated amusement arcade, the body of a lifeless person carted around by an old car on the tracks. The place has a creepy clown-like feel to it…

And then we go up, to the upper floor of the building. The recognisable figure of the scantilly clad Harley Quinn appears before us, walking toward a hidden figure sitting in a chair before us. She turns to him, as if nursing him, or easing his pain. Of course, that hair does look rather green, doesn’t it?

And then we see him, at last. The Joker – weary but as crazy as ever, cackling to himself as he looks over Gotham, before his insane laughter leaves him in a coughing fit. Clearly the last battle damaged him, but he’s well and truly alive. Of course, who could ever follow the Joker, but the Joker himself?

After his spluttering is over, the Joker’s face fills with evil resolve, and we are greeted with the symbol of a crumbling Bat, before finally the ominous words… “ARKHAM. HAS. MOVED.”

So that’s it – you can take the Joker out of Arkham, but you can’t take the Arkham out of the Joker. Rather than returning to Arkham, it looks as though the Joker has come to Gotham itself, in some sort of scheme to unleash his madness upon the dark city.

There’s been little else in terms of news for Batman: Arkham Asylum 2, but I think it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing more Bat/Joker rivalry, this time taken to Gotham’s dark streets. What effect this will have in terms of scale of the game we will have to wait and see – but I think it’s safe to assume that the sequel will sport a similar free-roaming gameplay style – since that is perhaps what embodies Batman: Arkham Asylum itself. And if Joker and Quinn are alive – perhaps that means we’ll be seeing the likes of some of the other great bad guys from the original, such as the hallucinogenic Scarecrow, the monstrous Killer Croc, and the venomous Poison Ivy. I, for one, am excited.

But for now, that’s all we have to give you – stay tuned for new info in the next few months. I know the teaser’s got me salivating for more.

-Leon

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Leon On January - 29 - 2010

3 Responses so far.

  1. matthew says:

    when will it come out
    .

  2. Garvaos says:

    Blimey, for the love of god don’t get killed by a “games to be played” avalanche :p

  3. MarkuzR says:

    You know, I’ve STILL to play this game!! We were given it as a gift back in September, both very excited to play it, and it’s still remained unplayed. Actually that’s not strictly true as it ended up being played by Victor one weekend and we both took a shot at kicking some butt in whatever mode it is where the people just keep coming at you. Thoroughly enjoyed it, I have to say. At the moment, however, it’s still on that “to play” pile which is around 20 times taller than the “played” pile!!

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