Arkham City's set to be a bit more of an open world game rather than a 'you'll get to the next area as a reward for taking down whichever bad guy's taken up residence in the area you're currently in' style of game. So you'll be able to sneak around the shadows and learn the lay of the land before you swoop into the story.
Rocksteady Studios are trying their best to improve on the spectacular game that they gave us in Arkham Asylum, and open world gameplay may well be one of the ways to do that. Some people have suggested that it might cause problems for players to be in the right place at the right time story wise, but in a recent interview Dax Ginn, Rocksteady's Marketing Games Manager, had this to say about it:
Well the open world aspect, everywhere that's open to the sky is available to the player from the off. So they can go anywhere they want and that was the emotional feeling that we wanted to convey; you're Batman, you can do what you want. That's the empowering thing that Arkham Asylum didn't really deliver because it was such a linear, tight, intense story.
This move definitely sounds like a good idea, considering it was a little bit unbelievable that a man with Bruce Wayne's resources wouldn't be able to instantly get anywhere he'd need to on an area as enclosed as Arkham island. Also, this time around the city's been cleverly crafted as a single piece, and Dax revealed more about it:
It's all open, all the time. Our technical director was like, "What? You want an open-world that's open all the time that's five times bigger than anything we've done before? Are you crazy?
But what about those pesky load screens that slowed your travels down? Ok, the load times weren't too bad in Arkham Asylum, but lets be honest any waiting time's bad time. So how long are they going to be in Arkham City, or will they be present at all? Over to you Dax:
Not in the exteriors, you saw the loading from going inside the courthouse from the outside but no it streams seamlessly throughout and that has been a massive, massive challenge.
Coupled with the fact that The Dark Knight'll be equipped with all his gadgets right from the start of the game, you'll be elevating yourself to the rooftops, or zip lining between buildings in no time. I for one cannot wait to get back into the swing of things as the Caped Crusader when Batman: Arkham City comes out later in the year. [PlayStation LifeStyle]