previews\ Aug 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm

PAX Prime 2011: Catwoman Steals The Show In Batman Arkham City


Move over Batman. Catwoman is stealing some gameplay from you. I had the opportunity to play as the cat burglar during a hands-on demo at PAX.

The PAX demo gave me immediate access to Catwoman's gameplay. With cat-like stealth, I attempted to break into Two-Face's hideout and steal some documents. After being detected, I made quick waste of Two-Face's thugs. Catwoman's feline grace and snapping whip attack adds speedy, smooth combat to Arkham's signature rhythmic gameplay. Her move-set is more acrobatic-oriented than Batman, featuring claws, whips, bolas, and a sexy leather outfit with tons of cleavage. Taking advantage of the chaos in Arkham City to acquire jewelry and high tech gadgets (similar to how Batman receives new items and upgrades), Catwoman's own heist-focused storyline set the Arkham City's game events in motion when I (playing as her) was eventually captured by Two-Face. Seeking to gain notoriety among the villains of the city, Two-Face planned a public execution of Catwoman.

Check out this Catwoman gameplay trailer

At this point of the demo, the gameplay switched over to Batman who moved a little slower than his female counterpart, but was much stronger. Similar to Arkham Asylum, Batman's gameplay features smooth, powerful combos that climax with a devastating finishing move. This is where the open world gameplay of Arkham City began. As Batman, I had the decision to go after Two-Face and rescue Catwoman or hunt another nemesis, The Ridder.

Of course, I chose the more storylined path and went after Two-Face. As I grappled to roofs and glided through the skyscrapers, I arrived at my destination (thanks to the helpful Bat Signal that shows where you need to go). I descended on my opponents, surprising them with a sneak glide kick attack. As I fought my way past the thugs and eventually freed Catwoman, I was suddenly struck by a bullet shot through the window by another enemy, the Joker. Making my way through the city, I eventually made it to the location of the shot where I was met with a surprise that will remain anonymous--I don't want to spoil anything for you.

Overall, Batman: Arkham City was a great play and looks to be a successful sequel to Arkham Asylum. The Batman/Catwoman storyline transitions were seamless and flowed well together. The Catwoman's gameplay compliments Batman's combat well. The fast, agile gameplay is a good change of pace to Batman's slower, but more powerful combat. You should definitely keep this game on your radar.

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