One of the most mouth-watering games at PAX Prime this year was most assuredly Batman: Arkham City. With such a fluid combat style from the first game, Arkham Asylum, we’ve been biting our nails in anticipation for the sequel set in a much more expansive world. Plus, you get to alternate between playing as Batman and the sexy Catwoman, too.

We love kicking ass, and we love games that make you feel like you are. Playing as Batman (and Catwoman), you would imagine that kicking ass is even more paramount in trying to expressing to the player. Batman is equipped with swift moves, fancy cape movements, and gadgets galore. Tired of drop kicking your enemies? Try the grapple gun to grapple your enemies towards your direction and finishing it off with a nice, harsh elbow to the face. There is nothing more gratifying than watching that go down in slow motion. So, we’d say that you definitely feel like not just a badass when playing this game, but just like Batman himself.  

Catwoman of course has a very different fighting style. She’s light on her feet, and likes to work the room while throwing in a few kisses of death and cat whips here and there. Batman is much more about making every one of his hits count. Besides kicking ass and taking names to save Catwoman’s ass a multitude of times in our demo on the PAX Prime show floor, we got a chance to meet Harvey Dent while infiltrating his mansion. The half-mint condition, half completely torn apart building is representative of both Harvey’s physical and mental condition.

Gameplay in Batman: Arkham City is still just as sneak-focused as the first title. Even more immersive, however, is the way in which you are given new quests and how you are directed to them. So, instead of some cheesy arrow metaphorically holding you by the hand, you’ll use Batman’s investigative skills and gadgets to determine where the next place of interest is. Maybe you’ll use his gadgets to track the trajectory of Joker’s bullet to determine where he was sniping you from. His Cryptographic Sequencer (version 2) and hacking skills will show you where to go next - a process determined by you. Rocksteady explained that one of the more important details they wanted to focus on in this sequel was to ensure that players never felt lost in the game. After all, Batman would never be lost in Gotham.

The bat-signal appropriately directs you to your next mission. Whenever the city of Gotham wanted to call on Batman, they would use the bat-signal. Focusing on being as close to canon as possible in a way that suits the gameplay is certainly going to be one of Rocksteady’s strong points in Batman: Arkham City.

After spotting the bat-signal, we grapple-boosted to the highest gargoyle to glide down towards our next objective. With the bat-signal looming in the foreground, we pulled out of our glide just in time to land on our feet on the floor. This is one of the cooler new movements you’ll find in the upcoming sequel. Along the way to your mission, you can feel free to wander and find some of the legendary landmarks in Batman’s history, too. You can unlock side missions, track down the Riddler; whatever your bat-heart desires.

Personally, we just love to fight. Swinging from enemy to enemy, using quick batterangs, countering melee attacks to disarm enemies, grappling, and using the combat gel all combine to form a diverse, and intense battle scenario of which every one feels unique. Each one of these battles will leave their scars on you, as well. By the end of the game, expect to see a ravaged Batman, weathered from his many fights and even gunshots to the chest.

We can’t wait for October 18 to pick up this new title in WB’s Batman series and experience Gotham in both the perspectives of the city’s triumphant, bad-ass hero as well as a sly criminal.