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Batman: Arkham City - Rocksteady on Detective Mode, boss battles and more

Studio's Dax Ginn talks multiplayer, open worlds and brand new characters...

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So we knew we wanted to keep it. He's got a lot of tools in his utility belt, you use the Batclaw to achieve an objective, you use the Batarang to achieve an objective and we always saw Detective Mode as a tool just like that.

So, you need to know how to overload that fuse-box, you use Detective Mode to give you that information and we always thought that gamers would see it like that, "I need to turn it on, I get this information and then I turn it off." But the problem was we had implemented in such a way that it gave you more information all the time than you had by default and it was open to exploitation.

People weren't complaining saying it was a stupid thing that shouldn't be in the game, they were saying it was more like an exploit than a tool and so we've returned the balance between the information you get in Detective Mode and default mode.


Boss battles; they came pretty late in Arkham Asylum, we weren't really planning on doing big boss battles and then we got to a point where we were like "We need climaxes throughout this game." We needed to give them more development time and we didn't have it so we've front-loaded the boss battles this time around so that we've got dedicated people working on them right the way through the dev cycle.

It's hard to tell until we go into intensive focus testing if they're working but they certainly look pretty epic.

Harley Quinn was actually created in Batman: The Animated Series, not the comic-books, but she's since been adopted by the comics. Would you ever be tempted to create your own major character? Maybe it could take off.

I really wanted to. That's something I was talking about really early on in this but it never happened for whatever reason. I think because we're just so spoiled for choice with the awesome characters that already exist. To go off and create something new...

What was your idea?

My idea was just "Let's make a new character!"

Working so close to DC Comics means a lot of things - more than anything else it means you've got an amazing access into the archive and knowledge of these characters.

So, what have we announced so far; Joker, Harley, Catwoman, Two-Face, Zsaz, Riddler, Hugo Strange, Calendar Man... I don't know how much more you'd want.

Do you think you'd have that kind of freedom though? Considering your success with Arkham Asylum do you find yourself in a position where people just say "Go for it"?

It certainly wouldn't be off the table, we're not planning on doing it for this game but... I don't know does anyone create new characters anymore?

In Arkham Asylum the overground was split into three or four load sections, are we going to be doing the same in the city or is it all open?


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?"

And there's no loading?

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.

You know, the Unreal Engine is an amazing engine and it's got strengths like any other engine and we're not using it for what it was designed for, but it's doing a brilliant job.

How free-form are the sidemissions? Can I do all the core mission and then spend hours doing side-quests or will I reach a point in the game where some of them are locked out?

That stuff's still being nailed down. The content is all there but the way in which it's revealed and the duration for which it's available, that's the polishing phase at the moment.

Certainly the game is quite dynamic in the way that the first had the Poison Ivy stuff that physically changed the game. We've got these simmering turf wars between Joker, Two-Face and Hugo Strange's factions - there's a power struggle between those three factions going on. So if you go into an area at one point, you might go into it a few hours later and previously it was a Joker area now it's a Two Face area and so the fiction within that district is different as a result.

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