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E3 2011's Most Anticipated: Batman: Arkham City

CVG E3 2011 Awards: Vote for the games that most excite you!

The games on show at E3 2011 are some of the best in living memory. So you really owe it to yourself to vote in CVG's inaugural E3 2011 Awards... in the Most Anticipated Title category.

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Shortly before the show, we'll work out which of these 60 special E3 game previews have enjoyed the most page views, Facebook 'Likes', ReTweets and poll votes (see below) and crown our first victor. Show your favourites the love!

Game: Batman: Arkham City
Publisher: Warner
Likelihood of E3 2011 showing: Certain

To say that Batman: Arkham Asylum was a sleeper hit is an understatement.

Back in 2009, with the poor record that superheroes had in the video game market (Spidey has scraped through alight on a couple of occasions, but that was about it) there seemed no hope for an interactive Dark Knight.

When the title's trailers first surfaced - all brooding glares and cartoon Joker cackles - we assumed that it would be some generic third-person action game with clunky mechanics. We had no idea it could be a true embodiment of Batman's very spirit. We were very, very wrong.

Rocksteady managed to do what no developer had before it. By pixelating Batman in such a respectful and exciting way, and infusing its game with predatorial stealth and free-flowing combat, both comicbook fans and gamers were equally enraptured.

Batman: Arkham City isn't blessed with these lowly expectations. This time, we're unforgiving. This time, we're after GOTY material. This time, Rocksteady's not only competing with the best of Bats - but the best of the triple-A gaming crop, too.

Lucky, then, that what we've seen to date looks so promising it hurts.

Arkham Asylum has become Arkham City, as the loonies have spilled out onto the streets of Gotham. They've taken over a section that has been cornered off especially to accommodate the over-crowded mad-house - and the World's Greatest Detective faces perhaps the most ferocious challenge of his caped career.

The city itself is stunning, with vistas as good as anything you'll see in the likes of Assassin's Creed. Except, this is Gotham, so Rocksteady has created an urban playpen that's bleak, dank and illuminated by little more than neon and the moonlight.

What it means in practical terms is that there's much more room to go batty in with a strong free-roaming element, even if Arkham City isn't technically one big open-world. Still, there are a number of what you might consider open-world features in the game such as side-missions that Batman can take up on the fly.

Rocksteady hasn't forgotten the root of Arkham Asylum's success, though, and what made it stand out from other superhero attempts when it comes to video games. There's still a strong, tightly scripted story at Arkham City's heart, that will be looking to drag players in from start to finish.

But there's more room to manoeuvre - and, therefore, more room for a much larger attendance from Batman's mouth-watering Rogues Gallery. Rocksteady has confirmed that The Riddler will make a physical appearance this time, whilst the likes of Two-Face, The Penguin, Catwoman and - naturally - Mr J himself (once again voiced by Mark Hamill) will also be prominent.

With yet more enemies and single-player features to be announced in a game its creators call "five times bigger than Arkham Asylum", we're impatiently waiting for Gordon's signal to draw us in when E3 opens its doors.

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