Dark days in Gotham
It's been a year since the explosive events in Arkham Asylum shook Gotham City to the core. With the facility in tatters and Blackgate Prison burnt to the ground, former warden, Quincy Sharp, took advantage of Batman's defeat of The Joker by claiming credit and running for Mayor.
Upon being elected, Sharp constructed a walled-off urban district in the slums called Arkham City, a prison where inmates were given free rein under the watchful eye of armed security forces and a mysterious figure known as Dr Hugo Strange. In Arkham City, the most ruthless criminals reign supreme while the weak remain hidden, desperately trying to survive from one day to the next.
When Catwoman is captured by Two-Face and his henchmen, Batman has no choice but to venture inside the walls of Arkham City and rescue the sultry burglar from the clutches of the former white knight of Gotham. Strap on your utility belt, grab your wireless controller and prepare for one of 2011's most thrilling adventures on PlayStation 3.
The cat and the bat
Alongside the main campaign mode Batman: Arkham City features number of playable missions as Catwoman, which can be activated using the special voucher code found inside your copy of the game. Catwoman is an extremely different kind of character to Batman, so you'll need to take a little time to get to grips with her whip, speed and vicious claw attacks.
With a huge number of side missions to explore, you'll soon find yourself rescuing political prisoners from thugs in the street, hunting down the hundreds of Riddler challenges and answering payphones to take on smaller, but equally rewarding missions involving the psychotic Victor Zsasz. You'll also find yourself bumping into familiar faces from the Batman universe during these quests including Arkham Asylum's monstrous Bane and the cold blooded assassin, Deadshot.
The hugely addictive Challenge Maps that Batman: Arkham Asylum so much fun to play make a welcome return, pitting you against dozens of enemies in various situations that require you to use all of the skills you've accumulated throughout the course of the campaign mode. While they do start out quite easy, the Challenge Maps become increasingly harder the further you progress, so make sure you have upgraded as much as you can before taking them on.
The environment in Batman: Arkham City on PlayStation 3 is five times larger than its predecessor, which means there is much more freedom for you to explore as the Caped Crusader. The ability to glide using Batman's cowl has been enhanced, allowing you to swoop across rooftops and pull off a number of new moves including the Dive Bomb and the Dive Boost.
The Dive Bomb lets you speed towards the ground and slam into an enemy, before disposing of any remaining opponents with a flurry of unstoppable attacks. The Dive Boost allows you to hurtle towards street level at speed, before opening Batman's cowl and soaring upwards into the sky and over the rooftops of Gotham's slums.
Combat has been refined and polished to include a huge roster of fresh fighting skills, such as being able to fire your Grapple Gun at an enemy while gliding, before reeling yourself in and slamming them into the concrete. Gadgets like Batman's Explosive Gel and Batarangs can all be added to combination attacks, which, in turn, generate massive amounts of experience points that you can use to unlock even more gadgets and upgrades. All that remains is for you to master each move and become the true protector of Gotham.