Rocksteady’s Sefton Hill Talks Batman: Arkham City’s Iconic Moment

Published 3 years ago by

Rocksteady Talks Arkham City Iconic Moment

Now that Batman: Arkham City, for a lot of gamers, is over and done with, it was time for developer Rocksteady Studios to allow a small peak behind their curtain. While the details Sefton Hill shared pale in comparison to his talk on the game’s controversial ending, he does give some insight into important points of contention.

Among the issues that Hill discusses are the choice to include a staggering number of Riddler trophies in the game, why Robin only briefly appears in the game, and he touches briefly on perhaps one of the greatest fan service moments in the past couple years. Obviously, since many of Hill’s answers deal with story content, if you’ve yet to finish Arkham City turn back now.

Speaking at DICE with Kotaku, Sefton Hill first and foremost was called out on the decision to include 440 Riddler trophies in the game — an exponentially larger number than were featured in Arkham Asylum. For Hill it was about achieving the right amount of saturation in any given area of Arkham City.

While the game largely consists of a handful of major interiors surrounded by an even larger exterior, there isn’t much to do whilst traversing outside, save for beat down some thugs or find those pesky trophies. Putting so many of them in the game allowed for greater exploration rather than just travelling to the next interior.

Then came time to talk about the boy wonder, one of the bigger secrets in Arkham City, that was left unrevealed until much closer to launch. Sure, we knew Robin would be playable in the game’s challenge missions, but his appearance in the game, while brief, was a highlight.

Though Rocksteady knew they were going to include Robin in the game, they didn’t come to the decision to place him in the campaign, until much later. Hill was looking for an organic way to deliver Batman his gadgets, and Robin seemed like a good fit.

“We originally didn’t have him in the main story. But we’re always looking for authentic ways for Batman to collect his gadgets. Batman can’t just open chests and find his own gadgets around the city. We had plans for Robin in the DLC, and we thought it was a good place to introduce him and show a relationship, but, for me, the most powerful Batman stories are the ones where it’s Batman against these villains. We wanted to show that this Robin existed in this universe. And is pretty badass. But we didn’t really want him to get in the way of Batman’s relationship with the villains.”

Finally, it came time to address the two-ton elephant, or should I say shark, in the room. A nod to Batman’s more goofy side, Rocksteady chose to include a sequence in the game where Batman actually punches a shark that is mere seconds away from devouring him. It was absurd, to say the least, but felt note perfect in the context of the game.

Batman Fights Shark Arkham City

While justifying this design decision could have simply come down to fan service, Hill makes quite the case for inevitably including the shark sequence, and shares a little piece of info regarding a moment that never made it into the game.

“We were thinking about traversal and puzzles for Batman and about what Penguin would do if he took over a museum. What kind of exhibits would the museum have? We had this concept of a natural history museum. And we thought it would be interesting that Penguin would repurpose it … as kind of this torture chamber. So that was really how we started…and then we had this idea of the different weaponry in the torture chamber. We had the shark. OK, how does Batman interact with the shark? … One of the ideas we originally had is the shark comes out and grabs the raft. And then Batman pulls out shark repellent and he opens it up, and inside the shark repellent was a massive knuckle-duster. And he just smashes the shark on the nose.”

Despite all of the proof that exists within both Arkham City and Arkham Asylum, Rocksteady Studios continues to demonstrate their appreciation for the Batman lore. The games certainly speak for themselves, but hearing the amount of care and consideration that went into even the most insignificant of details is pretty impressive. Head on over to Kotaku for the full interview, which includes discussion of the game’s villains and the Batmobile.

Were you disappointed that Robin did take up a larger part of Arkham City‘s story? Did you feel that the amount of Riddler trophies in the game detracted from the experience or strengthened it?

Source: Kotaku


TAGS: Batman, Batman Arkham Asylum, Batman Arkham City, PC, PS3, Rocksteady Studios, Warner Bros. Interactive

  • shibukiuchiha

    this game was perfect. to me there was nothing wrong with this game. the riddler trophies were the icing on the cake to this series. i cannot wait to see what rocksteady will do next with batman

  • actually

    Seriously, this should be titled Sefton Hill talks to Kotaku about Batman: Arkham City’s Iconic Moment.

  • Ace

    It still bugs be the Robin/Nightwing thing, but ill get over it, it was a near perfect game. I wonder if we’ll ever get any worthwhile story DLC….I’d love a good reason to boot up the game again.

    • Gary

      Catwoman. That’s the story DLC. Batman sent Robin outside of Arkham City to keep the peace on the streets and to deliver his blood sample to Oracle. It wouldn’t make sense for DLC to be released that has Nightwing and Robin doing stuff inside Arkham City.

      The Catwoman missions, while short, are the added story elements you’re asking for. It’s already there.

      • Ace

        Perhaps I should have been clearer, I meant the fact that from the start they were planning to hold out content they already made to sell for an additional price later.

        I didn’t mean robin/Nightwing story stuff per se, though it could be easily done. The way I see it the exclusive maps that were packaged with both characters were events that happened parallel to the Arkham City Campaign so as of The end of the story they would have already beaten Black Mask and Cleared out Wayne Manor etc… they would have time on their hands to maybe come back and help Batman with new challenges brewing in Arkham City. Considering how much time they are taking I hope they release a big expansion pack….something about a 1/4 to a 1/3 in size of the full game. Something maybe something with Scarecrow if those Easter eggs weren’t meant to be hints at the third game’s plot.

  • Scarecrowe18

    Personally i think the absolute coolest thing they could do would be to provide a roughly 3 hour DLC Campaign Mode with the Adam West Batman, with all the biff and pow exclamations everytime you strike an enemy, a groovy 60s setting and the oldschool styled villains. Adam West is still alive so they could toatally have him voice it too. I really think this would be the greatest thing ever.

  • Ken J

    Punching the shark just made me point out to my friend who was watching, “look, THAT’s how much of a bad ass Batman is!” lol.

  • Joshi

    I remember the first time I encountered the shark, it was quite late at night and I quit the game in favour of sleep soon after. I went to bed thinking “wait… did I just punch a shark?”

  • James

    I guess you could say Rocksteady jumped the shark with this game

    • Drew


  • Gary

    The best part of the Riddler Trophies is that they are the only way to eventually capture Riddler. In Arkham Asylum, if you found all of the trophies, you could hear Riddler being arrested over Batman’s comlink. In Arkham City, you had to collect trophies to find the hidden location of Riddler’s hostages, so you could save them from whatever death trap they had been placed in.

    The Riddler Trophies didn’t take anything away from the game, they added to it.

    I just hope that there is eventually another game in Rocksteady’s Batman game series.

  • Gary

    And to answer the question at the end of the article, no. I’m not disappointed that Robin didn’t play a bigger part in the story. Because if you actually played the game and watched the cutscenes, you’d know that after getting saved by Robin, Batman sends Robin back to Gotham City to keep the peace and check in at all of the hospitals to see if any people had popped up with the same symptoms as Batman and Joker.

    Some of the best Batman stories have had Batman solo. Maybe if the game had been called “Batman and Robin: Arkham City,” I could see Robin playing a bigger role.

  • Scarecrowe18

    I am sad. Noone else thinks my idea for an Adam West-centric DLC would be the GREATEST THING EVER??

  • Joaquin

    The number of riddler trophies are a bit overwhelming, imo. I think it’s great to get challenged, most of them are fun to do, and the big rewards are of course to save the hostages from Riddler’s death traps. But I wish you didn’t have to find THAT many trophies to rescue them….

    As for Robin, I loved his little cameo, but I hope they release a DLC with Robin where you can do other stuff than just beat up thugs! That goes for Batman and Nightwing as well… It’s darn fun to play with Robin and Nightwing, but it gets tiring in the end to just kick butt.