With Batman: Arkham City looking to provide fans of the Dark Knight with a version of the character that all will be happy to experience, Rocksteady Studios has taken on a monumental task. A character doesn't stick around as long as Batman has without going through several rebirths and reinventions, and over the years the personality and costume of the caped crusader have changed as frequently as the writers and artists. So when it was revealed that Arkham City would be giving fans a selection of alternate skins taken from comic books as well as the Batman Beyond television series, more than a few fans had their prayers answered. Now we've got our first look at the skin in action, so the devoted can judge how well the character has made the leap to pixels.
It was apparent early on that the developers were aiming to bring more than just a simple re-skinning with the bonus skins, with the Dark Knight Returns skin adding plenty of years and even more pounds to Arkham City's Bruce Wayne. The Animated Series skin is definitely going in a different direction, but after seeing Robin's version in action, the result is promising.
But there was no mistaking the fact that one suit stood apart from the rest, and that was the Batman Beyond version. Depicting a Batman that was fully-masked, white-eyed, futuristic and capeless, the skin immediately became one of our most anticipated bonuses to the main game. While the game version may still possess the voice of Bruce Wayne (not that of teen-aged Terry McGinnis, the future Batman), the far-more ripped look shows more of a difference than a simple suit change.
Take a look now at the Batman Beyond skin in action on the Joker's Carnival DLC Map, and see for yourself:
It's obvious that Batman is as potent as ever, and to make it a little clearer, have a look at the suit making its way through the 'Meltdown Mayhem' Challenge Map. And yes, the developers have given Batman the ability to fly with his tiny suit-flaps, so we can all take a deep breath:
It's a big relief to see that the television show's suit design has been followed faithfully, from the form-fitting material to the minimal wings replacing the flowing cape. The long and flowing cape has to be one of the most defining characteristics of Batman's combat, but it's nice to get a clear view of how much pain is being inflicted for once.
We would love to see a few more gymnastic maneuvers implemented, but we can't blame Rocksteady for keeping it simple. Considering how much time went into capturing a version of this Batman that fans would appreciate, it only raises our hopes for what to expect from Nightwing.
What do you think of the Batman Beyond skin? Will this one be making its way onto your hard drive, or will you be sticking to skins that are a bit closer to the standard? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.
Batman: Arkham City is available now for the Xbox 360 and PS3, with a PC release coming November 18.
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