After the somewhat unexpected mega-success of Batman: Arkham Asylum, publisher Warner Bros. Interactive is pulling out the stops to hype up its sequel, Batman: Arkham City. The past couple of months have been especially rich in content reveals for the return to Gotham: The Penguin was unveiled as one of Arkham City’s major heavies, Catwoman turned out to be a playable character, and Robin joined the game’s challenge modes as a pre-order bonus. With San Diego Comic-Con right around the corner, we will surely see some more dramatic revelations in the coming weeks.

The tidbit dropped by Rocksteady and Warner Bros. Interactive today is rather less exciting than stalking the shadows as Selina Kyle or beating up waves of hooligans as Tim Drake, but it’s certainly food for thought as we inch toward October: Rocksteady has unveiled the cover art for all of Batman: Arkham City’s platform releases. Check ‘em out below:

Bat-Opinion Mode Activate: It’s kind of bland, isn’t it? All of the screenshots and gameplay trailers for Batman: Arkham City show off environments saturated with the light of industrial furnaces, gaudy neon, and heavily contrasted shadows. So, why choose an image almost completely drained of color?

While the blood on ol’ Batsy’s fist is a nice offset for the drab gray of the rest of the piece, it still doesn’t seem to capture the vivid set design of the actual game. It’s also interesting that Arkham City is being touted as a massive open-world game, but the cover gives no sense of scale. One wonders if the designers couldn’t have done something more with the dead white space taking up the upper-right corner of the picture.

All this said, box art has almost no bearing on the quality of the game between the covers. Batman: Arkham Asylum had a similarly uninspiring cover, conveying little more than, “This is a game about Batman.” Arkham City’s art does roughly the same work in roughly the same way. This is definitely a video game featuring Batman high above an overwhelming city, in the midst of some pretty grim violence. It’s no masterpiece, but it at least conveys the broad point.

Are you impressed with Batman: Arkham City’s cover art? Think it needs some fine-tuning? Are you just really excited for another game featuring our special Bat-Friend? Swing in and drop us a comment!

Batman: Arkham City will be released for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on October 18. It is planned to be released for the Wii U at an undetermined date.

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