With the release of Batman: Arkham City quickly coming upon us (October 18th for North America, 19th for Australia, and the 21st for Europe and other global territories) we are still learning some of the finer details of the game. This new batch of information is all about the challenge mode and should make veterans of the game happy and eager to compete for top rankings on the leader boards once again.

In Batman: Arkham City, we already know that things are going to be tougher for the Dark Knight and this applies to both the storyline and the challenge mode. Following the format of the original installment of Rocksteady Studios’ Arkham series, Batman: Arkham City is giving players the choice of two characters to play as in the challenge mode. In Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman and the Joker were playable. In Arkham City, players will instead be able to choose between Batman or Catwoman.

Along with the increased difficulty of the challenge mode, new tactics have been added to the already impressive arsenal, one being the newly added ability of multiple counters. Batman: Arkham Asylum had an amazing combat system that allowed Batman to deliver bone-crunching combos to his enemies. It also had an impressive counter system that would deliver equally punishing hits, but only being able to counter one enemy at a time felt like a weakness that the Bats shouldn’t have. Well, that all changes in Arkham City and for the better according to OXM‘s hands-on time with some of the games new features we’ve been hearing about.

The lightning bolt counter indicator is back from the first game and when you see that little guy over an enemy’s head tap “Y” (on the Xbox 360 controller) to perform a devastating counter move. Thanks to the new and improved mechanics of Batman: Arkham City, players will now be able to counter up to three enemies.

Of course with the new abilities, Rocksteady Studios didn’t want to make things too easy on us so they added some new armored opponents. Wearing steel chest armor, these heavy thugs are immune to standard attacks. In order to defeat them, players must first stun them and then move in for the knockout (Batman doesn’t kill).  As well, enemies wielding knives seem more prevalent and pose a much bigger problem this time around. Their attacks cannot simply be countered anymore and players will have to utilize new moves to dispatch these enemies, holding down the counter button and using the analog stick to make Batman manually dodge the knife attacks and jump in when it’s safe.

Rocksteady Studios is doing what any good developer should do, by adding content and game modes, but building upon and improving what was already an amazing game.  With Batman: Arkham Asylum they are doing just that and October is looking like a good month for gamers all around.

Batman: Arkham City comes out October 18th for Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and Wii.

Source: OXM