Batman: Arkham Asylum is one of those games that was fun on a ton of different levels, and a large part of its success had to do with Rocksteady Studios really nailing what made Batman Batman. The free-form combat system alone added a ton of re-playability in the challenges. The game’s stealth elements and navigation via the Batclaw made each encounter an easy to plan and enjoyable experience. While the game wasn’t without some minor problems, in the form of a tacked on investigation system and some sluggish movement, it was one of the best contributions to the comic book to videogame genre.

Batman: Arkham City is the follow up, and promises to be at least as much fun, on a much larger scale. New images for the game have been released to help maintain the title’s status as one of the most anticipated games of 2011.

In addition to these new screens, you can check out some previously released shots that will continue to make the wait for Arkham City exceedingly painful. Unfortunately, the much-awaited sequel will not be featuring a multiplayer option, but Batman’s always been someone who prefers to work on his own, so it’s not entirely surprising.

Given that Batman has always been a comic book character, what better way to get ready for the release of Arkham City than reading a comic miniseries that will bridge the two games? In addition to supporting the comic book industry, readers will hopefully glean more insight into the game’s sparsely detailed plot, which can be seen in this trailer for Batman: Arkham City.

Without further ado, four new Batman: Arkham City screens:

A particularly good image is Batman swooping in for the attack on the unsuspecting henchman with a big gun. Just goes to show, technology and knowledge can usually overcome the guy with the bigger gun. The other images do give some insight into the kind of environment Arkham City will be, and it doesn’t look particularly pretty. With the Joker in charge, an awful lot of clown-oriented areas will be present. Slightly unsettling to say the least — but not for Batman.

The picture of the pipes looks vaguely like the Scarecrow scenes that were present in Arkham Asylum, and here’s hoping there’s not going to be any fear toxin this time. The environments in Asylum were detailed and very encompassing, making the island seem larger than it was. With the expanded area to explore in in Arkham City, Batman fans will be both surprised and excited once they get their hands on the game.

What do you think of these new Arkham City screens? Where does the game sit on your list of most anticipated games of 2011?

Batman: Arkham City will be releasing later this year for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

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