Before You Start... Tips For Playing Batman Arkham City The Best Way

The excellent Batman: Arkham City is now on sale for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and we want you to have the best possible time with it. So, before you start, here are some tips from us about how to get the most out of the game, right from the start.

No spoilers here, just some friendly advice to make your trip to Arkham ideal....

1) Don't worry about having played the first game, but do read a plot summary. There are lots of references to the Titan forumla and the state of various villains. Brush up on your Arkham Asylum lore (the plot summary in Wikipedia should help) and you'll appreciate all that a lot more.

2) Get that Catwoman DLC, and get it before you start. As we've noted, the ability to play as Catwoman is available only once you download about 200 MB of data. Do that before you start, because it will affect how the game begins. The new Catwoman intro isn't great, but her later missions are good (plus, she's fun to play as, as you can see here). You can get access to the Catwoman content by redeeming a code bundled with new copies of the game, though some retailers may give you a code even if you buy the game used (and, if not, you can buy it online for $US10).

3) Don't play on easy. First of all, the game isn't that hard. Second, you can only access the game's second New Game Plus play-through if you've finished it on Normal or Hard.

4) Get into fistfights. One of the beauties of development studio Rocksteady's Batman series is that you can button-mash through it and have a good time, but you can have an even better time fighting through each skirmish with the precision you'd normally reserve for playing a rhythm game. The best way to get that rhythm is to practice, practice. So send Batman down to the streets and make him punch people in the face. Or the ribs. Or the back. Or put his foot in their gut, on their jaw. Etc.

5) Do the AR missions as soon as you can get them. In the first hour of the game you'll unlock augmented reality missions, four of them. Do them all, as they unlock a tool that is extremely useful for getting around in the game. Don't leave this sidequest to the side.

6) Don't sweat the Riddler stuff right away. The game is packed with Riddler clues to solve, Riddler trophies to collect and Riddler challenges to complete. There are 400 Riddler things to do even if you don't have the Catwoman content (at least 40 more if you do). It can be overwhelming and a little confusing, since you'll often see Riddler trophies or challenges tucked into the corners of Arkham City as you swoop through it en route to your chosen mission. You may worry that you'll never find that Riddler thing again. Don't worry! Early on, the game will introduce a tool (a holding-down of the left bumper on the Xbox 360 controller) that lets you tag Riddler items that you spy and add them to your map. But even that isn't a must. A few more hours into the game, you'll be given a very obvious method for getting Riddler item locations added to your map. This isn't like GTA's hidden packages or Assassin's Creed's treasure chests. Before long, you'll have all the tools to track these 400+ items down without every consulting an online hint guide.

7) Don't worry about finishing the sidequests before you finish the story (at least if you have Catwoman access). None of us here at Kotaku has finished the game without also having the Catwoman content installed, so this advice is only for those who have it... When you finish the storyline, you need to wrap up the Catwoman chapters (accessible from the main menu) and then you'll be able to return to Arkham to finish up side-quests. Hopefully you can do this without the Catwoman content, too, but we can't say for sure yet. We're looking into it.

8) Have fun!


    The way to play Batman the best way possible....wait a few weeks for the p.c. version.True 1080p graphics,60 frames a second and added physics for those with nvidia GPU's.Just make sure you have an xbox controller and a big HDTV.I just hope it's not a half baked buggy launch like the last 2 games I bought Rage and Dues ex.

      Now that I've preordered on steam I'm somewhat pumped for the release. The thing of course is which to play, Revelations, Skyrim or Arkham City. AGH!

        Year I know it sux, the pc version of batman comes out on 12,11,11 and skyrium on 11,11,11, how an I gonna finish an elder scolls game in 1 day!p.s. what's this revelations of which you speak?

          Assians Creed

            Asians Creed? You must mean Levelations. -u-

              Reverations* fixed


      Stopped reading at xbox controller *shudder*

        Don't be a little snark, 360 controllers are usually the best way to play third person games regardless of platform.

        Playing Arkham Asylum with K/B and mouse is bad and you should feel bad.

      So you use an Xbox controller and output the graphics to an HDTV, claiming to enjoy a marginal difference in graphics quality and an alleged difference in framerate, things that are barely going to be noticeable during gameplay anyway. I'm sure a PC that runs Arkham City is more expensive than an Xbox 360, not to mention that you're waiting an extra month to get the game in the first place - and let's not forget how much buggier games generally are when released on PC.

      P.S.: "Added physics"? What does that even mean? Did Nvidia buy the rights to the large hadron collider, or some special kind of supergravity?

        According to my the listed specs, it will run on high on my two year old laptop I bought for work. Seriously, next time you buy a computer, pay an extra hundred for a decent mobile graphics card.

          We don't all have high end laptops we can write off as tax expenses. My current PC is three years old and I have no need to upgrade it except for games - which I play on my 360 or PS3 instead. It can probably run Arkham City, but I sure as hell won't be getting 60fps or 1080p.

          Maybe next year I'll replace my PC with something more up to date when it becomes necessary.

        'P.S.: “Added physics”? What does that even mean? Did Nvidia buy the rights to the large hadron collider, or some special kind of supergravity?'

        He means the PhysX rendering found on nVidia cards. Basically, the card does phsics modeling such as the influence of wind on fabrics, etc.

          Well, that's understandable. If Batman's cape doesn't look just right, I'll completely lose my shit.

            Go look at the comparison video of the three platforms for Battlefield 3.

            The 360 and PS3 are essentially becoming "last gen" with games like Crysis 2(With the dx11+graphics patch) and Battlefield 3 coming out.

            You only have to look at Battlefield 3 to see what I am saying.

            Battlefield 3 on consoles - 24 Players, Low-Medium graphics settings, no anti aliasing, locked to 30 frames per second, Smaller maps.

            Battlefield 3 on PC - 64 Players(Can go higher with mods as shown on modded Beta servers), Best graphics in a video game so far, unlocked frames per second, larger maps.

        LOL Matthew.. LOL...

        Are you being serious mate? First of all there is no "alleged" increase in frame rate, it's a fact that almost every single console game is locked at 30 fps while only a very few are locked at 60 fps (Call of Duty series) and suffer graphically because of it.

        On a PC, your frame rate can be as high as your hardware allows it to be..

        Not to mention that the increased graphical fidelity on PC isn't "marginal", it's WORLDS ahead and that's because the 360/PS3 are 6 year old hardware where as PC's can have tech that has come out in the last 12 months.. This is just a fact of life.

        Saying one gaming platform is better than another "just because" and being a fanboy is ridiculous.

        But you know what is more ridiculous? Stating that 6 year old content-locked PC's (What the 360/PS3 are) are superior to personal computers with the latest technology? That is just absurd.

        Everything a console can do, a PC can do better. Fact of life.

          "everything a console can do , a PC can do better"

          Yes, i agree! especially crashes, hangs, bluescreens and annoying installs.

            Please keep your comments constructive.

            Even consoles have their own BlueScreens - I personally saw my GameCube give a Red Screen of Death. Complete with a core dump of the memory.

              that is epic LOL

                If you are going to troll, go else where. And for the love of life! Unless you are using a mobile phone stop using chat speak! Keyboards are there for a reason!

          "Everything a console can do, a PC can do better. Fact of life."

          The only fact I can see is that your are advertising yourself as a PC fanboy.

          If game stinks on one platform, it will stink on all others. Even if it starts on a PC.

          If you choose to pick one platform and stick to it, let that be your own consequence.

          There is no platform above all others. All have advantages and disadvantages that cause the stacking to always be a tie.

          No one is disputing modern computers are more powerful and flexible than 6 year old consoles, so don't attempt to twist this debate into something it isn't.

          I am saying that the differences when it comes to gaming technology are superficial and not as staggeringly vast as fans of PC gaming would like everyone else to believe, particularly given that consoles are generally the lead platform for development these days and PC users have to suffer lazy ports - I'm hoping for their sake at this extra month before it hits the PC will prevent these kinds of issues.

          I am simply saying that it makes no sense to me to put all that extra effort and money into into maintaining a PC powerful enough to produce these results. If I want to sit on my couch with an Xbox controller and play Arkham City in 3D on my HDTV, then I can do that just fine via my Xbox without needing to spend the price on an XBox upgrading my PC, or two to three times the price of an XBox on a new PC.

            i think this is a case of you not having a powerful PC, so you rationalize your position by belittling the differences between platforms, when in reality (read: factual) the differences between PC and ps3/xbox could fill up a page. Not just textures but all the lovely stuff that comes with the latest hardware (like PhysX and dx11 and tesselation and proper anti-aliasing, post processing etc). Now while these things individually might not make that much of a difference to you, if you go the distance and make the upgrade, it really does look like an entirely new gen when it all comes together. The only thing that makes a ps3/xbox 'better' than a PC for a person is the price. and like everything in life, you get what you pay for. WHY are people still talking about it!?

              Matt, seriously, your whole post is revolving around one aspect - graphics.

              Better graphics does make a better game and consoles have far more going for them than just price.

              If you yourself are not going to do research then please keep your comments to yourself.

              Sorry to put you in the correct reality (our one, not yours) but one would be hard pressed to even write a paragraph of differences between PCs and consoles. Let alone a whole page.

              As one who does in fact have a capable PC (Intel Core 2 Quad, 8 GB RAM, GTX 460, 1 TB RAID 1) I still use my consoles because I know the element that matters is the design of the game. And design is independent of platform.

                The gap between current gen hardware and ps3/350 in terms of video quality and overall performance is massive. Not just because of the raw output (consoles are streamlined to get more bank for buck, so to speak), but for the tech that doesn't even exist on current consoles(dx11, physX for nvid cards, etc).

                It's simple as pie to connect a current gen PC to a HDMI screen (you can even use a switchbox to flick it back and forth between desktop/lounge). Comparing something like crysis 2 between my xbox and my PC is night and day when its running on ultra.

                I 100% agree with you that how a game feels when you play it is the single most important part of any game. Something running smoothly at 60+fps always has a better feel than something running at 30.

                My point is that if you take the same game with the same controls and compare them, the PC one will always be better. long as you can afford to upgrade your computer every 2.5 years.


    I don't see why they couldn't have included the Catwoman stuff on the disc, and just have you unlock it via xbox live.. even then, sucks if you don't have an internet connection.

    I was actually pretty shat off that I wanted to play the game straight away, but I couldn't really experience the complete game without downloading the catwoman stuff first, 252 meg took about 15 mins on my internet.... almost as bad as those mandatory PS3 installs :)

    Anyway, have played a few hours now, and it's as good as I was hoping... can't wait to finish work in 8 hours time so that I can get back and play some more!

      Oh, 15 minutes. What a terrible inconvenience! You poor thing.

      The Battlefield 3 Beta took me 2 whole days to download in my apartment building. Go make yourself an ovaltine and think about how good your life is, buttercup. If you'll excuse me, I have to go back to pedalling the excersise bike that powers my fridge if I ever want this jelly to set.

        Screw you buddy! When I want to play a game, I want to play it now! Long mandatory installs and updates are the reason I only buy PS3 games when they're exclusive, and the reason I don't maintain a gaming PC anymore.

        Sure, 15 minutes doesn't sound like much, but when you have only 1 hour of xbox time available to you on the day that you have a brand new game to play, losing a quarter of that time is annoying.

        And another thing.. I haven't had Ovaltine in years! I'm a milo man! :)

          I get that. I totally understand that it sucks having to wait for another quarter of a freaking hour for something that you've had to wait to get, wait to earn the money for, wait to get home and play or whatever.... It just pains me to see that people have better internet that I do. God damn it.

          Re: Milo: there is no finer drink. "Ovaltine", what was I thinking?

            Meanwhile, children in Africa continue to enjoy 1GBps fiber internet...

      Arkham City was waiting for me on my porch after work yesterday. I walked in, popped in the disk, put in the catwoman code and had that start downloading/installing and ate dinner and watched a 20 minute episode of a tv show on my laptop as I ate. When the credits rolled I washed my plate, and Arkham City was ready to go. DLC downloaded and the game data installed and everything.

      At no point did I feel inconvenienced :-P

      It was a damned good sandwhich, followed by the goddamn Batman. Great evening.

        Aw geez, I didn't read on about how you only had an hour available to you :-P That's a different story alltogether!

        I had at least 5 solid hours of Batmanning ahead of me, but if I knew I only had an hour?? jeez... I might've just left it in the wrapper. It would take a better man than I to have played less than an hour of Arkham City and then just walk away to go 'do other stuff' :-P

        My cowl is off to you sir.

    am i the only person on the internet that think the game is kinda boring and aimless, it is troubling me, every single person loves this game. i have been google'n for comments that are not favouble and can't find any. any chance someone else out there feels the same?

      Wait, hang on: you've been scouring the internet for people who also don't like Arkham City so that you can confirm an opinion you have of it?

      You don't have to cloudsource your opinions now, you know. You develop them with your human brain. If you don't like the game, be confident about it. Stand your ground. Some bootlicker on the internet is not going to be able to tell you what you think is true.

        i have been looking because i think with all the great reviews and comments i am missing something, i am totally fine with not liking the game but am just confuse on what i am missing, i dont get it and just want to know what it is i dont get when i love so many other games, also "if i bought my brain today i would take it back tommorow" -Frenzal Rhomb.

      I agree. Arkham Asylum was amazing, and very well paced. At first glance Arkham City isn't as well paced and lacks that certain charm the first game had. I believe players, particularly those who haven't played or finished Arkham Asylum, will feel like they're being thrown in the deep end.

      I'm hoping it will improve (I think it will) as I get further into the game. All this being said, it has definite improvements to some gameplay elements (grappling, climbing, freeflow combat in particular).

      If players ignore the side quests initially, and focus on the main storyline until they've been introduced (or reintroduced) to the mechanics of the game, it will be a much more enjoyable experience.

        I never finished Arkham Asylum but I'm feeling quite comfortable - then again I'm generally familiar with Batman and his enemies even though I haven't read any of the comics, and while it took some fiddling about to get to grips with a couple of things again (remembering how to use the explosive foam, for instance) I haven't had any trouble diving back in. I think it also does a decent job of setting you up for skills you need later - so as they say in the guide above, do the training right away. And even then, it might be worth doing a little extra practice of things like diving/pulling out of a dive, as speed becomes pretty essential at times.

        I agree with what you said, but I think I disagree about the idea that Arkham City isn't as 'well-paced'.
        I feel like Arkham City (as far as I've played it) is a perfect sequel to Arkham Asylum in that it doesn't make you start over from square one and it really is a natural progression from the end of Arkham Asylum into the beginning of Arkham City.

        They don't pull a 'Metroid' and make you basically repeat the progression of gadgets from the first game. Your start point is exactly your end point from the previous game, and then it lets you apply those skills to a broader environment that affords you much more freedom with those skills you already spent an entire game learning.

        It's almost impossible for me to imagine playing AC without having played AA, so I can't really speak to that experience... But I do think that it appears that Arkham Asylum was much more 'well paced' because of how focused and concentrated the storyline and the game itself were. There was an element of freedom to the game, but really it was that main story/conflict with very little else going on around the edges. Over the course of that first game the player develops and gains skills and gadgets as they learn to 'become Batman' in this controlled vacuum of the island. And in a lot of ways that's how Batman stories are traditionally told.

        Then in the sequel, the player (Batman) has all these skills and tools that they have learned from the previous game and its more controlled (well paced) context and environment and must now take that and expand it out and grow. They learn to really put those skills into practice in a context that is much less controlled and isolated and that much closer to what it might actually be like to 'Be Batman'...

        "Yes, 'badguy A' has to be stopped and 'evildude B' is about to start taking hostages over there, but 'morally ambiguous figure C' is across the street from me acting very suspiciously so I'm going to hop over there to see what's going on before I move on to A and/or B..."

        So while it less focused than a traditional Batman story might be in another medium or even in Arkham Asylum, I think that is because Arkham City took what was awesome about the first game and then told it to 'go outside and play'... which means that it lets us players have a little more freedom with our 'Bat-fantasies' in a way that no other medium can.

        Wow, I totally just banged out a wall of text for basically no reason, I just thought I would share my thoughts on the 'pacing' angle :-P

        I'm curious about whether scott played/enjoyed Arkham Asylum or if he is trying to jump into Arkham City as a Batman virgin... I think this game would definately give a newcomer a 'into the deep end' feeling as well.

    Any chance of getting some news on the abysmal lack of support for the DLC codes working on release date?
    I'm on PS3 and only Catwoman has finally worked this morning, my Robin and Skins codes all come up invalid

    I started playing on easy, but assuming I can finally unlock the catwoman content tonight I'll restart on normal.

    Here's how to play *any game* Controller in hand, on hard, no playguide!

    9) Yell classic Batman catchphrases, such as "I am the night!", "I'm the goddamn Batman!", and "My parents are dead!" whenever you use a takedown on an enemy, for that more authentic Batman experience.

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