We know Batman: Arkham City will be more open than Arkham Asylum ; hence, it won't be quite as linear.
This has been an oft-discussed alteration to the winning formula that floored critics and superhero fans alike when Rocksteady's last gem arrived. Arkham City certainly hasn't turned into GTA – the developers have made that clear – but with the added openness, gamers won't feel quite so confined. In speaking to 360 magazine (as noted by NowGamer ), Rocksteady Marketing Manager Dax Ginn says you'll just never know where you'll be going in the new entry:
"All of that ambient conversation you hear through the surveillance system, all that’s been written to ensure that we’re telling a story all the time. Whereas Arkham Asylum, because it’s such a linear game, we could tell a really focused narrative, because we knew where the player was. With a game structure like this [Arkham City] you never know where they’re going to be or where they’re heading off to, so we kind of throw story at the player at all times.
That’s why we developed these systems to make sure the narrative is always flowing and not just delivered in these canned cinematic chunks."
The combination of a bit more freedom and a great narrative is indeed appealing, and we know the top-notch gameplay from Arkham Asylum will return. In short, it's probably a bad idea to consider Arkham City a sandbox adventure but at the same time, the walls of that asylum won't restrict you anymore. Perhaps we're getting the best possible superhero experience…
Related Game(s): Batman: Arkham Asylum