Rocksteady marketing game manager Dax Ginn has been telling CVG more about the open world nature of Batman: Arkham City. From the very start of the game, players will have the freedom to explore every outdoor area. The city streets will be full of sidequests, and you'll be able to fly around knocking out crims without having to worry about any loading times. Ginn also talks about how Rocksteady plan to improve on the maligned boss fights of the first game.
Talking about Arkham City's open world approach, Ginn says: "Everywhere that's open to the sky is available to the player from the off. So they can go anywhere they want," adding "there's loads of content out there in the streets and you can engage with in any order you want right from the beginning.
"It's all open, all the time. Our technical director was like, "What? You want an open-world that's open all the time that's five times bigger than anything we've done before? Are you crazy?
"That was the emotional feeling that we wanted to convey; you're Batman, you can do what you want. That's the empowering thing that Arkham Asylum didn't really deliver because it was such a linear, tight, intense story.
"As long as you're outdoors, there won't be any loading times interrupting your exploring, either. "Not in the exteriors," says Ginn, "you saw the loading from going inside the courthouse from the outside but no it streams seamlessly throughout and that has been a massive, massive challenge."
The other challenge facing Rocksteady is to improve upon mediocre and often frustrating boss fights that dragged down Batman: Arkham Asylum. "Boss battles; they came pretty late in Arkham Asylum, we weren't really planning on doing big boss battles and then we got to a point where we were like "We need climaxes throughout this game.
"We needed to give them more development time and we didn't have it so we've front-loaded the boss battles this time around so that we've got dedicated people working on them right the way through the dev cycle.
"It's hard to tell until we go into intensive focus testing if they're working but they certainly look pretty epic."