It seems like every time you bat an eye (no pun intended) the list of villains in the upcoming Batman: Arkham City grows longer and longer. With the likes of Hugo Strange, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, Bane, Solomon Grundy, Deadshot, Talia Al Ghul, Mr. Freeze, Harley Quinn, and Mad Hatter running around, some folks may wonder if there's actually enough room in the game for all of Batman's playpals.
However, Rocksteady's Dax Ginn insists that there's plenty of City to go around, and that there's no risk of the game feeling overloaded with villains.
"Does Arkham City suffer from villain overload? I think when you’ve only got an hour and a half movie, and a load of villains to explain, to build up and to give time and space, you can never do that totally effectively," he said. "Batman: Arkham City is 40 hours long, so you have a long period of time when you’re getting to know Penguin for example, and to discover why he is the way he is, and why he’s doing these criminal deeds. The same goes for Joker, Two-Face and the rest of the villains."
Lead Narrative Designer Paul Crocker agreed, explaining that there was more to each round with the villains than simply serving as boss battles.
"We like to call them encounters," he said. "So all of our encounters are very different. Our Riddler encounter is a massive, massive part of the game where you're trying to defeat Riddler, you're trying to find out where he's keeping his hostages, you're trying to get to the point where you have your hand around his throat and smash his face into the ground and get your revenge on him. And that's hours worth of gameplay, and none of it on its own you could call a boss."
As Ginn explains, the game's length gives devs the opportunity to explore each villain individually- and they're taking it.
"To try and get all of that across in a 90 minute movie, the villains just become this amorphous, massive threat, and you never get a sense of them being individuals. It’s like, ‘Hey, here’s a load of criminals, and you have to take them down’, and in the end they just become faceless."
Let's just hope there's enough villains left for another sequel.
Joystiq and Gigwise