Batman Arkham City

10:55PM Dec 14, 2011 in category General by Andreea Bancila


9.     Batman Arkham City:





The world of Batman Arkham City:


For this particular game I wanted to start with some ideas and an excerpt from a blog written by Andrew Lavigne  (


Arkham City's architecture and art design present the players with a seemingly endless, horizon-feeling space that they can explore and that's crowded everywhere by its art details. Ugly but pretty for it, the game presents us with a city-within-a-city where decaying factories mix with carnivals and Art Deco and 1800s construction, all finished with a Noir paintbrush. The city thus resembles dark fantasy art.



The slick visuals--full of neon green signs, rusted factory towers, highways that fall into the sea, and Deco statues--crowd the screen so much that they crowd the player. Little details like bits of dirty snow hanging off buildings or political posters further overwhelm the player. The feeling it gives off is of being in hell, comprised less of sensible city zoning regulations and more of "layers" shoved together. 

But for once, this isn't a bad thing. This isn't a case of developers gone wild. This is exactly what fits the situation: a contrast of controlled anarchy, represented by world and art design. Delving into the underbelly of the game world, when the player encounters a buried "City of Tomorrow"-type Deco area, we realize that it exactly matches the message played over its intercoms: if mankind continues its upwards ascent, the buildings will grow to resemble hell breaking through the sidewalks, up and up and up, until we choke to death and are no more.

Does that mean Batman: Arkham City is the first game to not only include fantastical architecture, but to include and comment on its architecture and city spatial dimensions?”

 In response to this article I also feel that the architecture is very cleverly emphasized at key points in the game. The buildings and structures create an eerie, dark environment that evolves, moves and flows along with the player. The myriad details (sculptures, street signs, supporting structures, diverse materials and wide palette of rusted dusty colors) lead to the creation of an almost overwhelming world that yet strikes the player with its beauty and level of description. The universe of Batman Arkham City is one that sits on the edge between a known universe (ours) and a completely imaginative one. Its towering glass and concrete skyscrapers bring a familiar modernity into this dark city, while the playful, colorful Joker factories add a new witty dimension to the city.









Thanks for the mention here, and I hope you found the blog interesting enough. I'll have to take a look around this one.

Posted by Andrew Lavigne on December 30, 2011 at 06:55 AM EST #

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