A year ago, when Batman: Arkham Asylum was released, it was lauded for its creativity and grittiness in much the same way that Christopher Nolan?s movie adaptations were. Now, Rocksteady and Warner Brothers have announced Batman: Arkham City, set for a Fall 2011 release. While not much is known about the ambitious title, the game?s artwork graces September?s issue of Game Informer.

Game Informer's Cover Story for September 2010 is no other than Batman: Arkham City
Game Informer’s Cover Story for September 2010 is no other than Batman: Arkham City

The game, set a year after the events of Arkham Asylum, sees Batman fighting new enemies from his rogue?s gallery in a brand new setting. Quincy Sharp, Arkham?s warden, took credit for apprehending and stopping the Joker in the first game, leading to his subsequent election as mayor of Gotham. While the first one took place on the grounds of the titular loony bin, Arkham City is a brand new maximum security prison, built by Sharp around the slums of Gotham City. In it, prisoners are free to do as they please, as long as they follow one rule: do not try to escape.

While nearly nothing is known about the game?s story, it has been announced that Harvey "Two-Face" Dent will be in the game, competing with Batman?s main villains to recruit inmates into their respective gangs. It has been speculated that game play will involve Batman taking down these gangs one by one, facing the super villain leader as a boss. Catwoman has also been confirmed as Batman?s love interest and intermittent partner. Given their complicated past in the comics, one can assume a dichotomous relationship throughout the game. The Oracle, Batman?s main source of intel for the first game, is missing, so players can expect Alfred?s voice to be in their ears as Batman?s assistant.

While in Arkham Asylum players had to unlock and upgrade gadgets individually, Batman?s entire gadget force will be available at the beginning of Arkham City, with progression unlocking more and more upgrades. For instance, the bat claw can now be used to retrieve objects from afar and the explosive gel can be sprayed on enemies to dispatch them with a bang. Brand new gadgets include a broadcast analyzer that can listen in on transmissions throughout the game. Updated combat features include simultaneous counters and projectile counters to thwart enemies who throw things at Batman. Riddler maps have been replaced by interrogations, and minor villains such as Mr. Zsasz are encountered through side stories.

Overall, the developers have stated that they wish to incorporate more forensics throughout the game for the World?s Greatest Detective to encounter, as well as create a rich and detailed city for gamers to play in. Batman: Arkham City has been slated for third quarter of 2011, though no official date has been announced.