Batman Dev: Arkham Asylum Was ‘Too Linear’
Batman: Arkham City is due out later this year. How games approach narrative and deliver their stories is, for some, the most fascinating part of the development process and gaming as an entertainment medium.
Speaking to 360 Magazine, on sale now, Dax Ginn, marketing manager at Rocksteady has some interesting insights into the studio's approach when designing Arkham City’s narrative. A switch from the structured cutscenes of the original, players will now experience Batman’s story as they explore the city.
“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,” explains Ginn. “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.”
Could it be a better way for players to experience a game’s narrative, or will it result in a rather staccato experience? “That’s why we developed these systems to make sure the narrative is always flowing and not just delivered in these canned cinematic chunks.”