Arkham City Part 17: Catwoman

By Shamus Posted Thursday May 18, 2017

Filed under: Batman 82 comments

We’ve been skipping the Catwoman sections in this write-up because things are easier to analyze when you cut out the extraneous parts. But now let’s circle back and talk about her subplot.

Catwoman’s story involves her efforts to steal from the Arkham City vault. Apparently Hugo Strange stores confiscated things there, and Catwoman wants them. It doesn’t ever say what the loot is. It’s just a couple of silver suitcases with some unspecified valuables inside.

She’s also got a couple of ongoing feuds with Two-Face and Poison Ivy that complicate things for her. When Batman gets knocked out or otherwise incapacitated, we sometimes cut back to Catwoman and play as her for a while.

Cat Movement

Even after she claws the faces off a half dozen goons, the rest keep coming. They're not very smart, but I have to admire the mook work ethic.
Even after she claws the faces off a half dozen goons, the rest keep coming. They're not very smart, but I have to admire the mook work ethic.

I enjoy playing the Catwoman sections. From a mechanical standpoint, she works as a great counterpoint to Batman. She has strikes, counters, stuns, and takedowns just like Batman, and they’re all mapped to the same buttons so that your muscle memory can get you through the fights. At the same time, she’s different enough that her sections of the game feel really distinct. She’s very fragile compared to No-Parents Man but she’s also faster, which makes her a bit of a glass cannon.

Her controls for traversing the city are this timing-based deal where you have to tap the jump button with the right rhythm to move efficiently. In all my hours with the game, I’ve never been able to get the hang of it. There’s this metallic impact sound when she locks her claws into the wall, and my instincts make me want to press the jump button in time with this, but as far as I can tell you’re supposed to press in between these sounds. It feels like playing a version of guitar hero where you’re supposed to hit all the notes exactly half a beat late. You’re not so much fighting against the game as your own instincts.

Batman can launch himself off the top of a tall building and then glide halfway around the city. He can soar overhead and ignore all the freaks and hazards below. But Catwoman gets around by scaling buildings, which means she’s sometimes obliged to engage the inmates on the way to her destination.

This is probably for the best. If Catwoman was as mobile as Batman, I’d never want to stop playing her. After playing as Catwoman for a while, Batman’s fights feel sort of ponderous.

Cat Claws

There's not a lot of extra material hanging off the front of her suit, which makes me think it would be physically impossible to draw the zipper all the way up. Then again, I'm not sure what's keeping it from going down every time she breathes in.
There's not a lot of extra material hanging off the front of her suit, which makes me think it would be physically impossible to draw the zipper all the way up. Then again, I'm not sure what's keeping it from going down every time she breathes in.

Batman uses his fists, but Catwoman uses her claws, and the game isn’t shy about showing her swiping at the faces of her enemies. There’s even a metallic sound when she’s about to strike, similar to the sound you get when Wolverine pops his claws. While it’s true that unsheathing metal shouldn’t sound like that, I’m certainly not going to complain about it in the context of a comic book. In fact, it would be really strange if it didn’t make that kind of sound.

However, this sound also makes the claws seem really substantial. I guess they have to be, since she uses them to climb up the side of structures made of brick and concrete. But then she uses them on someone’s face and I can’t help but imagine the mess she’s making. In addition to her claws she’s got a whip and caltrops. The game doesn’t show any blood or gore, but I can’t imagine these guys don’t end up needing major surgery to put their faces back together. If this game had blood, Catwoman would make Zsasz look like a lightweight. In cutscenes I always imagine she ought to look like your party after a fight in Dragon Age: Origins.

Catwoman vs. Robin

Catwoman's heist is unsuccessful, but she does manage to steal every scene she's in.
Catwoman's heist is unsuccessful, but she does manage to steal every scene she's in.

The odd thing in this story is that Catwoman makes for a better sidekick than Robin. Batman has a single isolated scene with Robin, and the scene is just a one-note exchange where Robin wants to help and Batman sends him away. For contrast, Catwoman flirts with Batman while he pretends to not notice. Batman shows concern for Catwoman but also a respect for her abilities, while he shows neither for Robin. She makes a joke early on and he does a callback to it much later in the story. He saves her at the start, and she comes back to save him at the end. She has a story that’s about her that you participate in as the player, while Robin’s story happens off-screen and is abandoned without resolution before the third act.

This choice is baffling. In Bat-lore, Robin is far more important to Batman than Catwoman. In the next gameChronologically next. Arkham Origins was next in terms of release date., the history of Robin is one of the central elements of the plot. And yet here in Arkham City so much time is lavished on Catwoman while Robin is shoved out of the story like the writers are ashamed of him.

The big turning point for Catwoman is when she finally gets into the vault and is ready to walk away with the loot. But Hugo Strange is evidently televising Protocol 10, and when she walks by the jumbo flat screen TV they keep in the vault room she sees Batman trapped under the rubble.

The game actually allows the player to choose whether to save Batman or run off with the loot. Sadly, ditching Batman just results in a game over. I guess Robin is too busy getting in the way at the hospital to come ’round and lift a rock off his mentor.

Take the loot, Catwoman. He'll be fine. I'm sure Robin will save him.
Take the loot, Catwoman. He'll be fine. I'm sure Robin will save him.

Sigh. Fine. Let Catwoman do it.

It actually feels kind of wrong. I really didn’t think she’d be the sort to drop the loot to save Batman. Sure, she’s been flirting with him all night. But she flirts with everyone. Batman. Two-Face. Poison Ivy. She even flirts with goons while she’s busy tearing their faces off.

It’s not that she’d let him die on purpose, but the way she’s portrayed here I kind of took her for the carefree irresponsible type that would walk away assuming Batman will be just fine. I was kind of surprised when the game offered me the choice.

But apparently she really does like the guy, because she drops all the loot to sprint off and save him. I guess we’ll just ignore that she ought to be able to quickly stash the money in the nearby tunnel and recover it later rather than abandoning it ten paces from the vault.

My problem with her story is that there’s no build-up to this final choice. Giving up the loot to save Batman isn’t part of her internal conflict. It doesn’t complete a character arc. It’s not a payoff to a question posed by the story itself.

Good thing none of these guys decided to take the guns from their knocked-out buddies on the way in here.
Good thing none of these guys decided to take the guns from their knocked-out buddies on the way in here.

If you wanted to add some heft to the decision, you’d need to integrate it with her storyline. At the start, maybe Batman (Or Hugo Strange. Or Two-Face. Or Poison Ivy. Whatever.) asks her a question or makes a remark that rubs her the wrong way. Maybe he sees her the way I saw her: Irresponsible and carefree. Or maybe the story could frame a question like, “Who is Catwoman and what does she value?” Is she a “supervillain” like all the other freaks in Arkham, or is she a thief with a heart of gold? The question would upset her because (she’d realize) others see her differently than she sees herself. She would make one-line callbacks to this question as the story unfolds. Then at the end she would answer the question for herself when she gives up the score to save Batman.

This lack of an arc doesn’t ruin the story or anything. This is the B-story and it’s okay if it’s a little thin. But if you got to the big moment of truth and wondered why the choice felt kind of pointless or hollow, this is probably why. This moment could have had some added punch with just a few more lines of dialog.

The Long Dark (K)Night

Alfred, I'm in position over the city. I'm going to begin brooding now. Let me know if there's any crime that needs to be punched in the face.
Alfred, I'm in position over the city. I'm going to begin brooding now. Let me know if there's any crime that needs to be punched in the face.

How long is this night? It was dark when Bruce Wayne was giving his speech at the start of the game. Let’s assume the sun had just gone down at this point. Then the Tyger squad knocked him out and arrested / kidnapped him, and took him to Arkham City where Hugo Strange gave his opening monologue. He was then processed, dumped into the city, knocked out again, recovered, escaped Penguin, got his Bat-suit, defeated Two-Face and all his goons, rescued Catwoman, and interviewed her. Let us be amazingly generous and say all of that took just one hourIt’s a good half hour of gameplay, and you need to add in the time he spent napping and being taken into the prison..

After Batman saves Catwoman, Hugo Strange begins a countdown to his guardsWhich Batman hears because he’s hacked into their communications system., announcing, “Ten hours until Protocol 10.” So it’s at least two hours after sundown before that countdown begins. Then at various story points Hugo chimes in with another hourly countdown announcement.

Which means that when Protocol 10 begins, it’s at least 11 hours since the sun went down. If we’re extremely generous, we can say he wraps up the next two chapters in another two hours, at which point the game ends without the sun ever having risen.

By the most conservative estimate, Arkham City experiences a minimum of 13 hours of darkness. Where is Gotham located? Alaska?

Of course, the reason for this is purely stylistic. Adding a day night cycle would be difficult, expensive, and thematically wrong. Still, it seems like you could fix this by simply changing the Hugo Strange announcements. He only makes six of them, so you could simply make them hourly rather than having some of them span multiple hours. Then again, why is Hugo Strange giving a countdown to all of his forces when the whole point of Protocol 10 is to pretend it was an accident?

Whatever. The point is: it’s dark for a long time and it’s kind of funny if you over-think it.



[1] Chronologically next. Arkham Origins was next in terms of release date.

[2] It’s a good half hour of gameplay, and you need to add in the time he spent napping and being taken into the prison.

[3] Which Batman hears because he’s hacked into their communications system.

From The Archives:

82 thoughts on “Arkham City Part 17: Catwoman

  1. Gethsemani says:

    On the topic of Catwoman supposedly messing up someone’s face and them requiring surgery, I don’t think it is terribly different from Batman’s punches, kicks and grapples. Considering how meaty Batman’s punches are and where he is aiming, pretty much every mook he takes down is likely to have broken jaws, ribs, arms and severe concussions. So it is safe to say that the surgeons and orthopedist of Gotham will have their hands full after Batman and Catwoman are done, since both seem to inflict serious injuries every time they get into a fight.

    1. Joshua says:

      paid by taxpayer dollars?

      1. Decius says:

        Paid for by Wayne Enterprises’ “Batman injury treatment and criminal rehabilitation”

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Batman is shown to have enough strength to break their metal weapons(rifles even),so he is most definitely breaking their bones with every takedown.Just imagine mortal kombats xray moves every time bats takes one of the goons down,and thats practically what is happening.

      So yeah,both of them give zsasz* run for the money.

      *What kind of name is zsasz anyway?It has both the Z before S and S before Z in his name,which is extremely odd.Is there any language that has both of those in a word?Screw ross all gull,at least his name has a meaning in a different language.Whats zsaszs deal?

      1. Zekiel says:

        He is edgy and grimdark and cool and therefore has lots of Zs in his name.

        1. Droid says:

          That is legitimately the best explanation anyone I ever talked to about Zsasz seems to have when it comes to his name…

      2. Matt Downie says:

        Szasz is an actual real life name.

        Victor Szazs is the name of The Question, which is a palindrome created by swapping two letters of Szasz, and so is Zsasz.

        Which proves… something.

        1. Henson says:

          It could possibly still be palindromic if you consider ‘sz’ to be a single phoneme.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Yes,that the question is crazy.

      3. Esteis says: pronounces Zs like the s in pleasure, and Sz like the s in sweet. So his name would be pronounced ‘Zhass’, more or less.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Yes,but even hungarian does not have both in the same word.At least,from what Ive seen.With the exception of hà¡zszà¡m,which is hà¡z+szà¡m,not hà¡zs+szà¡m

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            (I hope this won’t trigger any filters, tried deleting the previous comment and reposting this with the correct email)

            In Poland it’s /zsash/. We pronounce SZ the way you pronounce SH in “push” (or “hush” for that matter), it is actually a fairly common phoneme. ZS, which we basically pronounce as two separate phonemes, is less common but we have words such as “zsynchronizować”* (to synchronize) or “rozstrzygnąć” (to decide/determine the outcome of something). While I cannot come up with a word that would have both ZS and SZ in it off the top of my head, in case of the latter example (rozstrzygnac) the RZ is actually pronounced the same way as SZ (so /sh/).

    3. Hal says:

      If we’re going there, it’s worth pointing out that being knocked unconscious through blunt force to the noggin is potentially deadly. TV, movies, and comics like to pretend that a person who gets knocked unconscious like that sleeps it off and wakes up feeling sore later, but a head injury that knocks you out can kill you. If we’re being realistic Batman almost certainly has murdered more men by mowing down mooks than even Zsasz’s body count could hope for.

      1. djw says:


        My girlfriends father recently died after suffering a blunt trauma to the head after falling down the stairs. Getting hit hard in the head is definitely not a laughing matter.

  2. Zekiel says:

    How long is the night? As far as I recall, my last Steam playthrough said it was about 48 hours long. :-)

  3. Zekiel says:

    I really liked Catwoman in this game. She was a fun character, and particularly from a gameplay perspective it was a lovely change to switch from playing as Batman occasionally. In fact I ended up preferring to play her (particularly in combat challenges) since she moves faster and if you’re doing it right you shouldn’t be getting hit, so her glass cannon status isn’t really a problem.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    While it's true that unsheathing metal shouldn't sound like that,

    Not quite.There are some scabbards that DO make the noise when you use them.Ok,this probably doesnt apply to her nails,but wolverine claws still might make that sound due to how he was constructed.

  5. Hal says:

    The sun never rises in Gotham and never sets on Metropolis. You get used to it.

    1. I guess in the DC universe, Earth is tidally locked.

      1. Boobah says:

        I realize that Gotham and Metropolis are different (and even opposite) sides of New York City, but most interpretations don’t involve them being on different sides of the planet.

  6. Michael says:

    I love the idea that Catwoman has a monetary value in her mindset, She obviously values money and possessions and could see Batman as someone she owes money too, She knows that Batman for all his dorkiness would pay her back for this and saving his life would be valuable to her, perhaps above the current value of the loot that she has (how much could thugs realistically have in two suitcases in a prison?).

    I imagine thematically for her character a interesting dilemma of values. I don’t think she sees batman as emotionally valuable but actually valuable and useful to her.

    1. DisgruntledOne says:

      I think that interpretation isn’t really consistent with the way she casually destroys Ivy’s plant in the vault, throwing away the possibility of future cooperation over mere petty vindictiveness.

  7. Thomas says:

    I feel like Arkham City should have taken place over a week.

    It’s not a nitpick either, it’s one of my grudges with the game. Asylum took place over one night because it was ‘Batman’s night in hell’, culminating with Joker trying to break him at his most worn down.

    City is one night because it copies beats from Asylum.

    If you look at what’s going on, it fits a week + time frame. You have the gang lords fighting for territory, Batman uncovering a big long term plot by going undercover. It’s a city not one Asylum. It’s an open world where the open world gets progressively more difficult.

    And the plot is more complicated than just breaking Batman.

    You don’t need a day night cycle – time shouldn’t pass in the open world. But when Batman is knocked out, he wakes up the next night. When he’s investigating the Toxin, he hides away in his batcave during the day. Maybe – maybe! Batman can sleep!

    It would be different from Asylum, it would be cool and it would fit the gameplay, events and story better

  8. Matt Downie says:

    “This choice is baffling. In Bat-lore, Robin is far more important to Batman than Catwoman.”
    Not that baffling. Catwoman provides romance, sexiness, moral ambiguity and female representation. Robin provides awkward questions about why Batman is encouraging a child to dress up in bright clothes and get shot at.

    1. Bags says:

      being able to easily answer such questions is part of why the Lego Batman movie being canon is so valuable.

    2. John says:

      My personal theory is that the designers just don’t think Robin is cool enough. Or perhaps the designers believe that their intended audience just don’t think Robin is cool enough. I like to imagine that there was one guy on the staff who was really pushing for Robin’s inclusion. “See guys, I gave him a macho makeover! We can put him in the game now!” The rest of the staff finally got tired of arguing about it and gave Robin a cameo just to shut that guy up.

    3. Dev Null says:

      It’s an excellent strategy though: “You wear this bright red targ… er, bodysuit and run on in; I’ll be right behind you in my stealth armour.”

      1. Nimrandir says:

        That was the whole idea behind this Tiny Toons joke, right?

  9. Will says:

    In New York City on the winter solstice (on or around December 21st), the night (from sunset to sunrise; twilight eats up at least a few hours of that, and from the screenshots I’ve seen, Gotham is pitch-black for the entire game) is about fourteen and a quarter hours long. In Boston, it’s a little under fifteen hours. Europe has even more northerly cities with longer midwinter nights (e.g. in Helsinki it’s more than eighteen hours), but that strains credulity as a setting for a Batman game.

    On the other hand, I’m seeing a lot of mooks running around with sleeveless tops (to say nothing of Catwoman’s sternum window), which if you’ve spent much time in New York in December is probably the least realistic part of the whole thing.

    1. Droid says:

      Gotham could be around Alaska, but in a world that is for some reason a lot warmer than ours. Maybe Superman and his less-human-friendly adversaries screwed over Earth’s atmosphere somehow?

      1. Zekiel says:

        Unfortunately Arkham Knight nixes this attractive theory by making it clear that Gotham is on the east coast.

        1. Droid says:

          Oh, please, as if anything in Arkham Knight were canon…

          1. Michael says:

            That part is, at least accidentally. Gotham and Metropolis are, explicitly, on the East Coast. Given New York also exists in the setting, it makes the geography a bit weird.

        2. Syal says:

          Gotham, Quebec.

    2. Nessus says:

      Unfortunately we know “City” isn’t set in winter, because we know from Arkham Origins what Gotham in winter looks like.

      “Origins” is explicitly in winter. There’s lots of references to it being around Christmas time, and everything’s covered in snow and ice. Feels a lot like the devs were trying to capture some of the feel of the city in “Batman Returns” (and if so were pretty successful), which IMO made it a horrendous oversight WB didn’t see fit to add the Keaton costume to the extras ’till “Knight”.

      Seriously though: someone at WB should’ve been fired for missing that. How many batfans who played that game DIDN’T go looking for exactly that costume in the DLC options within the first few hours of play?

      1. Neil D says:

        “Origins” is explicitly in winter. There's lots of references to it being around Christmas time, and everything's covered in snow and ice.

        Indeed, the whole rationalization for why there are no civilians out and about was because of the immense snowstorm hitting Gotham. And boy howdy, at times it seemed like there was almost half-an-inch of snow on the ground, and visibility was cut down to a mere four or five miles! Yessir, that’s a winter they’ll be telling their grandkids about.

        (I feel I should make clear, I’m snarking at the game, not at you.)

        1. Nessus says:

          Funny thing is, I don’t even remember that blizzard business at all. In fact, as I was thinking about “Origins” while typing the above, one of the things that passed through my head was “Origins would’ve been a little more interesting if there’d been… ANY non-criminal civilians around. I wonder why they didn’t do that? Well, aside from it requiring a lot more work for a game that’s clearly trying to save a lot of dosh by being 70% reskins of the lest game”.

          While I dug the “Batman Returns” vibe of the place at first, after the first evening of play, the never-ending one-note greyness of the entire map stated to really drag things down. That map started to give a serious case of SAD the more I played it, not because it was wintery, but because it was such a very, relentlessly, always everywhere grey soup.

      2. Kazeite says:

        Akshully… :D

        In City, when we’re supposed to find Mr. Freeze, our temperature gauge starts at -1.5C, and accordingly, we can see snow falling from the sky.

        So, I’d venture that City is set in winter, just like Origins, but just not as severe :)

        1. Nessus says:

          Or possibly early winter/late autumn instead of mid-winter like Origins.

          Now that I think of it, was there some ice on the water in “City”? I feel like I remember there being a little crust ringing walls and pillars where the eastern buildings (like GCPD and Ivy’s building) are submerged.

  10. Viktor says:

    It’s Gotham. There isn’t a “daytime”. The Animate Series made the sky blood-red. Gotham Central took place exclusively during the day because once the sun sets at 5 PM, the cops become irrelevant. There’s justifications, but basically Gotham is 80’s NYC at night and Metropolis is 90’s NYC during the day.

    (There’s even a comic page where Bruce and Clark switch cities for a night. Bruce complains about all the bright lighting and the new slick skyscrapers, Clark complains about massive smog and lead in the walls.)

    1. Michael says:

      Fun trivia: Gotham was actually a 19th century (maybe early 20th century as well) nickname for New York City.

      1. Boobah says:

        Err… it still is. Although it’s way less common as people automatically assume ‘Batman’ when the word comes up, so unless you’re trying for a cognitive spittake most people won’t use it.

        1. Michael says:

          True enough. It probably would have been more accurate to say, “more common in the 19th and early 20th centuries.”

  11. Shoeboxjeddy says:

    Catwoman moving “faster” is pretty debatable. A lot of her moves linger whereas Batman instantly commits to blunt force trauma and is ready for the next hit. There’s no Batman move where you flip onto a bad guy’s shoulders, plant a kiss on the dude’s face, and then body slam him. And Batman’s silent takedowns quickly smother the guy and take him to the ground, whereas Catwoman futzes around with her whip for a while, giving other guards the chance to realize what’s going on. Finally, she lacks some REALLY REALLY important combo moves like “take down everyone nearby who is in the stunned condition” or “break a weapon permanently” which makes her definitively worse in combat challenges.

    1. Warclam says:

      “There's no Batman move where you flip onto a bad guy's shoulders, plant a kiss on the dude's face, and then body slam him.”

      Yet another reason why playing as Catwoman is better.

      1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

        That’s how you get herpes, Catwoman! Do you want herpes?!

    2. Narida says:

      If you’re quick, you can still punch an enemy (instead of countering) after they’ve started their attack animation with Catwoman. Doing that with Batman will always break your combo. By that metric she’s faster^^.

  12. Ninety-Three says:

    Where is Gotham Located?

    Misplaced capital.

    1. ehlijen says:

      But which state is it the misplaced capital of?

      1. Neil D says:

        nEw JerSey.

        1. Droid says:

          I cannot decide whether to love or hate all three of these posts…

  13. Darren says:

    Arkham Knight spends a lot of time on the history of a Robin, and retroactively makes clear why Batman is kind of an asshole who wants to keep the current Robin out of the most dangerous situations. It doesn’t answer the question of why he’d even have sidekicks at all after what has happened, but it does have a certain logic to it. I think this is an example of Rocksteady pulling more from general Batman canon rather than putting in the effort to establish their own lore.

    1. Viktor says:

      The problem, of course, is that people want realism, and in a realistic world you keep children out of the gunsights of bank robbers if at all possible. It would be fine if creators were willing to use female chars, the Batgirls have all always been doing the vigilante thing inspired by Batman but over Bruce’s explicit objections and orders. And if you’ve got a Batgirl out there being a successful vigilante, Bruce training a Robin who wants to do it comes across as much more reasonable(since he knows that forbidding Robin won’t help, it didn’t with Batgirl).

      But the games and movies always ignore the Batgirls, so now you need to justify why Batman trains child soldiers to punch dudes with SMGs in the face, and you really just can’t, meaning that all the(non-animated/non-comic) modern versions of Robin have been pretty poorly handled.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        But the games and movies always ignore the Batgirls,

        What about Schumachers batman?

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            The cool one.The “ice to see you” director.

            1. ehlijen says:

              The delightfully joyful one with the bad physics!

              1. Viktor says:

                Oh, you mean the 1966 version. There’s reasons to not love that one, but it has it’s perks.

                1. Michael says:

                  Well, that’s one word for, “bat nipples.”

                2. Michael says:

                  Seriously, though, I’ve always had a slight fondness for the Schumacher films. They’re bad, but they do a pretty credible pass at the kind of camp that Adam West’s Bats got into.

  14. Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

    I hated the Catwoman stuff at first. Especially I hated that there’s no way to disable that content in the game. It was a DLC, you should be able to disable it.

    But especially I hated that Batman saved Catwoman, Catwoman then abandoned Batman when he needed saving, and then the game said “now play as Catwoman.”

    No. I like Batman. I like the gadgets*. I hate that she abandoned him. I don’t want to be party to furthering her goals.

    The first time this happened to me, I set down the controller and watched her get beat up by goons over and over again.

    *This is my problem with the Ciri gameplay in Witcher 3 as well. I really like having the bombs and potions and crossbows and all that. I like having tools. Suddenly you’re reduced to a simple mechanic set playing a character you’ve invested nothing in.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      I totally agree it should be optional. And really, while we’re at it, why not make all the chapters optional? The primary reason I can think of is that would bring a lot of questions to bear when someone talked about “beating” a game. I’m okay with that, but I’d wager a lot of developers aren’t.

      1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

        They don’t make chapters optional because the difficulty of the game is a linear progression. At the start you fight a few guys who are easy to beat, in the middle you fight dozens of guys who are fairly tough, and by the end you fight many many guys who are difficult to beat. It is not in the players’ interest to skip around and it’s not in the devs interest to give you a button to basically delete all their expensive content from the game.

        A level select after the fact would be very nice though.

        1. Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

          That doesn’t work here. Batman Arkham City didn’t originally have the Catwoman stuff.

          The Catwoman stuff (at least the stuff where you play as her and most of the stuff where the story is focused on her without Batman) was a DLC but then they decided to make it part of the core game.

  15. Joe Informatico says:

    The long night of Arkham City is like Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles novels. The framing device is protagonist Kvothe telling his life story over the course of three days, with breaks for eating, sleeping, and side conversations. Each book of the trilogy is supposed to represent one of those days, and yet the audiobook versions are around 40 hours each.

    (Yeah, it’s a fantasy setting so maybe that world has 50-hour days or something, but still.)

    1. Syal says:

      Kvothe speaks really fast.

  16. Bags says:

    Growing up in Hobart, where nights are less than eight hours long in summer and more than fourteen hours long in winter, the idea of a night lasting eleven hours doesn’t sound unusual in the slightest. I feel like the unusual feeling of this long night is due less to its actual length and more to the fact that years or, depending on your age, decades of games have gotten us used to compressed day/night cycles, where two to four in-game hours will be more than enough to see the sun come up in most games which include it.

  17. Bubble181 says:

    Over here in Belgium, in winter, the sun sets around 4:30 PM and rises arounf 8:30AM. That’s about 16 hours of “night”. Admittedly, I doubt this takes place in the middle of winter, but given that I thought Gotham was more-or-less supposed to be not-Chicago the way Metropolis is not-New York, I don’t see how a 13 hour night is impossible. It’s odd, I was on board with the idea “too much happens here to be in one night”, but then you went and counted it out and 13 hours for a night more or less fits, so you somewhat undermined your own point there for me :P

  18. Dreadjaws says:

    “Her controls for traversing the city are this timing-based deal where you have to tap the jump button with the right rhythm to move efficiently. In all my hours with the game, I've never been able to get the hang of it.”

    I have roughly a dozen playthroughs of this game, and I still have the same problem. The combat system is basically a rhythm minigame and I have no issues with that, scoring criticals all the time and I can easily pass most fights without being hit, but Catwoman’s jumping puzzles me. I think the problem is precisely, like you say, that the visual cues don’t correspond with the timing.

    I think completing her Riddler challenge that required to get 8 jumps in a row without missing the timing for any of them was one of the hardest ones. I did manage to do it twice (once on PS3, once on PC), but it took me a long time, and it certainly wasn’t because I had mastered the system. It was pure trial and error.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      It helps if you turn the volume down and focus just on the visuals when playing her.

    2. Scampi says:

      I managed to do it intentionally when I decided to finish this specific challenge. I don’t think it was important at any other point at all, so it’s not horrible because it doesn’t really matter. You get ahead anyways and don’t really NEED to be rated well.
      Still, if the same mechanic was ever implemented in a context where it’s an important gameplay element, it would seriously suck.

  19. Dev Null says:

    When Batman gets knocked out or otherwise incapacitated, we sometimes cut back to Catwoman and play as her for a while.

    She must be half the game. What’s the “Times Batman has been knocked unconscious so far this evening” count up to now? She needs better representation; her name ought to be on the opening title screen.

    It feels like playing a version of guitar hero where you're supposed to hit all the notes exactly half a beat late.

    Someone should make that game; I would be the World Champion.

    While it's true that unsheathing metal shouldn't sound like that, I'm certainly not going to complain about it in the context of a comic book. In fact, it would be really strange if it didn't make that kind of sound.

    I wonder who the first person was to do the “sching” noise. Presumably in a movie? I love that something so wrong has become so ubiquitous that no one would know what was going on without it.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Funny thing,but its not wrong.As Ive linked above,some scabbards had brass throats that led to that sound being made when drawing a sword.But,if I understood correctly,those were made rather recently(in the 19th century),and because filmmakers thought thats how it always was,decided to reproduce the sound whenever a sword was being pulled,regardless of the setting.

      1. Dev Null says:

        I can see that technically it’s not wrong for 19th century cavalry sabers. But for pretty much anything else that Hollywood uses it for – knives, axes, ninjas whose gear should be designed for silence, claws sprouting directly from flesh – it’s usually more wrong than right. (Personally, I think Wolverine would be way more terrifying if his claws made the squelch sound of a knife stabbing through meat every time…)

        In this case, we’re talking about comic-book magical retractable hand claws that let you stick to the side of a building, so who knows (or cares?) how they work. I’m not even sure if this particular version of Catwoman is supposed to have fingernail-claws or claws that sprout from the backs of her hands; neither one makes much sense as a climbing aid or a weapon. It’s probably as reasonable as anything to assume that the magic/nanotech/handwaving makes that noise when you turn it on.

        1. Nessus says:

          IIRC the sound effect for Wolverine’s claws in the first X-Men movie did include an audible popping of the skin as they slid out. Been a long time since I’ve seen it, so I don’t remember how shwing-y the rest of the sound was or wasn’t.

  20. wswordsmen says:

    13 hours of darkness is NYC in late October, although that figure includes twilight. But if it is just near the winter solstice it isn’t too insane.

  21. Andrew says:

    Yeah, I don’t see how you figure that 13 hours is odd. I live in southern England, and winter nights are a good 16 hours long. That’s about the same latitude as the northern edge of the (non-Alaskan) US, so there must be places in the north of the USA that have 13+ hour nights easily.

    Alaska is so far north parts of it never see the sun at all for days in Winter; you don’t need to be anywhere near that far north to get 13 hour nights.

  22. Nimrandir says:

    I just wrapped up watching the Spoiler Warning series on Arkham Asylum, and I find it amusing that Shamus still jumps over Arkham Origins in the franchise.

  23. Carlos García says:

    In my play through, still interrupted, I could move with Catwoman not by gliding, but by whip used as grappling hook, meaning I could move just like with Batman (with whom I almost always used the grapling hook instead of just gliding, which I also used some times.

    P.S. – Damn, that sword video got me looking more videos from that guy and almost an hour flought by without noticing. That link needs a tvtrope hole warning :P

  24. Benjamin Hilton says:

    There actually is a set up for the Catwoman arc in game…. If you’re willing to play fast and loose with the definition of arc, and squint really hard. The main problem is that it exists entirely in the Dr. Strange interview tapes. I don’t remember them all perfectly, but I do remember him questioning her motives for being a thief with a heart of gold, and mocking her for loving a man who wont even let her know his Identity.
    It’s super thin but at least someone tried.

  25. Zak McKracken says:

    “not a lot of extra material hanging off the front” feels like the wrong combination of words to use with respect to Catwoman.

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