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"Batman started life as a rhythm-action game"

Arkham Asylum developers talk Batmobiles, why Joker is exclusive to PS3 and the pressures of making a game that publisher Eidos claims is 'close to perfect'

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The combat and character movement feel incredibly smooth and polished - how have these changed since development started?

Moving Batman around is something that we've been tweaking for two years solid. We tested, tweaked and improved it again and again to get it perfect, because that's something vital to the game. If moving your character through the world doesn't feel right then the entire game will suffer. Similarly with the combat, which went through a few iterations. We started in one direction, didn't really like it and changed entirely. But from the start a clear goal was not to ape any other third-person action games. We deliberately didn't look at or try to mimic anything that had come before as we wanted it to feel totally unique.

We went off in some slightly crazy directions to begin with. In fact, one of the earliest versions was like a rhythm action game and saw you judging when to hit the 'notes' (i.e. punches), which was an interesting idea but never really worked. But, weirdly, the final game isn't actually that different from this. When you're fighting enemies there's a kind of rhythm to it. I'm a big kung-fu fan and when you watch the fights in those films there's a lovely natural rhythm to it. That's something we wanted you to feel when you were playing Batman; that you're in control at all times. We wanted it to look choreographed, but with you being directly responsible for every move and attack.

Tune back tomorrow for Part Two of our interview with Sefton Hill, including DLC plans and the origins of the license, plus - all being well - the latest PSM3 podcast.

Want to know more about Batman: Arkham Asylum? PSM3#114 is on-sale today from all good UK newsagents for £4.99, including a free dual-side PS3 DVD, a deeper look at Assassin's Creed 2's historical context (including the origins of the Mafia), plus '10 things we learnt at GDC... and what they mean for PS3', plus all the latest big game previews, news and reviews.

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Have a great evening,

PSM3

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