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Batman: Arkham City - The inside story

Insight: Rocksteady boss Sefton Hill on the sequel to a masterpiece...

Much like Bruce Wayne's morally impenetrable alter-ego, it was fearless, muscular... and immaculate.

The BAFTA-winning Batman: Arkham Asylum single-handedly set new standards; not only for licensed video games, but for third-person action games in general. Even viewed through the applause-slaying prism of intolerant fandom, it was a supremely class act.

So how do we know Brit hero Rocksteady isn't going to 'Citizen Kane' it? Surely you can't follow perfection with anything other than unfulfillment?

Not if you see flaws where everybody else sees none. Rocksteady believes it's built a bigger, better Batman world with follow-up Arkham: City - without losing any of the original game's magic. Early impressions have left us inclined to agree.

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This month's Official PlayStation Magazine certainly adds weight to Rocksteady's claims - and how.

Its exclusive, 14-page behind-the-scenes look at the game shows some jaw-dropping environments - containing a demurely mischievous Catwoman, a playfully evil Harley Quinn; and a seriously pissed Bats. It's a bit of a must buy.

Rocksteady's acquisition by Warner Bros earlier this year allowed the game-maker unrestricted access to the entertainment giant's sacred Batman canon - and it appears to have taken full advantage.

Here, Rocksteady boss Sefton Hill gives a heartfelt insight into what we can expect from the gargantuan Arkham City - and just how much care and painstaking attention the studio has invested the new game.

Frankly, it's hard not to walk away panting like Catwoman in a Felix factory. Enjoy:

On choosing Arkham City's new characters...

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The characters that are featured in the game are purely driven by the story. That's where we always start because we only want to include characters that make sense and help develop the atmosphere, plot or characterisation.

After that we chose the characters who we felt would have the most interesting time inside Arkham City. How would these different characters react to being locked up inside these walls?

Of course, with such a tremendous rouge's gallery to choose from, we really are spoilt for choice. The opportunity to bring so many special characters into the Arkhamverse, to breath life into these characters within the walls of Arkham City was a genuine privilege for us.

On the games that influenced Arkham City...

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Like every game studio, everyone at Rocksteady is a committed gamer, and as a team we all play very different games and are influenced in different ways. However, I personally always try to just enjoy other games and not over analyse them. If you want to create something new and fresh I think it is better to do it without following others even if it means you make more mistakes along the way.

It is the act of trying and overcoming issues yourself which creates a more original game because it invariably requires you to come up with original solutions.

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