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'The ending was almost taboo' - Rocksteady looks back on Arkham City

Sefton Hill on secrets, multiplayer, and 'that' ending...

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Is there a comparable secret in Arkham City that hasn't been found yet?

There's definitely a few things that people haven't discovered but I've been surprised about how quickly our community found stuff - some pretty obscure ones like Scarecrow's Barge. No one on the team thought anyone would ever find that. There's still a couple of bits and things that people haven't found, though...

The community's only complaint about Arkham City is that it's quite daunting - that degree of complexity, the density of environment, and it's all offered up without much tutorial.

I think that's true. We wanted you to feel like Batman in terms of all of these possibilities. We didn't want to have a long tutorial phase where it forces you down a very thin path - that didn't feel like Batman. But the flipside is that it can feel quite daunting when you first arrive. If you go the wrong way at the start you can go into Penguin's turf and you're going to run into guys with guns, and that's pretty scary when you pick up the game.

In the second game we wanted to improve the bosses, and that's something we focused on, but really it comes down to creating new opportunities for improvement. There's always ways to improve, but finding them is tricky for me. I'm not saying it's the best game ever, but we couldn't have worked harder; I'm proud of the work the team have done.

Are we able to be competitive in the UK? There's more money for developers in America than we have over here. Is it time for the government to step in?

I definitely think so. A lot of my friends have moved abroad to get work; there's a real talent drain. Montreal is a central place for development and it's mainly because the tax breaks they give are so phenomenal. It's a real shame, because home computers were so popular and the bedroom programming scene was so big we have some of the best talent in the world in this country.That situation is rapidly changing and it's such a shame.

We have great developers here but those numbers are dwindling. You just think about quality developers like Bizarre Creations, Black Rock - people who are making really good games and going out of business. Those guys were so talented so how can that happen? I just think that we could have been in Montreal's position with that backing from the government. It's such a big industry now and we could be world leaders. Britain's home computing history is just incredible...

Me and my brother both work here; we both just love playing games, and we grew up with games. We had the Spectrum, Commodore 64 and spent all the time playing them. The only reason I got into the industry is because I love games, not for any other reason. Moreover, I'm probably not qualified for any other job.

Zoom

If someone had told you then that one day you'd be able to play a game where you could drive a tank, run around on foot, fly helicopters, be Batman...

It's crazy isn't it? It's scary. I'm not much of a retro gamer because I like how the games were in my head. When you go back and play retro games you always think: 'oh yeah... that wasn't so good.'
It's tough, especially the early 3D games. When I think of the classic PSone games I imagine all the textures in hi-res; in my mind retro games always get a next gen overhaul.

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