Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A summary of The Riddler in Arkham City

The Riddler presented by Arkham Asylum was perfectly aligned with the comic book version that we have been familiar with for years. Arrogant, superior and desperate to prove his intelligence. His compulsion for leaving clues to his crimes has been said to stem from a desire to show off how smart he is, by out-witting the law. Of course, once he was introduced to the Batman, his mission became proving that he is smarter than the Bat.
Edward Nigma's presence in Arkham Asylum was purely aural. He would set harmless challenges via radio signal. If you were dedicated enough to track down all the Riddler's challenges in Arkham Asylum, then you know how Batman embarrassed him. Locked-up without so much as a confrontation. The Riddler is furious at this lack of acknowledgement and is out for revenge.
The third issue of the Arkham City digital exclusive comics revealed just how Riddler bought help from Poison Ivy and the Broker to escape from prison and set himself up in Arkham City before it's completion. Through the patient interviews in Arkham Asylum we were given hints at a darker side to The Riddler. It's not until we look at Arkham City's Riddler that we begin to see just how twisted his compulsion has made him. The riddles now have the added risk of human life. Nigma has kidnapped innocent aid-workers and Arkham staff in order to bait his Bat-traps. No longer can Batman ignore the Riddler's taunts, he must answer them to save lives.
As Batman attempts to save these innocents, the Riddler will taunt him via projected images; building the tension and frustration until the Batman can track him down for a more personal interaction. These deathtraps aren't simple obstacle courses. Batman will have to think quickly to figure out exactly how to traverse the hazards that lie between him and the hostage and how to get them out alive.

Below we look at the Riddler challenges presented in Arkham Asylum and look at how they may have changed for Arkham City.

Secrets map
In Arkham Asylum, each area contained a secrets map that not only counted towards your target of 240 complete riddles, but actually revealed on Batman's map where the riddles were located for that area.
The Riddler in Arkham City, however, has done away with these maps. Instead, Batman must locate Riddler's informants within the various gangs and interrogate them to reveal the locations of riddle challenges. Once you have solved enough of these challenges Riddler will then reveal to Batman the location of another hostage.

Alignment puzzles
Dotted around Arkham Asylum were spray painted question marks that could only be seen in Detective Mode. The trick to solving these was to find the right place to stand in order to align the punctuation symbol up correctly. Whilst some of these were simple, others required that you find new paths in order to complete the puzzle.
The Riddler trailer for Arkham City hints that we may see more alignment puzzles as the letters move into alignment, however, this has not been confirmed.

Riddler trophies
These little green question marks were dotted around the Asylum last time around, often in areas that, whilst off the beaten track, were fairly easy to get to.
In Arkham City, the Riddler has upped the ante. There are apparently 400 of these hidden in the open-air prison and don't expect all of them to be easy to reach.
One of the new features that batman has to contend with are pressure pads. These are tied directly to opening the trophy traps (right). In some cases Batman will be able to stand on them and retrieve the trophy using the Batclaw, in other more challenging cases, batman will have to showcase his acrobatic abilities in order to springboard from one pressure pad to another, in sequence, for the trophy trap to be opened. Other trophies can be collected by guiding a remote-controlled batarang through vents or around obstacles to hit an out-of-reach switch.
Pressure pad to the left of Batman's cape tip opens the trap above his head.

Chronicles of Arkham
Whilst not technically set by the Riddler, these archives did count toward the World's Greatest Detective achievement. I would imagine that there will be something similar in Arkham City that reveals the history of the area and how it was transformed into the prison by Strange and Sharp.
Again, this has not been confirmed.

Each area of Arkham Asylum had several riddles that could be answered by scanning the appropriate part of the environment. Whilst some of these were more subtle than others, there were often things that stood out as 'this is a riddler challenge'. It appears that in Arkham City the Riddler's security can be hacked using the cryptographic sequencer by entering the answer to a riddle. Perhaps this means that the environmental answers will be played down in favour of inputting an answer. this would certainly make things harder for Batman. If the riddles hidden within the recent Riddler trailer are anything to go by then Arkham City's riddles are going to be fiendishly difficult.

Joker Teeth
Without a doubt, the most annoying 'riddle' in Arkham Asylum was destroying all the sets of Joker teeth that were scattered around. Hopefully these won't make a return appearance. If they do however, they should pose some kind of threat which gives Batman more of a reason to destroy them.

Interview Tapes
The interview tapes in Arkham Asylum gave both an insight into the fractured minds of the key inmates as well as a background narrative depicting the lead-up to the game's events. A preview of ArkhamRiddler may know what Hugo Strange is up to. He certainly has no fear when addressing Arkham's new warden; could he be trying to prove that he is smarter than both Batman and Strange?

One thing is for certain, last time the Riddler was playing, this time he's out for blood.

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