Monday, 31 October 2011

[515] Batman: Arkham City: art director David Hego interview

Video games! Or, more specifically, comic book video games! Last weekend, I played through the story of Batman: Arkham City, and for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed it.

More detailed thoughts could be explored in a future blog post, but for the meantime let's bring up the old 'more of the same... and more!' problem. Where Arkham Asylum was full of surprises and fresh gameplay angles on a familiar character, Arkham City can merely build, refine, and embellish. It's a remarkably polished game, but in the pursuit of new, or simply bigger, thrills, some aspects simply don't hit the mark in as impactful a way to the predecessor. I'd also say that, at least story-wise, this one has some outright flaws.

A discussion for another time, definitely. For now, here's an interview I conducted with David Hego, the game's art director.

Brace yourselves, fellow gamers - the AAA season has begun. From now until Christmas, there will be many top-tier titles vying for your time, each attempting to one-up the others in big-budget thrills and near-perfect Metacritic scores.

Currently leading the pack is Arkham City, the sequel to 2009’s Arkham Asylum - which is, we’re assured, The Best Batman Game Ever Apart From Batman On The Spectrum. So far, City has proved to be the equal of Asylum, as Batman enters the eponymous urban prison to do battle with his old foes Two-Face, Penguin and the Joker - like a remake of Escape From New York, but with Snake Plissken donning a cape and cowl, and gliding across the skyline.

However, among the plaudits showered on Arkham City by critics the world over, a few writers have taken umbrage with an underlying air of sexism seen in the game’s cleavage-centric depiction of Catwoman, and the consistent use of ‘bitch’ as a catch-all synonym for womankind.

To settle matters, we got the inside scoop from David Hego, art director at Rocksteady Studios, who gave us some insight into the artistic process, the game’s stylised, hyperreal aesthetic, and the line between sexiness and sexism.

Read the full article here.

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