If the first few reviews to go live in the minutes that have followed the lifting of the UK Batman: Arkham City review embargo are anything to go by, then Warner Bros will next week release something very, very special.
Here’s a selection of the first few round-ups:
Spong – 96%
Arkham City is a very worthy successor to Arkham Asylum. It builds on rock solid foundations to create an experience that is bigger, tighter and smarter than its predecessor. It's all the Batman with none of the bruises.
CVG – 9.5/10
It's a belief in the character and, most importantly, a belief in itself that has seen the studio deliver one of the greatest Batman interpretations of all time. And you know what? Maybe even one of the best games ever.
Eurogamer – 9/10
Rocksteady's latest certainly knows how to drop the curtain, but it feels like a dark second act or the middle section of a trilogy. If that's the case, it's tantalisingly tricky to figure out what the studio can do next.
First they gave us a hero; now they've given us his ideal playground. And along the way, they crossed off one of the trickiest entries on my own personal to-do list: an entry that's right there in between Meet Ty Pennington and Finish that Robert Musil book .
VideoGamer – 10/10
It doesn't take the world's greatest detective to spot that this is an expertly crafted adventure, one that maintains a breathtaking pace and invigorating rhythm from beginning to end. Dizzyingly extensive and lovingly detailed, Rocksteady has created an intricate, spirited and unequalled playground worthy of one of the most iconic characters in modern fiction.
NowGamer – 9.4/10
Arkham City is an adventure polished to shimmering perfection, a Batman experience of jaw-dropping magnitude and depth right from its opening scene to the end. Shame on us for even having a glimmer of doubt, this is one of the best open-world action-adventure games of this generation.
Telegraph – 5/5
In these days of multiplayer crowbarred into any old game, it’s a relief, a bold statement of intent that Rocksteady have created such a supremely focused but hugely expansive video game. It's a brave, committed, confident piece of work. When Arkham Asylum confounded critics with its brilliance, it marked Rocksteady as a studio to watch. Arkham City sees them following through on that promise with an almost nonchalent panache.