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Batman: Arkham City turns Hollywood into Gotham

The midnight arrival of Batman: Arkham City Tuesday brought diehard fans to the GameStop store in West Hollywood to find the shop transformed into a mockup of Gotham City.

The Caped Crusader snarls at fans as they line up to own Batman: Arkham City. John Scott Lewinski/CNET

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--To celebrate today's release of the eagerly awaited Batman: Arkham City, Rocksteady Studios and Warner Brothers Interactive last night transformed the GameStop store on the outer fringes of Hollywood into a mini Gotham City where bleary eyed fans could snag a late-night copy of the PS3 and Xbox 360 title.

About 200 fans of varying ages (some in event-appropriate costumed attire) waited patiently outside the store until the doors opened and the store welcomed them into a mock-up of the game's seedy urban world. Those in attendance had a chance to meet game writer Paul Dini, and they could win prizes (such as two life-size Batman statues on display).

is the sequel to the successful Batman: Arkham Asylum, a game that saw everyone's favorite haunted hero take on the Joker and other villains inside a gloomy loony bin.

The sequel opens that game's world into the city itself as Gotham devotes a portion of its most rundown districts into Arkham City, a sort of "Escape from New York" concept of letting criminals and lunatics run wild in a tiny, contained world of their own. The Joker makes a return appearance, along with Dr. Hugo Strange, the Penguin, and Catwoman.

Dini told CNET he's excited about the game and proud of the two years it took to create it with Rocksteady's designers.

"The creative process for a game like this is never over until it's in the box and shipped to the stores," Dini said. "As recently as a month ago, I was in London going over final script pages for the game. I think the designers tweaked it and improved the world until the very last minute."

You can see some images from the premiere event in our gallery.