Are the ears slightly longer? I think the ears might be slightly longer. The cape's definitely the same - still stylishly handy for stunning foes or sweeping across the night sky - and the hulking Bat-armour has that familiar metallic sheen. But the ears look... Different? Maybe? Now I'm not sure...
The problem with Batman: Arkham Asylum is that it didn't really have that many problems. Rather that tethering its ambitions to a specific license - a film or a single comic book interpretation - Rocksteady focused in on the iconic character at the heart of the franchise.
When that character spoke, the game built itself outwards into a brilliant package that seemed deftly considered and strangely effortless. Batman's mortal, which means he's unbeatable against unarmed crowds and useless against gunfire.
That gave the design team the perfect means of balancing the mixture of stealth and brawling elements, while the decision to limit the scope to one famous island location and a single night's adventure made for a wonderfully atmospheric experience. Having one of pop culture's greatest villains forever taunting from the sidelines was the final, seemingly unrepeatable, touch.
So how do you build upon that? How do you follow up on Arkham Asylum? Opt for massive changes that risk alienating the fans, or implement incremental tweaks that leave your audience, well, wondering whether the ears are slightly longer?
The answer lies in the middle-ground. Building on the core strengths of the first game, Rocksteady has feathered on new animations, combat moves, side offerings and traversal options.
But it's also made a single large shift in focus right at the centre of the project, ditching Arkham Island and letting you loose in a fenced-off section of Gotham itself. It's a move that's taken Batman away from the crags and corridors and creaky manors and dumped him into a huge outdoors world of skyscraper canyons, blinking neon, and rusting gantrywork.
Meanwhile, the silhouette of funny books' greatest metropolis rises smokily in the near distance, its towers lanced by dozens of sweeping searchlights.
This is Arkham City - a merging of the Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison populations brought about by the shifty Warden Quincy Sharp. In the 18 months since the first game, he has become Mayor Quincy Sharp.
It's a rotting urban mass of gang warfare, watchtowers and barbed-wire fencing. Here master criminals fight for dominance and a dying Joker still has one final, nasty trick to play on his arch rival.
Best of all, this environment provides the perfect way for Rocksteady to protect the central elements of its series while turning the overarching concept on its head. A cityscape five times the size of the original game and largely open to the sky shuffles hand-holding and interior set-pieces down into the pack, allowing traversal and exploration to rise to the top.
That means Bats needs new ways to get around. Starting on a rooftop, he can now glide for what seems like forever - a treat that was severely limited within the confines of the first outing.
He can even go into a sharp dive and then tilt upwards to gather speed and height in a manner strangely reminiscent of Super Mario World, before dropping down onto a passing victim.
Elsewhere, a new grapple move allows him to fire off a zipline which will take him from the ground and boost him right up into the sky. His cape will keep him aloft, all the better for silently exploring an environment that's bristling with violent promise.
The Riddler's trophies have been reworked for the larger setting too - they're now generally tucked inside bear traps, or tacked to the underside of a ledge so that locating them is only half the battle.
There's a new informant system which provides you with a few interesting spots to aim for on your vast map. That's if you can keep a specific assailant conscious until the end of one of the game's many fights, in order to interrogate him once you've dealt with everybody else. Tricky stuff.
As a collectathon it all seems admirably restrained, however. Rocksteady admits that throwing in dozens of tokens and doo-dads to chase after might be fun, but it would hardly make you feel like Batman, who's not known for his predilection to leave a crime-scene and go treasure hunting. So the main game is still designed to keep you moving through it with a vigilante's sense of purpose.
One section sees Batman storming the courthouse where Two-Face is making a play for power by putting Catwoman on trial. It showcases the way that the narrative blends exploration and fighting fairly seamlessly.
The game full of loving touches, of course - Two-Face's hang-out has exactly half it's facade dishevelled, for example, while street signs around the neighbourhood are filled with smart references for the hard-core fans.
But there's also a real ease in the way Rocksteady guides you from staking out a building's entrance to heading inside and planning your way through a huge rumble. The battles themselves are massive - a brawl with Two-Face's goons features at least 20 different lackeys to pummel.
While new moves such as double-punches and an added emphasis on using Batman's gadgets mean it's easy to get lost within the rhythm of combat, you still need to be tactical.
Scanning the crowd before wading in is essential and it pays to deal with armed targets first - preferably using new stealth takedowns, such as the ability to punch straight through flimsy walls or knock two unwitting goons' heads together. Armoured enemies, meanwhile, will only succumb to the new beat down manoeuvre that sees you unleashing a flurry of blows with a glorious burst of button mashing.
Plenty of other ideas have been tweaked to make sense of the shift in scale. Batman's Cryptographic Sequencer - originally just a fancy key for getting through fancy doors - now allows you to hack into distant radio chatter to get a better idea of what's going on across town.
More on Batman: Arkham City
The killing joke?
Face-off: Face-Off: Batman: Arkham City
Dark Knight in shining armour.
"That's for Mr. J."
Smart gadgetry inside your headpiece will automatically amplify any conversations going on nearby, which should help a lot when you're down on the narrow streets with poor visibility.
Rocksteady's also promising to rebalance Detective Mode, making sure it's a tool rather than an exploit you won't want to turn off. This time, you may actually get to see some of the art design as you move through the game.
Alongside Two-Face, Catwoman and the ailing Joker, the developer's slowly unveiling a range of new baddies, hinting at famous faces who are yet to be revealed while finding the room to tease die-hards with appealingly obscure additions.
Remember Calendar Man? He popped up in just two or three stories, if memory serves, but he's back in Arkham City offering a weird and murderous twist on Animal Crossing. He'll apparently spout different dialogue depending on whether you're playing the game on Valentine's Day, say, or New Year's Eve.
That kind of detail, alongside the obvious care with which this big, atmospheric game is being put together, provides another indication of how seriously Rocksteady takes its role as the Dark Knight's caretaker. If you played Arkham Asylum and thought it was too brilliant a trick to pull off twice, the joke might just be on you.