Picked it up yesterday, it feels just like Arkham Asylum but better. The city feels dirty and alive, combat is still awesome, more animations, when it clicks you feel badass, playing through on hard, it's unforgiving in fights but rewarding. Gliding around the city is awesome, definitely recommend doing the AR training as soon as you can. Hurry up and finish stupid work.
I played for a couple of hours yesterday and am getting my ass handed to me in combat on veteran difficulty. I beat Bats AA on hard but this is taking awhile for me to get reacclimated w/ the free flow. THe first real fight in front of the court house pits you against a dozen guys, half of whom are carrying bats. I'm having real trouble stringing combos together, which means I can't get the automatic takedowns you need to surivive fights. It's frustrating and I swear I don't suck this bad.
I found it exactly the same, it takes a while for the timing to come back and it really punishes you for messing up. Health takes a long time to recharge, you really need to do it in one go, with the check pointing system, it really raises the tension but when you nail it and finish that last one off, oh yeah! . Thankfully reload times are fine, but the dying a lot disrupts the flow somewhat, but that's my fault for choosing the difficulty.
So if I was, say, someone who finished the first game no probs on Hard mode (well, aside from the PITA PUTA BITCH CUNT Poison Ivy...), would you say Normal or Hard for AC?
If there's an option to switch off the counter prompts, I'm leaning towards Normal for the first playthrough.
I'd go with Hard, it's punishing but rewarding saying that I've only really done the tutorial, the first 2 missions and some Catwoman, you notice more with her as she's not as strong. It takes a lot more ass-kicking to knock them out, as the bad guys are faster it's hard to knock them down, pounce and get an insta-knockout without being hit, special moves are important.
Also, I couldn't find anywhere to switch off the counter prompts, they still appear on hard. To be honest, there's so many bad guys you need them, you can counter more than one attacker at a time now, imagine this is one reason they left it in(not so much a spoiler as an awesome gameplay improvement on AS).