I actually disagree about civilians and I don't understand what people think they would add to the gameplay. Having a GTA style city of civilians doesn't add anything to the Batman experience. They're either going to run away when you engage thugs, or they're going to cower in the scene while you're beating on people. And if they're not cowering, they're potentially getting in the way of our sweet, sicknasty combos. What is this adding to the experience?
I guess it really depends how people are defining it. If it's a matter of "political prisoners were cool, they added a human touch to what you were doing and gave you an opportunity to add in some additional side activities," then, sure, I see the benefit to an extent. But the impression I'm getting from people is that they're more interested in a city that's more akin to a GTA or a Sleeping Dogs. That just seems to be antithetical to the Arkham series' purpose, which is about stealth, beating on groups of thugs, seeing what sort of nonsense you can wring from the physics engine, and seeing how high you can get your combo meter. And there really isn't a good solution for when the player tries to troll civilians by blocking traffic, walking into people, etc. I guarantee you that Warner Bros. would shit a brick at Batman being portrayed doing things he wouldn't do -- no YouTube videos of Asshole Batman.