Batman: Arkham City Review (360)
by ZackC on January 4, 2012 at 01:30 PM EST

Playing as The Dark Knight is a real treat in Rocksteady’s newest addition.  Batman Arkham City is one of the best games of the year because it has an amazing story, graphics, and game play mechanics.

 

Batman: Arkham City Review

Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive

Console: Xbox 360

Other platforms: PS3, PC

Release date: October 18, 2011

              Batman: Arkham City Developed by Rocksteady studios is the sequel to the game of the year nominee for 2009, Batman: Arkham Asylum. Arkham City expands on what made the previous game so great.  The way the story is told is done in such a way that you can’t pull yourself away.  Arkham City has so much more than just a great story though.  There are hundreds of little puzzles to solve and challenges to overcome, the game will keep you occupied for days on end. The style and graphics are so crisp and polished.  Game play is thoroughly enjoyable, and is very easy to pick up.

Arkham City, throws Batman right into the midst of a giant mystery.  Dr. Hugo Strange, a super villain who knows the true identity of Batman, has been put in charge of the City prison that is Arkham City.  Your objective as Batman is to find out how such as man has gained that amount of power.  Along the way Batman gets into altercations with some of his enemies, such as The Joker, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, and The Penguin.  The amazing thing about the story is the way that it is paced.  Every time I was able to complete a little bit of the story, the next portion would reveal itself and I couldn’t help but go right after the next objective.

If you can ever pull yourself away from the main story, there is still a bunch you can do.  There are side missions galore.  You can try to take down the deadly assassin Deadshot, or even race against the clock to catch the killer Zsasz.  Even if you complete the main side missions, there are still collectables to be found, over 400 in fact.  The Riddler, one of Batman’s oldest enemies makes a return.  This time, the trophies and riddles that he has strewn around the map have an in game reward.  As you collect the trophies and solve his riddles, he leads you to a hostage that needs saving.  Saving hostages is always a fun pastime in my eyes.  Just like in Arkham Asylum for every Riddler thing that you find, you gain some little bit of lore.  These range from Character bios to stories about the happenings in the prison that is Arkham City.  Another thing that you can do not directly tied to the main story is play as Catwoman.  She has a complete different set of weapons.  Aside from her weapons she can allow you to do things that Batman can’t, such as hang from the ceiling.

The way the game looks is, in one word, amazing.  All the character designs are impeccable, and the way the city looks is flawless.  When you move around the world, you really feel as if you are in a city that has been ravaged by criminals.  Let’s talk about the bad guys for a minute.  I grew up only knowing a cartoon of Batman, so a more mature Batman is a real change of pace for me.  Two-face looks as if he is still recovering from his burns, and Mr. Freeze’s weapons look like they could be real.  Aside from the cosmetic changes that Rocksteady has made to the villains, they have made them more devious.  The Penguin throws his henchmen right at batman and even tortures some undercover cops that he happened to capture.  I think the added menace of the villains really makes beating them up that much more enjoyable.

batman fighting some thugs

Aside from the great story and the excellent presentation of everything, the thing that brings the game together is the game play itself.  In some games traveling from one spot to another is tedious and time consuming.  Not in Arkham City, you can glide above the streets avoiding the little minions who want to fight you.  However, fighting is a true joy.  As the Caped Crusader you can power through groups of baddies with ease.  Short slow-mo bits give great satisfaction after beating up large groups of thugs.  The controls are easy to pick up; you are given a simple attack, counter and stun buttons.  As you progress to later on in the game, you gain access to gadgets that you can use to help you fight.  I found it difficult to integrate these into my fighting.  However, the great thing is you don’t need to use them.  However to master these extra gadgets, it takes time.  So as the old saying goes “easy to learn, difficult to master.” There are portions of the game that require you to use stealth.  I relish the opportunity to take down several people without being seen.

The game is by far one of the best games I have ever played.  The story telling is so engrossing that I could hardly pull myself away to experience the huge amount of side missions.  The style and graphics are some of the best I have seen, no detail has been left out.  With those 3 things, story, style and graphics, you can have a good game, but what really sets this game apart is the game play.  Gliding over the city is tons of fun.  Fighting is so easy to pick up, but there are so many things that can be done, that it can take a while to get proficient.

 

Final Thoughts:

Overall the game is a ton of fun to play and will consume hours of your time.  I am not anywhere near done, and have sunk somewhere between 20 and 40 hours into this game.

 

Final Score: This game gets a 10 out of 10

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  • http://twitter.com/theownerz Gregory Laporte

    great review! 

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