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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars get the GOTY edition instead
According to the description, this is the Nov 2011 release (base game), with all the dev playability patches since then and WITHOUT THE FIRST 5 or 6 DLCs. The Game of the Year edition (Sep 2012+ release) has the 5 or 6 DLCs:

Harley Quinn's Revenge
Arkham City Skins Pack
Challenge Map Pack
Robin Bundle Pack
Nightwing Bundle Pack...
Published 21 months ago by Dec

versus
34 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the Game, Disappointed by the PC Release
I held off purchasing this game for PlayStation 3 so that I could enjoy the benefits of the PC version, which were quite numerous when Arkham Asylum was released. The gameplay is much smoother due to the higher framerates and it was the first PhysX game I was able to play, which definitely increased the immersion. I've started playing this title and to my dismay, all of...
Published on November 24, 2011 by T. Stockton


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Game, DO NOT GET BOXED VERSION, November 5, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This part of the review is mostly about the way the game is distributed instead of the content of it. Don't get this version, get the Game of the Year version Batman Arkham City GOTY [Download] instead, the content on there is worth it. Also, if you can get it on Amazon digital or Steam because the physical disc requires you to activate with Games for Windows Live (GFWL) which is going to be discontinued in 2014. That means you will not be able to play this game with saved games at all or install it when GFWL goes offline. If you're reading this post GFWL shutdown, you probably cannot play this version of the game. You can however use the game code and activate it on Steam to get a digital version, however, my game code did not work so I had to contact WB Support and they completely ignored me for over 2 weeks. Chances are the code from this boxed edition won't work at all after next year.

For the game itself, it is amazing. The graphics are beautiful, the gameplay is fun, the voice acting and music are top notch, and the story is worthy of its book or movie. The game world is fun to explore and has nice little details for Batman fans to find. The controls works surprisingly well for the combat with a keyboard and mouse, and the animation for the combat looks seamless. The game is pretty flexible with the play through, you can mostly get away with stealthy approaches in the game except for boss battles or you can just beat down on most enemies as long as your skills with the fighting system is good enough. The gadgets in the game are pretty creative and fun to play with, it allows you to take down enemies in different ways and fun to watch. The only negative about this game is the DRM with Games for Windows Live or Steam, which forces you to play a single player game with an internet connection (their "offline" mode requires you to still go online and not reboot the machine). If it wasn't for this hassle I would have given it 5 stars. If you don't mind Steam, like most people, then this won't be as much of a sticking point for you. It's a definite buy if you like action games, especially, you're a fan of Batman or the first game.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Strugle to register, March 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Spend more than a hour on the net trying to register this game and still cant get it to work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Game Doesn't Save - Third Party Save Failure, February 24, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Wait Wait Wait....
This game doesn't save progress. I have been to the forums and they all say the same thing, "Set up a offline account with Windows Live". That is not working for me.

Please Game Maker dump the third party game saving, it is a bad idea. We just want to play, not setup another account with some company. What happens when their servers go out, when they no longer support the game, when they go out of business.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for Batman fans, but no GOTY, January 7, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I really enjoyed Arkham Asylum on PC: it felt like the ultimate super-hero experience, wrapped in excellent story telling and mostly entertaining mini-puzzles involving the Riddler. That said, I was looking forward to playing Arkham City.

After waiting a few weeks for a price drop AND a DX11 patch, I finally got it for a really good price. It came with a full-size intro comic book (unlike the booklet sized mini comic in AA) which introduces some game themes and motives. Being an avid comic reader, I can't say this one is particularly good: the drawing style is very simplistic and my wife even found a spelling error. The coloring is well done, but the writing is somewhat cheesy. Then again I wasn't expecting DC to spend tons of money producing a free mini comic that, probably, many people will not even read. It was a nice touch to include one anyway, as Batman belongs first and foremost to the comic book world.

The game took a while to install though I didn't have any technical difficulties, beyond disgusting DRM being installed on my computer apart from a CD key AND date verification. Yes, this game works and installs "fine" but comes plagued with nasty DRM.

The game itself is an expanded Arkham Asylum, where everything somewhat repeats itself in a larger scale: a district instead of a prison, city buildings instead of prison-hospital facilities, and lots of streets with random thugs instead of, well, pathways with random thugs. However, the pace at which things occur makes this a richer experience, with people calling for help as you pass by and things coming up "unexpectedly" in the middle of the main mission.

*GAMEPLAY*

The game plays exactly like AA with some minimal key/button changes and a lot more movements and gadgets. Combat however feels more fluid and a lot more animations were included. Gadgets are also seamlessly integrated into combat which makes fighting more exciting than before.

Instead of a mini-map, a compass is included, as in other sandbox style games.

Riddles are back, only this time they are more contraption-based and less hidden-object style. They are rewarding though, as Riddler's trophies are the key to find the location of several trapped victims. The problem is there are way too many riddles, and searching for each and every one of them can be annoying and frustrating, unless you really have nothing better to do with your time.

While the main mission plays at a pace similar to that in AA, there are a variety of side-missions that will show up sooner or later, that you can pursue at any moment during or after the main story.

If the first game succeeded in making the player feel like Batman as he undergoes a psycho-trip with Arkham's most dangerous criminals (somewhat similar to Grant Morrison and Dave McKean's Arkham Asylum), this one succeeds in letting the player feel like Batman doing his job for day. Lots of criminals, lots of people to help, lots of problems to deal with, and no time to waste.

*STORY*

As mentioned before, the first game did a great job in telling a story worthy of a graphic novel (with an exaggerated final battle). This time, while still well executed and mostly enjoyable, it feels a little too cartoonish for my taste. Go here, go there, "oh no! criminal X has thing Y, GO GET IT!". While it has a few high points, I wouldn't consider this a remarkable job in writing or story telling. A couple of times it seemed the game took Batman too far from the dark detective territory and into fantastic action-hero arena.

A couple of the side-missions are very interesting and fun to play however, so all in all everything together compensates for the poorer main story.

The game also features some adventure elements, mostly in the form of very fun exploration.

*VISUALS AND SOUND*

As it was expected, the game boasts incredible visuals in both the technical and aesthetic dimensions. Tessellation is used modestly in only certain objects, but in general the DX11 features add a nice visual touch. PhysX works just like in the first game: it creates moving and destructible objects that have no interference whatsoever with the game world.

Some of the locations look and feel amazing, and are very exciting to explore. Coupled with the story behind them, they can be almost breath-taking if you like fantasy and sci-fi.

Textures aren't really high definition, which is a disappointment. Animations, however, are very impressive both in combat and cutscenes.

Sound is very good, with excellent voice-acting. The music score is surprisingly good, with some symphonic touches in the background of fights and action scenes.

*PERFORMANCE*

After Rocksteady patched *most* of the performance issues, the game is fully enjoyable using DirectX 11's features AND PhysX. No major slowdowns, except at a particularly PhysX-intensive scene where it drops to unplayable levels.

My PC (Phenom II X6 1090T - 3.7 GHz, 8 GB RAM, GTX 560 Ti OC'ed, Win 7 Pro 64-bit) plays the game using FXAA High, DX11 Tessellation Normal, Detail level Very High, PhysX Normal, at above 50 FPS.

*FINAL THOUGHTS*

A fun action game, with an entertaining but unremarkable storyline. Lots of things to do, and a whole district to explore. Not sure if it's better than Arkham Asylum, but it's the continuation so you may want to play it. Too bad it comes plagued with nasty DRM, so get it at a discounted price.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars FUN game, HORRIBLE experience, August 24, 2012
By 
RB "Richard" (Nashville, TN USA) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Reading a review for this game 9 months after initial release, you'd expect to hear that most of the problems have been solved. Let me be the first, or fiftieth, to tell you that almost none of the problems have been fixed. A patch, installed automatically by Games for Windows LIVE did help a bit, however there are myriad problems that remain.

The most common crash points:
When entering doors to a load point, the 'saving' bat symbol doesn't appear, and you know to expect a crash within a few seconds.

When at a boss point, the game will immediately crash with the "Windows is searching for a solution to this problem" screen.

What makes the above infinitely worse is that you can't quick save, or manually save the game, before entering doors or initiating bosses. The funny, and I use that word mockingly, much like the Joker, is that the game seems to be learning from my 'tricks' to beat the crashes. The first hour or two, I could merely restart the game and the door would work. Then the game learned I was re-opening, and stopped even after a fresh game start. So I began restarting my computer, which would allow me to successfully load through the door. That trick lasted a few hours, till it changed and started displaying an error saying necessary game files couldn't be found. Thoroughly frustrated by now, I then restarted my computer, loaded the game, and searched for something to do besides the main plot point so it might trigger a game auto-save. This worked several times before the game caught onto my 'trick.' I am now stuck.

Roughly 5 hours into the game, it is now crashing while I fly around the city, which was originally a 'safe zone' in terms of the game not crashing.

I WANT to like this game, which is a lot of fun when it works, however the crashing + inability to progress in the story has rendered this game beyond horrible.

Buyers beware.

********** ADDED THOUGHT **********
I forgot to mention the installation process. It took me three days to get this game installed. 3/4 of the way through the first DVD, it would pop up and say it can't find file "DATAFILE1.CAB," or something that looked just like that, on the DVD. I tried to immediately restart the install, but failed the next 3 or so times. So I restarted my computer. This time it apparently found DATAFILE1.CAB, but it couldn't find "DATAFILE4.CAB" on the disc. It got to be that I would get home from work, pop in the disc and try to install just for the heck of it. Then on the third day, I came home, popped in the disc, and it worked! Seriously, just reading my own story, I laugh at how bad the bugs in this game are. It makes me want to quote the CIA Director in Bourne Ultimatum: "You can't make this stuff up."
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother. It won't install on WIn7, November 25, 2011
By 
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I tried to install it about 20 times. The furthest I got was once the installation program asked me to insert the second disk. Then I had two install programs running at the same time! Since that episode, the install kept failing returning different error messages and logs each time - that is if the DVD was recognized by Windows. I tried both my Lite-On DVD drives.

I called tech support today and they would not help me. Told me to return it to Amazon. I hope I get my money back.

Judging by the reviews here, I think it was an omen that it wouldn't install.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Games for Windows Live/Steam issue, January 29, 2014
Like many others, I have been having a helluva time playing this game. It prompts me to create a GFWL profile. I did, whenever I try to play, I get an error code.
I did some online research which suggests that GFWL is being phased out and that you can now activate retail copies of this game via steam using the code that comes with the disc. THAT DOES NOT WORK EITHER.
So far, all I have is a coaster.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Won't load, September 16, 2013
By 
Returning this game. It would never load. I'm not computer saavy enough, nor do I care to spend the time, to find a work around to the issues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, but a little lacking in new features compared to the original, November 5, 2012
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Several months have passed since Batman defeated the Joker's attempt to take over Arkham Asylum. Unfortunately, the asylum was almost overrun by Poison Ivy's out-of-control plants in the process, rendering it useless. To replace it, a section of Gotham City's run-down docklands has been sealed off and converted into a new prison and asylum, with most of the city's most dangerous criminals incarcerated there. Appalled, Bruce Wayne enters politics in an attempt to shut down the facility, only to find himself arrested and thrown into the prison. He has to survive, find a way of resuming his Batman persona and bring down both those running the prison and defeat its array of inmates at the same time.

Arkham City is the direct sequel and follow-up to 2009's Arkham Asylum. Arkham Asylum was the game that, after dozens of failed attempts, finally 'got' the Dark Knight and made him into a credible computer game character. It did this by giving Batman a strong, dark storyline to follow, an array of gadgets to use (both in investigations and combat) and welding together the 'gritty' approach favoured by Christopher Nolan's movies with the more colourful and bizarre world of the Batman comics. It also had a great combat system and some solid stealth mechanics.

The follow-up is, inevitably, bigger and more epic. Arkham City sprawls across a much vaster area than the old asylum and is open to exploration from the very start (the asylum unlocked section-by-section as you went through the game and was more linear). The game is also divided neatly into both the main storyline and a series of side-missions, some of which are quite lengthy and involved in themselves. The main storyline involves Batman having to face (and, in some cases, work alongside) villains such as the Joker, Two-Face, the Penguin, Mr. Freeze and Ra's Al Ghul before taking on the director of the prison, the sinister Hugo Strange. However, a ton of other villains show up in the side-missions, including Deadshot, Zasz, Killer Croc (though only in a brief cameo), the Mad Hatter and Bane. Rather than feeling over-saturated, like almost any superhero movie with more than two villains, this gives the game the feeling of existing in an already-extant world, with a large amount of optional information available (via the Batcomputer) to fill players less-versed in the DC Universe on who these people are.

As with Arkham Asylum, the game involves tracking down clues to solve mysteries and beating a quite staggering number of thugs into unconsciousness. The game's setting also allows you to spend quite a lot of time perched precariously on building corners, gazing broodily into the night before spotting some passing thugs beating up a civilian and swooping down to deliver some vengeance. The setting allows you to 'be' Batman even more completely than Arkham Asylum, which is highly satisfying.

That said, the open world environment does offer some problems as well as some improvements over the first game. The first game benefited highly from its focused, linear structure that gradually opened up the asylum as you progressed (and allowing you to backtrack and reach previously-inaccessible areas with later-acquired gadgets). This second game sprawls flabbily in its opening sections, with the game taking a while to give you some sense of what you are trying to do. Once it does and you're alternating the main storyline with optional sub-missions the game kicks into a higher gear, but it's a slight disappointment that Arkham City isn't on fire from its opening moments the same way its predecessor managed.

The biggest surprise from the game is that the bigger setting doesn't necessarily translate into a notably different experience from the first game. There's about half again as much content (I completed Arkham Asylum in 11 hours and City in about 17) and a few more major locations, but the game's bigger canvas often translates in you taking three minutes of rooftop-swinging to move between locations rather than a minute of running as in in Arkham Asylum. The game - surprisingly - reuses the same locations several times over missions just as Asylum did in a clear cost-saving move, and after a while you realise that more than 90% of the buildings in the city cannot be entered or interacted with other than swinging from their rooftops. The much bigger location certainly gives rise to some new gameplay experiences, such as chasing down a serial killer on a time limit before he strikes his next victim, but it's not as transformative to the gaming experience as you might expect. In fact, after a while I was regretting the fact that we didn't have a full Gotham City game, with you being able to explore the city of Gotham as a whole and using vehicles to help complete missions as well as Batman's gadgets (which, a few minor additions aside, are pretty much the same as in the first game).

Still, if Arkham City is less of Grand Theft Gotham and more Arkham Asylum Redux, that's no bad thing. Combat is still physical and rugged, undertaken with impressive animations and combos. There's a greater variety of moves and opponents which makes the combat varied without becoming over-complex. The stealth mechanic is still enjoyable, with the game being at its best when you can take out a whole room of enemies with no-one realising where you are. The investigation side of things is still somewhat lightweight, but at least nods at Batman's detective origins. The story is decent and the voice-acting is as superb as its forebear, with Mark Hamill again taking top prizes for his gleefully deranged role as the Joker in what is his swansong appearance as the character. The scene where the Joker is taunting Batman only to get side-tracked into a puzzled analysis of the final episode of Lost is definitely the game's comic highlight. The game is, overall, a ridiculous amount of fun once you get over the slight hiccup of the start.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic game, lousy DRM, most bugs seem to be worked out, April 28, 2012
By 
sonnojoi "sonnojoi" (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This game is at least a worthy successor to the fantastic Arkham Asylum. The environment, story and gameplay are terrific, the graphics (using DX9, DX11 caused too much frame rate degradation on my high powered PC) are beautiful and rich. The voice acting is as wonderful as in Asylum. The Joker trophies are more challenging now, and the opportunity to play as Catwoman changes things up although I think they could have stepped into the 21st Century and made the female characters a little less T&A-centric.

Apparently this game shipped with a TON of dealbreaking bugs, but once I turned DX11 off and using the latest Nvidia drivers I had no problems. Various reviews claim that DX11 doesn't add much to justify all the hassle; certainly the game looks terrific without it.

What did annoy me and cost stars is the troika of DRM regimes. First you have to use Steam; okay, I like Steam. Then you have to use Windows Live which is completely redundant with Steam and a hell of a lot less useful. Finally, you are restricted to five installations. I put a new hard drive on my computer soon after I installed BM:AC, so I guess I'm down to three more for the rest of my gaming life.
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