Still Gotham's greatest hope.
For those who played through Batman: Arkham City in 2011, the Armored Edition doesn't offer much in the way of incentives -- by and large, this is the same top-notch action/adventure game Rocksteady released last year. The new BAT mode gives you an additional combat option, but it's both unoriginal and ineffective. You'll charge a meter, activate BAT mode, and become mildly stronger in a fight. The inclusion of the Harley Quinn's Revenge expansion, Robin and Nightwing's challenge rooms, and character skins goes a long way to lengthen the experience, but the Wii U Game Pad functionality is clearly a consequence of launch-title experimentation. Arkham City looks and plays just as excellent as always on the Game Pad screen, but when it's used for touch-screen weapon selection, or as an in-game gadget, the Game Pad is just awkward. Moving the real-world object to look for in-game objects is a chore, and better left to the analog sticks. Glancing at the Game Pad to see your sonar radar is the best usage, really, but even then it's unexciting and not as helpful as simply absorbing yourself in the game proper.
Batman: Arkham City isn't perfect, but listing the little things I didn't like gets in the way of all the stuff I adored. The voice acting, the challenges, the amazing opening, the unbelievable ending and the feeling of being the Dark Knight -- these are the things that standout looking back. I've beaten this thing twice and still want to call in sick and chase Riddler Trophies.
Batman: Arkham City isn't just better than Batman: Arkham Asylum, it's better than most games on the market.
Score: 9.5 - Amazing
Batman: Arkham City on Wii U is the quintessential version of one of the generation's definitive games.
+Excellent combat and exploration
+Outstanding character performances
+Absorbing world and an engaging story
+Inclusion of Harley Quinn's Revenge and Robin/Nightwing challenges
- Irregular, awkward Wii U Game Pad usage
You can put to rest the circulating propaganda of Wii U not being able to handle ports. Rest easy knowing that whatever is done well or poorly, is a direct result of the developer's commitment and not the hardware's fault.