on October 18, 2011
Anybody who has played Batman: Arkham Asylum and loved it knows precisely why it was such an amazing game. Take one part Matrix: Path of Neo for epic, super-human martial arts beat-em up; ad in another part Splinter Cell style sneaking around in dark environments for tense moments that test skill and patience; throw in some cool gadgetry to help you along the way like in Ape Escape; mix it in with amazing graphics, superb voice actors, and arguably the greatest super-hero ever and you had Batman: Arkahm Asylum.
So, how much more can such an already amazing game offer us if given a sequel? Apparently, a whole lot more.
If you can believe it, the intro to Arkham City is even better and more pulse-pounding than the intro to the first. You start off, not as Batman, but as Bruce Wayne, who is lobbying against Arkham City. I won't give anything away about what soon happens to our seemingly mild-mannered aristocrat, but I will say this...laying the beat down on some thugs as the boy-billionaire is one of coolest experiences I've had in gaming.
Soon afterwards, you suit up. Now you are Batman, but this isn't a self-contained island you're dealing with anymore. This is a no man's land. Pouncing on an unsuspecting group of baddies isn't as simple as it used to be; there are always more goons lurking around the corners, ready to jump into the fray like a vicious pack of wolves. More than once you'll find yourself overwhelmed and having to flee a fight while the stinging insults of said goons follow in your wake. Take my advice and just let it go. Survival is the name of the game.
If you've been watching Youtube then you've no doubt seen Batman's new flight mechanics. These are as fun in practice as they are to watch, although there is a learning curve to gliding effectively. There's also a pesky helicopter searching for you at all times. These guys are Tyger, Hugo Strange's own henchmen. Avoiding the helicopter can be tricky, but also fun.
As you'd expect, Arkham City plays almost exactly like the first one with a few tweaks and upgrades. Batman starts off with most of the same gadgets he had at the end of the first, including the grapple gun, the cryptographic sequencer and the remote batarang. He also has several new moves for melee situations. Batman must've been taking lessons from Chuck Norris because his martial arts are better and flashier than ever. He now has the ability to perform a counter-attack against two or more assailants at a time instead of just one. He has a new punch combo attack where he repeatedly thrusts with each press of the button. As Batman lays down an 18 punch combo on a single guy, or gigantic goon, I can't help but think of Kenshiro! "The one-hundred crack fist of the North Star! You're already dead!" Oh, but...this is Batman so minus the brutal killing of your foes. Let's just say he's more like Donkey Kong when beating up some Tikis.
The new combat moves make the game as fun as ever but also makes NOT using them an exercise in restraint. As stated before, enemies can show up when you least suspect and they sometimes pack heat. This will undoubtedly force all of us to use our brains even more when devising effective plans of attack. To aid in stealthy takedowns are a new set of "predator moves" where Batman can use far more takedowns from different hiding positions than he had previously. Again, a new set of moves and abilities to augment the ones we had before in Arkham Asylum. It's almost like the first game just laid the foundation and the sequel built onto it!
In addition to the main story mission are additional side missions that will pop up along the way. These may have you saving random inmates from other, worse inmates, to working with Bane to dispose of drums of Titan chemicals (Titan once more plays into the game's story) to solving mysteries planted by the Riddler. (By now we've all heard the "Riddler is Jigsaw!" equations made by everyone so I won't bore you with that. I don't even like Saw). You may want to hold off on the missions that involve Zaasz making you run across Arkham City to answer telephones until you've unlocked some flying upgrades. Certain henchmen will be highlighted in green. These are henchmen you can interrogate to acquire more info about the various crime lords they are working under. Taking them out last to initiate interrogation is a tough and not always fun exercise that we will nevertheless do in order to gain more precious XPs.
This game has a dark look and feel that pulls you in. Jumping across rooftops as the Batman is a whole `nother experience from doing it as Spiderman. The dingy, grungy look of the city, the background music and ambience. All of these together invade your subconscious until you feel alive with primal, survival instincts. I can't even describe it, really. You feel like a predator, but also like the prey. You're always walking a narrow line between seeming invincibility, and utter helplessness. This game puts you in a place all of us have been our whole lives without always realizing. When we dreamed we were running from danger, or dreamed we were conquering obstacles to achieve glory. This is just a personal opinion, of course, but I'd swear I've seen this in my dreams. Maybe I was just dreaming of being the Batman. This is as close as any of us will likely get.
The villains look fantastic. Mr. Freeze, interestingly enough, has a huge suit that reminds me of the Mr. Freeze suit from Batman and Robin. I apologize for even bringing THAT movie up, but the suit in that movie was still cool looking. Mr. Freeze looks menacing and sounds awesome with the voice talents of Maurice LaMarche (the guy who was Brain in Pinky and the Brain and about a million different voices in Futurama!) Penguin looks viscious and cruel and is twice as ruthless, no doubt to overcome his own size. Twoface looks somewhere between The Animated Series version and the Dark Knight version. Then there's the unexpected appearance of Solomon Grundy who looks like a nightmarish Frankenstein's monster and who is even bigger than Killer Croc!
In summation, Arkahm City is anther step forward for an already revolutionary game franchise. There are the usual shortcomings, however. You may find yourself wandering around, not knowing what to do until you trigger the right event to move the game forward. Figuring out some of the new controls may be a chore even to veteran players. And the boss fights still feel like, well, boss fights. Run around, dodge attacks and wait for the inevitable weak point to expose itself. Standard video game stuff, really. Of course, that's just all part of the experience. If it was too easy we wouldn't enjoy it as much, would we?
There's no reason for anyone who liked Arkahm Asylum to not like this one. If you didn't like the first one then I don't know how I could recommend this to you. It's the same game, just much bigger. If you don't like sandbox sandbox games and prefer something linear you can still focues on just the main mission. On the whole it's the same game, just with more stuff. That may be good news to some and bad news for others. For fans of the first, it definitely delivers. We finally got the new Batman Game, now just three more weeks til Skyrim!
Some people may compare this game's story, not unjustly, to Escape from NewYork. Maybe they're just nitpicking, though. Even if that's the case, there are still plenty of twists and turns to keep players genuinely surprised right up until they get to of the end main mission.
I'm afraid I can't comment much on DLC since they have it in such a way that different people get different things. I've heard after a certain point, though, we'll all be able to download the same content...for a price.
on December 28, 2011
I really enjoyed Batman: Arkham Asylum so I expected big things here. Thankfully, Arkham City keeps all the good elements of the first game, makes some improvements, and adds enough new elements that the experience still feels fresh.
The one major downside to Arkham Asylum to me was the need to almost constantly use the X-ray vision mode to see where thugs were lurking around corners in order to plan stealth attacks in relatively small spaces. This time around, the city environment allows for much greater movement, and the lighting makes it easy to see enemies without going to X-ray mode, while still keeping a dark atmosphere. Strategy is still needed since some of the bad guys carry guns, but I no longer feel like I'm playing the role of a ninja, taking out one guy and scurrying back into the shadows. It's very cool to look to the sky and see the bat-signal indicating the direction of your current primary objective.
The number of melee attacks you can unlock is so extensive it felt overwhelming at first. Fortunately you have the option to have a prompt come up at the bottom of the screen when your combo meter is high enough to use advanced attacks. The more sophisticated and varied your fighting style, the more XP points you get to unlock more abilities and upgrade your armor.
Then there are the hundreds of Riddler trophies to obtain. Some are merely hidden from sight, while others are in plain view but require solving a puzzle to free them for collection. There is even a device that involves chaining letters together to form words to solve some of the riddles. There are also various challenges like gliding a certain distance, performing certain attacks successfully, and destroying Joker teeth, each of which awards a Riddler trophy. Just collecting all the trophies is like a game in itself, and is a nice way to break up the action. Also, you can hold down the L2 button to mark a Riddler trophy on your map if you can't currently retrieve it. Tip: If there is no evident way to get to a trophy, mark it and move on. Many require gadgets that you may not have yet, and the red ones can only be obtained by Catwoman.
Catwoman has really nice martial arts attacks, can use her whip and other weapons, and can make repeated jumps to scale a building in place of Batman's grappling hook. She definitely feels fully developed and in no way tacked on as a promotional gimmick.
Batman's gliding ability combined with being able to grapple from midair makes it easy to get around the city. It's fun, the physics are well done, and it is practically useful.
The graphics in this game are some of the best I've ever seen. I never have that sensation like in some sandbox games where the buildings look painted into the background and unrealistic. It really feels like a living, breathing world, especially since there are always optional side missions popping up and bad guys lurking and chatting about what's going on. The voice acting is very good, especially Mark Hamill's portrayal of The Joker.
AI in this game is impressive. If I take out one in a gang with stealth and the others find him, they go on alert and actively search. This means altering their patrol patterns, staying closer together, and turning around much more often to watch their backs. It's a refreshing change from games where guys go on alert for a minute, then return to mindlessly walking the exact same path and begging to be picked off. The game is challenging but never cheap, and if you have trouble with certain elements of fighting you can upgrade accordingly. The ability to throw down a smoke pellet when coming under gunfire is a great addition.
I don't have a bad thing to say about this game. I'm not one to go overboard with praise and ignore flaws, but there are no issues here. No bugs, no collision detection problems, no slowdown despite the huge scale of the city, no painful logic gaps in the story or motivation. You can tell Rocksteady had a great engine to start with, and spent their time fixing issues and expanding gameplay in creative ways. Too often I get frustrated during a game and wonder "didn't the developers care if this is actually fun to play?". During the many hours I've spent in Arkham City, I have only asked that once, which was when I was first learning how to glide. There is no tutorial and I had to go online to figure out how to dive and pull up. That temporary problem aside, the game is nonstop fun, with enough challenge that I've died numerous times in ways that left me saying "I need to plan better next time". This is the sort of game where you're saying goodbye to months of your life when you pick it up, which you should do right now.
on January 17, 2012
This wont be like my MW3 review, but in contrast, will be more brief and informative for this is how I like to present them.
This game is hands down amazing! There are no other words to describe it. From start to finish I was fully immersed into the story and gameplay. So what exactly makes this game so awesome you might ask. Well, let me elaborate a bit about the key features that really drew me in. The new combat moves are sick! I felt like a champ owning the cpu's in Arkham Asylum, now, In Arkham City, Im feeling like a boss tearing through these guys like a martial arts virtuoso. In short, you are going to have a lot of fun with this. Now, on to the storyline and gameplay. This is probably the most important feature of the game and it does not disappoint. Nowadays, most games rely on great looking graphics to fill the gap that the horrible story creates. Luckily, that is not the case for Arkham City. In this game, it seems as if both awesome graphics and amazing storyline coexist creating this single player masterpiece. I think that future developers should take note of this, and use it in upcoming titles. During the game, I found little to no dull spots. There was always something keeping my attention, which is great. There was also very little repetition, so you cant really get bored of the same thing recurring. The last thing I'd like to talk about is the dialogue. Your probably thinking, how is that important? Well, Its something you really cant tell is good, until its gone. I have had many instances with other games where the dialogue was so bad, that it threw off my entire gaming experience. As you might have guessed, Arkham City excels in this area as well. The voice acting was executed superbly and was like music to my ears hearing realistic responses and arguments. Overall, this game is fantastic. I believe the developers of this game have really outdone themselves here. A truly awesome experience. I'd recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of the batman series or just loves superheros. This game will not disappoint.
If you found this review helpful, please leave a positive vote. Thanks. Also, If you have any questions regarding the game or this review, feel free to leave a comment and I'll be sure to answer them as best as possible.
on November 16, 2012
Video game sequels that learn from their previous mistakes, and build upon existing foundations, have been a staple of the game industry over the last 5 years, and no other sequel exemplifies this more than Batman: Arkham City.
I enjoyed the previous game in the series, Arkham Asylum (see my review). It had some flaws that kept it from being great, and it demonstrated the hallmarks of a relatively young developer finding its footing, but it was a very good game regardless that showed lots of potential. The new game, Arkham City, is the full manifestation of that potential. It is a masterpiece through and through. It retains all the excellent qualities of Arkham Asylum: the excellent graphics and soundtrack, the top notch voice acting, and one of the finest combat systems to ever grace a video game.
The key difference between these two games is implied in the titles of the games. While Arkham Asylum was a more closed-in, claustrophobic setting, the prison of Arkham City is vast, vertical, grimy, and glorious. The huge, open gameworld is a natural fit for Batman and his arsenal of gadgets. Stalking your enemies from the tops of high rises, grappling from rooftop to rooftop, finding secrets around every corner...the game manifests the concept of being Batman much more effectively than its predecessor. Batman is a detective, and Batman is a hunter, and the environment seems to be designed around allowing these two concepts to fully blossom. Also, given the multifaceted gameworld, there is also so much more to do here. You can deviate from the story at any time to take on a plethora of side missions, which are not only fully-encompassed stories in themselves, but also introduce key characters from the Batman universe into the story. This is a fuller, richer game than its predecessor, and offers an experience unlike any other video game out there right now.
One other aspect of Batman: Arkham City worth mentioning is the story. While the story is very good throughout, it takes an incredibly emotional, powerful turn in the last quarter of the game that will leave you stunned. Narrative was a key focus of the previous game in the series, but just like in every other area, Arkham City's story absolutely soars. It's an unforgettable Batman story that will proudly stand alongside the the best Batman comics and movies.
If you played and enjoyed Arkham Asylum to any degree, buying this game is a no-brainer. But for anyone else out there who is unfamiliar with this series of games and is pondering picking this game up, I highly encourage you to do so, as I truly believe that there is very little here that can possibly disappoint. It is one of the most expertly and lovingly crafted video games I have ever played, and this fully manifests itself in the incredibly enjoyable, exciting, and unforgettable experience that is playing Batman: Arkham City. This is one of this generation's top games. Get it.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: Purchasing the game new will also give you access to several missions where you can play as Catwoman, who moves and fights very distinctly from Batman, and is SO much fun to play as. Not only this, but her story arc intersects with Batman's several times in the game, and playing as her makes the entire experience much richer. Be sure not to miss this part of the game!
on December 21, 2011
I bought this game because I heard alot of good things about it. I could not find any "legitimate" bad reviews. All I can say is this is a great game from start to finish. Anyone I have let play it has become completly hooked. It doesnt hurt that it was just voted as game of the year. Well deserved and highly recommended!
on February 28, 2012
There's fun, and then there is addiction. I came close to the later with this game. This is one of the few games that I started new game plus right after beating it. I've currently stopped playing it, because it's causing me not to be able to play other games. It's that fun.
The good: the gameplay is outstanding. It's just a blast to fly/glide around the city and get in fights. This is gaming at it's finest.
The bad: sometimes the side mission seem a bit hard to track down, and the payoff for finally getting to them is pretty low. They offer a larger variety of things to do in the game, but do not hold up to the greatness of the rest of the game. While boss fights are fun, but they could have been a bit more fun or unique. In a dev interview, on of the creators said that instead of improving on things that they weren't great at, they decided to make what they were good at better. It shows. The boss fights aren't great, but the base gameplay is outstanding, which in turn makes the boss fights fun. While in the open world, each building sort of act as the villains' world, I felt the levels lacked the personality of the original. They are still very good, but they feel a bit homogenous. Also, the camera can be really really tight. Sometimes this is fine, but every so often it would position itself so I couldn't see what was happening on one side of a fight, and then a punch would come from off screen and destroy my beautiful combo.
The worse: The Catwoman DLC is terrible. If you don't have it, you are kind of pressed up against it and told "No, no, bad gamer." The game litters (heh) levels with riddler trophies only Catwoman can get, reminding you that you don't have the DLC (it's still there if you do have it). But then, if you get it (either by buying a new copy or as DLC), you are treated to some of the worst gameplay the game has to offer. You get two (I think, might be forgetting one) boss fights, neither of which are actually boss fights. They are simply henchman fights with a 'boss' henchman (vaguely). Catwoman herself is a mixed bag. She is severely underpowered compared to batman. They make up for this by increasing her stealth ability, but you still go from feeling like "I'm Batman" to feeling like "I'm... sneaky joe and the doesn't fly so why do I care." One neat idea is that instead of gliding around, you get to crawl up or whip-swing to every building surface. This gives a new appreciation for the architecture of the game, the size of the city, and above all, reminds you how much more awesome it is to play as Batman instead of Catwoman. Okay, so back to those trophies: so the game shows you trophies you can only get with Catwoman, but then gives you no real motivation or reason for Catwoman to go get them. In her game, there is no point in which you meet, or hear from, The Riddler. There is no motive. But lets ignore that. Even if there was, there is a ton of trophies that you have to go way out of your way to get to. It would be fine if 'oh, hey, go through this area, but with a new configuration distinctly aimed at Catwoman, who gives you a new perspective on this particular level." It's simply the same Batman area, but with no plot to drive you forward.
Overall: The story is good, but not amazing. It's straight out from what you'd find in an average Batman comic. Nothing amazing, but generally good. The voice acting really reels it in though, as each villain is really well acted, matching their visual design well. Mark Hamill has said this is the last time he will play the Joker in anything Batman related, so I'm glad this was a good project. The ending is well done, which is something I don't normally feel with games, including the first Arkham title. The new game plus is challenging as well, and gives you good reason to want to play the game again with some new twists (one significant one). The only other game I played this year that left such a lasting impression was Uncharted 3, which I would say is a better game. I would say that this one is a 'funner' one though and I will be coming back to it for more.
on January 18, 2012
If you've read my review for Batman: Arkham Asylum, then you know that I loved it, yet I only rented it due to my "code" which demands that I only buy games based off Marvel comics since I'm a much bigger fan of that series as opposed to DC. However, I couldn't stand not being able to play the game again, so I eventually gave in and bought it... and I loved it even more. Naturally, I had to get Batman: Arkham City as well. Was it worth it? The answer to that question would be a big, fat "YES". Much like Arkham Asylum, Arkham City is a wonderfully crafted game with excellent combat, superb graphics, a gripping story, and simply oozing with dark atmosphere. If you have the DLC for Catwoman installed, then the game opens with the player in control of the thieving feline beating up some of Two-Face's thugs so she can get to his safe and steal something from him, only to end up getting captured by the duality obsessed thug himself. We are then switched over to the standard opening of the game and given control of the man himself... Bruce Wayne. That's right, we get to play for a bit as the impeccably dressed billionaire as he finds himself speaking at a televised protest for the purpose of closing down the newly built super prison Arkham City, which is basically an area of several square blocks of Gotham City that has been walled off to hold the vast collection of crazies that used to reside in Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison.
The new warden of this ill-advised facility, Professor Hugo Strange, has his TYGER security guards bust up the protest and arrest Bruce Wayne, presumably for speaking out against the prison. However, the real reason that Strange had Bruce arrested was because he knows his dark secret... he knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Now with Batman captured, Strange can proceed with his master plan simply known as Protocol 10. After being thrown into Arkham City and being introduced to its welcoming committee consisting of Penguin and his thugs, Bruce gets his gear dropped off by the Batwing, courtesy of Alfred. Now, fully suited up, Batman begins his mission to stop whatever Protocol 10 is, as well as a presumably different plot being hatched by the Clown Prince of Crime himself, the Joker. The Dark Knight will be doing the usual beating up of stupid thugs, sneaking in the shadows to take out gun-wielding thugs silently, solving lots of puzzles, and doing lots of gliding and grapnel gun zipping along the rooftops of the prison. These gameplay elements, as well as the controls, are basically identical to those in Arkham Asylum, but since there was nothing bad about them in the first game, then it's actually really good that they haven't changed too much in this one. In other words: "it ain't broke, so why fix it?"
As we all know, Arkham City is much more of a free-roaming environment than the more streamlined Arkham Island from the previous game. It's comparatively much smaller compared to the free-roaming environments found in other games such as Infamous, Prototype, and Red Dead Redemption, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. First of all, Arkham City is much more detailed in design (in a dark and dilapidated sort of way). Second of all, Arkham City is filled to the brim with all kinds of things to do and find. Plenty of iconic and interesting locations such as Penguin's museum, the Solomon Wayne Courthouse, and the Monarch Theater appear in Arkham City (even the location where Bruce Wayne's parents were murdered can be found somewhere in the city). There are also plenty of those ever so cleverly designed Riddler challenges and trophies. Seriously, they're EVERYWHERE. You will literally find Riddler trophies hidden just several feet away from other ones in certain locations. If the environment were any larger, then it would simply be too much in my opinion. Even with the way it is, one can't help but feel a little overwhelmed with all the stuff there is to do in Arkham City when you first step into it, although eventually it becomes more manageable and that overwhelming feeling gets downgraded to staggering. Anyway, back to the Riddler trophies. Most of them will be unobtainable when you first find them, as they are usually locked in these little domes or hidden behind other traps that can only be opened/unlocked with one of Batman's many gadgets.
Fortunately, Batman can mark these Riddler trophies on his map and come back to collect them after he has acquired one of the later gadgets that are needed to reach these trophies. Speaking of gadgets, Batman starts the game with most of the gear he finished the previous game with: his batarangs, remote controlled batarangs, explosive gel, grapnel gun, and batclaw. He also has smoke pellets (useful against gun-wielding enemies) and he eventually regains the line launcher. He'll even gain other useful gadgets such as a remote electrical charge, which fires a small blast of electricity that can be used to activate electrical machinery and shock enemies. He also gains a disruptor, which lets him disable enemy firearms and turrets. Batman's Detective Mode also makes a return (thank God) and it is again essential when finding hidden items and getting a lay of the land when sneaking around in the darkness during the predator (stealth) sessions peppered throughout the game. Batman can perch atop gargoyle statues or other high platforms and take down enemies in the same manner as he did in the previous game. Occasionally, some enemies will lay down mines to make walking around more dangerous for Batman, and other enemies will have jammers that will disrupt his Detective Mode: taking out these enemies first is of course a high priority.
Batman's vast array of butt kicking and head cracking moves are just as fluid and graceful as ever with his familiar attack, cape stun, counter, and dodge roll moves making a comeback, but the Caped Crusader has a few new tricks in his utility belt. With the new "quickfire" mechanic added into the controls, he can now integrate more of his gadgets like the explosive gel, remote electrical charge, and others into his attacks, along with the standard batarang and batclaw attacks from before. Batman can also now counter three attacking enemies at the same time, counter enemies who throw things at him, as well as pummel a single enemy repeatedly with a flurry of lightning quick jabs (this move is appropriately called the "Beatdown"). All these moves and gadgets can of course be upgraded with experience points. As one would expect, Batman's "traversal moves" have also been upgraded. While gliding around in the sky he can perform a divebomb move that lets him shoot downward at great speed, then when he pulls up he gains more altitude for gliding, letting him cover longer distances. He can now even use his grapnel gun while gliding to zip himself to a building or simply glide out of his grapnel swing to gain even more altitude and speed. Some of these new additions to the controls do take getting used to, especially the gliding and "quickfire" gadget attacks, but before long you'll be doing it all seamlessly and stylishly.
The other playable character, Catwoman, actually plays very similarly to Batman and has her own collection of fancy moves that let her beat up a small army of thugs. Her weapons are a whip, bolas, and caltrops, all with their own "quickfire" attacks. She's also a bit faster with her attacks. Her traversal moves aren't as seamless or easy to execute as Batman's, but they still work; she uses her whip to swing towards buildings and then latches onto their walls with her claws, allowing her to leapfrog (or "leapcat") up the side of the building. She also has goggles that give her what can be called "Thief Mode", which lets her see things in a purplish haze and highlights enemies and important items, but no sidebar descriptions accompany what she's looking at like with Batman's Detective Mode. Her Thief Mode is ultimately less useful than Detective Mode, but it still serves its purpose. Catwoman can also climb up and along certain walls and ceilings with her claws, allowing her to silently take down enemies from above, reach areas that Batman can't get to, and collect Riddler trophies that have been left specifically for her.
One other change to the gameplay is the somewhat more challenging enemies. A lot of the standard types of thug enemies from the previous game return, with the only changes being their appearances which depend on what villain they work for, whether it's Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, etc. The tougher enemies include guys armed with knives, guys with riot shields, guys wearing body armor, and... even ninjas. Battles against large groups of these types of enemies can be very dangerous for Batman. The boss fights have also improved and are more well-rounded with Batman facing a couple of other TITAN-infused thugs, as well as an arena type battle with Solomon Grundy, mystical fisticuffs with Ra's Al Ghul, a unique game of hide-and-go-beat up with Mr. Freeze, and a more appropriately challenging final boss battle against a rather surprising enemy. Aside from this already impressive gathering of villains, others appear in the game's side missions which are all miniature adventures with their own stories attached to them, and they all have multiple stages/levels before they can be completed. One consists of several races against time where Batman must get from one side of Arkham City to the other and answer a ringing phone before the clock runs down to zero, otherwise the psychotic Zsasz will kill a helpless victim. Another has Batman following bullet trajectories with his Detective Mode to hunt down Deadshot as he assassinates political prisoners in Arkham City. Probably the more memorable side mission is where Batman must rescue hostages from these elaborate traps set up by the Riddler (who has obviously seen several, if not all, of the SAW films). These and most of the other side missions eventually culminate in a final encounter between Batman and the villains in question. Sidenote: as someone who has come to truly loathe the Riddler and his little games, I found the final confrontation with him to be by far the most euphorically satisfying.
This may not need to be said, but there are indeed a lot of villains and characters in this game, with a couple of them appearing only for mere minutes. With all these different characters and stories packed into this one game, I agree with other reviewers that the story does tend to get a little jumbled here and there, and certain other villains get less camera time than they probably should have, especially Hugo Strange; his knowledge of Batman's identity could have been used as a very interesting story element that could have proved very threatening for Batman, but alas it doesn't get touched upon enough to be of much importance to the main plot. Still, the story we get proves to be quite interesting on its own, especially during the last few missions where a few genuinely "wow" moments are thrown at us. If I had to leave a solid complaint, it would be that there are simply too many Riddler trophies and challenges in this game (more than twice the amount found in the first game). Most are easy to find, but take work to get to. However, a relatively select few are an absolute chore to locate, even if you check and recheck every possible nook and cranny in the city... and there are many. I also don't see why the Catwoman missions couldn't have just come directly with the game instead of having to be added as DLC.
Even after the main and side missions are done, we've got plenty of those awesome challenge maps to pass the time with. Another quick praise has to go to the superb voice acting in this game, with Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy once again working their magic in their respectively iconic roles of Joker and Batman. In closing, Batman: Arkham City really is somewhat of an "expansion pack" of Batman: Arkham Asylum, but it's a darn good one. While there simply wasn't much to improve on with Arkham Asylum, Rocksteady has managed to actually take it further and add just enough new stuff in Arkham City to make it an overall better game, if a little less cohesive with the story. Other reviewers made the classic mistake of letting the hype for this game get to them and in the end they found this game to be disappointing. To those of you who haven't played this game yet, don't get caught up in the hype because it can kill any game if you let it, even one as great as this one. If you go into this game with an open mind and take your time to familiarize yourself with its subtleties and the rich world it puts you in, then you will most certainly enjoy it. Buy it, rent it, conjure it through use of the dark arts, I don't care... just give this game a shot.
This next part will be dedicated to the DLC called Harley Quinn's Revenge. Taking place 2 weeks after the end of the main game, Robin heads into Arkham City to find out what happened to Batman, who has been missing for the past two days after he went back into the giant prison to put a stop to some mischief being brewed by Harley Quinn. We start in control of the Boy Wonder who, much like Catwoman, also controls similarly to Batman, but there are subtle differences. Like his mentor, Robin can use his cape to glide short distances and he has his own grapnel gun that lets him shoot himself up to ledges and so on. His other gadgets include shurikens (his own version of batarangs), explosive gel, the zip-kick (similar to the batclaw, but lets Robin launch himself towards enemies or horizontal grapple points), and the snap flash (tiny explosives that can be placed onto unaware enemies or objects close to them and then detonated). Robin's bo staff can even be opened up into a shield that can temporarily protect him from gunfire and environmental hazards; he also routinely works the staff into his regular combos when beating up enemies. And of course there's Detective Mode (whew). Batman will also be controllable at some point and he's armed with EVERY gadget he had on him by the end of the main game: batarangs, line launcher, freeze blast, cryptographic sequencer, etc. Both heroes will take part in the same action sequences that have become staples in the series: beating up thugs and sneaking around in the shadows to take down armed enemies. The enemies are nothing new and include the usual standard thugs, thugs with knives, thugs with shock batons, thugs with riot shields, and one TITAN-infused sub-boss. Sadly, no actual boss fights. A somewhat new enemy type is introduced in the final encounter, but they're basically slightly tougher versions of standard thugs.
The game mostly takes place in a new area of Arkham City, the shipyard building, making this adventure considerably more linear. However, during one of Batman's play sessions, you'll be able to free-roam the Industrial District for a short time (the rest of Arkham City is off-limits). Aside from the new locale, there's really nothing new gameplaywise that Harley Quinn's Revenge offers to players. The only collectibles in this game are Harley Quinn-themed balloons to pop and speakers to destroy. All you get for finding them all is a PS3 trophy, so no biggy (at least there aren't any Riddler trophies or challenges, I'm tired of those). The story is actually very straightforward and doesn't really offer any surprises or twists, which I was kind of hoping for given how the main game ended. I was even hoping for a couple of the other villains that Batman encountered but didn't defeat in the main game to at least make quick appearances, like maybe Killer Croc or Hush. No such luck, I'm afraid. Playing this DLC is very much like taking part in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series: Batman and Robin go in to stop the bad guy (in this case, bad girl), they have to save hostages, get out of deadly traps, and in the end defeat the bad girl. To be honest, that's all well and good. Playing in the world of Arkham City is just as fun and addicting as it ever was. Unfortunately, this game is far too short, almost criminally so. Even first-timers who take their sweet time playing this game should be able to beat it in no more than two and a half hours. This shortness also gives players little opportunity to really use Robin's specialized gadgets. I actually think spending $10 on such a short DLC was a bit much, it simply needed more content. If a follow-up DLC is released in the future, I'm hoping it will have more content, or at least cost less if it ends up being as short as this one. Still, I liked Harley Quinn's Revenge and I don't regret buying it.
on April 3, 2016
My fans is batman and good game and Months after the conclusion of Arkham Asylum, the inmates and the asylum's nefarious denizens have been deported to a sectioned-off area, completely separate from Gotham, designated for criminals called Arkham City. Batman finds himself in the heart of Arkham City and uses his crazy fists of crime fighting justice to figure out just what's brewing under the corruption. From a full text and video Walkthrough for the main story and even Catwoman's escapades to Collectibles and the many Side Missions. and mission and map and walkthrough and items maps and video tips and strategies.
on April 25, 2016
Obviously if you don't like comics or batman, this isn't for you. But for those of us who do, oooooooohhh. This is pretty much more of the same great stuff from the first PS3 Batman, it just goes a lot deeper with tons of side missions, some of which are darned near impossible to beat. But of course that's the idea behind side missions. Enjoy!
on January 3, 2012
This game was a LOT of fun, with tons of extras. The story mode wasn't as long as I'd hoped, and honestly the game wasn't as big as I'd hoped; I was hoping for a game as big, long and detailed as Red Dead Redemption, but I got a game that was in between the size of Arkham Asylum and RDR. Considering how monumentally HUGE RDR is, I'm ok with it. What was is is deep, fun and exciting!