10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
As near perfect as you can get,
This review is from: Batman: Arkham City for Xbox 360 (Video Game)To this day, I still think Batman: Arkham Asylum has some of the best pacing found in a videogame. Others that rival it can include Uncharted 2 but for a game that wasn't likely to be a good game, imagine most people's surprise when it turns out not only was Arkham Asylum a great comic book game but a great game in its own right. So when Arkham City was announced a mere 4 months after its release, the skepticism returned. Was the first game a fluke? Would it be the case of indie darling followed up by bloated blockbuster sequel? And the large amount of villains announced meant Arkham City could potentially be a bit too...."stuffed". And again skepticism is unwarranted because somehow, Rocksteady made a game that I can't even find a legitimate complaint about. Unlike Mortal Kombat and its online lag and enemy AI and Deus Ex with its boss battles, nothing in this game hurts it. There's no "well I'd like to love the game if it wasn't for..." things in this game. Batman: Arkham City is as close to a perfect game and I still can't figure out how they did it.
Taking place a little after Arkham Asylum, the former warden of the asylum, Quincy Sharp, is now mayor of Gotham City and has walled off a section and dubbed it "Arkham City". A place where criminals can roam about freely with no jails, schedules or guards and pretty much anything goes. Unfortunately, Bruce Wayne has also been thrown in and after escaping and donning the Batsuit, Batman must now deal with not only the regular criminals that have been thrown in but familiar faces from the rogue's gallery has he figures out what exactly is going on and what is "Protocol 10".
Unlike the slightly-open-but-mainly-linear progression of Arkham Asylum, Arkham City is more open-world a la Assassin's Creed where Batman can go wherever he wants and it's up to the player to determine what they feel like doing. Thankfully the world is not only big but dense and packed with detail and sidequests to do so there's never any idling. In fact, one can go through the entire game and not know certain things were even in the game. From villains having their own missions to Riddle trophies and puzzles to solve and the main quest, Arkham City should take you a fair amount of time to complete and a New Game+ option certainly helps. And just like Arkham Asylum, City is a beautiful game with its gothic overtones, moody lighting and having it entirely played out in a snowy night, this game is really something from an art design standpoint.
When not using gadgets and stealth at your disposal, Batman goes into one of the funnest and fluid melee systems around. While it might be easy to just "button mash", getting high scores and getting a higher combo multiplier requires a bit more finesse. From dealing with armed henchmen, to ones carrying riot shields and stun rods, the dynamic combat allows for a visually cool and satisfying feeling when you go a long period of time without making a mistake. While the constant camera rotating can make it a bit frustrating and mashing the counter button only to get hit anyway occasionally rears its ugly head, playing as Batman is always bad ass. The gadgets are also fun to use and old favorites like exploding gel return while some new ones such as disruptors for firearms and mines and an electric projectile gun makes for creative combat uses and nice puzzle implementation.
Included with new copies (or a 10$ purchase for used owners), is Catwoman who handles a tad differently than Batman. Unfortunately her missions in the storyline are oddly brief but she's quite fun to control and her seamless animations are quite something. Other villains show up as well from a near unrecognizable Nolan North (but don't worry, he's all over this game) as the Penguin to Mr Freeze to Two-Face and some other surprises, Arkham City manages to pack a lot of secondary characters without making the game bloated. Incredibly well-voiced and managing to be worthwhile to encounter without sacrificing the thrust of the main campaign, it pays to explore the city's every corner. However, not all is rosy as some villains make some common appearances while others such as Poison Ivy might as well be cameos are not included at all considering how brief they feel.
Like Arkham Asylum, this game doesn't have multiplayer per se but it brings back the combat challenges and predator challenges. In the former, it's you as either Batman, Catwoman, Robin (Best Buy preorders) or Nightwing (future DLC) as you take on a large group of enemies while you compete for high scores. It's here where the combat excels and with different gadgets to use, each character handles different enough yet Batman tends to be the easiest to use. The predator challenges are where you have to stealth your way through a map and accomplish certain goals such as silent takedowns from a ledge, up above, from below etc. They're not as fun as the combat ones but they break up the pace a bit.
With promise of additional DLC and a lengthy campaign in its own right in addition to the challenge maps, Arkham City gives more than a bang for your buck and it's especially worthwhile if you're a Batman fan or just comic books in general. It lacks the out-of-the-blue surprise of Arkham Asylum but add this one to game sequels being better than the original.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 23, 2011 10:23:20 PM PDT
J. McLemore says:
best review for this game . great job! you hit the nail on the head
Posted on Dec 6, 2011 3:18:25 PM PST
Camille Lambert says:
QUOTE: "Unlike Mortal Kombat and its online lag and enemy AI and Deus Ex with its boss battles, nothing in this game hurts it. There's no "well I'd like to love the game if it wasn't for..." things in this game"
Wait until you lose your 95% save game. unacceptable at this day and age that thousands of players lose their saved games like that.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2011 4:06:13 PM PST
Hasn't affected me yet but I can see it being an issue. I was mainly referring to things that are unanimously bad about the game. If everyone, including me, had that save game problem, I would've definitely given it a lower mark
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