Batman: Arkham City Review
The Dark Knight Rises; above all else.
From the moment Rocksteady planned a sequel, they knew they had to do better than Arkham Aylum. It was big shoes to fill. The first game was not only an example of excellent use of license, but it even holds the Guinness World Record for ‘Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever’! After all the ‘underwhelming’ super-hero games to have been developed in recent years; movie tie-in’s, Arkham Asylum was a relief. Now it is time for Arkham City to stand to the challenge.
Gotham city is filled with villains, literally. To counter this and keep Gotham as safe as possible, the government built Arkham City. Within its walls, the Caped Crusader’s arch-enemies could roam freely and call it home. Off-course, Bats thinks it a very very bad idea. This is where Batman’s quest begins and he has to find out what is happening and why. To make things a little more difficult for Bats, Dr. Hugo Strange, who is in charge of Arkham City, knows Bruce Wayne’s secret. That wasn’t much of a spoiler as the first trailer made that pretty clear.
If you have managed to stay away from forums this entire time, make sure you still are. There are a couple of surprises you don’t want spoiled. Suffice to say, Paul Dini has given one of his best works in form of this game, and is surely to be talked about long after it is done. That’s all I am going to say about the campaign without spoiling it.
No longer are you roaming in office buildings and enclosed spaces. Arkham City is all open to explore from the very beginning and the rooftops are Bats safe haven. The streets are filled with goons who were once inmates in Arkham Asylum and Black-gate facilities. Batman is brute force. He faced against the likes of Croc and Bane in the first game. Combat, just like in Asylum, plays a huge part in the game and it has been improved. What’s satisfying about the combat is that is simple and rewards button mashers and combo experts with ‘XP points’ which in turn help them upgrade Batman’s gadgets, suits and combat abilities faster than most. The last punch is presented with a zoomed in slow motion sequence with Batman clinching his fist in the end.
What would be Batman without his gadgets? Well, he would still be cool, but why not get all the help you can get. The gadgets include batarangs, freeze bombs, smoke pellets, and a REC (remote electrical charge). All these gadgets can be used in the heat of battle by a simple quick-fire. As I said before, the city is home to the thugs. They have enough fire-power to empower Bats. This is where stealth comes in handy, especially the smoke pellets for a breather in a tough spot. Activating detective mode lets you plot your attack in advance as it brilliantly help locate ducts, high ceiling structures as well as Riddler trophies if you are a collector.