Review: Batman: Arkham City

Review: Batman: Arkham City

Posted by on Feb 12, 2012 in Commentary, Reviews |

BatmanAC 2012-02-16 07-46-54-13

As a sequel to one of the best Batman games to date, Arkham City has a lot to live up to. Is it a worthy successor? Let’s find out.

The introduction sequence does a few things right. You start off with most of the gadgets from the first game, which is both refreshing and logical at the same time. You’d be surprised at how many sequels make you earn and re-learn all the tools and skills from the first game. Since that sort of thing doesn’t happen here, veteran players will feel right at home. Also, the intro shoves combat down your throat a bit. It will feel a little rough if you’re not familiar with the combat system so if you’re new to the series you might want to start on Normal difficulty first. Speaking of combat, what’s new here is that some of the tools can now be incorporated in battle. Interface shortcuts now allow you to quickly deploy the gadgets in the middle of a fight, giving you more options than before.

The aforementioned options are essential. The open environment of Arkham City isn’t as friendly to stealth as the relatively more confined space of Arkham Asylum was. If you want to stay hidden, you’ll have to be careful, you’ll have to work for it. You’ll likely find yourself in a fight you don’t want to be in otherwise. The game isn’t shy when it comes to throwing multiple mooks at you. Now, escaping them is often easy enough, but it’s always better to not to be in that situation in the first place.

Of course, you can always go in batarangs blazing if you want to. One of the best things about the game is the slow motion close-up shot that you get when you knock out the last thug. When that guy happens to be final member of a twelve-man group of inmates that you all took out by yourself, seeing that close-up shot is very, very satisfying.

Combat in Arkham City is more or less the same as it was in Arkham Asylum. Like I said earlier the added shortcuts for your tools are welcome options to fighting, but you can get by even without them, especially once you get used to timing your counters right.

The game packs more extras than the previous title. As expected, the Riddler challenges are back and they’re more infuriating than before. The villain himself plays a more prominent role this time around. There are also more side quests available, with the best ones featuring appearances from members of Batman’s rogues gallery. Bonus maps and challenges outside of the main story are also present as extras. To summarize, let’s just say that there’s a lot that you can do in the game if you want to achieve 100% completion.

Batman: Arkham City is an excellent sequel. There’s more of everything: more Batman, more detective work, more action, more puzzles. The new stuff will take about a day or two to get used to so give it some time. It’s a lot of fun to play once you get the hang of things. The series continues to be the best Batman games to date and this one in particular is one of the titles that feel rewarding to play on a higher difficulty.