Batman: Arkham City Review

Ohhhhh boy. This is something I've been looking forward to doing this week.

In 2009 gamers and comic book fans alike we're treated with a new Batman game, Batman Arkham Asylum. Upon playing the game, fans everywhere were delighted with how finely crafted this new Batman game was, the combination of free-flow melee combat and the stealth-predator challenges presented to players throughout the game. It was a marvel and showed hope yet for more comic book based games.

Then in Summer 2011 we were given a teaser to the return of our favorite villain.

Come late 2011 we were presented with the sequel to the greatest comic book game made. Batman: Arkham City.
So how does it fare comparing to it's predecessor?

Story

6 months after the events of Arkham Asylum. Bruce Wayne has suddenly become interested in politics and is running a campaign for the shut down of the now super prison Arkham City, a mega prison built around the ruins of Old Gotham run by Dr.Hugo Strange.

Bruce is arrested and taken into the prison but escapes custody to put on the cape and cowl to discover what exactly is happening in the prison and how to stop Strange, later it is discovered that Dr.Strange has a plan that will make Batman look like a complete failure and will make Strange the true hero of Gotham, this plan is called 'Protocol 10' Batman now must find answers from the super criminals of the prison and discover who Hugo Strange is working for and how to stop 'Protocol 10'

Meanwhile, The Joker is still alive but not well, after the events at the Asylum Joker is dying from an unknown form of poison, Joker injects his blood into Batman infecting him with the same poison, Batman must also discover the cure for the poison or Batman and Joker will both die this night.

This will be Batman's worse night and could change his life forever.

The story I was absolutely addicted to, I could not go for 10 minutes without diving deeper into the story. Batman fans be prepared for some of the most shocking events you will see in a Batman story.

Presentation
Arkham City looks fantastic. It has received a graphical tune up from the previous game as the design strays from the dark gothic comic book art style in Arkham Asylum. Everything has been given a much more dark and realistic design. Old Gotham has some of the iconic locations from the comic books such as the Ace Chemicals plant and the Monarch Theater, which every die hard Batman should know the significance of the theater.

Batman for one is given a clean shaven look instead of the gritty half shaven look from Arkham Asylum.

Gameplay

The gameplay is very similar to the last game except is more fluent and expands what you could do in the previous game, you still earn experience points to level up Batman and completeting specific challenges will unlock concept art and character trophies.

The free-flow combat and predator stealth combat are vastly improved giving players many options to approach the situation, more simple tasted players can take out every enemy with silent take-downs but the more creative and cinematic players will use their environment to their advantage, taking down thugs through grates, pulling thugs of ledges to quickly reach the top of a gargoyle to survey the situation below or use gadgets to scare the thugs or take them down by knocking them off ledges or blasting debris onto unsuspecting thugs. You could do the same things in Asylum but now you have expanded options for you to approach the situation.

Gliding in Arkham City is much more easier and is not as stiff as it was in Asylum, you can now dive bomb to surprise opponents with a surprise attack and even use the grappling hook to gain more altitude and continue to glide through the city reaching key locations easier and faster. Seeing Batman glide through the air to take down an opponent below has never seemed so epic and has been so rewarding.

Another new addition to the game is also now the option to play as Catwoman.

Catwoman is swift, agile but doesn't hit as hard as Batman does and also has her own storyline for you to complete. She does play exactly the same like Batman but has a different assortment of gadgets to use, playing as Catwoman will be great for players that knows they can dish out very fast hits, you almost loose track of what she's doing and what's going on in the game.

Speaking of returning characters, Riddler makes a return but is ready to prove he is smarter than Batman.

Riddle Challeneges make a return with not only hunting down Riddler trophies and solving riddles, you now have to solve environment puzzles and complete physical challenges, both for Batman and Catwoman in order to save the hostages Riddler has taken. Which in those situations when you find the location for one of the hostages in it of itself is a giant puzzle that requires you to use every gadget you have to sove the puzzle and save the hostage in time and also try to stop The Riddler from cheating.

This will take some time as there are FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY CHALLENGES FOR YOU TO COMPLETE.

Also new to the game is the addition of sidequests, in the city there are people needing help or villains trying to get Batman's attention to finally do what no other villain has done, beat Batman.

These quests actually have a very interesting story to it and like the story, makes you want to find out more about what is happening, the one quest that to me stands out above the rest is the Silent Killer side-quest, I'm not going to be spoiling everything but it is a storyline that will surprise you when you find out more about who is behind the killings and what his goal is in killing those specific people.

Aside from the campaign there is a challenge mode called "Riddler's Revenge" a mode that has combat challenges and predator challenges as well as Campaigns, these Campaigns are comprised of both Predator and Combat challenges that require you to complete each challenge to earn all 3 medals in each challenge to completely beat the Campaign. You do both as Batman and Catwoman, both characters have their own unique challenges to change things up.

So in total, when you combine the main story, with the side quests, Catwoman's campaign, the Riddler Challenges and Riddler's Revenge, you have hours and hours and hours of great Batman content, it makes every penny you spent on the game entirely worth it, it pays for itself and more.

The Verdict

Batman: Arkham City is filled with hours and hours worth of great content, from the main story, to the side quests and other challenges for you to complete.

It is (in my opinion) the best Batman game thus far and is the one of the best experiences you will have playing as The Dark Knight.

If you're a Batman fan you must own this game and if you're not a fan of Batman, you need to own this game.

Batman: Arkham City gets a well deserved 10 out of 10.

Thank for reading, give it a +1 and Follow me for future reviews and also Call of Duty Weapon Guides.

Join me next time when I will be covering the Ballista sniper rifle from Black Ops 2 and the review of the N64 classic. Star Wars:Shadows of The Empire.

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