Real Talk By: Vex (Batman)
Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
In music your only as good as your last hit, same thing applies to gaming. In Rocksteady’s case their last hit was Batman Arkham Asylum, a hard act to follow. A classic in my opinion and the best superhero hero game until…their follow up Batman Arkham City. I’m going spare the details and get straight to the point, this is a must have and a strong game of the year contender. Why? Three simple reasons, gameplay graphics and story. All games have them, but many fail to properly combine them as well as Arkham city. Many of the games I have played this year have had either awesome graphics and lame gameplay or vice-versa.
The game has one of the strongest openings I’ve seen in gaming. I was immediately sucked in and kept well immersed the whole way thru. Once I picked up Arkham City it was very difficult to play much else. Story wise it’s even better than it’s predecessor, engaging even when you’re doing nothing but side missions. The level of attention this game’s story has received makes me wish it would have been available as a blu ray or a theatrical release.
The games strong narrative is complimented by gameplay that not only improved from the last game but also expanded with the addition (to the on-line challenge rooms) of Catwoman Robin and Nightwing. Catwoman is the only character thus far who is playable thru certain portions of the main story. None of the above mentioned characters feel like just an add on. Each of the characters have unique move sets and gadgets that are testament to the amount of care poured into this game. Batman feels even more menacing this go around, as your are given even more gadgets and abilities that allow you to fly around Arkham City with the same ease as the caped crusader. Whether you are playing the main story or are simply trying to beat someone’s online leaderboard score, combat is fluid once you get the moves unlocked. I won’t bore you with weapon details, it’s best to just play thru and see for yourself the amount of toys you have at your disposal to wreak havoc on your foes.
Along with a great story and gameplay the game is beautifully rendered with the unreal engine. The set pieces are amazing and standout due to great detail without an ounce of screen tearing. Besides Gears Of War, this is the best use of the Unreal engine I have ever witnessed. The artistic direction in the game makes you wish Rocksteady handled every super hero based game. The sound work needless to say is executed with the same level of attention. Everything from effects to the voice acting is superb. I rarely feel like my sixty dollars are well spent when purchasing games, but this time around I feel like I owe them money. There is enough content on the disc to keep one busy for a while, whether it’s the story mode, the on-line challenge rooms or the new addition of the new game plus option, which lets you carry over your upgrades but also makes your life more difficult; you have to do without the helpful lines that appear in combat informing you that an enemy is about to strike. But once you have played thru the game once, you should be able to handle the difficulty curve. This is probably the closest you’ll get to fighting crime without having to worry about getting your astronomical proportions handed to you. After witnessing the immense improvement from the prior game to this, I can’t wait to see what Rocksteady does next.
Batman Arkham City gets
Out of Five
+This game delivers more than Santa Clause on the 25th and it’s not a myth.
–That you would even bother to read this part as if there were something to read in this portion of the review, shame on you.