Posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 6:00 PM by Guest
It’s been two years since we’ve last seen the caped crusader make an appearance on our beloved consoles and PC’s, however he’s back again saving Gotham City from the madness that’s been unleashed on it.
Batman Arkham City takes place after the events that happened in the previous title, Batman Arkham Asylum, which starts by showing us that Bruce Wayne (Batman) has been kidnapped by Hugo Strange who is aware of Batman’s true identity. Half of Gotham City has been taken over and is filled with prisoners from Arkham Asylum and Black Gate Prison. This area of Gotham City has been named Arkham City and Batman has found himself trapped in here thanks to Hugo Strange. Obviously, Batman won’t be standing for this one bit.
As soon as I started playing through the game, I noticed on how much time and effort has quite clearly gone into the visual side of the game. During a cut scene with Hugo Strange at the very start of the game, I found myself looking more into the detail that had gone into Strange’s glasses rather than listening to what was going on. I know that I’ve normally got a wandering mind at the best of times, but this took me as surprise on how much attention had been put into the smaller things of Arkham City, which I definitely regard as a strong point to have in games these days.
As I started gliding through Arkham City and exploring more of it, it’s easily seen that a lot of time, effort and skill has gone into the design of the map that Batman has his adventures in. I think that the game reflects what Batman fans will have become used to seeing as the norm due to Batman films and comics – tall skyscrapers, plenty of alleyways and broken down areas including a bridge, building missing their roofs and also a subway system. It really does feel like you can take Batman on so many levels with Arkham City by either gliding over the top of the city thanks to your trusty cape and grapple hook, walking around on the streets beating up thugs left, right and centre as you go about your business (Would Batman have business since he’s well… Batman isn’t he? Thoughts and answers below please) or going down underground through the subway system to pay Killer Croc a visit . Yes Croc’s back in this game, however only as an easter egg this time around. Ironically I never realised Killer Croc was an easter egg in Arkham City until I was looking around on the internet at what other people thought of the game – I really think I should of got an extra achievement for finding this with no assistance from Google, but a girl can dream, eh?
What is peanut butter without jelly? What is a Scottish person without a can of Irn Bru? What is Batman without Joker? The answer is nothing. Yes everyone’s favourite crazy clown is back in Arkham City however is feeling rather under the weather after the end of Arkham Asylum and his encounter with the Titan chemical. Joker’s sense of humour and hilarity hasn’t been dampened though, and personally I think he’s back with better jokes to mess about with Batman’s head more than he ever did in the Arkham Asylum game. After a while, Joker was be able to phone Batman and I secretly think them two have a bromance going on. Joker occasionally left voicemails asking why Batman had not answered his calls. Maybe I’m missing something here that could get explained in another game but I won’t deny there wasn’t at the very least, a slight giggle from me when I listened to them.
As well as the Joker, the game sees appearances from Two Face, Penguin, Mr Freeze, Catwoman, Robin, Alfred as well as a selection of others. Some people will be there to cause you problems and want to stop you carrying out your missions; others will want to help you out. Who is willing to help you I shall keep as a surprise as I was quite shocked as the way the story played out in front of my eyes.
If you find yourself getting fed up of playing Batman and if so, you’re are indeed mad, you are able to play as Catwoman, which offers a sub-plot to the main plot that you go through with Batman. This sub-plot ties in nicely with the story line of Arkham City and doesn’t make the story feel jumpy or disjointed in anyway. Playing as Catwoman, I found that it was a different change of pace from playing as Batman. With Catwoman offering you different gadgets and also with the Riddler throwing his trophies around the place (you would think he would have learnt from the last game wouldn’t you?) just for Catwoman to pick up, there is no reason whatsoever to stop you from loving playing as Catwoman as much as Batman… that reason isn’t just not to stare at her rear end in a latex suit while she’s running guys – you know who you are!
As I mentioned above, Riddler’s trophies are back in Arkham City for you to try and find. You’ll find that they’re in some challenging places and will require some planning out to get your hands on them.
In Arkham Asylum, I was really impressed with the way Batman’s suit and cape started getting wrecked throughout his adventure and this is brought back in Arkham City much to my pleasure! Another feature to the game that I was highly impressed by was the constant changing of the conditions of the city, i.e. the weather. As you progress through the story, snow will start to cover Arkham City in a light blanket and I thought this was a small, but lovely touch to the game.
The main storyline is sure to pull you in and keep you wanting to play for hours on end with more of an emotional side to Arkham City as Bruce Wayne’s love interest’s make an appearance and start to get involved . One key part of the game that really stood out for me and made me go “Holy Batarangs!” was the boss battle with Ra’s Al Ghul. I won’t contain any spoilers for those who are still waiting on the PC release or haven’t gotten round to that part of the game but the way that the boss battle was displayed to you on screen was just phenomenal. Another one that came to my attention was a side mission involving the Mad Hatter. For the small amount of time that you play that side mission – it really does mess up with your head just by what you’re seeing on your televisions so keep an eye out for them! It’s been a rare treat for me playing through recent video games to have missions this beautiful yet ugly as the same time.
In addition to this, the music makes any play through of this game an intense one to say the least and really added to the false idea that I had as I forever was thinking I was Batman myself while I was playing through Arkham City. I think I may have taken it a tad too far by sitting going “Nananananananana BATMAN!” whenever I was running and jumping off of buildings getting ready to glide to the next mission marker. Trust me – you will find yourself doing this at some point while you are playing through this game!
I think the missions design and art is a really good reason to pick up this game if you haven’t already. This game should be part of any Batman fan’s collection and with so much to do in Arkham City (did I mention its well over twice the size of Arkham Asylum?) you will not be wanting to take it out of the disc tray of your consoles anytime soon. There are a good variation of enemies that Batman can face up against in the game as well which requires you to think about four moves ahead of yourself to take them all down without dying in the process.
As a Batman fan myself, I am thoroughly happy that a wait of just over two years wasn’t a waste of time and what I thought was an impossible task of improving on Arkham Asylum, has indeed be accomplished. This will be a game I will never ever forget playing, even when I’m still dressing up as Batman for Halloween in 40 years time. As much as I would love to give a perfect 10/10 for the game, the lack of a “THWACK” and “POW” on the screen force me to drop just a point off what is otherwise a perfect game.
The games industry today is abuzz with talk of the next generation of gaming. With the WiiU already with us, the Playstation 4 having been announced a while ago and, by the time you read this, Microsoft being about to or having just announced the next Xbox unit, you can’t move around the gaming web [...]
Computer games, as much as any other medium, are mysterious things. They can stir our souls, hotwire our adrenaline glands or disappoint us to our core. For every person who plays a game there is a valid and varied opinion. It’s one of the things that make the subject of a game’s relative quality a [...]
Across every genre of entertainment there are specific titles or releases that become synonymous with failure, that in the eyes of fans and critics alike embody the worst that the genre has to offer. They become the universal butt of any joke in that medium, the yardstick against which every other poorly-received release is measured. [...]
Over recent years there has been a shift in the focus of the gaming industry towards online multiplayer as a gaming model. Indeed, the biggest sellers of this generation of titles have been primarily online competitive titles, such as Halo 4 & Call of Duty. Over this time there has developed a very distinct separation [...]