Batman: Arkham City
“Rocksteady delivers once again…” “…a sequel well deserving of the praise” “I was honestly surprised at the insane amount of cameos you come across in this title” “Arkham City is definitely going to be in my game of the year list come January 2012″ – by Trent Tomlinson
PC, Xbox 360 and PS3
Single Player/3rd person/Leaderboards
- Flow: 5
- Consistency: 5
- Communication: 5
- Frame Rate: 4
- Textures: 4
- Effects: 5
- Effects: 5
- Interference: 5
Score: 4.50 out of 5
- Rocksteady delivers once again with fluid combat controls while implementing new combos and gadgets. This is combo heaven at its best.
- Improved gliding mechanic allows for long range flying across Arkham City. Easy targeting allows for seamless transition between gliding, grapple shots and dive bombing enemies.
- Arkham City acts as a huge sandbox to allow for countless hours of exploration and discovery.
- The big picture looks fantastic. When perched on roof ledges it is hard not to be impressed with Arkham City as a whole. On closer inspection textures are a bit on the medium side.
- There is a slight drop in frame rate at times when you are performing high speed aerial maneuvers. It is nothing seriously noticeable unless you are looking for it.
- As expected; Hamill and Conroy deliver fantastic performances as Joker and Batman while the supporting cast carries their own in true form.
- Excellent orchestral and ambient soundtrack that compliments the game at appropriate times.
How do you top Batman: Arkham Asylum? This is a sequel well deserving of the praise it has received within the first week of its release. Rocksteady has outdone themselves by bringing everything to the table; an amazing cast of characters, fluid fight system, easter eggs galore and that perfect Gotham vibe. I’ll even admit that I have been suffering from insomnia lately – I started this game on release night and didn’t turn it off until I saw the credits role. Then I started my second game. It is addictive like crazy.
To be honest with you, I really don’t even want to say how the game starts off. With me wanting to maintain total secrecy about the story it is slightly difficult to say anything about what to expect. You will find the obvious things; Batman, Joker and Harley Quinn. You will find familiar gadgets; batclaw, linegun and even the remote control batarang. So what is new? A lot of things; new weapons, new combos and a line up of some of the best Batman villains and heroes you can imagine. I was honestly surprised at the insane amount of cameos you come across in this title. You will even have a number of side quests you can explore that will take you all over Arkham City.
Some improvements over the previous title have obviously been made. When you finigh your initial run through you can now return to it whenever you like even after starting a game+ run. The two modes are saved individually so you can explore without having to put off starting a new game. All upgrades are carried over to the game+ as well as any and all Riddler challenges you have discovered and/or beat. The challenge maps return with all new levels and medals. If you were able to grab the Joker challenge map pre-order you will be looking at a map with a par of 100,000; totally insane map. Skins have been introduced in this title allowing you to play as the Dark Knight several of his incarnations. These skins will also include additional characters (starting November) like Nightwing and Robin which can be purchased as DLC’s with their own additional weapons and stories.
My only gripe with this title was that when you see Arkham City it is impressive as can be, but as you get closer you begin to notice some mild texturing issues here and there. The city is largely loaded as you play and begins to fill in textures as you come closer. Most times you do not notice this load process, but every now and then you come across something that stays blurred out longer than it should have. Due to the size of Arkham City, and the fact that you can fly from one end to the other without any loading screens or game freezes, I cannot trash on what Rocksteady has done here. The only time I have ever had to wait on a load while in the city was when I fly to low to the water and change directions extremely fast. I rarely ran into that though.
After completing this game I am totally amped for the next Batman title to be released. I need more. Be it DLC campaign or whatever. Batman: Arkham City is definitely going to be in my game of the year list come January 2012. This is a lot of game for your money when you take game+, challenge maps and upcoming DLC’s into consideration. The overall story will take you around 12 hours without exploration, but Arkham offers around double that if you spend your time hunting down every riddle, trophy and easter egg.
by Trent Tomlinson