Creating a compelling Batman game does not seem like a hard feat to do since there is such a great foundation in comics, TV and movies, but throughout the years we have seen nothing but disappointing and okay Batman games. But, this all changed two years ago when Rocksteady took the rains of the Batman franchise and made one of the best superhero games ever. Now, Rocksteady is back to give us another taste of what it is like to be Batman.
Welcome To Arkham City
Atmosphere is a big part of the Batman universe, and Rocksteady has done a great job at creating a dark, gritty world for you to explore. The dimly lit city is beautifully rendered with very little graphical issues. The world of Arkham City is split up into different sections, and depending on who is over that section, the area will be designed to resemble that leader, such as the Joker’s area is at the docks, but resembles a carnival. This gives the world a unique fill throughout. Each area has a different style and different looking enemies.
Like the first game, the character design is great, but they become repetitive as you play. It is the same enemies over and over, and only look a little different depending on which area you are in. Not only do they look similar, but they also spout off the same one-liners each time you come across them. This is only for the general enemy types though. The main characters you encounter are wonderfully detailed, and Rocksteady did a great job of staying true to the comic, and offering a great variety of notable characters from the comics. Each time you come across a new character, you can access their bio, which tells you which issue of the comic they first appeared in and I think that is a great little feature for the Batman fans.
In Arkham Asylum, one of the greatest standout points of the game is it’s combat, and it returns faster, smoother and better than ever. You will be attacking, dodging and countering your enemies as you move throughout the city. The free-flow style of gameplay is still as addicting as it uses to be, but just like the last game, it can become repetitive. You will perform the same attacks and counter attacks throughout the game, but this did not turn me off to the combat because it requires a good amount of practice and skill to be able to take on the large groups of enemies that have a plethora of different weapons, which require you to use different moves to counter their attacks.
You also get to upgrade Batman’s tools as you make your way through the game. You get XP for taking out enemies and this will level you up and as you level up, you get to upgrade the bat-suit, gadgets and combat. It offers some depth to the game and it becomes a vital part of the game if you expect to beat it.
With this large open city that Rocksteady has given us, it is important to be able to move freely about, and they made sure you are able too. You can tell that they put a lot of work into making it quick and easy to move about Arkham City. Using your ability to glide and the grappling hook, you will move quickly and smoothly from building to building. This movement is important to the core of the game and to the experience of being Batman.
Rocksteady has really gone all out for this game by not only giving us a great world and gameplay, but also a fantastic story. In order to have the best story possible, Rocksteady brought back one of the best writers in the Batman universe, Paul Dini (who wrote the story for Batman: Arkham Asylum). Dini has a lot of experience with the Batman universe and he uses this experience to create a well thought out and engaging story. There are some great twist and turns, and I was actually surprised by what happened at the end of the game. The stories you encounter in the side missions are just as good as the main story and will keep you engaged for hours.
This brings about the most important aspect of the game, and that is the emersion the game offers. Though Arkham Asylum offers a great experience of being Batman, it is nothing compared to the engrossing nature of Batman: Arkham City. For the first time ever in a Batman game, I truly felt like I was the Dark Knight. The ability to move freely through the world, help people, and take out enemies with the many awesome tools Batman has gave me a feeling of being a real superhero. I have felt nothing like this in a superhero game before.
Batman: Arkham City offers an engrossing experience that you will not find in many games. The world is beautiful, the dialogue and voice acting is great and well written. The story is engrossing and keeps you engaged for hours. There are not many negative things to say about this game. Yes, the combat can get repetitive, and there are some glitches, but none of it takes away from the emersion that the game offers. It is one of the most polished, well thought out and fun games I have played in a while. It is a game that should be played.