Arkham City Review
When Batman: Arkham Asylum was released in 2009, it was widely regarded as the greatest superhero video game ever created. This lead many to argue that it would be hard for Rocksteady Studios to beat the sophomore slump and make a sequel that could match up to the original. From the first glimpses of the game up to the release, Arkham City wowed critics and fans alike as the allure of donning the cowl became too much.
Right from the beginning of the game, I knew that I was playing something special. The combat was flawless, and not once felt like a button-masher, requiring you to alter tactics as different enemies were thrown at you. This included using certain items obtained throughout the game in combat such as the smoke pellets, a remote electrical charge gun, and ice grenades. The variety in combat style is a great asset to the game. The puzzles encountered throughout the game are challenging but not impossible, and make collecting all of the Riddler trophies enjoyable. Another improvement was making the buildings easier to navigate without using detective mode the entire game.
The open-world layout of Arkham City truly captures the essence of the challenge that Batman is up against. Although the game is free-roam, the story and side-quests are structured enough so that you never feel off-track. The layout of the city and placement of thugs force the player to think like Batman in order to survive. In this installment, side-quests offer much more than just extra experience to unlock skills. They feature a strong cast of characters from the Batman universe that you would never have known were in the game unless you pursued the extra missions. There are also augmented reality
objectives that once activated, gives the player an objective to complete in order to earn upgrades. This is extremely beneficial, allowing you to perform abilities such as making your zipline speed up so that it launches you into the air once you reach your destination, letting you glide immediately instead of landing. Once the main storyline is beat, you have the option of continuing the game to play side-quests and beat up thugs to your heart’s content.
Finally, I want to talk about the strongest aspect of the game: The story. Arkham City’s plot grips your from the beginning, and leaves you amazed at the end. Everything from the character development to the character’s motives are designed and portrayed flawlessly. Batman: Arkham City is a serious game of the year contender. If you haven’t tried it out, the game is well worth the money, and will hold a permanent spot on your game shelf.