Batman: Arkham City Review

Game: Batman: Arkham City
Action Adventure/ Beat ’em up
Xbox 360
Review by: 

As fun as multiplayer games can be, sometimes it’s nice to sit down and play through an adventure by yourself every once in awhile. One title in particular that has brought the single player experience back into the forefront recently has to be Batman: Arkham Asylum, made by Rocksteady Studios. Everything about this game, from beginning to end, really made you feel like part of the whole Batman universe. Because of it’s overwhelming success, the developers decided to create a sequel entitled Batman: Arkham City, and despite a few technical problems here and there, this is, without a doubt, one of my favorite games of 2011.

Story: Mayor Sharp has turned half of Gotham City into a prison district, called Arkham City, and decides to ship anyone over there who has participated in any kind of criminal activity in their past, as well as individuals who disagree with his new policy as well. Bruce Wayne organizes a rally to try to stop this from happening, but ends up being kidnapped in the process, and eventually learns that Dr. Hugo Strange is planning something called Protocol 10, which if successful, could turn out doing more harm than good to the city. Thinking that the Joker may know what this about, Batman confronts him to find out the truth, only to become poisoned by the man himself, and now both of them must work together before their time runs out for good. The story is intriguing, dark, and very emotionally driven, which will, without a doubt, please fans of the franchise.

Graphics: What the environments lacked in detail, they more than make up for in scale and creativity. I sometimes just stood on top of a building, looked out into the distance, and was amazed at how beautiful (in a creepy way) Arkham City really was. The character designs were nothing to shun at either, and were so impressively detailed and animated that you almost felt like they were citizens of a real city, instead of just drones that aimlessly wandered around without having any idea as to what is going on. My only real problem with the presentation as a whole was with how Batman moved about the environment. It may not sound like much of an issue to any of you, but watching him move around like a robot did bother me a little bit. Did this ruin the experience for me as a whole though?, absolutely not.

Gameplay: On the surface, not much has changed in this department since Arkham Asylum, but there are enough tweaks made here and there that keep things fresh and exciting . Combat is relatively the same, one button to attack, one to counter, and one to jump, that’s it. Every single gadget can now be used in battle, and also have new hotkey commands assigned to them, which will make choosing the right tool in a hurry a much easier thing to do. I appreciate this decision because there were quite a few situations that I wouldn’t have been able to complete if wasn’t for them being made readily available to me.

Moving around the city was alot of fun, and the number of different moves Batman could perform while airborne were a joy to watch. Boss fights were a little bit on the easy side, and didn’t require a whole lot of strategy to get through, they felt more like fillers for time than anything else. Environmental puzzles force you to think outside of the box a little bit, and the stealth sections were as tense as ever, especially considering the fact that the enemy AI is a little bit tougher this time around. To sum things up, every single part of this game was alot of fun to play, period.

Sound: As expected, the voice acting here is top notch. Mark Hamill creeped me out every second as The Joker, and Kevin Conroy did a solid job as Batman. The moody, yet eerie musical score was a delight to listen to as well. Sound effects packed alot of punch, especially when it came to pulling off moves during fight sequences, the amount of impact a move would make would sometimes leave me cringing.

Replayability: Saying there is nothing to do once the main story is over would be big a fat lie. A large number of side missions, challenge maps,  riddler trophies, and the New Game Plus mode will keep you occupied for many months to come.

Batman: Arkham City is an enjoyable experience that could easily end up being a contender for my Game of the Year for 2011, check it out now.

Final Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Batman: Arkham City
Rocksteady Studios
 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Metacritic: 95
MSRP: $59.99
Get Batman: Arkham City.

  • Thinking of picking this up after I beat the first game. After reading you “Gameplay” section, seems like they kept the game very similar to the first, which could be good or bad in some cases, but I’m glad it was good.

  • I couldn’t agree with you more B4. I’m having a blast with this title as well. The Catwoman missions are awesome.