Batman Arkham City: Review

Batman Arkham City is the second installment in Rocksteady’s critically acclaimed Arkham series. Following the events of Arkham Asylum, newly elected Mayor Quincy Sharp (formerly the warden of Arkham Asylum) has come up with an “ingenious” scheme of isolating all dangerous criminals from Gotham City and locking them up in the northern part of Gotham City, which is transformed into a huge,heavily guarded prison named Arkham City.

Bruce Wayne (a.k.a the Batman) has been kidnapped by the director of Arkham City, Dr.Hugo Strange, who claims to have the knowledge that Bruce is Batman. Bruce eventually escapes, with a conspiracy that he must unravel. And later is greeted by Joker who is now dying due to the side effects of the Titan serum he injected himself in the previous game. Now desperate to find a cure to his illness, Joker injects some of his own blood into Batman’s blood stream and even donates his infected blood to all major hospitals in Gotham in order to force batman to find a cure.Now its up to Batman to find out what “Protocol 10”, Dr.Strange’s evil scheme, really is and to put an end to Joker’s lunacy as well.

"And this is how justice is served"

“And this is how justice is served”

Arkham City features a world that’s much bigger than the one that featured in its predecessor. Meaning there are alleys to explore, a beautiful skyline to glide about in Batman’s modified cape, more crimes to solve in the form of side missions and certainly not to forget Riddler’s challenging environmental puzzles which make use of your observation skills and the X-ray vision. Combat is mostly the same as before, beating up thugs and countering them but now features more enemy types as well as new additions to Batman’s arsenal of gadgets such as smoke bombs and freeze grenades.The stealthy predator sequences are fun and challenging as ever.You still have those gargoyles where you can hide from armed enemies and slowly stalk them and take ’em out one at a time. This time the enemies are also quite smart and will shoot and destroy the gargoyles if they realize that you were hiding there a while ago. This tends to build up the tension in such sequences.

Nothing like gliding around Arkham City like a wraith and taking   out your enemies  with the element of surprise.

“Gliding around Arkham City and attacking your enemies with the element of surprise”

The game also features Catwoman as a playable character. There aren’t too many differences between Batman and Catwoman apart from the fact that she’s far more agile and fast and can crawl on grilled ceilings and get into some areas that Batman can’t reach. Her fighting style also differs a bit and she has fewer weapons than Batman.

"What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?"

“What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?”

The game also features numerous other characters from the DC Universe like Penguin, Two Face, Poison Ivy and many more. Voice acing is also exceptionally good and Joker never disappoints. The game also looks terrific, running in the modified version of the Unreal Engine 3. The city has the familiar 1930’s Gothic look and is also well detailed. The city looks grim and is very chaotic with rival gangs battling in the streets or convicts taking all their anger on political prisoners. Definitely the kind of place where the Dark Knight would call home.

"Well, look who it is. I haven't seen you for, how long as it been? Let's see, there was an asylum, some monsters, and oh, that's right, you left me to die. Now you probably don't remember it that way, but who cares? You just need to worry about the bombs"

“Joker Cutscene”

Conclusion

Overall Arkham City offers a truly amazing experience regardless of whether you like Batman or not and is indeed the best amongst all super hero games and beat ’em ups and one the best games the 7th generation of consoles had to offer. And with the latest follow up, Arkham Knight, coming out this fall, you ought to try Arkham City if you haven’t.

Pros:

  • Excellent and diverse gameplay
  • Terrific Voice acting
  • Plenty of extra stuff
  • Great visuals
  • Superb combat system

Cons:

  • Gets quite repetitive at times
  • Boss battles could have been a bit more difficult

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