Batman Arkham City Review: Become the Caped Crusader
Review By: Cheri Green
Batman Arkham City just might be one of the best games I’ve played this year. I had the opportunity to observe a buddy of mine play through the first Batman Arkham Asylum, and I remember being instantly captured with the game play. It was a ton of fun to just sit and watch, and now that I have my hands on Arkham City, I am wowed by the way this game works.
As the story unfolded, I knew I had to get myself up to speed with the concept of having Batman running up walls, climbing fences and sides of buildings all while using that trusty grapple. It didn’t take long before I was fluidly flying all over the open world, directing myself confidently and landing on top of rooftops and gargoyles in that famous Batman crouching pose.
You begin in the midst of your capture as Bruce Wayne in Arkham Asylum. The plot to unleash an operation codenamed Protocol 10 is to be disclosed before the night is over. This act will ensure the leadership of Hugo Strange over Gotham City. After breaking out of the prison, you communicate with Alfred to have all of your weapons dropped in a disclosed location, you save Catwoman from Two Face, and you begin to fight back against the corrupt that now inhabit the city. As you get yourself acclimated with the world you are given, you will no doubt encounter droves of ruffians that enable you to experience the Free Style fighting that has been improved since the last game. Sometimes I fought in Detective Mode to expose my enemies skeletons in a sort of x-ray grid like realm just for fun. Your weapons arsenal has been upgraded since the last Batman title, you now have new gadgets like the smoke pellets that will confuse your enemies and instantly mask your immediate location causing them to become disoriented fight each other. You will also often times see groups of gangs in the midst of battles against each others as The Joker, Two Face, and The Penguin has their own people enlisted to fight for them.
What I loved most about this installment is that you can chose your own adventure in your own time and speed. The story and plot is pretty straightforward, however there are several sub missions to keep you busy. Rocksteady’s Dax Ginn confirmed that the game was intended to have 40 hours of game play, plus 15 hours devoted to side missions. I spent a cool hour just flying and cruising over the town, consulting my map and seeing where random acts of violence were occurring. Batman Arkham City provides tons of downloadable content, including being able to play as Catwoman with her very own plot. This isn’t just a game you play at face value. You have access to really self direct the entire game as you see fit which makes Batman Arkham City genius. I felt empowered to protect the city, to take it upon myself to sneak around, cloaked by the night and protect the innocent. I was determined to stalk the evil doers like a predator, at times hanging upside down silently behind them before striking. I vowed as I stood alone as the caped crusader, my main focus would be to work for the side of justice and the rights of the citizens. Arkham City allows me to control my in game destiny, and that makes it a winner.