Video Game Review: Arkham City

Arkham City
Developer(s): Rocksteady Studios
Series: Arkham
Publisher(s): Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment; Square Enix (Japan)
Platform(s): Playstation 3; Microsoft Windows; Wii U; Xbox 360; Cloud (OnLive)
Rating(s): ACB: M, BBFC: 15, CERO: C; ESRB: T; PEGI: 16; USK: 16+

Summary:
[From IGN]
Batman: Arkham City builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of Batman: Arkham Asylum, sending players soaring into Arkham City, the new maximum security home for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds.

Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight.

Review:
Welcome to my first video game review! Before I continue, I would like to note how my rating system for video games will be different than my book one. Please refer to this page for more info.

In the spirit of the new movie Dark Knight Rises (which I’ll be doing a movie review on later), I decided to see if I could finish Arkham City! Here’s my review.

This game is for comic lovers. You could play it without any knowledge of the lore, but it wouldn’t be as fun. All the little easter eggs the developers put into AC is astounding. From the little known Calenderman to Zzaz the crazy serial killer (and his chilling side mission), this game has everything. I recommend not playing this without a passing knowledge of Batman.

If you know anything about these games, you’d probably be wondering why I’m starting with the second game in the series. Well, that’s because I never finished the first one. I came very close to finishing it on week two of my rental than I had to return it. When I finally bought it, I had to start all over so I never finished it. You do not need to finish Arkham Asylum to play this game.

Read the summary from Wikipedia at most.

Characters:

  • Batman:
    Personality:
    Batman’s character was very similar to the comic version. He’s reserved, intelligent, and well, Batman. I found the cut scenes interesting because of his reactions to the other characters. His reactions with Joker and Ra’s al Ghul (pronouced Rash A Ghoul) wonderfully done.
    Gameplay:
    Batman moves around with parkour and grappling hooks. I found both ways fun and enjoyed being able to roam around, a feature which I missed in Arkham Asylum. His fighting style is basically stealth takedowns, counter attacks, and gadgets. I didn’t like counter attacks as much because of how easy the fighting was like that. Stealth takedowns need the planning and thinking which I don’t often see in other games. He was overall a very fun character to play with. I mean, he’s the Batman!
  • Joker:
    Personality:
    I find this part tedious to write since we all know who Joker is. The character is great. His scheme’s all seem very Joker like and still being depressing and dark. The end sequence was very emotional and I felt like crying at the end.
  • Hugo Strange:
    Personality:
    Hugo Strange is such an amazing character to watch. He is frightening because of how he thinks what he’s doing is right. He sees justice in getting ride of the Batman, not just power which I find frightening. The voice acting was spot on there. I hope Corey Burton continues to do voice acting for him.

Character Art:
Two Face:

Harley Quinn:

Joker:

Voice Acting:
Oh, wow. I loved all the voice actors. They simply superb. I honestly have nothing else to say.

Graphics:
Arkham City was beautifully dark. Each alleyway had flyers, dumpsters, who knows what cluttered everywhere. The buildings were gorgeous. Aside from a minor glitch in the bricks which was easily overseen, I found no problems. The people were all amazingly detailed.

Pictures:

Gameplay:
The gameplay was smooth and easy to get back into after not playing for a few weeks. I liked the movement which was fluid and very realistic. Batman couldn’t run very fast, so most of the game was played on buildings. I felt that Batman could have used a bit more new moves, maybe focussing a bit more on stealth than trying to fight 20+ guys at once. Thankfully, most of the time it was stealth.

The controls felt very thought out and natural. I never thought “Well, that’s a weird way to do that.”

Plot:
No matter how amazing a game’s graphics, gameplay, and characters are, plotless games are well… boring! Arkham City does not suffer from that. The story was well crafted with many twists that leave you wondering “What the hell is going on?”. The beginning was spectacular. I loved seeing Bruce Wayne come in to Arkham and become the Batman. The first few missions were extremely addicting. But, the plot isn’t very well strung together, mostly because of the many side missions. I found it hard to concentrate on  the game and as a result it took me six months to complete.

Aside from the that, the story is wonderful. I loved Mr. Freeze’s story the most. His boss fight was my favorite as well because of how HARD it was. The ending was a tad rushed. I thought they didn’t focus enough on Joker and his —–. Maybe the DLC fixes this problem.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Talia’s death was just a side thing. Talia has always been one of my favorites and to see her kick to the side death was disappointing.

NPCs:
The NPCs were all very nice but I felt their actions a bit too repetitive. It made for at times easy combat.

Would I Replay:
Probably. It’s that kind of game. Two words: side. missions. I’d replay it for side missions I can’t play after beating the game, Catwoman play through and Nightwing play through. Oh, and I’d play Batman on Hard this time.

What I liked and didn’t:
Liked:

  • Characters: Truly developed and they have a personality!
  • Plot: Though at times rushed, the story was great.
  • Graphics: Oh, my god. Beautiful!
  • Voice Acting
  • More stealth fights

Disliked:

  • Slightly rushed story
  • repetitive NPCs

In conclusion:
I loved this game! It wasn’t perfect but nearly there. I would definitely check this one out.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆

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