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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Batman: Arkham City

Genre: Action, Adventure

Developer: Rocksteady Studios

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

System: Windows, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3 and just about everything else

I can't think of a time when I didn't like Batman. I mean, he's an everyday guy (admittedly a millionaire) that puts on a suit and uses gadgets to beat the snot out of criminals. What's not to like? By comparison, you can't relate to Superman, because you weren't born on another planet and you don't have super powers. Tony Stark? Well, the suit does most of the work. Still cool, though.

If you've played Batman: Arkham Asylum then you're looking to get a lot of the same from Arkham City. And, frankly, that's OK. Arkham Asylum is a lot of fun. There's fighting, sneaking, interesting boss fights, and a decent story line. So far, Arkham City has opened with all hell breaking loose. Batman's been kidnapped as his mild-mannered alter ego, Catwoman's stealing an SD Card filled with what I suspect are incriminating photos, and the city (Gotham that is) is in a tizzy about Arkham City, which, to alleviate confusion, is a giant city-like prison in the middle of Gotham, where the criminals seem to be more or less entirely in control. Guess we solved that whole prison overcrowding issue once and for all.

Batman, as Bruce Wayne, has been brought to the prison for speaking out against the prison by some elite commando team or the police or something. That hasn't really been explained, but he's being held there by future-scientist Abraham Lincoln. So Bruce Wayne escapes and blah blah blah beats up the Penguin who's just shown up. Naturally, all the prisoners hate Bruce because he put them behind bars and so far the story is your typical Batman scene.

Let's talk about game play. I bought Arkham City through Steam, which means I have to play it with mouse and keyboard (I cannot get my 360 controllers to work, don't ask). I'm not saying the mouse/keyboard combo is a bad thing, but I feel like it takes away from this game. It feels like the game was meant to be played with a controller so if you have the means, do so.

The combat is simple, but fun and reminds me a lot of Assassin's Creed. You just gotta keep countering and eventually you'll beat everyone up. And, if you're Bruce Wayne, you can to it all in style while wearing handcuffs! At this point, you have to wonder why the baddies just haven't given up.

Justice never sleeps. Goodnight!

 Happy Thoughts: Arkham City does epic well. The music adds about 40% on it's own, but I get a really sense of urgency right off the bat. Also, there's none of this slow climbing crap like in Assassin's Creed. When Batman shimmies along the ledge of a massive building, he shimmies like there's a bee in his tights.

Sad Thoughts: Oh, I hope they have more Scarecrow sequences like in Arkham Asylum. Those were my favorite.

The Bottom Line: I know it's the whole point of this review to unfairly judge a game based on its earliest moments, but I just don't know what to say about Batman: Arkham City. I guess it feels like I just never stopped playing Arkham Asylum and that's gotta count for something.

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