Batman Arkham City review

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Batman Arkham City Review

Genre:  Action Open World   Players: 1    Online: No    Off-TV Play: Yes

Trophieswhat are these?
Story TrophyExplorer TrophyCollector TrophyEvolutionary TrophyVoice Acting TrophyCharming CharactersComplex ControlsLeanring Curve TrophyAmbitious Trophy

Batman Arkham City is an excellent game even for people are are not into their superhero stories.

Batman Arkham City Review

Batman fighting

I have to confess, I was never the biggest Batman fan. I always liked the idea of superheroes having magical abilities, being able to fly and have super strength. However, the Arkham games, like the Christopher Nolan films, have given Batman and the surrounding characters real personality and grit. They have made Batman made badass in a believeable way. I didn’t get to play Arkham Asylum, but saw a friend playing through Arkham City on the xbox360 and felt compelled to get my own copy.

Rocksteady games have done a fantastic job. The writing is spot on, the characters and villains are engaging and well written without being predictable. The ability to glide through the city feels incredible, the use of your gadgets gives you the right level of feeling powerful without things feeling either too easy or too difficult. Taking down a room full of armed guards takes a bit of strategy and feels incredible pulling off silent take-downs and stunts.

Batman Arkham City Review

Batman soaring through the air

The story of “Batman Arkham City”, is that a part of Gotham has been sectioned off and turned into a giant prison. It appears Joker has been poisoned and manages to infect batman and the city, who will die within a number of hours unless batman can find a cure. The script is well written and things seem to run at such a hectic pace that it can be easy to overlook the various side quests and Riddler trophies that are scattered around Arkham for you to collect. There are various twists and turns within the game to keep you on your feet and all of the various Batman villains make an appearance at some stage.

There are plenty of side quests and riddler trophies to collect. These elements can add a good number of hours to your game. There are many riddler trophies dotted around on the map, each with its own little puzzle you have to work out in order to collect the trophy. Upon collecting trophies you are rewarded with concept art and 3D models you can view from the main menu.

There is a definite learning curve to controlling Batman, it is not easy initially and as you progress and level up, attaining new gadgets and skills, there are more combinations of buttons to learn. Timing when to dive and pull back when gliding as Batman can be quite difficult. However, you do find that you do get used to the controls.

Batman Arkham City Review

Armoured Suit

 

Batman Arkham City Review

Catwoman

The game plays well, and the Wii U version can be played either Off-TV and has a a few added Wii U features, such as an integrated map on the Gamepad, a mini-game used to hack security systems. The Wii U version also includes enhanced armour which you can activate after a number of successful strikes on enemies, which makes Batman stronger. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like it adds much to the experience.

The Wii U game also include all the add-ons previously released, including Catwoman’s side story that runs along side the main story, various challenge maps and the follow on story set with you mainly controlling Robin. The challenge maps are essentially a room filled of enemies for you to rack up points on by attaining combo attacks while avoiding getting hit – simple and quite repetitive, although challenging to achieve high scores on. Catwoman’s story gives you ability to explore Arkham city in her own style.

Batman Arkham City Review

Robin

By contrast, Robins add on story is much more limited. Robin’s story is just set in the steelmill, there is almost no exploring the city, no real character development and a storyline that is nowhere near as engaging as the main game. In the main game, Batman has room to breathe and explore, in this add-on, Robin’s wings have been clipped.

Certain other changes have come in for the WiiU version. Catwoman is now more covered up and Batman’s suit now looks a bit more action hero in style with added plastic abs. Although, other costumes eventually become selectable.

The WiiU version generally runs well. However, I did find occasionally my version of the game would struggle slightly with lag after I had been playing for some time. By not loading textures as fast as it should have or the game getting slightly jumpy in its frame rate.

Batman Arkham City Review

Catwoman being a little more modest.

Batman Arkham City is a great game. I would recommend it to most people whether they are a Batman or Superhero fan or not. It is well written, has strong portrayals of well known villains and a gripping plot – it stands stronger than many of the superhero films and games that have been released. For those who haven’t played the game before, I’d highly recommend it, if you’ve played the game before, you know you whether you think it’s worth a second ride. For me it was.

Head Heart
Many Side Stories
Strong story, strong characters
Open Exploration
Great Combat
  Thrilling sequences
  Amazing 94%

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David Lee
David is the founder of Heart Gaming. Regular writer, reviewer and editor. Has a strong passion for gaming; particularly the Legend of Zelda series.