Game Review: Arkham City

The Dark Knight returns to our disc trays for Rocksteady’s, Arkham City, and it’s one of this year’s most anticipated video games.

Batman Arkham City

Following on from Arkham Asylum, a title that was a massive step-up from previous superhero based gaming, in terms of controls, movement, flow and story-line. It introduced a fresh & unique combat system that drew players into the action with gripping combo’s and counters, and had a more detective-like feel than most beat ’em ups.

Arkham CityArkham Asylum ended with a bang, watching The Joker mutate (through use of “titan”), to an epic final boss fight, and Arkham City picks up not too far along the timeline.

Bruce Wayne is captured by Tyger Forces under orders of Arkham Cities head of operations Dr. Hugo Strange, and it doesn’t take long for Mr. Wayne to suit up and reign justice from the shadows. The new story-line follows Strange, The Joker, and other masters of the criminal underworld’s quest to bring down the bat from the sky.

Sideline missions are a great use of the ‘open world’ factor, fellow super villains (including The Penguin, Mr Freeze and Bane) are pitted against Batman and his small entourage. These sub-plots allow for deeper character involvement, screen time and dialog compared to that of its predecessor.

Arkham City has got all new modifications, tweaks and improvements, giving a much understood “Bigger, Better, Bolder” feeling to the game. Vastly noticeable is the open world aspect of the city (not seen hugely on Arkham Asylum), freeing players to soar from amazing heights, zip-line across the roof-tops and really take in the environment. Districts and relative locations such as Penguins Iceberg Lounge, and memory saddened Monument Theatre (where Bruce’ parents were killed) also reside within in its walls.

The graphics are better and seem more realistic in movement and appearance while still retaining that all important comic book look and feel.

Detective view is still available and crisper than ever, character representation and costume are thoroughly brought forward ( although Mr Freeze’s suit does look a bit “off”). Good to is the dialogue, gripping enough to keep you from skipping straight to the action.

New Gadgets are available through level-ups and have been expanded, giving the Utility Belt a diverse use in all situations. All utilities from Arkham Asylum are available from the beginning, so you can focus on getting those all-new awesome gadgets. Together with an updated combo system, predator moves, and bat-suit upgrades it pulls you even deeper behind the mask.

DLC (downloadable content) opportunities are available with Arkham City, with additional downloadable characters Catwoman and boy-wonder sidekick Robin. Along with campaign add-ons, creating ever more game-play.

Arkham City is an amazing game and will keep a lot of gamers wanting more. A third installment is hinted at within the story, and the though of being able to fly around the whole of Gotham City next time will have fans drooling in anticipation. Developers Rocksteady deserve credit for the hard work put in, awesome story line, great use of characters and… just go buy it, god damn it!

Published: Warner Bros. Interactive Studios
Autographed: DC Comics
Developed: Rocksteady
Platforms: 360, PS3, PC and Wii

Luke Lavelle

Luke Lavelle. Designer, Gamer and Reviewer. Mainly residing in a world of vector art and throwing words for FTF! Love for all things Gaming, Technology and all geekery goodness... Catch me on XBL IIII Monk IIII or twitter @luke_lavelle