While I’m not a big fan of button combo/mashing types of action games I went a head and bought Batman: Arkham City on Black Friday for $28 based solely on the overwhelming praise it got. When I say “button mashing’ this doesn’t necessarily fall into that category, but anything that has any sort of combo multiplier to me is somewhat of a button masher. Doesn’t matter how many moves you can do, at the end of the day you are still making quick combos and mashing the buttons to an extent. IT’s not all tap X X X X X over and over type, but it is mashing at a higher level.
The gameplay and combat in this game are kind of on the level of Ninja Gaiden, but with not as many moves. More like a Hybrid between that and say God of War. Unrealistic and over the top combat more or less.
This won’t be as long review as I normally because I don’t consider this game to have that many features that need to be addressed. Combat of this style doesn’t need to be detailed as much as something else like an RPG, or even something like Dark/Demon’s Souls as there aren’t that many varieties and enemies aren’t varied enough to give you a sense that you have to strategize much when fighting them. Same tactics apply to most of the enemies and you fight large swarms of them with counters and combo moves. buy morgan silver dollars
Batman of course comes with many gadgets which make fighting a bit more interesting and fun, but honestly after several hours I was pretty tired of fighting groups of enemies. IF you are into combo multipliers and fighting large groups of enemies with seamless combat you won’t be disappointed. I just don’t find the depth of that combat intriguing which is why I tend not to play these types of games specifically for it. I’m also not a fan of fighting games in general so you can kind of see where I am on this type of combat.
The world of Arkham City is small to medium sized, but really nothing huge. You traverse with your basic bat skills of gliding, using your bat grapple to increase speeds, dives to take out enemies in aerial assaults, and scale building with the grapple to quickly get to the top. It should never take you more than a minute r two to traverse from one side of the map to the other if that is your only goal. If you want to fight or search for side items obviously it will take longer.
The story is after Arkham Asylum in which Arkham City is closed off to house all the worst prisoners of Gotham, and a few political prisoners that probably shouldn’t even be there. The game gives you the Batman classic like Penguin, Joker, Two Face, and a few others that make short appearances.
The Riddler plays a prominent role as the master of side quests more or less. In fact this may be the most depth the game offers in retrospect. The Riddler has hidden a few hundred “trophies” around the city that unlock more side missions with him as well as getting to him in the end. HE’s not a main story character, but offers a ton of gameplay time. These trophies aren’t just search and pick up either. Each of them is tied to sort of a puzzle in which you need to figure out how to get to them. This can be very fun, and can offer a challenge to the brain to figure out just what you need to do to get your hands on them. I found this to be a very good addition to the game.
In addition to the trophies he also has some of his patented riddles in which you need to search the city for the clues he gives. Much easier than the trophies, and sort of poorly put together overall. Between the two you must find 400 total to finish off his quests. This probably consisted of at least 80% of my playtime overall.
There are other side-quests with minor characters and villains. Some tie in with the main story, but others are just side stories you don’t have to complete. Of course if you want to get 100% you must do them.
Getting Platinum in this game is serious business, and VERY time consuming. Besides all the side-quests and actual story mode you have other tasks required to get this. You have to get through New Game +, which is much more difficult than the standard playthrough. You start fully loaded with your gadgets and skills, but enemies are much tougher. Also, there are challenge rooms unlocked from the Riddler as well. Boy are there challenge rooms. Nearly 100 in all. Rooms where you have to fight swarms of enemies and get high scores to earn the 3 tokens for each room. I absolutely LOATHE challenge rooms in video games, and frankly this is likely the reason I will never Platinum this game. Like I said earlier this type of combat isn’t fun to me so having to do it for tens of hours over and over is just not gonna happen. IF you enjoy it, then this game is for you because there are so many of these rooms even the most hardcore challenge room player may say it is too much.
One of the greatest parts of this game, however are the enemies and their conversations you can overhear while roaming the city. Everywhere you go they talk about some hilarious things. Either their crew boss (ie. The Joker, Penguin, etc.), or just random weirdness about the city, or general hilarious worldy things. It is worth it to play the game again just so you can listen to these conversations. It offers a nice depth to the city and makes travelling around much less tedious.
While this may be a slightly negative review, this is a very good game. I’m just not a superhero, nor a Batman fanatic so I don’t give it a free excitement boost just for it. If you are a Batman, or superhero fan I would not hesitate to say that this may be the best superhero game ever made. Even if you aren’t a big fan it is still a good quality game with lots of playtime for those that have OCD and want to collect things. For combat challenge fans it’s also loaded with fighting.
Overall, I find the game to get tedious and repetitive over the long run, but it is well designed and fun overall. Many claim it to be the Game of the Year, and it has actually won the award in a few places. Mine was Dark Souls (click for 2 part review) obviously, but this is deserving to be in the conversation. Due to it being a bit repetitive for me I am going to give it a SOLID 8/10, but I’m sure many of you would rate it higher.
P.S. I forgot to mention that retail copies, for the PS3 at least contain the Catwoman DLC code. She was a GREAT addition and looks amazing. Adds another couple hours of gameplay as well so it’s a nice touch. The DLC for this game I think is a rip off since most are just cosmetic skins, or the ugh challenge rooms which we clearly didn’t need more of. It sounds like some single player quest content will be coming later, but considering that I think I know what it is based on I’m not that excited about it. If you play the game and saw some side-quests end you know what I mean.