Review by im_jellis
"Rocksteady Does It Again!"
I imagine following the success of Batman: Arkum Asylum would be a daunting task for the crew at Rocksteady games. They managed to bring life back to comic book/ movie tie-in games and could have easily released a game camouflaged as new but with a different environment. Rather than follow the exact format from Asylum, the team created an amazing sandbox game that spanned an entire city, while still maintaining a familiarity to Arkum Asylum.
When I first began Arkum City, I realized how large the world of Gotham actually was. You instantly feel a connection to the story, and the graphics and spot-on voice acting helps breathe life into the dark world. It throws you right into gameplay and introduces (or refreshes) gamers of the inventive freeflow combo system. Although a majority of the game is spent executing stealth kills, I never felt like the combo system was neglected. Quite the opposite, actually. The movements and animations were rewarding and change in every battle so you don't feel like you're seeing the same finisher every battle.
The music and character voice-overs are some of the best I've ever heard in a game. The music you hear while soaring through the skies feels appropriate and never distracts. The chatter you hear over guards' walkie-talkies keeps gliding from one building to another entertaining. And I'm sure I don't even need to mention how great Mark Hamill is at evoking The Joker.
The roster for Arkum City is vast. Players are constantly surprised with cameos from infamous villains from the series, most even get their own side missions. Even The Riddler has a beefed up role from Arkum Asylum. His riddles and puzzles continuously stumped me and had me coming back to the game days after I completed the main story mission. In fact, I often found myself just grappling through the city for hours on end, tying up loose ends or looking for secrets scattered throughout Arkum City. If I had one complaint, it would be that Rocksteady overwhelms the gamer with so much content, it's hard to choose a jumping off point (though I'd hardly consider this a problem).
If the main story and side missions aren't enough to grip you, challenge maps return from Arkum Asylum. These are just quick modes you can play to utilize Batman's tools and learn to string together a longer combo while being ranked against others who have the game. They use levels from the main game and give a handful of objectives to motivate the player to try new tactics while controlling Batman.
I highly suggest this game to anyone who likes Action/Adventure or even RPGs (because of the leveling up and well-told story). I recommend you play through Arkum Asylum first just to familiarize yourself with the Batman universe, and then get ready for the awesome-ness that is Batman: Arkum City
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/03/12
Game Release: Batman: Arkham City (US, 10/18/11)
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