Review by qlaxmicmizzel38
"The first, and probably only game that I'll call "The best game of this generation.""
I don't know any other way of introducing this review, so I'll just say this: Batman: Arkham City holds up in every way one would critique a video game. Every thing you would ask about a game before buying it - Is the story good? Is it replayable? Is the gameplay fun? Are the graphics good? - the answer is a big fat yes. And by yes, I mean definitely.
In depth review
I'm going to be honest. When you first hear about the plot of the game, it kind of sounds ridiculous. What kind of person would think that using an entire section of a city as a place to lock up criminals and violent crazy people? And how would he become mayor? Perfectly logical questions, and both are answered in the game with some interesting explanations. The main goal of the story is also very clever, and there are some awesome plot twists along the way. This story really keeps you hooked and is fun to play through a second and third time as well.
I don't know how many other reviewers rate intros of a game, but I think the intro is a very important part of a game, and the same also goes for movies and books. A good intro can give you samples of what the story and gameplay will be like and have an interesting scene (usually a cutscene if said game has them). The introduction area in BioShock is one of the reasons to me that that game was so great; the intro to Metroid Prime: Corruption is the reason for one of the biggest complaints about the game. This particular intro is awesome, but the best part of an intro is not knowing what's going to happen so I'm not going to spoil anything (even though it wouldnt be against the within the first five minutes of the game rule).
The combat in this game isn't very difficult (until you're on NG+ and every enemy has armor) and once you have enough gadgets and you master it, it's extremely fun and satisfying to find a group of criminals taunting you and then dive-bomb one of them and knock every single one of them out one punch at a time in one huge combo. The combat in this game is some of the best melee combat I've ever seen in a game. The level up system, which has you leveling up every time you get a certain amount of XP (obtained through fighting groups of enemies, accomplishing quests or story events, and throwing sharp boomerangs at balloons and wind-up snapping teeth), is great because it lets you pick upgrades that improve the variety and effectiveness of Batman's attacks during combat. Once you unlock Critical Strikes and Flawless Freeflow Bonus the combat is incredibly fun, smooth, and looks totally bad ass.
When it comes to replayability, this game is one of the best single player games for it. Like mentioned above, the combat is fun. Fun enough for the game to not need extra quests, stories, collectibles, and score challenges; it does anyways. Along with the epic main story, new game plus feature, and the ability to freely roam the large(ish) world even after you accomplish the main story, this game offers a variety of side missions which all feature classic batman characters and interesting stories. The riddler challenges, 400 of which are hidden throughout Arkham City, are collectibles or small tasks which trigger a showdown with Batman, a kidnapped cop, and deathtraps set up by the Riddler once a certain amount are collected. The Cold Call Killer sidequest has an unbelievably intense ending and is so good they could have based the whole game on it. AR training offers frustrating challenges and completing them gives you an invaluable upgrade that can't be found anywhere else. There is also a leveling system that allows you to choose upgrades for the Dark Knight on each level up. Those are less than half of the side quests and extra features of Arkham City.
Sound and Graphics: 10/10
The graphics in this game are wonderful. The voice acting is amazing - Mark Hamill (Joker) is one of the best voice actors ever, and all of the other characters are pretty great too, especially Harley Quinn and Alfred. Last but not least, the music - some of the best video game music I've ever heard. It's up there with Halo, Legend of Zelda, Metroid Prime Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops Zombies, and all of the other praised video game soundtracks. Stealthily taking out groups of armored guards with automatic weapons without being spotted is intense. With the music in this game, it becomes downright epic.
Overall: 48/50 = 9.6/10
If for some reason you haven't purchased this game yet, even if you're not a Batman fan, I suggest looking into it. I'd start right now.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/10/12
Game Release: Batman: Arkham City (US, 10/18/11)
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