Review by MakMan333
"Perfect Knight done twice?"
Batman: Arkham City is the follow up to one of the great games of 2009, Batman: Arkham Asylum. Arkham Asylum was a fantastic game, easily the best superhero game of all time and probably would have won more GOTY awards if not for Uncharted 2. So how does Rocksteady follow up on such a fantastic game?
Quite well actually. The game is set in a sealed off part of Gotham City known as, obviously, Arkham City. The story follows Batman as he is dropped into the city unexpectedly and discovers that there is something going on here, something corrupt is going on. So it's up to Batman to figure out what's going on. Along the way he fights several famous villains, among them Joker, Riddler, Penguin and Two-Face. However, this time around he has a couple extra people to help including Catwomen, who is playable as DLC that comes with new copies of the game. Personally, I love playing as Catwomen, she's worth buying the game new, rather than shelling out cash later. All the character designs in the game are fantastic, they're sharp and good interpretations of classic Batman characters.
Arkham City itself is also quite well designed. When you are first dropped into the open world and given the reins to explore you are definitely going to feel overwhelmed by the city especially since Rocksteady made the choice to remove the mini map from Arkham Asylum. Once you get used to it, however, you find that the map actually becomes quite small. Still there's something so fun about gliding over it as you dive and pull up to keep yourself afloat. The buildings you do enter feel quite large, with the notable exception of one, that being the old GCPD building. You'll find yourself actually more lost in some of the buildings than the actual city. Most of the time it's not a problem though.
Gameplay remains the same from Arkham Asylum. They've added extra combos and quick fire gadgets that you unlock over the course of the game but core one button action remains. They've also tightened up the combat so it feels smoother and looks better. Batman has some motions so its not the same combat motion over and over again. However it's still the same concept of easy to pick up but hard to master. Seriously, good luck getting Perfect Freeflow 2.0 trophy, its not impossible by any stretch of the imagination but its not the easiest trophy to get either. The new wild card that has been to the game is Catwomen. Like I said earlier she can be quite fun to play. The major complaint I have about her is her ground pound motion is way too long and will lead to many cheap shots throughout the time you spend playing as her. Though I heard that her content is a significant part of the campaign, I thought all of her story bits were way to short. You never really got that great of a feel for her through the story, unless you replay her story parts. Thankfully, she is available for use in the Riddler Revenge mode, which is just the challenge maps from the last game. She handles the same general way as Batman but her actions are much faster than his. Also she has less access to gadgets and such but this is never a problem as she still has more than enough at her disposal.
Overall, this is one of the best games I have played in 2011. I beat Arkham Asylum numerous times and I'm sure I'll do the same here. If you've played the first one and enjoyed it, this is absolute must purchase. For people who are just looking at this and haven't played the first game, its separated enough from Arkham Asylum that you won't be lost if you choose to play this first. Rocksteady took on a hard task, they took one heck of a game and found a way to improve on it. This may not be the GOTY either but still it's one of the games in 2011 that should not be missed.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/26/11
Game Release: Batman: Arkham City (US, 10/18/11)
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