Sunday, January 26, 2014

Batman: Arkham City (2011) Xbox 360

Rating:  6 out of 5 Awesome Cakes Made by Magic Elves

Plot Synopsis:  Batman takes it out of the Asylum and into an abandoned chunk of Gotham City that’s being used to house all of Gotham’s criminals.
The Good:

-The story is great and there are several twists that just keep your mouth open and your brain engaged.

-The laggy feeling that the previous games fighting system had is alleviated here.  Combat feels much smoother and the tools available to you during combat greatly increases thanks to the addition of quick fire weapons.  Almost all your gadgets can be used in combat now.

-The side missions are just as great as the main story.

-The addition of the detective scenes greatly improves the experience.  Setting up a crime scene and investigating gives you access to Batman’s crime solving side and provides a break from combat and stealth.

-Moving around the city feels great with the use of grappling hook and free running.

-Boss fights are way more varied.

-The architecture is amazing.

-You can change your costume, my favorite was Dark Night Returns.  I hate that story but I love that old grizzled look for Batman.

-The challenge mode is greatly improved and much more fun.  I spent hours and hours in the challenge modes.  Probably as much time in the challenge mode as I did in the main campaign and I played that campaign on easy, medium, hard and New Game +.

-The Catwoman missions are brief but fun.  She handles and fights nothing like Batman (other than the most basic combat principals) which provides a much different experience.

-The addition of Robin and Nightwing to the lineup adds much variety to the challenge modes.

-The game expansion DLC is really fun.  Really short but really fun.

-The Riddler side quest is a million times better.  You find trophies and solve the little puzzles attached to each trophy as well as scanning lore specific items that are hinted at along with physical gameplay challenges.  After so many challenges are completed you are contacted by Riddler and asked to solve a riddle, when you do you are directed to a Saw like death trap.  The death traps are unique and interesting and challenge you in different ways.  Solving each trap is incredibly satisfying and the mission ends much better than Asylum.  The ending is more final and hands on not just listening to audio of someone being arrested.

The Bad:

-The crime scene mechanic feels a little wasted.  It just seems more could be done with it.  This is made even more obvious when you compare to Arkham Origins which uses the crime scene mechanic to its fullest.

-There’s not much to do after the main story, and side missions, are done.  Running around and just engaging random groups of thugs isn’t very satisfying.

-Arkham City feels tiny.  Tiny, tiny, tiny.

-There’s a super-secret boat that appears to be a store house for Scarecrow fear gas and a place for Scarecrow to perform experiments.  Everything on the boat points to a fear epidemic with Scarecrow at the head and nothing happens with that.  It would have been fun to get fear gas that works like the cryo-grenade but stuns them with fear.

-Azrael makes an appearance that hints at greater things but doesn’t deliver.

The Ugly:

-This is just more beautiful than the last game.

Final Thoughts:  This game takes everything that was awesome about the first one and makes it better then eliminates all the crap.  Much like Asylum a lot has already been said about this so I’ll just say that you should play this.

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