Last time on Batman: Arkham Asylum, The Batman has The Joker sent to Arkham Asylum, The Joker’s trick that even fooled Batman, beating the crap out of crazy guys in perfect FreeFlow combat, many enemies to please the fanboys, Batman battles The Joker in one of the most easiest boss battles ever concieved, and leaves. But what of his next adventure, the one that everyone has been waiting for, well it’s right here right now, same bat blog, same bat web page.
So after the success of the first game…no wait, the sequel was developed during the first Batman game as you can see in a hidden Easter egg. Rocksteady Studios knew that they had to improve vastly for the sequel, and you know what, not only did they improve, they once again blew our minds.
So after that disaster at Arkham, Quincy Sharp went up in the world and has become mayor of Gotham City? Anyway, a huge area of the city has been turned into a prison for all criminals to thrive called Arkham City.
And of course people have problems with that and Bruce Wayne is involved with it, rallying against this (right in front of the doors of Arkham City???), but gets kidnapped and thrown into Arkham City where Hugo Strange, who knows he’s Batman and tries to make him suffer by getting electrocuted and beaten up, but not before getting the upper hand (you actually play as Bruce Wayne for a few minutes, that’s amazing) and eventually escapes, collects his costume and Batmans his way to save the day.
He then finds The Joker who after the first game is slowly dying from the after effects of the Titan chemicals, but before he can defeat him, gets gassed and is injected with The Joker’s poisoned blood, meaning Batman is slowly dying as well, so Batman has to go find a cure from Mr. Freeze and the story goes on, I just don’t want to spoil it.
Instead of walking around in a small asylum, you’re now in a huge area of Arkham City, giving you more freedom to do stuff. Combat is still excellent as the counter attacks have been improved, what I really like about it is that even the enemies have more meat when it comes to challenge, they’re tougher to beat, just as it should be.
The stealth has improved immensley, the gargoyles you usually use to hide might be blown up at times by the enemies and they’re now sometimes able to glitch out your detective mode, giving you challenging stealth missions in which you have to use your brain so it doesn’t always get repetitive, but even if it wasn’t included, it still would be fun anyway.
With combat and riddles solved comes XP, the interface for the upgrades is better and more user friendly. The gadgets are still there and even some new ones, like a gun that can attract and repel electrical items or doors (don’t worry Batfans who heard the word ‘gun’, it’s basically a charger…and a taser), gas bombs in which you can hide in the clouds like the real Batman (in any kind of media I guess) and attack blinded enemies and an ice weapon type thing where you can shoot ice at enemies, they will get stuck in a block of ice (No Mr Freeze jokes please).
The game once again looks dark and gothic like it’s predecessor. It looks better with an open world atmosphere and you can get immersed with it just as much as the predecessor, the lighting effects have improved and the character design.
The riddles are back but are more confusing than simple, even the more complex riddles in the first game were easier to solve. There are far too many to find, just because there’s an open world city doesn’t mean that you can put random riddles around the city willy nilly, and yeah, trying to solve the puzzles are a lot more challenging…to find out what to do when you find a question mark and I’ve probably collected less trophies than the first one.
The bosses are back and better than ever, sometimes you need to use your intelligence to figure out what to do but at times the game still tells you what gadget to use. The bosses are more varied and you need different tactics to beat them.
Then there are the side missions, some are just investigate things, but then there are mini episodes where you have to do specific things to solve the mysteries of various villians, but they’re not very interesting and pretty forgettable, it’s the story that’s memorable.
I haven’t played the downloadable content like Catwoman or Harley Quinn’s Revenge, but they aren’t the best or immersive stories ever so i’ve heard and you don’t have to buy them if you don’t want to, but if you do and want it on disc, get the Game of the Year Edition, I only got the GOTY Edition for Arkham Asylum but not City, well how I got it was a complete accident (Heard of CeX, you’ll probably understand).
Overall, this is another great Batman game, everything you liked about the predecessor is back and improved, game play is perfect as always, stealth is perfect, combat is fun and having an open world city means you get more to do, especially with the side-missions.
I don’t know why but…I like the first game a little bit more better, sure it was linear, sure there wasn’t a lot to do after completing the story, it could be the fact that Arkham Asylum was my first Batman gaming experience and everything you could do, I would be amazed by it, so playing the sequel after completing the first game I didn’t get that sense of joy and awe because it’s just like the first game except that it’s open world, but I can’t blame the game for that, I still enjoyed the game nonetheless so forget what I just said. This and it’s predecessor are, for my money one of my personal favourite games and possibly the best superhero games ever made.
You can get it for PS3, Xbox 360, PC and WiiU.