Batman: Arkham City will feel very familiar to those who played the prequel, and injects just enough new features, gadgets and missions to keep the idea fresh and exciting.
Not long has passed since the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Batman….or Bruce Wayne has been taken into a new prison the size of an entire city, along with a number of classic villains from the comic book series.
The first villain Batman meets is Hugo Strange, a deep voiced Dr, who is in charge of Arkham City. He is obsessed with the idea of launching a mysterious plan named ‘Protocol 10’. His very un-warming welcome soon leads to Batman’s escape to the city of Arkham City, where you are able to roam as the Dark Knight himself.
Of course, this game would not be complete without the Joker. Introduced with in minutes of the campaign, the Joker appears to be seriously Ill. Using a ‘Bargaining Chip’, he sends you off to get the cure. Unlike the previous game, the Joker doesn’t steal the entire plot. His missions are shared with the Hugo Strange missions to create the main plot. Enemies like Penguin, Dr Freeze, Poison Ivy all add something to the storyline which the original game was missing, – option.
While a big fan of the original game, I always felt that there was little chance to do anything else other than follow the main plot, solving riddles as you go. Arkham City fixes this issue, offering several story lines, characters and items to collect.
The combat has remained, for the most part, exactly the same. There are some extra moves for Batman to perform, and the ability to counter multiple enemies certainly is nice, however the controls and strategy to the combat system remains identical to Arkham Asylum. If it’s not broke, why fix it? The enemies remain the same as previously, thugs that have no idea how to fight, however when caught in groups can be a tough combat challenge.
Arkham City also introduces some new playable characters, depending on which edition of the game you have. I was able to play as both Catwoman and Robin, however Robin was limited to the combat challenges. I was extremely glad to see, that each character was given their own personality, and in the case of Catwoman, a different way of moving around.
As Catwoman, instead of using a cape to dive and glide to move like Batman, you were given the trademark whip to sling to each building. I can not stress how much Catwoman felt like a different character. She is faster in movement and combat, and forces you to change the way you go about stealth missions. The missions in which you play as Catwoman are spread out across Batman’s campaign, often cutting to the Catwoman missions leaving the batman story at a cliffhanger.
Something that disappointing, was that the game did not allow me to play as Robin at any point in the campaign, not even after i had completed the game. The reason that this was such a shame, is that Robin had possibly the best combat out of every playable character, combining the toughness of Batman with the agility of Catwoman.
Arkham City is no better than its predecessor, but it is also no worse. The city to explore, whilst fun at first often left me wondering where to go next, causing me to miss the nicely restricted corridors of Arkham Asylum. The campaign will be emotional to many die-hard fans of the comic book, and the different easter eggs, mysteries and riddles will mean a little something extra to you.
If you were a fan of Arkham Asylum, you should go out and buy this game. It is certainly a worth successor.