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Monday, 14 November 2011

Batman: Arkham City PS3 Review

Rocksteady studios, Warner Bros and DC all pitch in once again to gift us with the highly anticipated sequel to Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City.

We were first given a taste of the next generation of Batman games back in 2009 when Rocksteady studios released Arkham Asylum. Batman gets himself into a right mess after capturing The Joker and returning him back to were he belongs, with the rest of the nutters at Arkham Asylum. We find out as we continued through, that the Joker, played by the brilliant Mark Hamill, had a devious plan all along. It isn't long before he gets free and goes on to run riots around Arkham Asylum, leaving Batman caught up in a game of Cat and Mouse. A genius game, and a great comeback from previous unsuccessful Batman games. The game, for ps3 and Xbox 360, received quality reviews and later went on to win the Bafta game of the year award.

Arkham City had a lot to live up to. Trailers before its release showed us the Landscape Batman was free to roam, and the villains you as Batman would come up against. It gave off, to me a slight hint that the crumbling of all of Batman's greatest villains into one game can come off rushed and unsuccessful......was Arkham City rushed or did it seem to me it failed to live up to the first? HELL NO!

The game introduces Dr.Hugo Strange. The genius behind the Arkham City prison. He controls everything from one room. For some apparent reason, he was given permission to store Gotham city's most dangerous criminals in a deserted Island outside Gotham.
The introduction to the game is quality. You find out that Hugo strange knows the identity of Batman, but he does not seem like he wants to tell others.....its like a dark secret they both chose to share with each other, and Bruce Wayne gives off the impression he trusts Hugo strange, although deep down Bruce knows there could possibly be something else strange is after?

Arkham Asylum was very original and although Arkham city is a sequel? it definitely manages to stay original. I mean, a brief list of who your up against. You have the Joker (obviously) again with the voice of mark Hamill. Harley Quinn, who never seems to fail as Jokers female apprentice. The penguin. Now the penguin seemed strange to me. He has this English accent, a very weird one at that. I would a loved to see Batman ask him what part of England he's from? anyway that one is new to me. Not forgetting the heartless Two-face, and the chilling Mr.Freeze (notice how I put chilling!?)

There is a few surprise villains I won't get into (I am trying to remain spoiler free!). Oh' and not forgetting the introduction of Catwomen which is also cool. I did find Catwomen frustrating though. Obviously she is not as strong as the Bat, but she does have little advantages. I definitely found the Hard difficulty I picked only came into play whenever the story moved onto Catwomen.

The combat in the game is just as good as the last, if not better.! Its definitely quicker, weather your Batman or Catwomen (I am yet to try Robin), you can perform a high combination of kicks and punches, resulting in a ridiculous amount of points when your doing the challenge maps. I think the highest I got was during the story mode, it was like a 24 hit combo? Apparently you can double that...if your good!

Once you complete the story, the rest of the game focuses around side missions. I have not completed the game long, and besides from doing one or two of the side missions,  it seems a great new concept added to the game and will certainly keep you going for a while. Then there is a wide range of challenge maps. Extra Content such as Knightwing and Robin challenge maps can be downloaded on the playstation store.

Another good thing fans will enjoy is that Batman is strapped with all of his gadgets from the very start....after you break free as Bruce Wayne of course! The concept of upgrading gadgets and different moves is still there. Those who enjoy using their points to upgrade,will love it, although you can get through the story mode without having to add much to your belt. As for the overall percentage of the game, those who plan on doing the numerous amount of side missions, will need to upgrade their gadgets in order to get to out of bound locations.

As for graphics. I am all for graphics in a game, where in Arkham City's case, are quiet good. hey? it is no uncharted, but it will get there if continues on from it's predecessors. The view of the city when your creeping off a one a them gargoyle statues? is quality! as for the basics such as gliding around Arkham city stalking henchmen and helping people, it looks very well. It matches the same graphics as Arkham asylum, in my opinion, which definitely is not a bad thing. Gamesmaster magazine gave it 68 to 70 percent for graphics which might be a bit harsh. just a bit. As for Xbox and Pc? I couldn't tell you. My guess is it might look slightly better on the likes a them two consoles as great games for Ps3 can sometimes come off glitchy.
It is hard to fault Arkham city, given the gritty concept Rocksteady came with. It is everything Batman should be. As a batman fan I wanted more story, longer and even more unpredictable as it already was. It was a short game. Just like Arkham city, but maybe I just enjoyed it so much that the fun was over before I could say "To the bat cave"!!

So Arkham City did not seem the longest game in the world but hey? isn't that what the side missions are for? Unfortunately I found Batman's worst enemies, as sick as their reputation holds, for me they failed to give Batman a real challenge. The side missions are one of very few advantages over Arkham Asylum. And the feature of Killer Croc and The Scarecrow in the story of Arkham Asylum are the advantages over Arkham City. But speculation is I could come across one a these two in the side missions? who knows.

Arkham City is a classic Batman game! They used so much in it that I am afraid to say they probably will not come back with a third....But fans will definitely rest on the fact that both Arkham City and Asylum will go down with some of the greatest games to hit the playstation 3.

A must play for all Batman fans! 9/10

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