Even though I was trying to keep my expectations in check for this game, hoping that if I do, then the game wouldn't be suck a disappointment if it turned out to be just that, I was still excited. And then it turns out it gets delayed for the PC for some reason I'm not exactly sure about, but it gave me enough time to get the pre-order sell on steam so I can buy it for 10 dollars cheaper. Only to find out if I waited til Friday, I could have gotten it for 25 dollars. Those assholes!
Ok, let's get one thing straight. I LOVED Arkham Asylum. This game made me like Batman a lot more than I used to. Like, not only is it one of the best things that has Batman in it, it's one of the best superhero......well anything with a superhero in it. It took everybody by surprised, and it's going to be a remembered classic by me and by everybody else once Generation Cyborg rolls around.
Now, Arkham City. It has pretty much everything I loved about the first game, but it also provides a new experience making this game feel fresh. You see, I was worried about this game, because the more I heard about it, the more it was starting to sound like a cash-in, with having to unlock Catwoman if you bought the game used and collectors editions that give people who spent more money on the game more content and the fact that they're releasing Robin DLC. But my fears were all laid to rest once I got to play the actual core part of the game, because, in the end, that's all that really matters. Also, Catwoman is pretty important in this game too, because she plays a pretty big role in this game. So, the core part of the gameplay plus Catwoman are what really matter in the end.
Pictured above: Core part of gameplay plus Catwoman
It seemed like the next logical step to do for a Batman game would to take him into a city with sandbox elements, because what else could they have done? They played it smart by making the map big enough to feel....well big, but small enough to get around easily. It's fairly easy to get from the far end of the place to the other, especially once you get the grapnel boost,(and you'll get it pretty early if you work for it) which is something that'll help you stay in the air while gliding through the city. Arkham City also feels great too! Each section of the place feels real, there's no emptiness anywhere with the place Riddled(?) with things to do. You can stop random assaults, interact with extra characters in this game, and, if all else, just beat the living shit out of thugs in the area. With so much to do in this game, I've kept coming back to this game just to do what there is to do. I've had one profile so far with 24 hours logged into it, and, with a game like this, that's impressive!
I won't get into too much else in the gameplay, because the core elements from the last game are still in this game. Kicking ass is still as fun as ever(there's no other way to call it besides kicking ass in this game), there's still the stealth sections, where you feel like the Silent Knight, picking off each guard one by one, and you go around Batman-ing in this game, just like in the last game! There are new things to talk about though.
There are new gadgets you can mess around with that play a big part in getting through the game. They added more depth into the Riddler's challenges, making him an actual worthy adversary than just someone you beat by collecting his trash he apparently forgot to pick up like in the last game. Also, the combat is tweaked a little. Remember how a bad guy tossed a brick at you, and there wasn't really anything you could do about it besides attacking him before he threw it at you. Well, now, when he tosses it at you, you can toss it back to him. Or at him, because they never catch it, it always hits their face. Also, more than one person can attack you at once, making you push the counter-attack button multiple times to hit up to three bad guys at once. And it NEVER gets old!
In this game, you don't fight! YOU KICK ASS!
Then, there are the boss fights. They are soooooo much better than they were in the last game. It actually feels like your fighting them rather than just using the simple, old-school(not that there's anything wrong with old school things, mind you) tricks you had to do to fight any boss. Of course, now that I think about it, boss fights are starting to become a dying breed, which is sad, because if done right, they can become the most memorable parts of a game! And while they are done well in this game, it still feels like they should do a little more. I mean, sometimes, it feels like a "that's it?" kind of moment once you do beat the boss, but trust me, they are way better than they were in the last game.
And now for the story, which is probably something some of you people were wondering if I was ever going to talk about, and you know what? I'm not going to talk about it! Ha! How's that for a review, not talking about the story? Ok, well, I won't talk about it directly, but seriously, just play the damn game if you want to see what happens in it. Even the trailers and gameplay videos have been doing a lot not to share anything. I will say that it's good and it does a great job to draw you in and care what's going on. Here's the main thing I'm going to talk about though. What I've been enjoying in these games so far is that with all the dark, grittiness this game has going for it, it never forgets that the game is about a rich business man who dresses up as a bat to fight other clinically insane people. It's serious while still maintaining its fun-ness!
You might be thinking that this is an indirect criticism on the new Batman movies.....and, you're kind of right. Not that the new Batman movies aren't great, because damn, they're really good, but I've been finding myself enjoying what's been going on more in this game than in the movies. But if they we're going to do Batman with a completely straight face, than I'd say the new movies have been doing a pretty damn good job. But it's just nice to go back to something that isn't all about darkness and grittiness and reality-ness because I like to have fun every once and a while, and it's nice to know that others do as well!
Also ass kicking!
I guess I have to come up with some sort of things that didn't exactly work for this game, because other wise it will sound like I'm a developer for this game and giving it all the praise possible to make sure this game is still selling. Not that it needs it, this is already a highly anticipated game. I just wanted to say how important this game was for me. There's still some things that could have been better.
I guess I'll bring up the story again, as it ends abruptly, but not without warning though. Another reviewer did point this out, and I had to agree with her(Squidgaming on youtube btw, and I do recommend you check her videos out, they're really cool!). It's that the game never really brings up a central antagonist. While not really a bad thing, but the ending felt like it was trying to resolve everything with each character really quickly. It's not that it feels rushed, it just felt like it could have been paced better.
Also, the Riddler's challenges are there all and well, but instead of maps to help you find the secrets, like in the last game, you have to interrogate the Riddler's henchmen, which isn't a bad idea, except they can only be questioned when they're the last guy standing after a fight and you can knock them out by accident. I was never sure if they respawned either. I think they did, but it's frustrating when you knock them out and become unsure of how you're going to go on from there. Also, their might be too much to do in this game. That's probably a dumb issue to complain about, because it can be a good thing, and it probably is in this case, but Arkham Asylum was the first game I got a 100% on, and now, they've made a game where only people obsessed with this game can only achieve that goal. Which is probably why I'll get there eventually.
Also, there's this one gadget that can do something that the game doesn't really make clear it can do. In one case, it was pretty vital for me, but I didn't figure out I could do this trick until watching this one video to help me out on what I was suppose to do. It involved the zip line....thingy...... grapple....err...hold on.
Yea, this thing, right here!
Well, apparently, you can do this turn with it where Batman does this sort of flip and shoots the thing again going in a completely new direction. Maybe it told me that and I could have looked it up in the menu...but I've only had to use it once, so it felt like it was kind of a throw away thing.
Ok, to be honest, it's actually pretty hard to find complaints for this game, so here's the bottom line.
By this time, if you haven't already played this game, I strongly, whole heartedly recommend this game. It's thoroughly enjoyable with so much to do and it's hard to think of much more fun things than this game. I realize I'm starting to sound like some foaming at the mouth, fanatic of this game, and while that may be right, I can guarantee that at least you will enjoy this game and be glad that you got a chance to play it no matter who you are. Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have their place in this world, and they're going to be remembered one way or another.
P.S. If someone can tell me how to do captions for the pictures, that would be great! The first one who tells me will get a cookie shipped to them within 6 to 8 months! Thank You!
Thanks to Phoenixmgs, I was successfully able to figure out how to do captions. You're cookie will be shipped as soon as possible. The problem is, there's a huge chance it'll get shipped to the wrong address, but that's ok, because by the time it gets there, you probably won't even remember you deserved a cookie for this!