Batman Arkham City Review

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why...why...why do i have to watch an ad for a game im trying to watch a review for?...oh well.

OT: nice review, not surprised it was fun. i am a touch disappointed that the catwoman DLC is an important part of the story. oh, well this wont change their idea to include such DLC.

If you'll excuss me for a moment...

SQQQUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...

Okay fanboy geek-out over. All those combos and gadgets, HOW could that be a bad thing?

This is a great game. So much atmosphere. I think I must have spent a good amount of time just cruising around the island, overhearing conversations.

I actually don't think the story and script were all that good. Luckily the gameplay was so stellar and tightly designed that it more than made up for the shortcomings.

man that looks amazing, i can't wait to just check out the whole city..

*shakes fist at wallet*

ugh..i took a hit for pre ordering skyrim/uncharted 3 for 47 bucks instead of 60, so i'll get this as soon as i have extra cash laying around.

Wait, Treyarch made Spiderman 2?

*Google*

*sometime later* That seems like a gross misuse by Activision, making them develop CoD games when they could be making games as awesome as that one.

Although, I guess we wouldn't get Nazi Zombies, then...

OT: Can't say I'm surprised. Rocksteady seems to be starting their company history off right.

THANK YOU!!!

FINALLY a reviewer who admits that the plot was a bit of a mess with no clear villain. I was starting to think I was the only sane person left...

This game is superb, great review, Steve. The gameplay is solid, and the exploration is definitely a plus over Arkham Asylum. I would rank the game high on 2011's "must play" list for anybody, regardless of your tastes; it is that good.

...that being said, the main overarching plot that the game constantly shoves in front of you, particularly toward the end of the game, leaves much to be desired. There were points where I had no clue what was going on, and when I did, they only made me scratch my head. I can't help but feel...disappointed with how the game ended. It's a shame, really, because the gameplay is so much darn fun.

Exactly how does a steel grate hold back a powerhouse like Bane?

Z of the Na'vi:
Exactly how does a steel grate hold back a powerhouse like Bane?

Ha! Justin said the same thing when we were capturing footage for the review!

My only complaint is that I expected the campaign to be a little longer. Everything else I love.

Z of the Na'vi:
Exactly how does a steel grate hold back a powerhouse like Bane?

You know what part of the plot confused me the most?

I will gladly be your ward, sir.

Sparrow:
You know what part of the plot confused me the most?

Alfred tells you that Lucius Fox has nailed the formula and is shipping it out to Gotham's hospitals.

Eh, I thought the story was good, but even if you didn't like it everything else made the game what it was, a great game

I thought that the main quest was either too short, or made me feel too rushed. Either way, I got done in two days, and now that it's over, I really don't care about any of the side missions I didn't think Batman would have had time for. I mean, you're fighting IN A PRISON. What are you gonna do when you actually find the bad guys?

You don't need to tell me twice that I really should get this game as soon as possible (or at least as soon as it gets released for PC).

Andy of Comix Inc:

Sparrow:
You know what part of the plot confused me the most?

Alfred tells you that Lucius Fox has nailed the formula and is shipping it out to Gotham's hospitals.

Daaaah Whoosh:
I thought that the main quest was either too short, or made me feel too rushed. Either way, I got done in two days, and now that it's over, I really don't care about any of the side missions I didn't think Batman would have had time for. I mean, you're fighting IN A PRISON. What are you gonna do when you actually find the bad guys?

You really should do those, they are good enough to be included in the main story, and they all involve a big batman villain

I'm currently playing it again on Game+.

I thought it would be exactly the same since I have all my gadgets and upgrades, boy was I wrong. Having to watch out when to counter yourself is a sudden change without the counter blinker thingy.

I haven't played the game yet (although I intend to eventually - no spoilers please guys), but this Catwoman DLC issue is starting to rub me up the wrong way.

I was justifying it to myself by imagining that the Catwoman sections would just be random side-missions with no bearing on the game as a whole. But are you saying in your review that her sections are fairly integral to the plot? Essential even?

Then why aren't they in the game proper?

Whilst I'm 100% behind the use of DLC for dispensing extra content, this use of DLC as a blunt paywall to discourage 2nd-hand sales seems like a bit of a dick move by the publisher, and one that especially targets families with a low or fluctuating income.

There's a lot of pressure put on parents by their kids at Christmas for the latest game, and Arkham City will be on a lot of lists. I doubt stores will be slapping signs on their 2nd-hand copies saying 'WARNING! CONTAINS ONLY 9/10ths OF A GAME', and many parents may simply go for the cheaper option, not knowing the difference. But their kids will [cue tantrum].

Less hypothetically, by designating the Catwoman parts as DLC the publishers are diminishing their own product - never a good move.

And surely a carrot is better than a stick for leading consumers in the entertainment industry anyway?

I just can't get my head around the strategy of it; I really do hope this is not the future for the marketing of games...

EvilPicnic:
I haven't played the game yet (although I intend to eventually - no spoilers please guys), but this Catwoman DLC issue is starting to rub me up the wrong way.

The plot isn't incomplete without Catwoman, but once you experience her part of the story, you wonder why you'd play the game without her. It's like going to a fine restaurant and having a four-course meal that's great and completely fills you up. Then you go back later and are served five courses. You didn't miss the fifth course during your first visit, but only because you didn't know you were supposed to miss it. Arkham City is incredibly fun without Catwoman and you won't even know she's missing unless you play the game with her.

Sparrow:

Andy of Comix Inc:

Sparrow:
You know what part of the plot confused me the most?

Alfred tells you that Lucius Fox has nailed the formula and is shipping it out to Gotham's hospitals.

Ohhhh.

Ohhhhhhh noooooooooo.

OHHHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Honestly while the game looks amazing and the city, while not as big as I hoped is deep and will make any Batman fan geek out. My only gripe is that once you start the missions they seem almost cookie cutter to the ones in Arkham Asylum. It's hide from the enemies, beat up the same guys, or looks for clues and solve the puzzle. Granted they did include some cool new gadgets, but I just feel like it was copied and pasted onto new backgrounds. Might just be me but who knows.

GaltarDude1138:

Although, I guess we wouldn't get Nazi Zombies, then...

I mean it in all seriousness when I say that Treyarch should just make a Nazi Zombie spin-off game.

OT: I actually thought the boss fights were STILL kind of lame. Sure they were a lot more varied this time, but they were still way too easy. I beat the last boss fight in one try in like 5 minutes.

I think the problem is the combat was designed to take out several weak enemies at once, so they don't know how to make a boss fight that isn't A. An enemy the size of the flipping Hulk. Or B. An enemy the size of the flipping Hulk with regular enemies thrown in.

It would have been cool just to fight a regular villain that has all the same fighting skills as you, i.e. the boss can counter just like you and such. I'm not sure how that would work but it sounds cool.

I agree that the story does get a bit cluttered as it goes on (once Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins gets involved is, in my opinion, the cut-off point after which the story gets a tad too crowded); but the ending, in my eyes, more than makes up for it. Outside of the fate of the people that Joker poisoned, just about everything else is tied up neatly.

I loved every minute of Arkham City, from the combat, to the stealth, to the boss fights, to the story. Oh, and for the record...

LobsterFeng:

GaltarDude1138:

Although, I guess we wouldn't get Nazi Zombies, then...

I mean it in all seriousness when I say that Treyarch should just make a Nazi Zombie spin-off game.

OT: I actually thought the boss fights were STILL kind of lame. Sure they were a lot more varied this time, but they were still way too easy. I beat the last boss fight in one try in like 5 minutes.

I think the problem is the combat was designed to take out several weak enemies at once, so they don't know how to make a boss fight that isn't A. An enemy the size of the flipping Hulk. Or B. An enemy the size of the flipping Hulk with regular enemies thrown in.

It would have been cool just to fight a regular villain that has all the same fighting skills as you, i.e. the boss can counter just like you and such. I'm not sure how that would work but it sounds cool.

Perhaps someone is more clever than I, but even if counter attack is nullified, I can't imagine a situation that wouldn't just break down to "cape in the face, then punch." Given the choice between that and these boss fights, I'll take Arkham City's any day. Especially with the growth Rocksteady showed by coming up with the Mr. Freeze and Ra's fights. Even Grundy and Joker required more variation than Arkham Asylum bosses.

Because it is Batman they have another problem too -- while characters like Joker have sometimes been written as able to match Batman in a fight, the list of characters who have been consistently challenging is basically Ra's Al Ghul and some dudes most people have never heard of (even among the target audience) (e.x. Lady Shiva, King Snake or Sensei)

Steve Butts:

EvilPicnic:
I haven't played the game yet (although I intend to eventually - no spoilers please guys), but this Catwoman DLC issue is starting to rub me up the wrong way.

The plot isn't incomplete without Catwoman, but once you experience her part of the story, you wonder why you'd play the game without her. It's like going to a fine restaurant and having a four-course meal that's great and completely fills you up. Then you go back later and are served five courses. You didn't miss the fifth course during your first visit, but only because you didn't know you were supposed to miss it. Arkham City is incredibly fun without Catwoman and you won't even know she's missing unless you play the game with her.

That sounds a lot like Shale in Dragon Age: Origins. Such a well purposed and designed character yet not really important to the game at a gameplay level. I, however, couldn't imagine playing DA:O without Shale.

tried the demo of the first game and it was alright, but dint really grab me. plus, you need a live account and this really turned me off. in short, i stay away now from GfW live games. its always a hassle. the pc version is not out yet. steam says it will come out in over 2 weeks.

Sparrow:
You know what part of the plot confused me the most?

Wow...I didn't even think about that. Good point. Maybe...maybe it was all a ruse set in action by Joker? I mean...well no, Robin confirmed it later on as well.

Damn, you punched a clean-sized plot hole there, didn't ya? Now I don't know what to believe. Hm...

Steve Butts:
Ha! Justin said the same thing when we were capturing footage for the review!

I know, right? I mean, He could easily smash through said grate, or you know, a nearby wall...

It's not like he's lacking in brawn, heh.

Okay, that looks awesome. I haven't really said that about too many games lately, but that looks awesome.

I've beaten the game and theres still a few questions I have.

Yeah I do have to say I really liked this game. Best Super Hero Game ever. I mean I loved the first game but this one was just so much more polished. They did a killer job on this one. Now if only they could make another super hero game from DC, you know one with X-ray Vison, Frost Breath, Laser Eyes, and Super Strength. You know so people can think of this super hero instead of (there name here) 64.

Also about your plot hole

Oh yeah one thing though... I really wish there was a Scarecrow section of the game. That was one of the best parts of the First game. It was just so trippy.

I just had a thought, it got nothing really to do with the game, more with batman's lore and just food for thoughts.

According to the movie, batman's cape is made of memory cloth which assume a certain shape when electricity is applied giving batman his glider. Shouldn't the cape be activated by the thugs attacking with stun rods?

In addition isn't it more cumbersome to fight with a cape? wouldn't it be better to have the cape contracted when not gliding? I know batman isn't batman without his cape but just for the sake of argument, wouldn't you rather have a contracted cape if you were batman?

It seems like just a disadvantage for batman's foe to exploit, i.e. grab cape and pull.

Fantastic game. Just compelling and fun.

Solid review, but...you gave Dragon Age 2 and Pokemon B/W a 5/5 and Batman Arkham City a 4.5/5? I may be just nitpicking, but c'mon.

Grabbin Keelz:
I've beaten the game and theres still a few questions I have.

2.

4. Solomon Grundy was first a villain for [Alan Scott] Green Lantern and later, Batman. The name was taken from a character in an old rhyme.

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
This is the end
Of Solomon Grundy

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