Batman Arkham City Review

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Ending was a little off considering the flow of the story. The final scene should've been second to last with the main antagonist (the mastermind) being the final boss fight. It felt as if it were ending abruptly.

My elements of literature is a little rusty but it was as if the falling action of the story was the conclusion.

4173:

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

Let me supplement your answers with 1 and 3.

Z of the Na'vi:

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...

I don't see it as a plot-hole really. More like fridge-horror:

How come at 1:12 those dudes are just chilling on the rooftop and working and generally doing no harm when bam! Batman drops out of nowhere and starts kicking the crap out of them? That seems kind of cruel and criminal Batman.

Wuggy:

4173:

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

Let me supplement your answers with 1 and 3.

Z of the Na'vi:

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...

I don't see it as a plot-hole really. More like fridge-horror:

As a more optimistic alternative to that:

Steve Butts:

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!

I was wondering that too. I was so certain that he was gonna break out as soon as I started for the door. But...nope.

Anyway. I just finished the main game. And I mean finished finished (as in 100%. All Riddler secrets. All side quests. Everything). I don't normally do that for games. But Arkham City makes it satisfying to do. For one, the riddles are fun to solve themselves. And add to that the fact that you're rewarded with interview tapes, backstory on the setting and characters, and some really sweet concept art. For once, doing everything in a game isn't a chore, but is a joy.

Nautical Honors Society:
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.

I imagine the staff burning an effigy and smashing things in their office's Frustration Alleviation Room when they read this kind of thing. Get over it. Some people loved that game, even professionals. And that game was reviewed by a different guy anyway.

Now, in order to stop another one of those arguments, I will bow out and only respond to comments related to Batman: Arkham City.

Now, here's an Animated Series clip.

DustyDrB:

Nautical Honors Society:
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.

I imagine the staff burning an effigy and smashing things in their office's Frustration Alleviation Room when they read this kind of thing. Get over it. Some people loved that game, even professionals. And that game was reviewed by a different guy anyway.

Now, in order to stop another one of those arguments, I will bow out and only respond to comments related to Batman: Arkham City.

So you attempt to incite me, then pretend to be the "bigger man" by backing out? Well, sorry my brain won't let me pass on explaining my comment.

Well when a website assigns numerical scores to certain games it can be viewed that it is the establishment and not the individual that is giving the review (especially when the standards of the scores are clearly explained in a universal basis), so you can understand my confusion when comparing one game's score to another.

Not anger mind you, confusion.

There is no need for you to respond. I believe my point is pretty valid in this case. But feel free to view your silence as a sign of your maturity.

OT: I stand by the fact that this is a solid review of the best superhero game ever made.

Steve Butts?
I am disappoint.

Failing to mention important information such as the gross overuse of the word 'bitch' to refer to females is a discredit to yourself as an editor/professional and to your audience.

Kotaku got it right, so why the hell didn't you include this, at all? Perhaps a monetary payout or other consideration from the publisher for 'forgetting' to mention this aspect? Hmm?
What other biases or manipulation should we be made aware of? Full disclosure would be too much for any of you to handle, lol. Your lawyers would have a heart attack at the lawsuits that could be filed if it was done that way.

Please include this information, or refrain from turning the Escapist into the next IGN.

K-thx-bye.

Nautical Honors Society:
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.

Steve Butts reviewed neither of those. Greg Tito gave DA2 a 5/5, and Pokemon B/W was reviewed by John Funk. In fact, these days Steve's reviews are the only ones I find myself agreeing to (*looks at Justin's rather kind review of Assault Horizon*).

I want to know why Robin doesn't have his own parts of the story. His character and combat animations are so fleshed out - he actually never felt like Batman with a rounder hood. I would have loved to play through some Robin sections of Arkham City. Would have been great...there's only so much thug-beating I can give before I need a little context.

The game is a bit ill-structured compared to Arkham Asylum, but the way the villains are intertwined in the plot is again a testament to Paul Dini's writing.

How difficult is it? Or is it in line with all of these casual gamer easy mode console games where a bit of button mashing is all it takes and the "gamer" is basically a viewer (*cough*heavyrain)?

if they would only make a great game of an actual superhero ;(

how exactly is having many moves and many gadgets a bad thing?

I played and completed this and the catwoman stuff isnt important to the story at all. I got it for free when i bought they game and would have hated if i had bought it with MS points. What a waste.

I loved the game, although not much to do giving the size of the world. Alot of the side missions where travel from A to b, then, b to C etc until completed. It was great to interact with the other Batman villians, but wish they had done something more with them. Also the fighting, yes i know their are critical hits, but when you dont always pull them off its seems stupid that the enemies can take so many hits from Batman. Even the skinny enemies. Also the gadgets should be better, most only incapacitate the enemies for a second or two which is unhelpful when you sometimes face 10 or more enemies at once. Why is their no net gun or a wire that ties up the enemy that you can use one and then recharges? It seems for someone intent on fighting crime he lacks weapons that tie up enemies. Even the batarangs dont knock out enemies permanently. Maybe they could have "fist upgrades" in the next one? Strange? Boring. There are far more interesting baddies than him, they should have had all the enemies work together in this one to take you down. That would have been great.

The ending......i hope its not true. (Those who completed the game know what im talking about.)

Apart from all my bitching, these are just minor gripes, this game is awesome.

obscurumlux01:
Steve Butts?
I am disappoint.

Failing to mention important information such as the gross overuse of the word 'bitch' to refer to females is a discredit to yourself as an editor/professional and to your audience.

Kotaku got it right, so why the hell didn't you include this, at all? Perhaps a monetary payout or other consideration from the publisher for 'forgetting' to mention this aspect? Hmm?
What other biases or manipulation should we be made aware of? Full disclosure would be too much for any of you to handle, lol. Your lawyers would have a heart attack at the lawsuits that could be filed if it was done that way.

Please include this information, or refrain from turning the Escapist into the next IGN.

K-thx-bye.

Puh-lease. Your conspiracy is as laughable as your attempt to pass off suspicion as proof. If you have firmer ground to stand on, you should find it before you offer any more accusations.

I didn't mention the overuse of the word "bitch" not because Warner paid me off in Bat-dollars, but because I think it's an inflated controversy aimed at the wrong target. If the various flame-fanners cared about confronting misogyny in the game, why are they so fixated on that one word and largely ignoring the more troubling suggestions of rape? I can understand how some gamers, and I count myself among them, are sometimes unsettled and even offended by the tone of the game, but I think that's what the writer wanted.

Obviously, other reviewers have a different opinion on this and I support them standing up for what they believe in. I'll even allow that there may be a fight worth fighting here, but it's not one I'm running from as a result of publisher pressure. Neither does my silence mean I don't hold an opinion. Writing reviews requires selection and if I wrote about every single thing I loved or hated about this game, we'd be here all day.

Yes, the use of the word "bitch" makes me uncomfortable, but the greater failure is in creativity, not sensitivity. I object to the word, not simply because of the unsettling implication that murderers and psychopaths might actually be socially irresponsible, but because it's the only way the writer seems able to suggest that these are "bad" guys.

I happily anticipate your thoughtful rebuttal.

obscurumlux01:
Steve Butts?
I am disappoint.

Failing to mention important information such as the gross overuse of the word 'bitch' to refer to females is a discredit to yourself as an editor/professional and to your audience.

Kotaku got it right, so why the hell didn't you include this, at all? Perhaps a monetary payout or other consideration from the publisher for 'forgetting' to mention this aspect? Hmm?
What other biases or manipulation should we be made aware of? Full disclosure would be too much for any of you to handle, lol. Your lawyers would have a heart attack at the lawsuits that could be filed if it was done that way.

Please include this information, or refrain from turning the Escapist into the next IGN.

K-thx-bye.

Or maybe he recognizes that there is a difference between a work being sexist and a work portraying characters who are sexist. Have you ever worked in an all-male correctional facility? I had to for some for my degree work. Believe me, Arkham City toned it way down, and I'm a man. I can't imagine what some of my female classmates went through.

obscurumlux01:

Kotaku got it right, so why the hell didn't you include this, at all? Perhaps a monetary payout or other consideration from the publisher for 'forgetting' to mention this aspect? Hmm?
What other biases or manipulation should we be made aware of? Full disclosure would be too much for any of you to handle, lol. Your lawyers would have a heart attack at the lawsuits that could be filed if it was done that way.

Please include this information, or refrain from turning the Escapist into the next IGN.

K-thx-bye.

That is possibly the stupidest comment I have ever read on this site, congratulations on pipping some real gems to the crown.

Accusing someone of payola because they reviewed a game on its own merits rather than mentioning a petty media backlash about portraying the prison inmate lexicon as it very often is IRL - where do you people get these demented conspiracy theories from, that's what I want to know?

obscurumlux01:
Steve Butts?
I am disappoint.

Failing to mention important information such as the gross overuse of the word 'bitch' to refer to females is a discredit to yourself as an editor/professional and to your audience.

Kotaku got it right, so why the hell didn't you include this, at all? Perhaps a monetary payout or other consideration from the publisher for 'forgetting' to mention this aspect? Hmm?
What other biases or manipulation should we be made aware of? Full disclosure would be too much for any of you to handle, lol. Your lawyers would have a heart attack at the lawsuits that could be filed if it was done that way.

Please include this information, or refrain from turning the Escapist into the next IGN.

K-thx-bye.

Its just a word, and in context of the game its fine. What else do you expect pissed off criminals to call her? Did it need to be in the game, no. End of the day Catwoman is hardly an innocent and weak woman, she is fully capable and does indeed kick the crap out of everyone. What if they kept calling Batman "bitch" would that piss you off just as much? Apart from the irony that "bitch" is a female dog and thus calling it to Catwoman is pretty dumb, and maybe that she should have commented on that in the game. But i played the game and i didnt even notice it much, just the same repeated statement by random enemies you encounter. I think your making a far bigger deal out of it than it warrants. Could have been worse, of all the words to call a woman, Bitch seems the weakest....they could of called her a whore or cunt - which would be far more offensive to me.

SensibleCrout:
How difficult is it? Or is it in line with all of these casual gamer easy mode console games where a bit of button mashing is all it takes and the "gamer" is basically a viewer (*cough*heavyrain)?

Its fairly easy, although best play it on normal to get game+ mode. But im not good at the button timing for the critical hits. Mostly you can just press Y (or ps3 equivalent) to counter and tap the hit button a few times to knock them down. Other enemies need specific moves. Like the people with shields need to be attacked from above, armored people need a beat down and people with knives are annoying but can be defeated easily. Especially with gadgets making things easier. All these are easy to do and only involve a few button presses. Then you have the takedowns, which is one button press when you are near them undetected.

I'm almost certain this has been covered by this point.
(Lazy and didn't read!)

If you download the Catwoman pack after starting the main campaign (Not long before Victor Fries for me, some Aussie broke release date here a couple of days early and I'm not complaining, that means we ALL got our copies early.)
Well, this means her missions still insert themselves into the main storyline and you get the chance to "replay" her earlier missions that are supposedly cannon (as per the "Arkham" Universe).

I like Selina, but she's still piss-weak next to Bats. Filthy Cat!

heh, I still need to finish the first game :0

but definitely looking forward to playing Arkham City

The triumph of this game is how tightly designed everything is: the atmosphere, the combat, the stealth... They left nothing up to chance. Those interrogations trigger differently based on if the enemy is near a ledge or on the ground, combat moves are very contextual with a wide variety of different animations based on enemy number and positions and as small as the neighborhood may be in the grand scheme of things, everything's so fleshed out that it feels much larger.

This review focused on the facts of the game, but seems to miss how great it really is. Game design is an art and this is some kind of masterpiece. Somehow this game made me a fanboy. I wasn't even planning on buying it until I spotted a deal and went for it. Best gaming decision this year.

Steve Butts:

Yes, the use of the word "bitch" makes me uncomfortable, but the greater failure is in creativity, not sensitivity. I object to the word, not simply because of the unsettling implication that murderers and psychopaths might actually be socially irresponsible, but because it's the only way the writer seems able to suggest that these are "bad" guys.

I happily anticipate your thoughtful rebuttal.

Well they are thugs. I don't think a deeper exploration of henchman motivations would have been a worthwhile tangent to take. Still, people actually make an issue out of this? It's a gritty hero fighting in a gritty slum. That'd be like playing L.A. Noire and being offended by 1950s sexism or racism.

obscurumlux01:

[url=http://kotaku.com/5851358/batman-arkham-citys-weird-bitch-fixation]Failing to mention important information such as the gross overuse of the word 'bitch' to refer to females is a discredit to yourself as an editor/professional and to your audience.

Author said it already: mountains out of molehills.

obscurumlux01:
Steve Butts?
I am disappoint.

Failing to mention important information such as the gross overuse of the word 'bitch' to refer to females is a discredit to yourself as an editor/professional and to your audience.

Kotaku got it right, so why the hell didn't you include this, at all? Perhaps a monetary payout or other consideration from the publisher for 'forgetting' to mention this aspect? Hmm?
What other biases or manipulation should we be made aware of? Full disclosure would be too much for any of you to handle, lol. Your lawyers would have a heart attack at the lawsuits that could be filed if it was done that way.

Please include this information, or refrain from turning the Escapist into the next IGN.

K-thx-bye.

How can you be offended by this word when everyone who says it is usually pummeled to near death by Catwoman shortly thereafter?

SonOfVoorhees:

obscurumlux01:
Steve Butts?
I am disappoint.

Failing to mention important information such as the gross overuse of the word 'bitch' to refer to females is a discredit to yourself as an editor/professional and to your audience.

Kotaku got it right, so why the hell didn't you include this, at all? Perhaps a monetary payout or other consideration from the publisher for 'forgetting' to mention this aspect? Hmm?
What other biases or manipulation should we be made aware of? Full disclosure would be too much for any of you to handle, lol. Your lawyers would have a heart attack at the lawsuits that could be filed if it was done that way.

Please include this information, or refrain from turning the Escapist into the next IGN.

K-thx-bye.

Its just a word, and in context of the game its fine. What else do you expect pissed off criminals to call her? Did it need to be in the game, no. End of the day Catwoman is hardly an innocent and weak woman, she is fully capable and does indeed kick the crap out of everyone. What if they kept calling Batman "bitch" would that piss you off just as much? Apart from the irony that "bitch" is a female dog and thus calling it to Catwoman is pretty dumb, and maybe that she should have commented on that in the game. But i played the game and i didnt even notice it much, just the same repeated statement by random enemies you encounter. I think your making a far bigger deal out of it than it warrants. Could have been worse, of all the words to call a woman, Bitch seems the weakest....they could of called her a whore or cunt - which would be far more offensive to me.

I've seen this whole "offensive language" thing brought up on a few sites and it's really pissing me off to no end.

These are murderers, rapists, cannibals and so on so why is it such a surprise that when they see a woman in a skin-tight catsuit they fantasise what they'd do to her? Is it really so wrong for them to refer to said woman as a "bitch" when she starts beating the shit out of them? These guys are hardly gonna stick to polite and proper etiquette.

I've seen a number of sites refer to this as "lazy writing". Those people can piss off. When it boils down to it, it's some pretty damn realisitic writing right there.

(I'm aware that this should probably be directed at the dude you quoted, but he seems kinda stupid so I figured I@d direct it towards yourself as you seem not stupid....ugh, the mods probably won't like the "stupid" remark)

anthony87:
I've seen a number of sites refer to this as "lazy writing". Those people can piss off. When it boils down to it, it's some pretty damn realisitic writing right there.

I agree with everything you said except for this point, and I even MOSTLY agree with this bit I just quoted.

My point about it being a failure of creativity rather than sensitivity is based on its overuse. There are several sequences where its repetition is simply distracting and makes it seem as if the person writing the dialogue didn't know more than just that one way to depict the attitudes of the characters towards Catwoman.

I have to say Steve, I don't really understand your complaint about too many gadget/combo.

If you don't want to use them, don't use them - there is no drawback whatsoever to having more tools at your disposal. Hell, if nothing else, I wish they were more! On the other hand, having all those gadgets available and linking them all up in a 50+ combo is extremely gratifying (and also a lot more effective than simply smashing the punch button 50 times).

Not to mention that using more variation also means faster xp, so the game rewards you for mastering it - while not punishing you if all you want to do is hit strike and counter. It's just weird to see you complain about something that is a strength of the game, not a weakness.

Steve Butts:

anthony87:
I've seen a number of sites refer to this as "lazy writing". Those people can piss off. When it boils down to it, it's some pretty damn realisitic writing right there.

I agree with everything you said except for this point, and I even MOSTLY agree with this bit I just quoted.

My point about it being a failure of creativity rather than sensitivity is based on its overuse. There are several sequences where its repetition is simply distracting and makes it seem as if the person writing the dialogue didn't know more than just that one way to depict the attitudes of the characters towards Catwoman.

Funny thing is that of all the bad words that thugs with little education would use to insult a woman with, Bitch is probably one of the mildest...

anthony87:

I've seen this whole "offensive language" thing brought up on a few sites and it's really pissing me off to no end.

These are murderers, rapists, cannibals and so on so why is it such a surprise that when they see a woman in a skin-tight catsuit they fantasise what they'd do to her? Is it really so wrong for them to refer to said woman as a "bitch" when she starts beating the shit out of them? These guys are hardly gonna stick to polite and proper etiquette.

I've seen a number of sites refer to this as "lazy writing". Those people can piss off. When it boils down to it, it's some pretty damn realisitic writing right there.

(I'm aware that this should probably be directed at the dude you quoted, but he seems kinda stupid so I figured I@d direct it towards yourself as you seem not stupid....ugh, the mods probably won't like the "stupid" remark)

This is very true....
However I think it's AWFUL coincidental that whenever you play as catwoman thugs suddenly stop talking about how cold they are and start talking about how much of a bitch catwoman is.

Also, I keep hearing everyone saying how catwoman is really weak... Am I the only one who loved cartwheeling into a group of guards and acrobating my foot into their face in two seconds flat? I didn't think she was weak at all, except against guns, but whatever....

Tarkand:
Funny thing is that of all the bad words that thugs with little education would use to insult a woman with, Bitch is probably one of the mildest...

And seeing as how it's rated T, are they even allowed to use anything worse?

Badassassin:

Also, I keep hearing everyone saying how catwoman is really weak... Am I the only one who loved cartwheeling into a group of guards and acrobating my foot into their face in two seconds flat? I didn't think she was weak at all, except against guns, but whatever....

You're right about the guns thing, but I seem to do better with Catwoman in the challenge maps than with Batman. And after a certain point, you're not really even getting hit anymore so her lower health isn't a problem.

Badassassin:
[quote="anthony87" post="6.319985.13075779"]

I've seen this whole "offensive language" thing brought up on a few sites and it's really pissing me off to no end.

These are murderers, rapists, cannibals and so on so why is it such a surprise that when they see a woman in a skin-tight catsuit they fantasise what they'd do to her? Is it really so wrong for them to refer to said woman as a "bitch" when she starts beating the shit out of them? These guys are hardly gonna stick to polite and proper etiquette.

I've seen a number of sites refer to this as "lazy writing". Those people can piss off. When it boils down to it, it's some pretty damn realisitic writing right there.

(I'm aware that this should probably be directed at the dude you quoted, but he seems kinda stupid so I figured I@d direct it towards yourself as you seem not stupid....ugh, the mods probably won't like the "stupid" remark)

Actually, quite a few bad guys mentionned stuff like 'Catwoman should be careful walking around with an outfit like that... she could get in trouble' or stuff like that, even when I'm playing as Batman. This implies rape. Several comment about Harley Quinn are also of that caliber ('When Joker won't be around anymore, I'll get to ride the Harley!').

I don't find myself, but I do think on the 'morality scale', implied rape oughta be worse then a 2nd degree curse word... yet, that's not what people are complaining about. Which I find totally baffling.

And for what it's worth, I find Catwoman's greater speed and easier counter to be an quite an equalizer when it comes to comparing her to Batman. I find her a lot easier to use in the Combat Challenge... she is penalized in points because of her lack of gadget, but her greater speed means it's much easier to get perfect scores.

rsvp42:

Tarkand:
Funny thing is that of all the bad words that thugs with little education would use to insult a woman with, Bitch is probably one of the mildest...

And seeing as how it's rated T, are they even allowed to use anything worse?

Pretty much.

Slut, Whore, Cunt? I mean seriously, would the game be better if that's what they called her? I don't think so. I'm kinda happy they stuck with bitch.

I don't know if you can really accuse it of being 'lazy writting' either... remember - those are thugs with little to no education, most of them are idiots on top of that... how much vocabulary do you think they have?

Grasping at straws.

Regarding obscurumlux01's post:

Ladies and gentlemen, please move along, there is nothing to see here. While I recognize that refusing to respond could by some be seen as a tacit tolerance of the post, I think the reviewer has responded in an appropriate manner and that should be the end of it. I believe this forum prides itself on its maturity and I hope very much those that read this post agree with me when I assert that minimal interactions with such posters is indeed the most mature option to take.

For what it is worth, I quite enjoyed the review, found it to be informative, and appreciate the efforts of the reviewer that have contributed to the high quality of the website.

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