Batman: Arkham City

Posted: January 19, 2012 by Micah in Video Game Reviews
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I have many aspirations in my life. I want to get married, be a teacher, act, write a play, write a book, own a duck, eat a fish, make a wish, pwn a dish, and drain a swish… not so much those last couple… don’t really know what happened there… Anyway among my fondest (and least likely) ambition is… to be Batman. I mean when I proposed to my fiance’ I wore a batman shirt. When I jumped off a ladder and landed with carefully planned smashing on a hard wooden stage last night… I wore a batman shirt. And while I may never own enough money to hire Michael Cain to serve me orange juice and set fire to letters from Maggie Gyllenhall, I can play Batman: Arkham City. And that… well that’s pretty awesome too.

Micah Reviews: Batman Arkham City.

Batman... so much awesome... so little time.

The Plot:

For those of you who don’t know, Batman: Arkham City is a sequel to the epic slice of gaming awesomeness that we call Batman: Arkham Asylum. Arkham Asylum was a game that featured Batman running all over the grounds of an insane asylum chasing the Joker (who was awesome) and punching people in the face (which was also awesome… in a different way). Fortunately if you did not play the first game you will still no exactly what is going on here because the only time the first game is at all mentioned is when the Joker essentially recaps the entire last twenty minutes of it. Anyway though…

It seems the good people of Gotham (and by “people” I mean “morons”) have decided that the best thing to do with all the crazy, deranged, criminals (which Gotham seems to pop out like Adam Sandler pops out not-funny movies) is to pack them all into one abandoned district of the city and put big high walls around it. As if the best way to solve a particularly bad case of poison ivy was to stand in the middle of a green house filled with Poison Oak. Anyway, predictably enough people start shooting each other, but all the while the manager of the prison keeps talking about something called Protocol 10.

What is Protocol 10... and why do you have that chin beard?

In the midst of this the Joker shows up again and has his own twisted plans which may or may not have to do with the fact that he is apparently dying of an unknown disease AND something seems to be horribly wrong with the Subway station. Also: Billy is stuck in the well.

You and Batman will spend a crazy night racing around Arkham City trying to find out what’s wrong with the Joker, what protocol ten is, why the Penguin is blowing up a bridge, and why Fox canceled Firefly. The game’s story is fast paced and filled with enough twists and plot turns to justify its own TV mini-series. The game keeps you wanting to find out what happens at the end, while all the while hoping it isn’t over yet, and when you finally do reach the end it will absolutely FLOOR you. I still haven’t finished processing it.

The Gameplay:

Batman is made up of several different styles of play but the most prominent parts are stealth and combat.

Stealth sections have you cleverly sneaking among the shadows, carefully taking out enemies from behind, setting traps, and diving into grates; all the while praying some fool with a flashlight doesn’t turn around and see you. These sections are incredibly fun and challenging enough to keep you coming back while never feeling like the game is stacking the odds to heavily against you.

Combat is probably what the game does best (which isn’t to say that it does the other sections poorly by any means). Combat is mostly divided into attacking and blocking/countering/dodging and while the game certainly makes combat difficult enough you always feel like Batman which is to say: Awesome. Once you master the combat you’ll be easily switching in between attack and defense, lunging forward to plant a kick in one criminals dainty bread-box before deftly countering a punch from the side and flipping said puncher over your back and into one of his compatriots. Never have I played a video game that struck such a good balance between difficult and awesomeness and Batman: Arkham City makes itself extremely difficult to put down by striking such a very good balance.

In Conclusion:

If you’re a fan of Batman you will love Batman: Arkham City. If you’re a fan of good video games you will love Batman: Arkham City. If you are a fan of the general art of being ridiculously cool you will love Batman: Arkham City. I am a fan of all these things. And so: I am a fan of Arkham City. Thank you America: and goodnight.

I give it 5 head punched villains, out of 5.

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