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Old 11-07-2013, 01:27 AM
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Batman: Arkham City

So with the recent release of the third in the series of Batman: Arkham games just being released at the end of October, I figured I had better get on the ball and play through Arkham City (the second in the trilogy).

If you enjoyed the gameplay and storyline in the original Batman: Arkham Asylum, then you will surely enjoy Arkham City.

Set about a year after the events of the first game, the second game places you in 'Arkham City' - a run down ghetto portion of Gotham which Quincy Sharp (the director of the Asylum in the first game) has converted into a prison city of sorts. Of course things are not peachy in Arkham City and there are lots of fishy things going on with Quincy Sharp, Dr. Hugo Strange (in charge of Arkham City...), and of course The Joker. We learn early on in the game that The Joker has become deathly ill due to ingesting Titan back in the Arkham Asylum days... and we end up being tasked (rather urgently) with finding a cure. What follows is a delightful roller coaster ride of a game that is long on content and ends up being really difficult to put down.

The 'map' or 'world' in Arkham City is MUCH larger than it was in Asylum. You literally have an entire CITY to explore, above and below. Along with the main storyline which largely consists of beating up bad guys in new and creative ways, you also have an absolutely DIZZYING amount of Riddler trophies to find and puzzles to solve... some of which you can only pick up as Catwoman. Oh... did I mention you play a small portion of the game as Catwoman? Yes. And while I prefer playing as the Dark Knight, Catwoman certainly is nice eye candy if you know what I mean.

Back to those Riddler trophies.... oh my GOD do they get on your nerves sometimes. Many of them are right out in the open or behind walls you have to blow up, but a good portion of them involve landing on or touching switch pads in just the right order and without touching any other surface. These can be a real pain in the ass to solve and sometimes you get the feeling that a Riddler trophy just isn't reward enough. I will say that finding the actual RIDDLES is one of my absolute favorite parts of the game though. Those delightfully hidden question marks that only show up in detective vision? They're back in Arkham City!

Controls are largely just as they were in Arkham Asylum... although their does seem to be more annoyances with camera angles than there were in the first game. There are also some other really annoying moments with the control scheme, like when the grapple refuses to lock onto where you would expect it to... especially in the middle of a tense battle. But they're hardly deal breakers....
A similar array of gear awaits you in Arkham City as well. You start off with a few basics and then gradually unlock more and more gadgets and upgrades as you gain experience and level up in the game. Upgrades are mostly satisfying to earn and go along with the storyline fairly well, helping you progress through the game.

The GOTY edition of Arkham City features all kinds of added content including Riddler challenge maps and an additional story that takes place just after the events of the main game. I personally find the challenge maps and events stupid and tedious so I didn't do many of those, but the Harley's Revenge addon story was decent.

As I sit here and type this I have finished the main story, done all the side missions, found and collected ALL of the Riddler stuff, and completed the Harley's Revenge DLC. I am 'done' with the game and I have to say it was pretty great stuff. Again, if you enjoyed Arkham Asylum you WILL enjoy Arkham City, which sticks like glue to the tried and true formula.

If you haven't played either game NOW is the perfect time.... This week's Humble Bundle features games from Warner Brothers Interactive, and what do you know? Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY and Arkham City GOTY are both included. Donate what you want and enjoy several great games.

https://www.humblebundle.com/
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