Batman Arkham City Review

batman

I’m going to say this now. I’m not into super heroes or read comics. I haven’t seen the Dark Knight Rises yet and I’ve never watched any of the Avenger super hero movies. So please forgive me if I somehow screw up the history or fact about Batman.

First of this is the sequel to Batman Arkham Asylum. A fantastic game itself. So with Arkham City being a sequel it had a lot to live up to…. and boy did it.

I have the game of the year edition so I got all the neat bonus stuff plus the Harley Quinn’s Revenge package.

Also I will do spoilers so be careful reading.

The main plot of Arkham City revolves around Batman being poisoned by Joker (Joker himself is poisoned as well) and having Batman run around Arkham City which is located in the middle of Gotham City to try and find a cure. Arkham City is a mass prison city where all of Gotham City’s super criminals are being held along with all of their thugs.

I have a limited knowledge on Batman’s history. The only thing I really knew about Batman came from the first two Dark Knight movies along with that sweet 90s cartoon.

Yes that super bad ass cartoon series.

When I said that all of Gotham’s super criminals were encased in Arkham City, I meant it.

You will fight or have appearances by Joker, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Hugo Strange, Poison Ivy, Mister Freeze, The Riddler, The Mad Hatter, Clay Face, Penguin, Dead Shot, Zsasz and others I can’t think of off the top of my head.

You also get to play as Catwoman which is pretty cool since she has her own moves and gadgets.

If you have the Harley Quinn Revenge package then you also can play as Robin and Night Wing (who was the first Robin) I learned a lot of history playing these games.

Arkham City is controlled by Hugo Strange. He is a scientist/psychologist that meets with the inmates in the first Arkham Asylum game. Apparently he has convinced Gotham to build a city within a city that will house all the criminals. To me that doesn’t make much sense since the criminals aren’t locked up and some of them even have hide outs and places to live.

I feel if a criminal really wanted to escape then they could. The only thing between them and Gotham City is about a 500 ft concrete wall with barbed wire and one helicopter that circles Arkham City.

One of the biggest pro and con in Arkham City is the same thing. Collectables. I believe there are 500 Riddler trophies to collect throughout the game but what do you get if you collect them all?

Nothing. It is said you get a Sphinx trophy… which I’m not even sure what you’d do with that… In the first Batman game at least you got the brief satisfaction of hearing a 20 second clip of Riddler being arrested.

That’s really the only down side to the collectables as the pros far outweigh the negatives.

I found it really cool seeing all the character trophies you could unlock along with concept art. Now that may not sound very cool but looking at some of the concept art you would think you could be easily viewing sick Batman posters.

The coolest thing though that you can unlock is the suits for Batman, Robin and Catwoman to wear. Once you beat the game you can change the suit of your hero. Batman can wear a few different ones including a 1970s suit along with the animated suit and even a Batman Beyond suit. Do you even remember that?

I mentioned a few of the villains you will face in this game. My favorite villain is Mister Freeze. He is a total bad ass with his robotic suit and his ice weapons. All the villains fit nicely into the plot which believe me is very hard to do with the mass character depth.

How cold? Ice cold.

How cold? Ice cold.

I’m just going to go ahead and say these complaints as they are fresh in my head.

The story at the end got a little cloudy with why Hugo Strange was controlling all of Arkham City and why the citizens of Gotham City put him in charge. That and the fact that you can only play as Robin and Night Wing in the DLC. Those two characters were fantastic to play with in the game. They added a different element along with awesome new moves.

Robin is usually a wuss if you remember…. but not in this game….

Pussy Robin

Pussy Robin

You’re not pussy robin…. you’re……

Pussy smasher Robin!!!

Pussy smasher Robin!!!

Those are the only things I found disappointing about this game. I’m being picky as well.

For Batman to actually find the cure for his disease that is killing him and Joker, Batman must do a ton of favors for villains or track down them. The tasks don’t get tiring as you are doing them for different villains while interacting with different people.

You get occasional slutty help from Catwoman. And I think slutty is an understatement. The way Catwoman walks, talks and fights is all slutty. Along with her costume.

Meow meow slut slut. This pussy has been naughty.

Meow meow slut slut. This pussy has been naughty.

Ok so this is where it got confusing for me as well. I have never heard of these characters in the Batman universe so they were all new to me. Apparently there is a secret underground ninja organization ran by a 600 year old ninja master named Ra a-Ghul. He lives on by going into a life pool that tests you. Make it out alive and you become healthy and younger. Ra a-Ghul did this so many times his mind had gone mad and he is actually the main bad guy in Arkham City that is teaming up with Hugo Strange to kill Batman. Yes I spoiled it. But no I still don’t fully understand why.

The story that I got a kick out of was the relationship between Batman and Joker.

They almost seem like an old married couple and Joker knows this. Joker is the only constant in Batman’s life. Batman or Bruce Wayne goes home to an empty mansion, to no family, no wife, no love interest. He can’t enjoy life outside of Batman because there is no life outside of Batman. Joker knows this and tries to exploit it. They are even tied in life and death. Both are poisoned. Both need cures.

It seems that they even respect each other to a certain degree. After all if I fought someone to the brink of death over a 100 times I’d have a bond I couldn’t explain with them. Much like when two guys that have beef with each other fight it out and become at peace or even friends with each other afterward, Batman and Joker thrive off each other. Joker gives Batman a purpose to live.

It’s this very reason that I believe Batman could never kill Joker.

The one thing that bothers me is that Batman refuses to kill anyone. He is hell bent on not killing anyone. Not because he believes in second chances or in some instances 1380984358913273-987 chances but because his parents were killed in front of him with a gun when he was a boy. Who knows maybe I’d feel different if my parents were murdered in front of me.

In the end of the game Joker has been appearing to become healthy again even without the cure. It is then revealed that Clay Face who can mold into anyone has been playing “healthy” Joker while the real sick Joker is taking it easy.

Once you defeat Clay Face, Joker comes on down gasping for the cure. When the vial is broken Joker is doomed. Joker DIES, yes dies on the floor in front of Batman. That sure shocked me. Never would I of thought that a major villain would die in the Batman universe. The last scene is Batman carrying Joker’s frail body out of the hideout. It’s pretty epic. This was one of the concept art pieces I thought was amazing.

Epic

Epic

That’s pretty much how the game ends.

One fun fact that some of you may not know is that the voice of Joker…. is in fact….. LUKE SKYWALKER!! AKA Mark Hamill! And may I say he does the best job anyone has ever done voicing the Joker.

But after 20 years of voicing Joker, Hamill wanted to hang it up. After Arkham Asylum Hamill wanted to retire but once reading the script to Arkham City he returned for his final voice over. Part of me thinks that the reason Joker dies in the end is showing a sign of respect to Hamill. No one will ever voice the Joker like he did and “his” Joker is now dead.

If you have the Harley Quinn Revenge package then the game doesn’t quite end there for you.

Harley Quinn captures Batman two days after Joker’s death and forces Robin to rescue him. The bonus content took me around three hours to beat. It was fun and added a little extra to the ending. Batman understandably depressed at Joker’s death is just kind of sulking around after it. He obviously feels like he doesn’t have much of a purpose and the one person he could count on is now dead. Now Joker was a villain and mass murderer but the one thing he did was make Batman feel like his life was worth living and that he had a purpose. With Joker gone…. Batman fell into a mid-life crisis. It’s a gloomy end to a gloomy game.

Overall the experience was excellent. Graphics were above average and the story was great. The character driven experience is enough to satisfy any Batman universe fan. There wasn’t a ton of memorable music involved but the fighting system was great not to mention all the stuff you could do after you beat the game including all of Riddler’s challenges. There is a reason this got game of the year. I give it a 9.5 out of 10.

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