After putting a few hours into Batman: Arkham City its clearly apparent to me now why its been praised by gamers and big websites alike. Its simple, Batman: Arkham City makes you feel like a more badass Caped Crusader in a bigger environment. Developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment for the PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. It released Oct 18, 2011 on consoles and Nov 22, 2011 for the PC. Its also releasing for the Wii U but no release date has been given at this time.
Before i started playing i redeemed my Catwoman Bundle Pack so i could play specific in-game missions as Selena and use the two unique skins that came with it. Like most games i checked the controls first. I am playing Batman: Arkham City on my Playstation3. Duel Shock 3: Triangle-counter, O-cape stun, Square-strike, X-run/double tap to evade, L2-detector mode, R2-crouch, L1-aim gadget, R1-grapple/use gadget/quickthrow (tap), D-pad-slect gadget. Select-Waynetech, LS-move, L3-center camera, R3-zoom, and R-look around. The controls are solid. Whether its combat or using gadgets or navigating Arkham City the controls are good.
The main menu screen of Batman: Arkham City has New Game, Riddler’s Revenge, Statistics, Character Trophies, Options, Mode Locked, Catwoman Episodes, Story Synopsis, Concept Art and Credits. Menus are easy to navigate and plenty of content to unlock as well. The Character Trophies are actually in 3D (if you have a 3D TV). Either way they look pretty neat and do a good job with detailing everybody you come in contact with in the game.
The prologue you play as Catwoman and do a quick combat tutorial before being captured by TwoFace. After the prologue the opening of Arkham City shows Bruce Wayne out in public as he is about to hold a TV briefing as to why he came back to Arkham City (political reasons). During the brifing on he is captured by Hugo Strange and imprisoned. While in prison Penguin has Wayne attacked by his thugs. Bruce ultimately escapes Strange’s prison but not before he finds out his plan. “Protocol 10″ is Hugo Strange’s secret that he believes it will make him famous. Batman stays in Arkham City untill he can find out what exactly Protocol 10 is and stop Hugo Strange.
As far as the overall presentation goes for Batman: Arkham City its great. You really feel like Batman in the beautiful open city that is Arkham City. I noticed that Batman comes equip from the start with many gadgets and abilities to make navigating and combat much more seamless early on. The combat so far is the same as Arkham Asylam which i can’t complain about. I noticed some new animations and takedown moves. Some of the silent stealth takedowns were badass. You can take out enemies through wooden walls and directly above silently. Gameplay combat is solid and fun just like in the first game.
The main missions so far had to do with me “rescuing” Catwoman and then tracking down Joker to see why he is involved. During that time i rescued a group of hostages and met Bane who gave me side missions regarding collecting Titan Containers around Arkham City to destroy. I do like investigating and using the gadgets in the game. They seem to have a real identity this time. As you complete missions and side missions you gain XP which you can unlock Waynetech with. I already bought the Shockwave Attack. Pressing Select lets you examine Waynetech which keeps track of all your abilities and purchases. You can also complete AR challenges to unlock more goodies.
The atmosphere of Arkham City is thick. The open atmosphere of the city’s buildings with the neon lights and helicopters flying around patrolling and communicating with Batman is visceral. The radio transmissions always let you hear what is going on which creates a real immersible gameplay experience. So far the game does seem to be open world and you can choose if you want to do the main missions or side missions. Hell, you can just walk or glide around the city and run into situations as well. Riddler collectibles are back. Some require puzzles to find. Quite of few buildings that you can go inside and explore as well. Batman: Arkham City is much much bigger game than Arkham Asylum that much is clear.
I have a gripe about Batman: Arkham City’s visuals. The graphics barely look better than the last game. Some of the textures are washed out and bland looking. The Unreal Engine is serviceable but this game should look better in my opinion. I did catch the improved lighting on a few occasions which is something positive. What stands out to me so far is the voice acting and music. The two combined just bring Batman: Arkham City to life. There are so many characters you run into. Many NPCs you can talk to. The city sounds alive with sirens, helicopters overhead, thugs in the streets and normal civillians. The transmissions playing always feeds you info realtime as to what is going on in Arkham City. So yea, i really like the sound design so far very impressive stuff.
I played over two hours of Batman: Arkham City which is actually more then i needed to play to know this game is very good. Its the kind of game i hate putting down and just want to keep playing. Expect the full review soon. Thanks for reading.