Batman Arkham Asylum was a game that when it came out I was not interested in it in the slightest. Being a person that has no connection to comics and think that superheros are kind of dumb, the idea of a Batman video game did not bring any good thought to my mind. That was also because these kind of video games, ones based on a franchise that is not a video game franchise, are not usually good. Luckily Arkham Asylum changed my mind and I ended up buying Arkham Asylum multiple times on different platforms. Rocksteady, the developer of Arkham Asylum and City, announced its sequel really quick and it was thought they were going to crank out a sequel and have it be sub-par and make Batman an annual series, this all was wrong.
Batman: Arkham City starts off with Bruce Wayne being arrested and put in Arkham City. Arkham City was an idea made by Hugo Strange and is just walling off part of Gotham City and putting all criminals in what is still a city but now part prison. If something like this was actually proposed the person who came up with it because it is possibly the dumbest idea ever, but this is a comic book video game so it makes sense. After escaping from Penguin Bruce Wayne calls in his stuff and becomes Batman. This is where the story begins. Batman’s main purpose is to figure out why Strange came up with the idea for Arkham City and why would anyone in their right mind go along with it. Along the way Batman meets his second half, Joker, who is sick and end us infecting Batman with the same sickness he has. This is the main story thread that run through out the game. Batman must get the cure for himself and Joker so no one will die. Through out his time looking for the cure he meets many characters a comic book fan would know.
Batman Arkham City is full of fan service and has plenty of characters which have roles ranging from main story to one side mission. Being as this game is set in a city many of the game is open world. Getting from mission to mission and finding the side quests are all done outside in the titular, Arkham City. That is really where the open world ends as when you start any story mission and many of the side missions you will be inside a building where the game becomes much more like Arkham Asylum. If you remember from Arkham Asylum Batman did not come very prepared when he took Joker in to the asylum, this time he has all the gadgets that Batman should have when leaving the bat-cave. Over the game you will gain a couple of gadgets from Mr. Freeze, but that’s it. As in Arkham Asylum you can upgrade Batman’s ,and Catwomen’s, gadgets and suit. Every level you get one upgrade which range from upgrades to the armor and adding a proximity mine to the explosive gel. As you spend the vast majority of the game as Batman you end up spending all of your upgrades on him, but when you do this you are depraving Catwomen of upgrades as they pull from the same pool. This bring me to the Catwomen parts of the game. If you bought Arkham City new you got this Catwomen stuff for free and if not it will cost you 10$. There are parts in the story where Batman and Catwomen will interact and you will switch over to control Catwomen, who controls like a stripped down version of Batman. As Catwomen you are a little weaker, but move must faster and you do not have all the gadgets that Batman has. If you do not have this Catwomen pack these parts are just not in the game at all and you would not even know that you should have played as Catwomen.
Arkham City has no where near a lack of content. The story mode will take you a good 10 hours itself while if you want to collect the 400 and some-odd Riddler trophies, which return from Arkham Asylum. When writing this review I have collected 100 trophies as Batman and five as Catwomen. Rocksteady has stated that this Riddler stuff will also take you around ten hours to complete. When collecting a certain set of Riddler trophies the Riddler give you access to find the hostages he has taken and hidden around Arkham City. Multiple things get unlocked by collecting certain Riddler trophies including concept art, 3D character models and Riddler Revenge rooms, which are the challenge rooms. Which are a whole set of other things to do out side of the story mode.
There are two different sets of challenge rooms, combat and predator. In the combat rooms you do what you think you would do, you fight dude. During all this you are being scored based on how you string combos together and how many counters you do. If you get a set score you will get up to three Riddler medals. The other challenge type is predator which is the sneaky type of challenge. Here the medals are based on certain challenges with in this challenge. The first one gives you a medal for taking down a guy who is stunned by you dropping a smoke pellet. There are three of these and they vary from challenge to challenge. There are also separate challenge rooms for Catwomen ,and ,possibly Robin if that is what came with some pre-orders. The new thing that is added to this challenge mode is called “Campaigns”, which are three different challenges stringed together. When playing through these campaigns you must use three modifiers through out the three different challenges. These modifiers are things like, a time limit, and your health slowly regenerates. There are usually two negative and one positive, and I found it easier to get them all done in the first challenge so I do not have to worry about them later. And again all this can be done with Catwomen and any character you may have gotten with a pre-order.
Batman Arkham City at its core is not much different than Arkham Asylum. The combat has been slightly improved, but unless you have played Akrham Asylum lately you will not notice the differences. With all the content between the Riddler trophies, side missions, and challenge rooms you will be hard pressed to get a better deal than Arkham City. Batman Arkham City is one of the games that has an open world, but has none of the negative parts that you usually get when you think of an open world game. The only other game that comes to mind when I say that is L.A. Noire, which is pretty good company to be with. I highly suggest that anyone and everyone go out right now and buy Arkham City.
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