Batman: Arkham City PS3 User Review
Super Gamer Dude
Previously, in Arkham Asylum, the Joker hatched a plot to take control of the Asylum and trap Batman inside along with many of his enemies among the insane criminals already residing there. Batman has to fight his enemies to gain his freedom allowing him to stop the Joker dropping bombs around Gotham city.The events of Arkham City follows a year on from there.
The director of the Asylum, Quincy Sharp, after becoming, by underhand means, the Mayor of Gotham City, decides that the Asylum and the Blackgate Penitentiary are no longer up to the job of keeping the city's villainous enemies safely incarcerated. This results in their closure, and the slum areas of the city are converted into a large prison to be called Arkham City. The shrink, Hugo strange is placed in charge of the facility aided by a private militia called TYGER security. The rules of the new prison are pretty simple. Inmates can do as they please in return for not attempting to escape. A concerned Batman watches over the ensuing chaos and the Joker contracts a sometimes fatal disease after tippling on a Titan formula which has the effect of turning men into crazed monsters.
Bruce Wayne, Batman's alter ego, declares his concerns about Arkhan City and for his pains is arrested by members of TYGER. He is incarcerated in Arkham with the rest of Gotham's undesirables but Hugo Strange lets drop who Bruce's other identity. Batman's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, arranges an air drop of materials which allow Bruce to assume his Batman persona. And so the fun begins.
Batman has many encounters with diverse enemies and must use his multiple special abilities to defeat their evil intentions. The story features as part of the plot Protocol 10, which is a plan to wipe out Arkham Asylum and everyone in it, leaving Gotham City nearly free from its lunatic element. Of course this is at odds with the plans of the criminal element, and the story opens up into many subplots and encounters featuring a host of characters from the Batman comic universe.
Batman's gadgetry has been upgraded for this game and he has also acquired some new devices such as the Cryptographic Sequencer and access to new ammunition such as smoke bombs. The range of attacks and attack combinations has been expanded as have the counter measures to deflect the multi directional assaults aimed at him, not to mention the good old fashioned man to man encounters.
Among the main cast of comic heros are Quincy Sharp, the Riddler, Victor Zsasz, Bane, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Oracle, Nightwing, Hugo Strange, Two Face, the Penguin, Talia al Ghul, Mr.Freeze, Calandar Man, Solomon Grundy, Clayface, R'as al Ghul, Mad Hatter, Deadshot, and of course Robin and Batman's butler Alfred Pennyworth. Along with appearances from Hush, Azrael, Black Mask, Killer Croc and Nora Fries the wife of Mr.Freeze.
The game is a superbly unlikely romp through Gotham City fueled by some equally unlikely characters even when measured by comic book standards of unlikeliness.
Super Gamer Dude
With Arkham Asylum's release in 2009, gamers everywhere were stunned. Licensed games, and particularly licensed games involving superheroes, have had a notorious reputation in the gaming industry for being little more than sub-par cash-ins or cheaply produced throwaway titles. Developer Rocksteady Studios took those preconceptions and tore through them mercilessly, giving players the chance to control the dark knight as he explored the dark depths of Gotham's infamous madhouse, the titular Arkham Asylum. The game was met with tremendous acclaim world-wide, winning numerous awards and setting a steep new standard for licensed titles.
Expectations for a sequel were suitably high following the success of the original. But would Rocksteady be able to once again deliver on all accounts? To put it simply...yes. Arkham City not only lives up to the acclaim of its predecessor; it knocks it out of the ball park and asserts itself as the new kingpin with nary a scratch. Gritty, beautiful, and expansive, Arkham City oozes with atmosphere and an unbelievable amount of polish.
Why is it so good? Plainly put, the game gets just about every detail right. It's a tightly-knight, smoothly-oiled experience that very rarely stutters in any regard. Rocksteady Studios aptly utilizes the power of the Unreal Engine 3, pushing the game's visuals into the stratosphere. Don't believe me? Play it for yourself, and prepare to be blown away. Dynamic lighting provides lush visual detail, giving already excellent textures a nuanced layer of polish. From the way light plays across Catwoman's provocative bodysuit to the beautifully realized Gothic beauty of the city itself, the visuals go a long way in immersing the player knee-deep in what is already an unforgettable experience.
The plot, without giving anything away, is a valuable addition to the Dark Knight's legacy, filled to the brim with classic villains and references sure to put a smile on any Batman fan's face. True to the animated series, the game utilizes the immense vocal talents of Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy, reprising their roles as the Joker and Batman, respectively. Of course, the game features a plethora of talented voice actors, but to list them all seems rather unnecessary for the purposes of this review. From start to finish, Arkham City grips the player tightly around the neck and refuses to let go. And this is one game that doesn't skimp on an ending. It ends in such a way that you'll likely have a hard time picking your jaw up off the floor for a while. It's that good.
The game runs particularly well on the Playstation 3, but Sony's console doesn't boast any significant advantages that make the game any less enjoyable to play on other systems. It's hard to think of a single thing wrong with the game, but if anything, the 'advanced augmented reality gliding missions' are brutally difficult to an unfair degree. But factor in everything this game gets right, and you have what's easily one of the best games of 2011.