Sunday, October 30, 2011

Game Review: Batman: Arkham City

Since being released, Batman: Arkham City has gotten several favourable reviews from Metacritic and Playstation, not to mention several thousand fans. So bring on the hatemail, because I am probably the only person in the universe who didn't like this one. 

Okay, maybe that was too harsh. Let me rephrase-I liked it, but not nearly as much as Batman: Arkham Asylum. The plot is this-following the events of the first game, Doctor Hugo Strange converts Arkham Asylum into a massive city. Doctor Strange is also doubly dangerous, since he knows Batman is Bruce Wayne and captures him from the start.

The more I think about Arkham City, the more I have to ask a question-what exactly is Gotham City smoking? They put serial killers and lunatics in a city, unrestrained and with zero supervision. And it really is zero supervision, because in the game they form gangs, try to murder each other, and Hugo Strange shrugs and says, ‘Screw it. Let them fight it out.’ Strange then bestows inhumane conditions such as limited food, forcing many to starve. Do you still have your suspension o f disbelief? Okay, how about Hugo Strange arrests Bruce Wayne and several politicians and toss them into the mix as well. I understand Hugo’s plan for doing this, which ultimately is pretty brilliant, but did he really think this wouldn’t get some attention from Gotham City? Hugo Strange must have hired himself a pretty good PR man. 

Most of the combat system, enemy AI, graphics, and voice acting remains the same, which is admittedly pretty awesome. Batman also gets a few new gadgets. So, what could I possibly hate about this game? For starters, the first game had these mystery items called Riddler troppies, which Batman has to retrieve. It was pretty cool, but in the sequel it’s now too much of a good thing. They’ve quadrupled to a point where Batman trips over the damn things every five feet, most of which he can’t even get until he finds the right upgrade. There are four hundred of these suckers, some of which I don’t think is even accessible after certain parts of the game.  Let me put if this way-when the game becomes a chore rather than something fun, it gets boring pretty fast. So, congratulations Riddler, you beat me this time.

Overall, the game felt way too fast, and I finished the main plots and most of the side plots within a week (I swear to god, one of them involved either resetting the date on my PS3 or playing the game on certain days of the year). Plus, the lack of scarecrow is sorely missed and the enemy chatter can be annoying.

FINAL GRADE: 3 ½ out of 5 stars. It's not a bad game-in fact it's far better than several currently out there. I just think the first one is a little bit better.

It’s too bad Batman didn’t have Bat-shark repellent during one stage of the game.

1 comment:

Chris Hewson said...

That would be a fun easter egg to have in this game, finding the shark-spray or the anti-penguin gas pellets or the 1940's era batmobile (aka a black, unmarked cadillac)!