Rocksteady's second take on the Dark Knight is Bigger , Bolder and absolutely Bat-tastic .
Arkham Asylum managed to defy expectations and not only went on to become a superb superhero title , something the world of gaming had rarely come across , but also a superb action-adventure title that established itself as a solid Game of The Year contender.
Rocksteady were then presented with the daunting task of a making a game that would be better than Arkham Asylum . Have they managed to pull it off ? The answer is an undeniable yes.
The most noticeable change from Asylum is given away by the game's title itself : the setting is now a sprawling run-down wreck of a city that fosters criminal masterminds who do practically nothing to reform themselves and whose primary goals are nothing but to establish their dominance in the Super-prison . It's a setting that changes in accordance with the game's narrative .
The visuals in the game are superb with Rocksteady making efficient use of Epic's Unreal Engine 3 . There's a good degree of diversity when it comes to the environments within the game . For instance , if you happen to cross over to Joker's territory you'll see a very disorganised and indisciplined environment and if you happen to cross into Penguin's turf , you'll come across a more organised and slightly classy environment . The game does , however , suffer from a few design choices that can have a slightly detrimental effect on the player's suspension of disbelief . For instance , the Gotham City Police Department features only a forensic laboratory and a few cells . But aside from that , it really doesn't look like a police department . But these are relatively minor issues . The character designs are stellar with the Dark Knight looking as brooding and as majestic as ever while the Joker , despite his ailment still retains his fiendish and degenerative sense of style that he's been known for .
Gameplay in City remains largely unchanged from its predecessor . It has a few tweaks here and there which keeps from feeling similar to its predecessor while still managing to feel stylish and easy to handle . Gliding is an integral component of the gameplay in City thanks to the game's open-ended nature and the joy of gliding and stalking your foes is an indescribable joy .
The audio quality in Arkham City is simply superb . The voice acting in the game ranks among the best that I've ever heard in a game . The soundtrack , while not spectacular , sets the mood well and does a commendable job of adding to the overall experience .
The narrative is a thrilling ride that manges to keep you engrossed from start to finish thanks to a killer opening and a jaw-dropping ending . While the pacing of the game isn't as crisp as Asylum thanks in large part to the open-world structure of the game . But it's still a very entertaining narrative . There are certain side-missions in the game that develop sub-plots of their own and feature a number of surprise appearances from a number of characters from the Batman universe .
Simply put , Arkham City isn't the breath of fresh air that Asylum was . Instead , it's simply an expansion of the elements that made its predecessor so special , albeit a very entertaining expansion that cements itself as one of the most entertaining adventures the world of gaming has to offer .