Batman: Arkham City is like a well-written love letter to the fans; it's also the beginning of an addiction for novices.
It's been years since the horrid thug takeover of Arkham Asylum. Gotham's political tension has risen to the point of absolute chaos. The mayor has built a cut-off portion of Gotham and re-named it: Arkham City. This is where civilization is separated from the jungle; thugs, villains, and so forth are put here to stop Gotham from any more criminal activity. Gotham wants a criminal-free city. Unfortunately, what most of the people of Gotham didn't know was that the Mayor of Gotham, Quincy Sharp, had put in charge of Gotham - a, crazed psychologist, man by the name of Hugo Strange. Batman, eventually, comes to Arkham City to cleanse the crime and to stop Arkham City from spreading any further.
The plot is brilliant; it, really, is quite something. You don't get many, lovingly-crafted, plots like this one. What's even better, to the point of absolute perfection, is the voice acting. It's top-notch. Mark Hamill, the original voice-actor for The Joker, plays the voice of The Joker in Arkham City. His voice is just as good as Arkham Asylum's, if not better. Kevin Conroy, the original voice-actor for The Batman, plays the Batman. You get the point; each character has given an incredible amount of detail to the point you can almost connect with them from a virtual level. Be warned, however, The Catwoman story-line isn't really anything to talk about. It's four levels long and it lasts around twenty to thirty minutes. Harley Quinn's Revenge, however, is disappointingly awful. Though, it's nice seeing my girl get some air-time. Yes, Harley Quinn is the most attractive character - in my opinion. Anyway, the plot is half-baked and the ideas are all to 'been there, done that'. In fact, the plot is so predictable, just, don't get your hopes up.
The game-play in Arkham City is exactly identical to Arkham Asylum - as it should be. In fact, it's a more polished version of the original - combat feels, way, better in this and it's easier to pull off larger combos. However, the mechanics still need some twisting; at times, when fighting large amounts of thugs, the countering system isn't exactly always reliable. Just keep your guard out while fighting. This time around, Batman has new fighting moves too which makes fighting thugs less repetitive and more enjoyable. Though, I can hardly call the fighting repetitive.
Batman: Arkham City will take a long time to fully complete - and I mean a LONG time. Once you've completed the main campaign, completed Catwoman's campaign, and completed Harley Quinn's campaign - there are still side quests to complete and four-HUNDRED riddles to collect. Yes, that many. The cool part is that each one you pick-up (the green ones) you unlock something like a character trophy, concept art, or a challenge map. The pink trophys are Catwomans and no unlockables are collected; just experience points.
Overall, Batman: Arkham City is like a well-written love letter to the fans; it's also the beginning of an addiction for novices. From superb voice acting, an incredible amount of content, a brilliant plot, and solid graphics; this game doesn't leave with a bang - it leaves with the whole damn fireworks. Oh, just in-case you didn't already know, I'm a Batman fan; a little bias went into this review.