A solid sequel to an amazing game.

User Rating: 8.5 | Batman: Arkham City X360
LOVED

The Goddamn Batman: Rocksteady nailed probably the most important aspect in working with a comic book license; Making you feel like the Batman. Whether it's taking on a group of thugs, using your gadgets, or zipping around Arkham City, you feel like The Goddamn Batman.

That Joker Voice: Once again, a superb voice acting job done by the Batman TAS team, and special honors to Nolan North's edition of the Penguin. Every voice just "feels" right with the character. Might be nostalgia talking a bit there.

Take Your Best Shot: Rocksteady refined and expanded on the already excellent melee combat from AA. I really enjoyed divebombing a group, quickly chaining up a combo, and then taking them all down with a fury of bats. Highly enjoyable combat.

Fan Service: Like with AA, it's easy to tell Arkham City was developed by Batman fans for Batman fans. Even with just a passing knowledge of Batman lore, I still appreciated all the winks & nods to the fanbase.

But Wait, There's More: Again, like with AA, there are numerous challenges to tackle once you finish the main campaign. Some are easy, others with leave you with white knuckles. A great way to extend the life of this game. And you can use any of the alternate Batman costumes you may own.

Treats for the Eyes & Ears: AC is a damn fine looking game, and the audio design is no slouch either. Perfect game to show off to friends & family.


HATED

Grand Theft Batman: Moving from the closed environment of Arkham Asylum to the open world of Arkham City was for the worse. I found it difficult to focus on a mission when my attention was being grabbed by people getting mugged, or The Joker calling to annoy me, or any of the various side-boss missions to take on. I felt this took away from the central narrative Rocksteady had in mind.

Bad Kitty: For all the fuss made about Catwoman's missions being locked behind an Online Pass, I found her missions and story arc to be completely forgettable, and not worth the fuss. It was an interesting side mission, but not fleshed out enough to care about.

Online Pass / Retail Exclusives: Unfortunately, gamers have to jump through hoops to experience everything Batman AC has to offer.

Riddler Did What?: Over 400 Riddler trophies to collect? That's a crazy amount. Seems to me that Rocksteady just went overboard with this idea. I'd be very interested to know the percentage of gamers who collected even half of them.


CONCLUSION

Batman AC is a weird case for me. On one hand, I can recognize AC as a better, more refined product than AA. On the other hand, AC just didn't have that "wow" factor that AA had on me. The (excellent) melee combat is better, the main story arc is pretty good, and there's plenty of things to do that you could easily spend 40hrs on the game. Unfortunately, while the move to a more open environment in Arkham City is great in concept, the execution felt like a disjointed mess compared to the more-focused approach of Arkham Asylum.

In the end, Arkham City is another great game from Rocksteady. It should be played by anyone who enjoyed AA. It's always great to see superheroes get the love & attention they need in the gaming industry.

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