Arkham City is a fantastic game that leaves you scratching your head for a sequel!
Arkham City starts off with an impressive, story-intensive, introductory sequence showing that Penguin would appear to be a big shot at the main door of Arkham City, the recently opened prison for the criminally insane after Arkham Asylum was shut down. It features several cameo characters here that you would not recognise until later side missions such as Deadshot and Black Mask. Jack Ryder makes a new appearance (previously only heard of on the radios in AA) I can't remember if it was explained as to why he was actually there but I don't think it ever actually matters. Once Bruce has escaped Penguins hands he leaps onto the roof of "ACE Chemicals" and dons the cape, looking cleaner than he did in AA.
From here, you really understand the hype of this game. You are thrown into the deep end and with a large open map like Arkham City you will never find yourself trapped in a section were you do not know what to do, instead you simply just travel onwards or just actually follow the on-screen instructions as the Batcomputer is always uploading information to Batman as he does his investigations, this will always bridge from Radio communications or side missions.
From AA to Arkham City, Batman retains all of his old gadgets, but this time a few more. A Lot of the gadgets that he has been given in this game play very well but actually require the old gadgets to continue onwards in the story. Most interesting of these additions are the Freeze Grenades given to you by none other than "Mister Freeze" and also the Line Launcher, which allows you to shoot a wire from one wall to another and it will zip you along and also allows you to leap onto the wire and tightrope across it. Which plays extremely well into how well you wish to be the Invisible Predator.
This would not be a sequel if I didn't mention the Riddler Challenges, this time Riddler has cranked up his budget and created inhumane traps and tasks that Batman must outwit to survive, this isn't like AA where you need to find images and trophies. Riddler has taken an entire medical team hostage and has created traps that endanger their lives and Batman must use EVERY gadget in his arsenal to complete these challenges, these are a fantastic addition to the game as for once we finally see the Riddler appear to be a threatening force and it does show as if it is your first time playing through the Riddler campaign then you will probably let the Medical Team die over... and over... and over... and over again...
As with the previous game, we are lavished with several challenge rooms and DLC challenge rooms. I was never much into the whole challenge aspect of the action in this game as it is slightly clunky and annoying but after playing New Game + I'm sure I can probably do much better in these rooms. It's a fantastic addition for those who love to get high scores and want to immerse themselves into one aspect of the video game. Not really my thing so I won't bother talking about it, all I'll say is that it is fun but drove me up the wall how hard it can be sometimes.
As for the story which is a direct continuation of the previous game, is top notch. With SEVERAL cameos, Easter eggs and tonnes of references to a possible sequel the game leaves itself very open but it doesn't exactly wave anything in your face. If you've completed the game you'll realise that actually, everything fits together and why you never understood it before leaves you feeling like a crying baby. It's mostly the Side Missions that leave you scratching your head, they never truly state a definitive ending for those stories, they will leave you with some form of cliffhanger and never really explain how it all comes together or how it's even going to end. I do know that Rocksteady plan to create episodic DLC content and it would be nice to see how these Side Missions fit into the Mythos of Arkham City.