Batman: Arkham Asylum was really something no one thought could happen. It wasn't a good superhero game, it was a superb superhero game! Playing as Batman was genuinely fun and the game rightfully received endless praise from critics and great sales numbers. Now, the surprise factor isn't present anymore, people expected a lot from Arkham City, including me. Expanding from an asylum and the surrounding island into a whole city and tossing in many more supervillains? Sounds great! And Arkham City truly is great and even exceeds the expectations.
A CITY FOR INMATES
Gotham is in chaos. The slums of Batman's hometown have been isolated from the other city and converted into a gigantic prison. The inmates can live freely there, but in one condition aside from escaping of course: they need to take psychiatry's tests whenever they're told so. But what happens when Bruce Wayne aka Batman gets thrown in this huge prison called Arkham City? Can he bring down this madness and restore peace? If you ask Joker, Two Face, Penguin (the three leading villains) or their thugs, they'll say no way, but the Dark Knight has many tricks up his sleeve!
IT SNOWS IN HELL
Arkham City is quite possibly one of the best looking console games ever. The city is very detailed, dark and depressive creating an great atmosphere. The city is also a cold place. The wind blows, the water looks ice cold and it also snows in Arkham City. Batman and every other character model looks great with impressive detail. There's also lots of small tiny details to be spotted as the story progresses. Batman's cape is torn and his suit is full of scratches and even beard starts to grow a bit. Every place from Joker's funhouse to Mr. Freeze's icy lab and Penguin's museum fortress is designed carefully and with great attention to details.
ONE BY ONE
Arkham City's core gameplay is very similar to Arkham Asylum so people who have played AA have easier time with this one than newcomers. The fighting is freeflow again which means that Batman can move seamlessly from one thug to another creating long chain combos. The finishing moves look stylish and the combat becomes more varied with unlockable upgrades. Stealth action is once again strong. You can strike from above, from below, glide kick and confuse enemies with gadgets like batarang. Swinging above the enemies is easily the most effective way to escape from enemies and it is used throughout the game. It is simply great to think of strategies how to take five gunmen out without taking any damage. A great addition to the combat is smoke pellet. After throwing it to the ground, you can easily escape back to the shadows. Using gadgets is the word of the day. Most of the puzzles in the game are completed by using Batman's wide array of gadgets. Hitting far away switches with a remote controlled batarang, activating electric devices with an remote electrical charge, blocking hot pipes with a freeze grenade, blowing up walls with explosive gel, hacking passwords with the cryptographics sequencer, the Caped Crusader has toys for every situation. You get more and more gadgets as you progress in the game. The city itself is a huge place where you can move freely. One thing that bothered me is the huge collection of supervillains. Joker, Penguin, Hugo Strange, Two Face, Zsasz, Deadshot, Clayface, Ra's al Ghul, Mad Hatter, Harley Quinn, The Riddler, Mr. Freeze, they're all in the game and I think that's a bit too much. While most of them have a reason to exist in Arkham City, they take away much of the attention from the main plot with Joker and that makes this game less intensive than Arkham Asylum. Arkham City is also more frustrating than AA. Those are about the only flaws with this game.
GOOD OLD JOKER
The music in Arkham City greatly creates the atmosphere even more intensive. Silence can be intimidating in stealth action while loud classical music usually hits in when preying the thugs inside four walls. Voice acting is once again outstanding. Kevin Conroy does the role of serious Batman superbly, the thugs sound like convincing tough guys while shouting their slurs at Batman and Nolan North does the role of sinister Penguin awesomely with a thick accent. But once again, Mark Hamill's Joker steals the show. Everything from the insane laughs to the slurs at his thugs sound outstanding.
One of the best video game voice acting performances for sure is the Clown Prince of Crime in this game.
RIDDLES AND PHONE CALLS
Batman: Arkham City will leave you wanting more. But that's strange, because the main story alone lasts from 15 to 20 hours! That is a great length for an action adventure game. After completing the main game, you can play the wide array of side missions if you didn't complete some of them during the main game already. Side missions may be rescuing political prisoners from inmates or destroying TITAN containers, but they can also be something with a real small story. Discovering the identity of a hired sniper, trying to catch Zsasz who's killing innocent people if Batman doesn't answer his phone calls, trying to find Mr. Freeze's wive and joining Mad Hatter's tea party are all great fun. Then there's the riddles. They are back from Arkham Asylum and there are even more of them. A total of 400 riddles by The Riddler are waiting to be found, discovered, scanned and figured out. That will keep any Bat busy for weeks. Then there's the Riddler challenges which include beating up thugs or taking them out one by one as quickly as possible. Then there's the DLC's. As you can see, Arkham City has a huge amount of content. But what's next for the series? What's the fate of Joker? Is the next game called Arkham Empire? Or Arkham World? Let's wait patiently.
+ Great stealth action, freeflow fighting is intensive, huge game world, great graphics, outstanding voice acting, huge amount of content, using Bat gadgets is fun, it feels like you're Batman
- Way too many supervillains, not as intensive as Arkham Asylum, frustrating sometimes
REAL SCORE: 9.3