This is basically Batman: Arkham City all over again. Forget the fact that it is a prequel, the younger batman has all the toys of his older self and more, and more things to do as well. The fact that the game is so similar to the previous one is both good and bad.
One one hand, don't fix it if it isn't broken, on the other hand, if you already played the last game to death, this might feel a bit like kicking a dead horse to make it move, but it still wont feel as alive as before.
Some welcome new toys and gadget adds a more strategic twist to the game, like the glue gun which can glue enemies for a short time, or block hot steam so you can pass it and discover hidden areas. Or my personal favorite, a new version of the grapple hook which can be used to tie things together, before smashing them into each others.
You will be hunted by an arsenal of famous classic villains, who intend to kill the batman to collect the prize on his head. Story wise a bit absurd though, as the mastermind behind the plot to kill Batman hardly knows him at this young age, yet he is spilling millions of dollars to get rid of him? That would make more sense after years of crime fighting and hatred. Generally the story is lacking focus and drive, and seems to only be there to make each challenge more theatrical as you progress through a myriad of varied missions and side missions.
The biggest let-down in my opinion are the boss fights. They tend to cripple your abilities to give the villain some unfair advantage. Suddenly Batman cannot grapple, his glue gun becomes useless, the camera cannot move, he suddenly cannot run etc. Can be very annoying and frustrating. Some scenes are pretty absurd, for example when you fight Firefly in a scene, you are supposed to use the glue gun on him, then throw batarangs at him. This works for a while, but suddenly the glue gun has no effect anymore. No logical explanation, except the villain is busy doing some kind of scripted attack. Once he is done, you can go ahead again and the glue magically works again. This makes some fights a simple task of tedious trial and error.
To fight each boss the pattern is like this: Watch him do his scripted attacks. Once calmed down, attack with the extremely limited attacks that are efficient until the scripted attacks starts again, and the villain is programmed to be invulnerable. Once the scripted attack mode is over, you can go on with your attacks again. This gives everything a very scripted and linear feel, and often there is no logical reason for why you cannot use one attack while another is suddenly completely useless. Boss fights are long, tedious and often has to be started all over from the very boring beginning until you get to that one hard part like 5 minutes later. Some ill placed save points generally seems to have made it through the QA testing of the game.
Unfortunately there are a list of game breaking bugs as well, so at the moment when writing this review, it is in fact not possible to complete all the missions in the game successfully. Quite annoying, but there is so much to do in the game, so there is enough to tinker with until the game gets its patch, which I think should be quite soon. I did not let this affect the score. And you can at least get through the main story missions.
All in all, if you liked the previous game, I am sure you will like this one too. More of the same, and with a few new surprises thrown in to spice things up a bit. Still one of the most entertaining sandbox games out there. It could have been better, but then again, it is hard to fill the shoes of such a fantastic predecessor.