By huntad 0 Comments
Batman Arkham City has one of the best combat systems of all time. There, I said it. Now that I got that out of the way, I'll say what the combat system really means to a completionist gamer. As a completionist, I like getting as much as I can out of the games I buy. I'll spend every hour available collecting feathers, riddler trophies, treasures, or whatever else games hide in their respective worlds. Once I've done that, I move on to PSN Trophies, or Xbox Live Achievements, and there's where I run into a problem.
Achievements/Trophies in games are a pain in the ass to get. Take, for example, the most common one - Beat this game on the hardest difficulty. This one seems like the biggest waste of time because, unless you're insane, you most likely aren't going to play through the game on hard the first time, this you'll have to replay it a second time. Usually, this isn't a big deal, because I replay games all the time. However, on the hardest difficulty it usually amounts to hiding to repeatedly regenerate health, resorting to meleeing enemies due to lack of ammo, and then just dying over and over. Video games just don't seem to provide a difficult, yet fair experience on their hardest settings. So, the Achievements/Trophies that require me to do so usually never get completed and I can never reach 1000/1000 or a Platinum Trophy.
This brings me to Batman, which has kind of the same basic problem, but not really. Batman Arkham City has an Achievement/Trophy that has me trying to execute every move that Batman has in one, flowing combo - that is, I cannot be hit or I cannot miss. Now, on paper this sounds like a pretty cool, challenging, and fair Achievement/Trophy, however, it ends up being just as frustrating as "Beat this game on hard"; which the game also has. Now, the harder difficulty isn't as bad as most games, but the Freeflow Combo one is just horrible. For the most part, the combo system allows for precise, controlled attacks, but there is a large amount of randomness that come from enemy attacks.
Enemies can attack with fists, knives, stun batons, shields, and thrown objects. When they attack with their fists they are almost completely manageable if not for the random times when Batman has 'longer than usual' attack animations or the enemies bunch way too close together for Batman to handle. It worsens when an enemy has a knife or a stun rod, because the attacks cannot be countered and must be dodged entirely. Likewise, armored or shielded enemies must be targeted specifically and it makes it more challenging. Now, the problem with this is that it is incredibly difficult to target one enemy over another if they are in close proximity. If I see an enemy holding a barrel, and I try to target him behind the crowd or jump over the crowd, I will either hit an enemy I didn't want to hit or he'll throw it after I take too long to get to him. It's infuriating!
Not only that, but imagine if you're doing your hardest to chain a combo together with the guys around you, and then a knife wielding son of a bitch or garbage-can throwing motherfucker bum-rush you and ruin everything. It's that kind of randomness that ruins 'beat this game on hard' Achievements/Trophies, because they almost always involve a ton of luck. Uncharted 2 has some of the most maddening enemies near the end of the game that I could not imagine fighting on Brutal difficulty. Don't even get me started on how utterly stupid and ridiculous Call of Duty is on Veteran. I beat Modern Warfare 2 on veteran and was completely ashamed that I did so and not proud at all. Why? Because I did so, by getting extremely lucky and hiding, instead of having a fun, rewarding, fair challenge that I overcame.