Batman: Arkham City: Final Verdict

The Good: Virtually everything? No, seriously.

Arkham City is not only the best Batman title, but the best superhero title of all time. (Only its predecessor, Arkham Asylum, even comes close.) Batman and his enemies look and sound just right; every encounter between the Dark Knight and his super-villains satisfies, whether facing off against the Joker with his fists, the Riddler with his brain, or any number of other rogues with both. As the main playable character, Batman also moves like a dream; whether grappling between gargoyles, gliding over rooftops, or simply lurking in the shadows, the Caped Crusader and his gadgets fit Gotham like a glove!

With all of that said, even if I hadn't already been familiar with Batman and his world, Arkham City would've blown me away. It offers the best combat I've ever experienced in an action game. Its controls are perfect. Its score is evocative. Its voice acting is top-notch. A wealth of unlockable character bios and audio recordings make even Gotham's lesser-known deranged denizens come alive. If I hadn't already been reading Batman comics, Arkham City's sheer level of awesomeness would've compelled me to start, and that's the highest praise I can conceive of bestowing upon any superhero title!

The Bad: Just once, I needed to turn on "hints" in order to solve a counter-intuitive environmental puzzle. A couple of the optional cases became frustratingly directionless midway through. The third-act plot points involving the al Ghuls didn't make much sense. And some of the Catwoman gameplay felt tacked-on. But in the grand scheme of things, none of that mattered; I didn't rest until I'd completed every side mission, and I'd gladly do so again!

The Stand-out Moment: Paying respects in Crime Alley.

The Verdict: 10 (out of 10)

9 Comments
9 Comments
Posted by RAmpersaND

The Good: Virtually everything? No, seriously.

Arkham City is not only the best Batman title, but the best superhero title of all time. (Only its predecessor, Arkham Asylum, even comes close.) Batman and his enemies look and sound just right; every encounter between the Dark Knight and his super-villains satisfies, whether facing off against the Joker with his fists, the Riddler with his brain, or any number of other rogues with both. As the main playable character, Batman also moves like a dream; whether grappling between gargoyles, gliding over rooftops, or simply lurking in the shadows, the Caped Crusader and his gadgets fit Gotham like a glove!

With all of that said, even if I hadn't already been familiar with Batman and his world, Arkham City would've blown me away. It offers the best combat I've ever experienced in an action game. Its controls are perfect. Its score is evocative. Its voice acting is top-notch. A wealth of unlockable character bios and audio recordings make even Gotham's lesser-known deranged denizens come alive. If I hadn't already been reading Batman comics, Arkham City's sheer level of awesomeness would've compelled me to start, and that's the highest praise I can conceive of bestowing upon any superhero title!

The Bad: Just once, I needed to turn on "hints" in order to solve a counter-intuitive environmental puzzle. A couple of the optional cases became frustratingly directionless midway through. The third-act plot points involving the al Ghuls didn't make much sense. And some of the Catwoman gameplay felt tacked-on. But in the grand scheme of things, none of that mattered; I didn't rest until I'd completed every side mission, and I'd gladly do so again!

The Stand-out Moment: Paying respects in Crime Alley.

The Verdict: 10 (out of 10)

Posted by MasturbatingestBear

I thought it was a good game. Not as good as Arkham Asylum but yeah.

Posted by laserbolts

I would have to agree with you. I loved Arkham City. When I first started playing through the game I thought the open world was pretty underwhelming and not really necessary but after I finished the game I started the riddler trophy hunt and that was it. I'm not sure why but I fucking love going for those trophies. I just have so much fun playing the game so giving me an excuse to continue doing that makes it all the better. Seriously if they put out dlc that scattered another couple hundred of them around I would eat it up. I thought the ending was great and the boss fights were better this time around. Mr. Freeze was badass.

Posted by Aegon

I played Arkham Asylum and Arkham City back to back. I enjoyed every aspect of Asylum more than City, and I don't think it had anything to do with franchise fatigue.

Posted by Deranged

@H2Oyea said:

I played Arkham Asylum and Arkham City back to back. I enjoyed every aspect of Asylum more than City, and I don't think it had anything to do with franchise fatigue.

The only thing I preferred about Asylum over City was how much more skill and "detective" work it took to find the collectibles and solve the riddles. It was ridiculously easy to find them in Arkham City,

Posted by SirOptimusPrime

I enjoyed Arkham City for what it was worth, i.e. every time I encountered a villain. Every other second of that game was uninteresting and less than 5 Star worthy.  
 
Arkham Asylum was fun for the same reasons. Though, I have to admit both games deserve entire stars for the "I will find them", "No he won't", etc. lines. 

Posted by killacam

i thought the city hub got old after the first couple missions and i found having to grapple and glide from building to building repetitive and unnecessary. obviously many people are into that sort of thing and feel it adds to the gameplay, but i found it jarring. i prefer a level design that's much more.. directed. concise. i found myself getting lost on my way into and out of buildings, and i think rocksteady kind of dropped the ball in terms of direction. it seems like they're trying to straddle the line between making a sandbox game and immersing you in a visually dramatic narrative, and i don't think the two compliment each other in this case.

Posted by RAmpersaND

@laserbolts: I loved collecting all of the Riddler trophies, too. Re-visiting all of Arkham City's areas to collect them after completing the main storyline reminded me of re-exploring all of Super Mario Galaxy 2 to round up its 120 Green Stars. The Mr. Freeze boss fight was a real favorite of mine, as well. I just didn't want to mention it in my review in case that might spoil the fight for anyone else who waits even longer to play Arkham City than I did!

@killacam: In my opinion, Rocksteady did a truly amazing job of developing a game in which an open world sustains a compelling narrative!

Posted by AREoUoSERIOUS

The game was amazing! The addition of side quests was pretty cool also. In asylum to me it seemed like too much walking and that's not what batman does. He doesn't walk up to a group of people and start smashing them. Yeah asylum had a couple spots where you can jump on people but city did it way better.