Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Batman: Arkham City: Because clearly the villains need a city and not an island

So what to do with two prisons ruined because of the Joker? You build a wall around a portion of the city and shove all the criminals into there. I can't imagine how much of a brilliant plan that is. Well, let's see how badly Batman comes to wreck this "ingenious plan" with Batman Arkham City.

The former warden of Arkham Asylum and new mayor of Gotham City Quincy Sharp (How's that for a promotion) has sectioned off a portion of Gotham City and turned it into Arkham City, sending all the criminals of Gotham into it. Bruce Wayne thinks that something is happening in there and it turns out that Doctor Hugo Strange and Ra's al ghul are planning on blowing up Arkham City and all the criminals with it. Sounds simple right? Well, it's anything but. For you see within Arkham City, The Joker (who is dying thanks to the events of Arkham Asylum), Two Face and The Penguin are all fighting for control of Arkham City. So while you deal with Strange, you have to deal with them and other villains. As a result, the plot has lost a lot of its structure from the last game and to me, it feels like I'm doing a chain of events that lead to the grand finale. You could argue the same thing for Arkham Asylum, but as I said then, it wasn't as much of an issue as the few villains there where in the game broke up the pace. Here its more of a "Ok, now that I'm done with Two Face, let's see what the Joker wants. Oh, I need to find Mr Freeze, but to get him to do this I have to do five other things, which have another five things" ect ect. Is the plot still good, yes if you're just looking for fan service as all the characters are still quite good, but not if you're looking for a structure that doesn't feel like padding.
Double take-downs, the best new feature to combat bar none

To critique the gameplay would be to critique the changes between Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Arkham City plays exactly the same as Arkham Asylum but with new gadgets, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The only major change is in the AI and the variety of fist fodder. Goons are now a lot smarter and come with more toys to play with, making general combat and stealth sections a bit harder unless you know what you're doing. Combat still plays exactly the same as Asylum, but now small tweaks have been put in to make combo protection a lot easier but the new types of goons can negate the ease of use. Sidequests (that I can tell are side quests) have also gotten more of a variety in this game thanks to the larger hub world which is a joy to fly around in. HOWEVER, one side quest can go die in a fire. The Riddler is back and now with over 400 riddles to solve before taking into account Catwoman being playable. I should mention that Arkham City was released with a portion sectioned off to people who buy the game new, like I did. I do have a code, but I have not claimed the code for Catwoman, nor have I bought the post story DLC, Harley Quinn's Revenge. Not because of the game, but because I'm not paying for X-box Live. Regardless, I have not ever gone and collected all the trophies, as I cannot be bothered due to the shear volume of them. And before you say it, yes I am aware of my almost completed National Pokedex, that was after 10 years of playing the series and passively catching Pokemon.
"Dey see my glidin, dey hatin"

Should you get Arkham City? Yes... after you've played Asylum as the plot carries over and the higher challenge. Arkham City is the better game of the two though thanks to the new gadgets, new gameplay additions and twerks, and for the fact that you feel more like Batman thanks to the new world to explore. While graphically its about the same as the last game, I personally can't spot any major changes, I do love the soundtrack for this game as its more akin to my personal tastes while still working beautifully with the game, there's a reason why many regard the main theme of this game a masterpiece of video game music. Unfortunately for now, we must leave the Arkham Series, to return at a later date. In the mean time, we have some Avenging to do, and an Ultron to stop. I'll see you all next week for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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