I’m Batman! Again!

Any nerd worth his/her weight in gadgets, games, and screen fatigue will tell you that it takes some doin’ to produce a video game or movie, based on a longstanding comic icon and totally nail it. Just ask the pile of unopened superhero games on store shelves right now that are destined to be packed with a holiday system bundle this upcoming shopping season and even they will agree. Now, not only did Rocksteady land an excellent imagining once before with Batman: Arkham Asylum, but they returned for yet another go at the Dark Knight in newly released Batman: Arkham City and I must say; they did not disappoint.

Fans of the first game will quickly feel at home with the controls and setup of the second entry. That is not to say that everything is the same, but the mechanics and skeleton of the first game are all there with a few added bones to the mix. Contrary to my initial thoughts, Batman: Arkham City is not a Farmville-esque retreat to the building and maintaining of Bruce Wayne’s old stomping grounds (I would still play that game). It is, in fact, another beat ’em up brawler with strategy elements that keep you busting crime in the face with your Thwack-Zipp-Counter-Blamo fury over and over again. Under normal circumstances, repetitiveness would be a concern but the action and variances of foes helps keep the experience fun and engaging.

"Mawwage is what bwings us togethaw twoday. Do you hawve tha wang?"

Given the topic of outlandish villains and a guy that dresses up in a cape and outfit to fight said villains, the opportunities are abound to derail this story into an insipid, cardboard character reality but it never manages to do so. The characters are given motives and twisting story lines that pack a wallop and easily seduce you to keep playing in order to see what happens next. With all the unlockables, side missions, and a fartload of Riddler Trophies to find, this is the first game in a long while that has me playing for a couple of hours each sitting without regard to my normal, non-hero schedule. There have been several great games released over the past month and a half but this one takes the single player cake and had me constantly wanting to complete the next mission. I almost felt proud, I truly did.

Batman has always been one of my favorite, if not the favorite, comic hero and it makes me all smiley inside every moment I play this game. From the stellar voice acting to the tone and respect that is given to the history and lore of this character; this game is a real life comic book! I grinned when I got to fight alongside Bane. I smirked when I encountered the twisted Mad Hatter. I went to the bathroom after I confronted my small bladder. All things that have made for some great gaming moments and I would encourage you to pick up a copy because, in a shopping cart full of online multiplayer hoo-ha, this Batman is an experience unto itself. A nod and tip of the mask to all comic nerds out there. Now, back to trying to get all of these Riddler trophies so I can move on with my life. What did you think of the game?

Recommend: People who have sweat glands and own a pair of Batman boxers.
Do Not Recommend: People who like murdering things and liked Superman 64. Wait. No. S64 fans. You need this.

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Comments
10 Responses to “I’m Batman! Again!”
  1. I’m Very excited about this game! I’ll definitely be picking it up soon. Is there any 360 multiplayer opportunity?

    • Ryan says:

      No multiplayer, just online challenges and time trials that each have their own leaderboards. A bold move when every game seems to require a multiplayer facet. Still one of the best games I have played all year.

      • Actually, I really respect that decision. Instead of stapling on some half-baked multiplayer in order to achieve that bullet point on the game’s feature list, they focused on making the single-player game great. Maybe later on they could make a multiplayer add-on or something. I’d buy that.

      • Ryan says:

        Yeah. A Co-Op Batman & Robin could be pretty swank as well but the story was not lacking in the least. I fell in love with the characters all over again. So much that I want to buy Batman The Animated Series and prolong that feeling.

  2. Nick says:

    I really want to pick this up, but I’m strapped for cash this month. Great article Ryan.

  3. Trevor says:

    I got a free copy of it w/ me new graphics card, but the PC version is not out until the middle of next month. I hope waiting for the DirectX11 compatability will be worth it!

    • Trevor says:

      my* new

      Can you add an edit feature for those of us who don’t proof-read before posting? Thanks.

      • Ryan says:

        Ha. Yeahhhh…I’ll get the tech staff to look into that. The game is already pretty snazzy graphics wise but that DirectX11 bump should certainly make it top notch. It is certainly worth the wait sir. I try not to give any spoiler stuff away (hate that crap) so hopefully my brisk walk through the topic only served to whet your appetite for it.

      • Nate says:

        Fighting crime on the streets of Arkham City with multiple monitors would be sweet. I imagine it’ll be worth the wait for ya.

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