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Batman: Arkham City Review

A new open world setting and improved combat make up the best Batman game yet

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Batman: Arkham City has a very similar combat system to its predecessor with a few tweaks and upgrades. The fluid combat returns with well-timed hits and counters resulting in powerful finishers that are mandatory on harder difficulties. The melee combat is mixed with new gadgets like the freeze bomb, which result in a good variety of options during a fight. Stealth segments are also plentiful as it wouldn’t be Batman without them. You are sometimes tasked with taking out a room without being noticed and this gets drastically harder with thermal imaging, snipers, and proximity mines. Finally there are boss battles that are quite large in scale that test your dodging skills and gadget use, as many of Batman’s foes can’t be taken on toe to toe. This culminates in an enjoyable battle system that rewards well timed button presses and mixed up gadget use.
Batman: Arkham City

The presentation of this game is top notch, but does suffer from a few minor technical issues. The aesthetic is classic Batman with a gritty, dilapidated, crime ridden city that feels gloomy and hopeless. This also comes through in the character models as each character has their own distinct feel, especially the villains with strong animations that are fluid and natural. The game has crisp textures with pretty long draw distances. This is all marred by Arkham City’s decently long load times though. Every time you transition indoors or die you are greeted with a load screen. The load time isn’t unbearably long, but if you find yourself dying in quick succession it can get quite aggravating. There are also some slowdown and frame rate issues in areas with large amounts of enemies on the over world. This was only noticeable in a few areas, but it is worthy of note.

Arkham City sports a good soundtrack and an even better cast of voice actors. The soundtrack is versatile, switching between quiet in the background to strong and loud in the forefront. This helps to accentuate battle scenes and the panic during stealth segments. The voice work is top notch with Mark Hamill returning as the Joker and Kevin Conroy as Batman. Other strong voice actors fill in the rest of the cast including Nolan North who slips in playing a character you may not recognize him as. The soundtrack and voice work really come together and add to the presentation and style.
Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham City is an excellent follow up to Arkham Asylum, building upon the gameplay mechanics introduced in its predecessor. The main story and side missions are fast paced and enjoyable creating a strong narrative that flows well and at a consistent pace. The game is packed with missions and diversions that encourage multiple playthroughs, resulting in a lengthy experience. The presentation and aesthetic is classic Batman with a run-down and gloomy city fraught with villains. The soundtrack and voice work help to accentuate the experience making you feel like you are in a Batman comic. Unfortunately the game suffers from some annoying load times and slowdown in some areas, but these technical issues are minor in scope. If you enjoy action games and are a super hero fan - be sure to check this game out.

Our ratings for Batman: Arkham City on PlayStation 3 out of 100 (Ratings FAQ)
Arkham City has a dreary aesthetic that really draws you into the world of Batman. This is backed up with creative character models and excellent voice work.
There is more content this time around making a larger game overall. Side missions, Riddler trophies, alternate characters, challenge rooms, and the main story will keep you entertained for quite a while. The combat system is fluid rewarding well timed hits to perform powerful finishers. The stealth sections are suspenseful and challenging at the same time.
Single Player
This game is a single player experience with the exception of online leaderboards from challenge rooms. You are thrown into mess of things from the get go and this doesn’t let up until the very end. This break neck speed also carries over to the missions that feel like little vignettes rather than thrown together fetch quests. There are also multiple difficulty levels and a new game plus mode that encourage multiple playthroughs.
Notably long load times in-between outdoor and indoor areas and when you die. The game also experiences slowdown in some areas with large amounts of enemies, and particularly after reloading a save. Aside from these minor technical issues Arkham City looks great with crisp textures and long draw distances.
Batman: Arkham City is a strong follow up to Arkham Asylum. Numerous improvements have been made to the gameplay and combat system. There is also more content this time around with more villains and more diversions. Fans of Batman and action games in general, be sure to pick this game up.
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Batman: Arkham City
Batman: Arkham City box art Platform:
PlayStation 3
Our Review of Batman: Arkham City
The Verdict:
Game Ranking
Batman: Arkham City is ranked #37 out of 1508 total reviewed games. It is ranked #5 out of 112 games reviewed in 2011.
36. Limbo
Xbox 360
37. Batman: Arkham City
38. Batman: Arkham City
Xbox 360
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