Hello gamers and welcome back to our countdown!
Soaring into the #35 position…
Though the fog and darkness comes Batman: Arkham City, the second in the Arkham series of Batman games. How does it hold up against its predecessor and successor in the series? With a new addition coming (Batman: Arkham Knight, 2015), the series will see the next gen console. So let’s take a look at what City did different and added to the series, and what parts of it we hope carry on into our future with the Dark Knight.
A City Mad
Arkham City is the second installment in the Arkham series, and while the first game (Arkham Asylum) was linear in the beginning, City is an open world nearly from its start. Third person, action/adventure games with heavy elements of stealth and fighting, the Arkham series also includes “Detective Vision”, allowing the player to strategize based on their environment and follow clues and find collectables within the game. But it’s the open world element in City really makes the game feel like you are Batman, scouring the new Arkham City to stop plots of crime and villainy. The adventure you take is one that is somehow greater than the one in Asylum.
Bruce Wayne is publicly denouncing the idea of Arkham City, a large section of Gotham’s slums that is being devoted as a ‘super prison’ to house criminals, when he’s captured and taken and imprisoned inside of Arkham City. Thanks to Alfred air-dropping his equipment, Bruce is able to don the Batman outfit and gear, and begin the adventure though the city in order to discover the secrets of a“Protocol 10”, the plans of Dr. Hugo Strange, an Arkham City psychiatrist, and save Gotham City itself from the chaos and evil that has begun within Arkham City.
The cast includes a wider variety of villains than Asylum, and more diverse settings due to the nature of the story. City was also the last Arkham game to feature Mark Hamel as voice of the Joker. The characters come to life in a greater way than they did in Asylum, and seem to better give a feel for the relationship Batman has with some of the people inside of Arkham City, making for a much more immersive game and story. Overall, City didn’t feel like it used Asylum as a crutch, but rather each is a step on its own, connected but independently great.
Worthy of the Bat
The game expands on nearly every aspect that made Arkham Asylum a good game. As sequels go, City nails it. Too often sequels, regardless of the media type (be it books, movies, or video games), rely on its predecessor to sell itself. Arkham City builds upon the foundation established by Arkham Asylum, rather than using it as a crutch, to build a new and in some ways, a better game. Batman: Arkham Origins didn’t feel like it did this to the same extent, and received a lot of flak for it (some of it well deserved). So it begs the question of what path Batman: Arkham Knight will take. Hopefully it takes a lesson from City, and makes its own path, because it seems that when they do, a great adventure awaits. Seeing the return of writers and the director of City is a good sign that Knight may do just that.
Batman: Arkham City has a place in my books as one of the games I’ve from enjoyed beginning to end, without moments where I felt like I needed to just ‘push though’ a part of it to be able to get to another part I’d be able to enjoy. I think that says the most of why it gets a five out of five.