Video Games

Batman: Arkham City game review

I just don’t get all the hype with this game. The story is non-existent. Batman’s dialogue is painfully cheesy and poorly delivered. Despite a large open world, the locations are all samey same and forgettable. Decent boss fights are few and far between, so most of your fighting time is spent dealing with one of two scenarios: mobs of unarmed thugs or rooms of heavily armed but spread out thugs. For the former, you simply drop in and kick ass. For the latter, it’s a tedious process of taking out goons one by one with a lot of time spent waiting and stalking.

Detective vision, or whatever it’s called, needs to be rethought. Because of all the hidden stuff and the need to keep track of armed thugs, you have it activated way too much of the time. You rarely get to appreciate the environment, which is a shame.

Riddler trophies are extremely annoying. They give good experience, so you want to get them, but all too often you spend 10 minutes trying to figure one out only to realize that you don’t have the right gadget yet to get it. Wasting players’ time is not cool.

Let’s circle back to the plot. The very notion of turning a huge swath of Gotham into a prison is beyond ridiculous. The idea that these super villains couldn’t escape a prison with no roof is equally absurd. The fact that Bruce Wayne is “arrested” in plain view is ridiculous. The whole idea of Protocol 10 is retarded. Killing all the inmates with missile fire from helicopters? Strange is granted permission to do this? The inmates don’t have the wherewithal to hide underground? Or shoot down the helicopters with all the military grade weapons they have? You don’t get the option to bypass encounters through stealth even though Batman refuses to kill anyone. Nope, the only option is to beat everyone to an unconscious pulp. I could go on.

So what good can I say? Mark Hamill is brilliant playing the Joker as usual. The gadgets are fun, as is swooping around the city. Combat is fluid and uniqueish, but still only meh for me. I didn’t encounter any technical problems aside from a few frame rate drops, though the directional audio is a mess. Where you hear voices coming from has little or nothing to do with where the speaker actually is. Music was forgettable. I much preferred Arkam Asylum which is, as another reviewer put it, more focused and more creepy. Ah well, I’m sure a lot of folks just enjoy getting to be the Batman, but that’s not enough for me. I can’t be arsed to play the post game content, the DLC, the side missions, or find all the Riddler Trophies. Platinum is obviously out of the question.

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