Of all the comic-book super heroes, only Superman comes even close to the universal fascination for the Caped Crusader – and each succeeding incarnation always feels a little more menacing than the previous version. The Dark Knight movie left us with the impression that Batman and the Joker both shared a fight with inner demons. That same image of Gotham’s detective struggling to cope with a world gone mad was vividly portrayed in developer Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Now Rocksteady is back with the sequel, and the lethal concoction of murderous lunatics and their beefy henchmen have been taken out of the small prison and instead are incarcerated in a new super-jail – the Arkham City district of Gotham – that is five times the size of its predecessor. For Batman, that means dealing with a constant stream of side-threats that have to be dealt with, while one arch-villain is bent on destroying the whole of the prison population.
Once more, Mark ‘Luke Skywalker’ Hamill and Kevin Conroy reprise their voice-over roles as the Joker and Batman made famous in the animated series, and a galaxy of favourites such as the Penguin, Riddler, Mr Freeze, Harley Quinn and Two-Face are all given generous supporting roles. This time round you can also play as Catwoman and thanks to further downloadable packs as both Robin and Nightwing (i.e. Dick Grayson).
The sheer scope and brooding beauty of the decayed and faded Gotham cityscape will draw you into a believable world where danger and violence lurks round every corner.
The game uses the same combat system as its predecessor, with a few extra combos for varying attack and counter and a few more gadgets to play with like the powerful electric charger that can be used to paralyse attackers or kick-start machinery and the disruptor that disables enemy guns.
You’ll also spend much more time using your grappling gun to zoom around the city and there’s a steady supply of XP-earned upgrades to be won and Riddler trophies to be collected and prisoners released.
Several fights can only be won using stealth moves, and Batman’s ‘Detective vision’ is vital to pick up on clues and pathways. With a load of extra challenges available once you finish the main story, by the time you finish Arkham City you’ll truly start to feel like you have donned the Bat-costume yourself. And beware the shock ending…
Company: WB Games
- The vivid and engaging Arkham City backdrop.
- Almost too addictive!
Rocksteady's early promise with the sensational Arkham Asylum has been far surpassed with this engrossing, sprawling, dark and dangerous sequel that offers all you love about the first game with superior depth of gameplay and stunning graphics.