The lights are on
Batman: Arkham City, boy, what a game. The culmination of the loving studio Rocksteady and their hard work, it's certainly a product of many dedicated hours.
Played on PC, this game functions in a way that flows excellently. Batman flies in combat; Left-click to punch, right-click to counter the oncoming sucker hit, hotkey a quick special takedown, and just as suddenly as the fight had begun, it's over. The same goes for the predator instances; Hide in the shadows, wheel-click to hang, left control to drop, and right-click to slowly bring the enemy to a halt... With every encounter, the developer does a fantastic job at making the player feel empowered, and unstoppable. Batman is an incredibly strong, incredibly intelligent being of justice and fear, and that's exactly what you feel when playing.
The campaign moves along at a brisk pace, introducing you to an entire line of villains and acquaintances either through side quests or unexpected encounters in the given instances of the storyline. Even with all the great main portion, the city itself offers tons of content that will keep you coming back for more. Indeed, there are 400 Riddler trophies for Batman to collect, many sidequests, and great easter eggs to discover. Outside of the city, there is still an abundant amount of gameplay offered through the combat and predator challenges, as well as the difficult campaigns. I've played for 32 hours either in the city or taking on the various challenges, and only have 66% of the entire game completed. I still need to 170 more Riddler Trophies, I still need to 3-star six more missions for Batman, and I haven't even taken on the campaigns seriously, yet. Of course, there is still Catwoman and the amount of gameplay she offers.
For those who buy the game new, a code is supplied to the player to access Catwoman's content. For PC players, there is no hassle; Just install the game and play -She's already included. It would be a good idea to purchase new, because while Catwoman's portion of the game is not necessarily vital to the experience of the game, it is a welcome addition. She plays a role in the storyline, and offers several more hours of play through her own challenges, jewel hunting, and 40 Riddler trophies.
Even though I've played so much of the game already, I still feel like there's so much more that I haven't even seen yet. I don't feel like it's necessary to delve further into the actual combat, because Rocksteady hammered that right down to the nail. Rather, the catch is that the gameplay is so engrossing, so empowering, and so convincing, that I WANT to come back for more. Never before has a game made me want to find everything, play all there is to see, and do it all over again in the genius New Game Plus mode. That's right, you're put back into the campaign, with all your gadgets and upgrades -But this time enemies have harder variations and you receive no counter indications. The next time through is all up to player skill.
All in all, I can't ask for more. Running the game at max settings at 40+ frames per second makes the environment look absolutely stunning. The combat is so good that it makes you want to play more of it -Even weeks after you've finished. The storyline is a somewhat convoluted mixture of villains and people, but comic book freaks will jump at each recognizable character. The environment itself is a breathtaking creation, and I can't praise Rocksteady's work enough. They took an independent proprty known for failed attempts in video games, and turned it into one of the best experiences a gamer can play in the last generation, possibly even the last decade.