The lights are on
When Arkham Asylum first came out with an enormously positive reception, I just had to play the game. After my experience with Batman's incredible adventure I never thought I would ever meet its equal. And I was right.
You'll feel right at home with Arkham City. However, this game is the kind of sequel you always hope for. It is definitely not on par with Arkham Asylum, but rather, soars far above it. Everything is done bigger. A plethora of new gadets, combos, enemies, and side missions make this the greatest Batman experience of all time.
Of course, more would hardly be better if it was done poorly. Thankfully, Rocksteady's love for the Batman franchise shines through every nook and cranny you could possibly find. The main story, with its intriguing plots and heart-stopping twists, makes this game nearly impossible to put down. Then again, there's also the fact that you'll find yourself sidetracked a number of times from the main story by side missions that are just as compelling. These aren't simple fetch-quests by any means.
Take for instance, your encounters with the Riddler. In Arkham Asylum, the experience largely consisted of collecting trophies and solving riddles. Arkham City has that, but coupled with it are death traps where one false step could mean death.
While the graphics were impressive in the first, subtle tweaks make this new game one of the prettiest of this generation. From the gritty streets of the rundown city to the meticulously crafted interiors of buildings like a church, museum, and even some apartments, everything looks absolutely stunning. Particle effects are dazzling and character models are ten times more emotive than they were in the first.
The sound quality is exactly what you would expect, and that is a great thing. Voice acting is done incredibly well. As far as I'm concerned, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are the voices of their respective characters and no one will take their place. The music is also another standout aspect, so much so that I've been contemplating buying the soundtrack.
Controls are hardly an issue as well. The fluid movements from the first make the transition to the second, only these time Rocksteady managed to make it even more fun. Nothing makes you feel like more of a *** than freezing one guy, as you beat down another after quickly countering a pipe to the head and flinging a batarang at the thug off to the side reaching for a rifle. You'll find yourself walking into a room of twenty plus goons with the same sort of confidence as if you were going to punt a kitten (why would you do that?!).
Batman: Arkham City doesn't just keep up the reputation of the first, it excels it. If you missed the first, shame on you. But if you miss this one, not only will you be missing frankly one of the most polished and exciting experiences of this generation, you will be missing out on one of the greatest video games to ever be created.
Great review. Took the words right out of my mouth.