Batman: Arkham City

Was there a chance that Rocksteady would top Arkham Asylum? The answer is a universal yes. Batman: Arkham City is bigger, has more bad guys, puzzles, and side quests. The focus on a single player adventure as Batman comes to fruition in this sequel. Batman: Arkham City is the 2011 PS3 Game of the year.

Presentation: Arkham City is more open than Asylum since it takes place in a whole section of Gotham City. Dr. Strange is in charge of what you call a sectioned off prison from Gotham where criminals are participating in gang wars for turf supremacy. Batman or should we say Bruce Wayne is captured by Dr. Strange and has to work his way through Arkham City to find out who is behind all the problems in the city.

What makes Arkham City a joy to travel is the fact that Batman glides much more than the last game, thus, enabling us to act like the cape crusader and clean up the town. The grappler is used to maneuver up the many buildings that house Arkham’s criminals. There are many areas to visit like slums, factories, tunnels, and office buildings to name a few. Many of the mechanics that made Asylum great are still in play here. Why fix something that works great. Combos are fun to pull and the points earned increase with the amount of hits and style of punches and kicks you pull off. The points earned can be used to level up Batman and Catwoman’s health, armor, special moves, and gadgets. A huge bonus is the side quest missions and their villains. Arkham City has its main bosses but if you tackle on side quests you get to meet other villains to beat up. This increases the number of bad guys you face. In addition, the Riddler is back with a lot and I mean a lot more puzzles for you to solve.

Graphics: Batman looks great using the Unreal Engine. The fights look very fluid and the expressions of those bad guys getting hit by batman, especially the final hit, is priceless. The night has never looked more inviting as you guide Batman through the many sections of the city. Harley Quinn and the Joker look so great together in your many encounters with them as do Batman’s other adversaries.

Sound: The voice acting is top-notch and the actors bring the characters to life. The Joker makes you laugh like always while Dr. Strange’s calm but demented voice just makes you want to go after him and deliver a devastating hit. The music personifies Batman, especially track number seven on the official game soundtrack. This is the best sound and effects in a Batman game yet.

Controls: Combos are easy even if simplistic. It’s all about timing. This system makes fighting huge groups of enemies very exciting. Flying around the city using your grappler makes you feel like you are the dark knight yourself. Catwoman’s crawling mechanics are a bit different because you have to continue to press the climb button even when you are on the wall but it fits since she moves around like a giant cat. Changing weapons on the fly has stayed the same from the last game which is a good decision.

Simply put Batman Arkham City is the best comic book related game of all time. Declaring something like this must have valid support, but Rocksteady backed it up by creating such a great game. A bonus in the game are the trials that lets you play as Robin in addition to the main characters. Beating up scores of bad guys isreally fun. Batman looks insanely awesome in his other outfits. Earning these costumes is so much fun because Batman looks great. Who would not want to play as Batman Beyond or an old retired beer belly Batman. 2011 was the year of the bat.

Score: 10

2011 Game Awards
Overall Game of the Year (PS3/PS2)
PS3 Game of the Year
Best Music/Sound (PS3)
Best Adventure Game (PS3)
2nd Place Best Graphics (PS3)