Batman Arkham City Review

Steve Butts

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EvilPicnic said:
I haven't played the game yet (although I intend to eventually - no spoilers please guys), but this Catwoman DLC issue is starting to rub me up the wrong way.
The plot isn't incomplete without Catwoman, but once you experience her part of the story, you wonder why you'd play the game without her. It's like going to a fine restaurant and having a four-course meal that's great and completely fills you up. Then you go back later and are served five courses. You didn't miss the fifth course during your first visit, but only because you didn't know you were supposed to miss it. Arkham City is incredibly fun without Catwoman and you won't even know she's missing unless you play the game with her.
 

Andy of Comix Inc

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Sparrow said:
Andy of Comix Inc said:
Sparrow said:
You know what part of the plot confused me the most?

There was one vial of serum left. Batman took half, then it smashed... so, what about all the folks the Joker poisoned? Are they dead now, or what?
Alfred tells you that Lucius Fox has nailed the formula and is shipping it out to Gotham's hospitals.
What the Mad Hatter wanted you to believe, though?
Ohhhh.

Ohhhhhhh noooooooooo.

OHHHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
 

Thincrust

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Honestly while the game looks amazing and the city, while not as big as I hoped is deep and will make any Batman fan geek out. My only gripe is that once you start the missions they seem almost cookie cutter to the ones in Arkham Asylum. It's hide from the enemies, beat up the same guys, or looks for clues and solve the puzzle. Granted they did include some cool new gadgets, but I just feel like it was copied and pasted onto new backgrounds. Might just be me but who knows.
 

LobsterFeng

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GaltarDude1138 said:
Although, I guess we wouldn't get Nazi Zombies, then...
I mean it in all seriousness when I say that Treyarch should just make a Nazi Zombie spin-off game.

OT: I actually thought the boss fights were STILL kind of lame. Sure they were a lot more varied this time, but they were still way too easy. I beat the last boss fight in one try in like 5 minutes.

I think the problem is the combat was designed to take out several weak enemies at once, so they don't know how to make a boss fight that isn't A. An enemy the size of the flipping Hulk. Or B. An enemy the size of the flipping Hulk with regular enemies thrown in.

It would have been cool just to fight a regular villain that has all the same fighting skills as you, i.e. the boss can counter just like you and such. I'm not sure how that would work but it sounds cool.
 

The Critic

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I agree that the story does get a bit cluttered as it goes on (once Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins gets involved is, in my opinion, the cut-off point after which the story gets a tad too crowded); but the ending, in my eyes, more than makes up for it. Outside of the fate of the people that Joker poisoned, just about everything else is tied up neatly.

Well, as neat as several filled body bags, anyways. Interesting how much you can resolve in a story like this just by killing off a few characters, isn't it? Not that I'm complaining, mind you, the ending was shockingly awesome. It must've taken some serious brass for Rocksteady to pull what they did at the end of Arkham City.

I loved every minute of Arkham City, from the combat, to the stealth, to the boss fights, to the story. Oh, and for the record...

...Was frustrating at first, but the ending bit was fantastic. I mean, really, Scimitar-wielding Batman!!! What's not to love about that?
 

4173

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LobsterFeng said:
GaltarDude1138 said:
Although, I guess we wouldn't get Nazi Zombies, then...
I mean it in all seriousness when I say that Treyarch should just make a Nazi Zombie spin-off game.

OT: I actually thought the boss fights were STILL kind of lame. Sure they were a lot more varied this time, but they were still way too easy. I beat the last boss fight in one try in like 5 minutes.

I think the problem is the combat was designed to take out several weak enemies at once, so they don't know how to make a boss fight that isn't A. An enemy the size of the flipping Hulk. Or B. An enemy the size of the flipping Hulk with regular enemies thrown in.

It would have been cool just to fight a regular villain that has all the same fighting skills as you, i.e. the boss can counter just like you and such. I'm not sure how that would work but it sounds cool.
Perhaps someone is more clever than I, but even if counter attack is nullified, I can't imagine a situation that wouldn't just break down to "cape in the face, then punch." Given the choice between that and these boss fights, I'll take Arkham City's any day. Especially with the growth Rocksteady showed by coming up with the Mr. Freeze and Ra's fights. Even Grundy and Joker required more variation than Arkham Asylum bosses.

Because it is Batman they have another problem too -- while characters like Joker have sometimes been written as able to match Batman in a fight, the list of characters who have been consistently challenging is basically Ra's Al Ghul and some dudes most people have never heard of (even among the target audience) (e.x. Lady Shiva, King Snake or Sensei)
 

StriderShinryu

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Steve Butts said:
EvilPicnic said:
I haven't played the game yet (although I intend to eventually - no spoilers please guys), but this Catwoman DLC issue is starting to rub me up the wrong way.
The plot isn't incomplete without Catwoman, but once you experience her part of the story, you wonder why you'd play the game without her. It's like going to a fine restaurant and having a four-course meal that's great and completely fills you up. Then you go back later and are served five courses. You didn't miss the fifth course during your first visit, but only because you didn't know you were supposed to miss it. Arkham City is incredibly fun without Catwoman and you won't even know she's missing unless you play the game with her.
That sounds a lot like Shale in Dragon Age: Origins. Such a well purposed and designed character yet not really important to the game at a gameplay level. I, however, couldn't imagine playing DA:O without Shale.
 

Metalrocks

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tried the demo of the first game and it was alright, but dint really grab me. plus, you need a live account and this really turned me off. in short, i stay away now from GfW live games. its always a hassle. the pc version is not out yet. steam says it will come out in over 2 weeks.
 

Z of the Na'vi

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Apr 27, 2009
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Sparrow said:
You know what part of the plot confused me the most?

There was one vial of serum left. Batman took half, then it smashed... so, what about all the folks the Joker poisoned? Are they dead now, or what?
Wow...I didn't even think about that. Good point. Maybe...maybe it was all a ruse set in action by Joker? I mean...well no, Robin confirmed it later on as well.

Damn, you punched a clean-sized plot hole there, didn't ya? Now I don't know what to believe. Hm...

Steve Butts said:
Ha! Justin said the same thing when we were capturing footage for the review!
I know, right? I mean, He could easily smash through said grate, or you know, a nearby wall...

It's not like he's lacking in brawn, heh.
 

RJ Dalton

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Okay, that looks awesome. I haven't really said that about too many games lately, but that looks awesome.
 

Grabbin Keelz

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I've beaten the game and theres still a few questions I have.

1. If Joker stole the cure, then why was he still sick?
2. I never found Nora, what happened to her?
3. Did Ra kill himself? and either way, can't he just bring himself back to life?
4. Who's Solomon Grundy, and why was it important that he was born on a Mundy?
 

darkbshadow

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Yeah I do have to say I really liked this game. Best Super Hero Game ever. I mean I loved the first game but this one was just so much more polished. They did a killer job on this one. Now if only they could make another super hero game from DC, you know one with X-ray Vison, Frost Breath, Laser Eyes, and Super Strength. You know so people can think of this super hero instead of (there name here) 64.

Also about your plot hole
Well While not well and really a side mention. For one of the side missions they actually mention that they were able to mass produce the cure and were sending you one in a drop zone. How ever this is where the Mad Hatter Steps in and replaces your cure with some good old Hallucinogens. This doesn't per say solve it since really was just a passing mention, but it shrinks it a bit.

Oh yeah one thing though... I really wish there was a Scarecrow section of the game. That was one of the best parts of the First game. It was just so trippy. You never know he could have survived getting eaten by the croc. I mean one of the Riddlers puzzles hinted at it.
 

ExtraDebit

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I just had a thought, it got nothing really to do with the game, more with batman's lore and just food for thoughts.

According to the movie, batman's cape is made of memory cloth which assume a certain shape when electricity is applied giving batman his glider. Shouldn't the cape be activated by the thugs attacking with stun rods?

In addition isn't it more cumbersome to fight with a cape? wouldn't it be better to have the cape contracted when not gliding? I know batman isn't batman without his cape but just for the sake of argument, wouldn't you rather have a contracted cape if you were batman?

It seems like just a disadvantage for batman's foe to exploit, i.e. grab cape and pull.
 
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Fantastic game. Just compelling and fun.

Solid review, but...you gave Dragon Age 2 and Pokemon B/W a 5/5 and Batman Arkham City a 4.5/5? I may be just nitpicking, but c'mon.
 

4173

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Grabbin Keelz said:
I've beaten the game and theres still a few questions I have.

1. If Joker stole the cure, then why was he still sick?
2. I never found Nora, what happened to her?
3. Did Ra kill himself? and either way, can't he just bring himself back to life?
4. Who's Solomon Grundy, and why was it important that he was born on a Mundy?
2.
In a building near the entrance to the Industrial District. Sneak in, punch a few thugs, talk to Freeze and he travels over there (leaving a cool trail of ice from GCPD across the water.

4. Solomon Grundy was first a villain for [Alan Scott] Green Lantern and later, Batman. The name was taken from a character in an old rhyme.

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
This is the end
Of Solomon Grundy
 

gphjr14

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Ending was a little off considering the flow of the story. The final scene should've been second to last with the main antagonist (the mastermind) being the final boss fight. It felt as if it were ending abruptly.

My elements of literature is a little rusty but it was as if the falling action of the story was the conclusion.
 

Wuggy

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4173 said:
Grabbin Keelz said:
I've beaten the game and theres still a few questions I have.

1. If Joker stole the cure, then why was he still sick?
2. I never found Nora, what happened to her?
3. Did Ra kill himself? and either way, can't he just bring himself back to life?
4. Who's Solomon Grundy, and why was it important that he was born on a Mundy?
2.
In a building near the entrance to the Industrial District. Sneak in, punch a few thugs, talk to Freeze and he travels over there (leaving a cool trail of ice from GCPD across the water.

4. Solomon Grundy was first a villain for [Alan Scott] Green Lantern and later, Batman. The name was taken from a character in an old rhyme.

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
This is the end
Of Solomon Grundy
Let me supplement your answers with 1 and 3.

He didn't have it. Talia Al-Ghul managed to steal it from Harley before she delivered it to Joker. That's why she was bound and gagged.

He didn't kill himself, but he did die. And yes, technically he could be revived by taking a dip in the pit.

Z of the Na said:
Sparrow said:
You know what part of the plot confused me the most?

There was one vial of serum left. Batman took half, then it smashed... so, what about all the folks the Joker poisoned? Are they dead now, or what?
Wow...I didn't even think about that. Good point. Maybe...maybe it was all a ruse set in action by Joker? I mean...well no, Robin confirmed it later on as well.

Damn, you punched a clean-sized plot hole there, didn't ya? Now I don't know what to believe. Hm...
I don't see it as a plot-hole really. More like fridge-horror:

After the game you realize that there's no more serum left. People are still sick, and now they are going to die, because the cure was destroyed. You realize that they pretty much allude to a Gotham-wide holocaust. Which is terrible.
 

RandV80

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How come at 1:12 those dudes are just chilling on the rooftop and working and generally doing no harm when bam! Batman drops out of nowhere and starts kicking the crap out of them? That seems kind of cruel and criminal Batman.
 

The Critic

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Wuggy said:
4173 said:
Grabbin Keelz said:
I've beaten the game and theres still a few questions I have.

1. If Joker stole the cure, then why was he still sick?
2. I never found Nora, what happened to her?
3. Did Ra kill himself? and either way, can't he just bring himself back to life?
4. Who's Solomon Grundy, and why was it important that he was born on a Mundy?
2.
In a building near the entrance to the Industrial District. Sneak in, punch a few thugs, talk to Freeze and he travels over there (leaving a cool trail of ice from GCPD across the water.

4. Solomon Grundy was first a villain for [Alan Scott] Green Lantern and later, Batman. The name was taken from a character in an old rhyme.

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
This is the end
Of Solomon Grundy
Let me supplement your answers with 1 and 3.

He didn't have it. Talia Al-Ghul managed to steal it from Harley before she delivered it to Joker. That's why she was bound and gagged.

He didn't kill himself, but he did die. And yes, technically he could be revived by taking a dip in the pit.

Z of the Na said:
Sparrow said:
You know what part of the plot confused me the most?

There was one vial of serum left. Batman took half, then it smashed... so, what about all the folks the Joker poisoned? Are they dead now, or what?
Wow...I didn't even think about that. Good point. Maybe...maybe it was all a ruse set in action by Joker? I mean...well no, Robin confirmed it later on as well.

Damn, you punched a clean-sized plot hole there, didn't ya? Now I don't know what to believe. Hm...
I don't see it as a plot-hole really. More like fridge-horror:

After the game you realize that there's no more serum left. People are still sick, and now they are going to die, because the cure was destroyed. You realize that they pretty much allude to a Gotham-wide holocaust. Which is terrible.
As a more optimistic alternative to that:

Batman might have been able to return to The Batcave after the final scene (before Selina Kyle/Catwoman's epilogue mission begins) and synthesize more of the cure for the toxin from his own blood. After that, he probably just produced plenty of it and distributed it to all of the hospitals in Gotham. We know that he has the capablility to produce substantial quantities of chemicals, he said back in Arkham Asylum that he would produce plenty of Anti-Titan, so Batman might just be able to save all of those people around Gotham after all.
 

DustyDrB

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Jan 19, 2010
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Steve Butts said:
Z of the Na said:
[sub]Exactly how does a steel grate hold back a powerhouse like Bane?[/sub]
Ha! Justin said the same thing when we were capturing footage for the review!
I was wondering that too. I was so certain that he was gonna break out as soon as I started for the door. But...nope.

Anyway. I just finished the main game. And I mean finished finished (as in 100%. All Riddler secrets. All side quests. Everything). I don't normally do that for games. But Arkham City makes it satisfying to do. For one, the riddles are fun to solve themselves. And add to that the fact that you're rewarded with interview tapes, backstory on the setting and characters, and some really sweet concept art. For once, doing everything in a game isn't a chore, but is a joy.