Batman: Arkham City Video Game Review: The Dark Knight Leaves the Asylum in This Rich, Engrossing, Action Title

After decades of mediocre and downright terrible Batman games, fans of the Dark Knight finally got a dedicated release with Batman: Arkham Asylum. Now gamers can rejoice in the continuation of the franchise with Batman: Arkham City. Batman has free reign of the city he calls home and must protect in this adventure game.

As video game sequels should, Arkham City improves upon every aspect in Arkham Asylum, including the story. The politics in Gotham are shady as usual and this has resulted in an expanded jail in the center of the city, simply known as Arkham City.

Through threats from the Joker, Batman must unwillingly help save his foe’s life while taking on other classic enemies like Two-Face and The Penguin. There are plenty of side-missions and cut-scenes to make this feel like an epic Batman film.

The rich depth of Arkham City pulls you into the game. One of the best experiences is standing atop a building and scanning the city from afar. Neon signs glow across buildings, dim lights barely fill the streets below and the sound effects help add to the grittiness. The winter setting and light-snow only add to the game’s emotions and feeling.

Batman: Arkham City Game Play

Leaving the claustrophobic feeling of the Asylum, Batman’s controls only expand for the sequel. He punches and reverses using multiple combos that naturally flow on the screen and do not feel forced. While it’s nice to punch out dozens of henchmen, the real thrill comes from Batman’s expanded gadget options.

From explosives to quick-shooting gadgets, this is how Batman operates and it works perfectly in the game play. Initially you will have to get use to the different gadget options, but small on-screen cues help you use them faster and more efficiently.

Batman Upgrades

Batman himself looks like he’s been using steroids, but the muscled hero adds more legitimacy to his quick combat and destructiveness. Batman can easily skip by a lot of these thugs, but for every person you defeat, Batman gains builds his experience and earns new upgrades.

Exclusive DLC content allows players to play at Catwoman, Robin and variations on the Batman character, a concept that expands the game’s replay value. The additional characters are highly detailed creations and each of them could have had a separate game in their own right.

Batman: Arkham City is not just one of the best Batman games, it is one of the best video games in years. The details put into this game are amazing. I could sit there and watch the cinematic videos without even picking up a controller, but once I do, it just expands the experience even more. This game defines Batman, Gotham City and is a must-own for video game players.

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