MOVING ALONG, we come to the highly anticipated sequel to the highly rated first installment, Batman: Arkham City. If you pre-ordered the game (and actually somehow chose which obnoxious retailer to get your DLC ‘frillies’ from), then you already know why the first game was awesome and don’t need me to tell you. It’s a shame you came here though, because that’s exactly what I am about to do! You had everything in the first game: beautiful graphics (minus Batman’s Gears of War syndrome, courtesy of your friendly-neighborhood Unreal Engine, rumored to be designed by Rob Leifield… (HA, it wouldn’t be one of these if I didn’t bash my creator!)), awesome brawler/open map gameplay with gadgets, a kick-ass story worthy of the mastermind that is Paul Dini, and Riddler trophies to keep you from telling your friends you beat it 100% before they did (even though not many did. Hell, I didn’t find them all even!).
So with all of that awesome crammed into one tiny blu-ray disc/whateverthehellxboxcallsit, how could the sequel compete? Well, let’s just say that the first game was all that and the kitchen sink. This sequel is more like all that and the kitchen sink meets Godzilla, his brother, his mom, and his aunt Carla all at once. You now have the ability to run around or glide around the entire city (of Arkham, not Gotham itself. Trust me when I say you won’t notice or care enough). The city is packed with thugs and villains of the highest caliber. If you never took the penguin seriously before, you’re… well, probably still going to laugh at his goofy ass. HAHA, he can’t run with that belly! ... BUT the other villains will demand your attention, as will Penguin. I won’t spoil any details, but know that this one will throw characters at you till the last bleeding second. You never know who’s going to pop up next, and that’s part of the fun!
The dynamic of the run-down city having multiple villains fight over it is also very clever, as it throws in a lot of twists and reasons for constant interaction that you wouldn’t have probably expected considering the more straight-forward nature of the first. It’d be hard NOT to get distracted from your main objective, only to find a side-quest or save some random political figure on the street (as if even Batman could save politics for the US at this point...).
The city isn’t the only thing getting a facelift, however. Batman’s gadgets are now cranked up to wambo. One of my favorite new toys was the Remote Electrical Charge. With this baby, you could force elevators to go up and down and even cause the magnetism of a metal hook to reverse and bash into walls… Imagine the FUN I would have! I’d hum the tune of “Singing in the Rain” while bashing down the houses of all the people who owe me money! ... Or that I want money from… because they have more than I do… What? I’d put that Clockwork Orange noob to shame! 4 Reelz!
Another interesting inclusion in new copies of the game is the Catwoman downloadable content. At first I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal to have, but boy was I glad I waited the hour and half it took to download that… Wait a minute, no I wasn’t! The freaking sucked! It’s a good thing it was actually GOOD DLC, otherwise that might have been a serious Simpson’s Comic Book Guy rant right there.
If you are even remotely a fan of Batman or action games, you owe it to yourself to kick this bad boy into gear. Even after playing through the awesome (but still short) campaign mode, you have a plethora (ooo, pretty vocabulary usage!) of things you can do, such as finding all the Riddler trophies, besting all the challenge maps, finding any missed sidequests or events, and even a new game plus mode for those who have absolutely nothing to do with their lives. Ah, how I yearn to go back to being that guy with no life. It seemed sucky at the time because of all those bed-sores, but oh man was it sweet!
Before ending this, I will make one more quick note directed toward those who (like me) absolutely loved the trippy scenes involving scarecrow and thought they were among the best in the entire first Arkham game. While I can’t say there’s anything specifically like that in this one, you will not be disappointed, you will see other ways they managed to take you “out” of the world around you, and you will feel like you are high on something acidic. Can it get any better (other than adding women and bacon into the equation)? I think not!
9 Riddler Trophies out of 10
Now Batman and I… THERE’S a crossover waiting to happen! I would tell knock knock jokes and feed him animal crackers; oh the joy! Oh, and contrary to popular belief, I am not gay for Batman. I am however, extremely gay for Kevin Conroy (his voice actor). I would do horrible horrible things for that man. The only reason I’m not ashamed to admit it, is because I know you all just read that and said “Hahaha yeah. Me too…” Don’t lie!!! Good night sucka fools! Deadpool OUT!