v6.2.3 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Batman Arkham City | Done

Here's another game a finished a while ago.  This is a mini review of Batman Arkham City for the xbox 360  which I finished back in November 2018.

I am always reluctant to start a new Batman game, but I am (constantly) surprised as how much I end up enjoying the game in the end. This is one of the reasons I left this game for the end (or close to it) when I was going through my remaining non-backward compatible games.

The plot from Wikipedia:
At a press conference held by Bruce Wayne to declare his opposition to Arkham City, TYGER mercenaries arrest and imprison him in Arkham City. Hugo Strange discloses his knowledge of Wayne's dual identity as Batman before releasing him into the prison's criminal populace. While Strange prepares to commence "Protocol 10", Wayne obtains his equipment via airdrop from Alfred Pennyworth, allowing him to become Batman. He first saves Catwoman from being executed by Two-Face, who hopes to gain respect by murdering her. After Joker attempts to assassinate Catwoman, Batman tracks him to his hideout in the Sionis Steelmill, believing Joker may know the truth behind Protocol 10.

There, Batman learns that the unstable properties of the Titan formula are mutating in Joker's blood, gradually killing him. Joker captures Batman and performs a blood transfusion on him, infecting him with the same fatal disease. Joker also reveals that Gotham hospitals have been poisoned with his infected blood. Desperate to save himself and innocent citizens, Batman seeks out Mr. Freeze, who had been developing a cure but has since been kidnapped by the Penguin. Tracking Penguin to the Cyrus Pinkney National History Institute, Batman defeats his forces, his imprisoned monster Solomon Grundy, and ultimately the Penguin himself, before liberating Mr. Freeze.

Freeze tells Batman that he has created a cure, but it is rendered useless via instability. Batman deduces that the restorative properties of Ra's al Ghul's blood can complete the cure and tracks one of his assassins to his underground lair, leading Batman into a confrontation with Ra's and his daughter Talia, Batman's former lover. With Ra's al Ghul's blood, Freeze is able to develop an antidote, but it is stolen by Harley Quinn before Batman can use it. When Batman returns to the Joker, he finds his health has been restored.

While the two fight, Strange activates Protocol 10, which is revealed to be a scheme to wipe out the entire population of Arkham City and destroy the criminal element of Gotham. TYGER troops begin executing inmates as Strange launches missile strikes on Arkham's denizens from his base in Wonder Tower. A missile hits the steelmill, burying Batman under rubble. Before Joker can take advantage of the situation, Talia arrives and offers him immortality in exchange for sparing Batman's life. After escaping with the help of Catwoman, Batman is convinced by Alfred to end Protocol 10 before pursuing Talia and Joker.

Batman infiltrates Wonder Tower and disables Protocol 10. Ra's al Ghul is revealed to be the true mastermind behind Arkham City and mortally wounds Strange for failing to defeat Batman. With his dying breath, Strange activates "Protocol 11", the self-destruction of Wonder Tower. After Ra's commits suicide to avoid capture, Joker contacts Batman, threatening to kill Talia unless Batman meets him at the Monarch Theater. When Batman arrives, Joker demands the cure from Batman but is impaled and apparently killed by Talia while distracted. Talia admits to stealing the cure from Quinn, before she is killed by a second Joker, still stricken with the disease.

The healthy Joker that Talia impaled then reanimates into the shapeshifting Clayface, who is revealed to have been masquerading as a healthy Joker all along at the ailing villain's request. Batman defeats Clayface despite Joker blowing up the theater floor. Batman drinks a portion of the antidote, and destroys Ra's' rejuvenating Lazarus Pit before the Joker can use it. As Batman debates curing his foe, Joker attacks him, causing the antidote vial to inadvertently smash. Batman admits that in spite of everything Joker had done, he would have saved him. After Joker finally succumbs to his illness and dies, Batman carries his body out of Arkham City. As Commissioner Gordon asks what happened, Batman places Joker's body on the hood of a police car and leaves in silence.

The game felt open-world, but not so much so (like Assassin's Creed Odyssey) that it felt unwieldy.   You, as Batman, end up going from section to section of the city to take care of various objectives for the game; and to some extent the game shepherds you to the sections that correspond to your ability level.  The game mechanic I like the most in this Batman game is the glide mechanic.  Batman can glide from rooftop to rooftop, or ledge to ledge and avoid the craziness that is happening on the ground.  Now being on rooftops isn't necessarily safe (there are enemies there too), but it's easier to evade them in the shadows and stalk them like a predator.  Ground combat is much more melee-oriented and you can succumb to damage done by guns of various sorts.  Batman's enemies have guns, but Batman does not, so it's best to hide in the shadows.   Another aspect of this game I like was that you take on the role of Catwoman for part of the game and you get to see the world through her eyes a bit.  I don't recall other games (I've played) having done this in the past, so it was a nice change of pace.  Catwoman controls differently than Batman, so while you do have to learn a new control scheme, it does feel like you are playing as another character.

Gamerscore: 475/1500
Achievements: 27/70

Overall, a 9/10 for me. I guess  I need to go back at some point to get more of the achievements...

See Older Posts...