Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment Inc.’s Batman: Arkham City for Playstation 3, Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360, and the PC is a crime-filled sandbox that allows users to fully realize their role as the Dark Knight.
In Batman: Arkham City, Bruce Wayne is captured and tossed into Arkham City, a large prison for Gotham City’s worst criminals. Wayne is interrogated by Dr. Hugo Strange but subsequently discovers a new crime plot called ‘Protocol 10’. He escapes the facility and dons the Batsuit to unravel a plot that includes his most infamous rivals.
Batman: Arkham City includes a sandbox Gotham City to explore. Users can deploy the Bathook to scale any rooftop or structure and glide from building to building with ease. In the air, Batman will hear chatter from thugs below to reveal current crime plots. A map can be pulled with the select button to show any main objective and available side missions, each of which can be marked to guide users to the area.
Each mission can take place in large, mult-level structures to invoke a true sense of scale.
Side missions are equally impressive with full sub-plots that offer threats from enemies like The Riddler to add moral dilemma and urgency to the player’s crime world.
Combat is solidly refined with dance-like counter maneuvers that will automatically reverse thug advances with the press of a button. Between bouts, a counter can pull a baseball bat away and use it against a enemy, or even toss back an incoming barrel.
Stealth tactics like a glide kick or the awesome inverted takedown to snatch a criminal from above are trademark to the character. Users can also deploy sneaking takedowns and corner cover options to hide from the enemy.
Investigation Mode can be used prior to combat in order to survey any nearby goons and voice chatter to better plan out an attack.
Gadgets can be accessed with the d-pad and are typically used in non-combat situations. The Batarang, Bathook, Explosive Gel, Remote Electrical Charge can be used to enter areas normally locked.
The AI is solid in mob attacks for the most part, but can glitch and suddenly not be aware of Batman’s presence.
All aspects of the bat, from the batsuit, gadgets, combat, and predator actions can be upgraded via menu with combat points.
The final game includes a separate Catwoman mode in which users play as the famed feline with acrobatic movement, custom arsenal, and character-specific puzzles.
The graphics engine is solid at 30 frames-per-second. Gotham City is rendered as far as the eye can see with a mass of skyscrapers constructed in a grim fashion. The soundtrack is impressive with an orchestral score akin to the latest films.
Batman: Arkham City is a leap forward for the dark knight. The title hones in on the defining aspects of the character and expands the depth of his responsibility to a city in peril. In a living, breathing Gotham City, this bat soars.