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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Knight rises!
I was a massive fan of the first Arkham game, Arkham Asylum, this caused me to have almost crippling anticipation that this would be a bigger and better version. Disappointed? I think not!

The story is set a short while after Arkham Asylum (the plot gap can be bridged with the Batman: Arkham City comic book series) where the badly damaged Asylum has had to be...
Published on 31 Oct 2011 by Andrew Driscoll

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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Is Less
Arkham Asylum was lauded as a classic on release and surprised many for being a superhero game that was actually fun to play and made good use of its license.

Looking back however Arkham Asylum would merely have been regarded as a good game if tight gameplay and good mechanics were the only things taken into consideration. What actually made it a masterpiece...
Published on 30 Oct 2011 by D. Low


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Knight rises!, 31 Oct 2011
By 
Andrew Driscoll (Merthyr Tydfil, Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I was a massive fan of the first Arkham game, Arkham Asylum, this caused me to have almost crippling anticipation that this would be a bigger and better version. Disappointed? I think not!

The story is set a short while after Arkham Asylum (the plot gap can be bridged with the Batman: Arkham City comic book series) where the badly damaged Asylum has had to be shut down, and a new Prison facility has been formed by sectioning off a large area of Gotham City and putting all the inmates there instead, along with the inmates from Blackgate Prison. Bruce Wayne is arrested at the very start of the game, giving Batman access to the area.

Once inside he interacts with an excellent role call of Batman enemies including Joker (Mark Hamill outstanding as usual), Penguin, Catwoman, Two-Face, Mad Hatter, Mr Freeze, Bane, and more. Sometimes you co-operate, often you fight, but each character is given their time either in the main story or with side-missions. The story is excellent, engaging, and not entirely predictable. It wouldn't have seemed out of place as a comic story itself!

The game difficulty progresses well and eases you into new actions, gadgets and moves without it ever seeming overwhelming. There's plenty to do, the main story itself is large and constantly interesting. The side quests add extra dimensions and ask different things from you, although they can generally be a little 'go find'. Riddler trophies/challenges are also back and some can be tricky, while seeming rewarding when you finally get them!

Catwoman is also a playable character in the main story (internet connection required I believe), but her 4 missions are among the duller moments of the story. I'd rather have had Nightwing or Robin as the alternative story arc, but hey!

In addition to the story, various challenges are available to play in the challenge modes, similar to the first game, these are great places to hone your skills and trying to beat top scores can be addictive! There is also a harder game+ addition when the main story is completed.

Graphically the game is excellent, it's exactly how I'd picture Gotham being, the sounds are minimal but seem perfect, more may seem instrusive, especially with the game relying on stealth much of the time. The game plays well, the combat seems better in this version than Asylum, which occasionally felt like it could be beaten by button mashing. Here there feels more strategy and has been improved greatly.

For the geekier people (such as myself) character models, concept art etc are all unlocked as you progress and can be a real treat!

Overall this is an improvement on Asylum, it's bigger and generally does things better. Much recommended!
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Arkham....., 22 Oct 2011
By 
P. Knott - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
***Mild Spoilers***

I was a HUGE fan of Batman: Arkham Asylum, with its rich level of detail and inclusion of so many of the classic characters. To me, and many other fans of the Bat, there was just no way to top it. How wrong we were. If there was one fault with the near-perfect Arkham Asylum, it was that there was NO GOTHAM! One of the central parts of Batman is his film-noire, industrial, neon-lit city and the Asylum, for all its lovingly-crafted design, just wasn't Gotham City. Arkham City, however, is. To be exact, the New Arkham is a walled-off section of North Gotham that can hold any super-criminal or other miscreant. Naturally, having a massive hub of the criminal element on your doorstep is not what Batman wants, and so he uses his considerable public presence as billioanre Bruce Wayne to try and have the place shut down. Big Mistake. Before long, Bruce is nabbed by some guards and thrown into the Asylum - which is being run by the nefarious Hugo Strange. A quick Batwing drop-off later, and Batman is ready for action.

Arkham City is like a distilled Gotham City. Flashing neon signs? Check. Industrial factories belching smoke? Check. A giant Bat-Signal on the horizon? You bet! Everything that a Bat-fan could want from a virtual Gotham is in Arkham City, down to Crime Alley (where young Bruce watched his parents gunned down) and the Ace Chemicals Factory (where the Joker was born out of an experimental chemical vat). In fact, anything that a Bat-fan could want in a game, IS HERE! Name a Batman villain, and the odds are - they're in Arkham. I consider myself a Batman devotee and there were some baddies in here that I hadn't even heard of. Let's just say that when I was 20 minutes into the game and I had encountered Strange, Penguin, Catwoman, Two-Face and Calendar Man, I knew I was in for a good time.

The gameplay is just as fun as ever, with some subtle changes made to make it flow even better than before and the new Grapple-Boost makes traversing Arkham City easy and fun. The story is, of course, fantastic - the opening is amazing and the finale was truly jaw-dropping (I won't spoil it here, but YOU are in for a shocking treat.

I have nothing but praise for this game. It does everything SO WELL! Any Batman fan should know by now that they MUST BUY THIS GAME! If you're interested but don't really know much about the Dark Knight then buy the graphic novels Batman: Year One, The Long Halloween and The Killing Joke and then play Batman: Arkham Asylum. I know that's a fairly long reading/playing list just to play one game but I highly recommend doing as I have suggested - newcomers may well be lost in the immersion of Arkham City, but anyone familiar with Batman will simply revel in it. As you can probably tell, I love this game (to the extent that I will probably re-buy Arkham Asylum, which I had eventually traded in, just to get me in the mood to play more Arkham City)! You, as a Gamer, owe it to yourself to buy this game right now!

***

Note: Some people have complained about the Catwoman missions requiring Xbox Live/PS Network to play. Don't be put off - it doesn't affect the story, and the game really doesn't benefit from them at all.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Same great stuff!, 22 Oct 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Arkham Asylum was Great but Arkham City is absolutley fantastic!

It's still the same great game, with the hand-to-hand combat staying pretty much the same. The basic gameplay and gliding etc is still the same as it was in Arkham Asylum, so that makes the game a little bit easier. There's also many more gadgets although they are not all available at the start of the game and more upgrades. In addition to the villain based side missions there are several training missions to give you the opportunity to gain upgrades as well as a much better detective mode.

One thing particularly that I have noticed is that you might well find yourself getting caught up in so much stuff in the game. Mainly, because there is so much going on. For example, once you've completed the opening part of the main plot (in which the Joker is dying), you can either carry on, chasing after Mr. Freeze or go and have a glide around Arkham or try and find some riddler trophies. You could also go and have a go at completing one of the side missions or perhaps just explore Arkham city and beat up a few thugs while your at it. You don't know what to do next.

If you would prefer to play as catwoman at certain parts of the game then I would suggest purchasing the game new.If you buy it preowned you don't get the catwoman bundle pack pass and instead have to pay 800microsoft points for it of the marketplace.If you do play as catwoman, her sequences are good and she has a similar style of fighting to batman but of course she can do things batman can't and vice versa. But swinging through the city with her whip and crawling up walls distinctly reminds me of spider-man!

One thing, you need to know about Arkham city though is that it is massive! A good twice the size of Arkham island (maybe more) so people who buy a game, complete it in two days and then trade it in may have to spend a little longer on Arkham City.

The riddler trophies are painstakingly hard to find and if you do find them they are very hard to get especially when you're batman and you find one only catwoman can access. At the very start of the game you cannot complete riddles, only find trophies but they then become available later in the game.

And finally, here is a quick rundown of the characters and baddies in Batman: Arkham City:

Bruce Wayne (playable at start of game) Batman, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, The Joker, Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Robin (if you pay for him), Victor Zsasz, Hugo Strange, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, Two-Face, Alfred (voice only via radio) and many other lesser known villains who you may or may not recognise!

Thanks for reading
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contender for game of the year., 26 Oct 2011
By 
M. Paddon (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Batman: Arkham Asylam was game of the year just a couple of years ago, and so with that kind of billing to live up to its easy to worry that any sequel will not be as good in some area of other. I need not have worried as Batman: Arkham City just takes everything good from the first game and then builds on it. If you are one of those readers that only likes to read the first paragraph of a review then let me say BUY THiS GAME! It's going to be in the running for game of the year much like its predecessor. If however you like a bit more detail then read on.

WIthout trying to give away to much of the story, the premise is that Arkham Asylum has been closed down and an area of the city has been basically turned into a free for all criminal population. Basically think Escape from New York (kurt russell film) and you'd be getting the right idea. Bruce Wayne is campaigning to have this idea stopped as soon as possible when he is arrested with no real charge and instantly dumped in through the gates into the dark streets of Arkham City. And this is what is a big improvement over the first game, as while you may spend time fighting inside buildings, sewers or warehouses etc you can take hours exploring the city, or even days/weeks if you try to do everything there is in the game to do. The exploration of the city is made simple and fun by using a combination of glides and dives or using your grapple gun. I'd recomend doing one of the bonus side quests on diving and gliding as youc an get the boosted version of this, which helps even more.

Graphically Arkham City is dark, gritty and foreboding just as you'd expect from a Dark Knight graphic novel or game, and while the landmarks are ones from Gotham City I got a feel to it that made me think more of Bludhaven, which is Nightwings stomping ground (Dick Grayson/Orginal Robin before parting ways with Batman), as its far more dark and dangerous than Gotham normally is due to the complete lack of any law inside the walls.

The story line is excellent with Hugo Strange being the one pulling most of the strings to start with, and while focusing on only two or three of Batmans other worthy foes from the comics you will find many others springing up in several of the optional side quests that you can pick up while exploring around the dark streets of Arkham City. Certainly you will be seeing such faces as Joker, Two Face, Haley Quinn, Freeze, Riddler, Deadshot and many others, and I will also say that the ending of the main story line is quite a surprise, even shocking to some prehaps.

One note on the storyline is that you can play as Catwoman at parts of the story, or more after you have finished the game for the first time. You will however need to buy the game new to get this option as you get the code with the game and if someone else has used it because you bought it second hand you would need to pay about 800MSP to be able to play her as DLC. This isn't a huge deal, though maybe should have been part of the main game regardless. Maybe there way of making sure more people bought it new.

Combat in the game is very much like from Arkham Asylum, though they have changed counter attacks so that now more than one person maybe attacking you, and so you may have to counter attacks from between one to three people in some cases. Add in that there are more gadgets this time that you can use in combat and you can have some excellet fights that are really fun to do and satisfying as hell when you put together some sick 100+ combo beatdowns using all the tools at hand. Catwomans combat is similar to Batmans, but as she has whip and different gadgets then the style is different and so makes a nice change when fighting with her.

Gameplay length. This will vary on what you look to do in the game. You can finish the main storyline fairly easy within a couple of days and all the side quests in a few more. However, if you wish to complete all the Riddlers challenges I would expect most people to be at this a few weeks. Riddlers challenges vary from collecting trophys, solving riddles, combat challenges and many other things like camera or balloons destruction which can be found in various places around the streets. Certainly some of the puzzles are easy, and some a lot tougher. Like you may have to do something like stand on a switch fire off a quick batarang to turn off one switch followed by using back to back remote controlled batarangs to turn off two more before metal doors close off the routes to them. They are fun to puzzle out for sure, but will take you heaps of time if you hope to get them all done. There are also added bonus things you can do like playing combat games or campaign maps with challenges to do on them once you've completed the game through and opened these up.

Overall as I said this is a potential game of the year in my eyes, and though its going to be up against stuff like Modern Warfare 3, battlefield 3 and likely a few others I think it will have a shot for sure. I'd give this a solid 9/10 and a must buy suggestion for any gamer that enjoys Batman in general or just this type of game.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Is Less, 30 Oct 2011
By 
D. Low - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Arkham Asylum was lauded as a classic on release and surprised many for being a superhero game that was actually fun to play and made good use of its license.

Looking back however Arkham Asylum would merely have been regarded as a good game if tight gameplay and good mechanics were the only things taken into consideration. What actually made it a masterpiece was its ability to tell a cohesive story that pulled the player into its world, surprised them with twists and turns, and brought it all to a natural satisfying conclusion. A rare feat in video games.

Batman Arkham City however forgets these elements that went into making the first game so memorable. The actual gameplay is just as good as before. The voice acting is perfect, the soundtrack rich and atmospheric and the script more often than not hits all the right notes.

But something is missing. In sharp contrast to the linear progression of the first game Arkham City is more of an open world sandbox adventure set in a much bigger enviroment filled with sidequests, subplots and diversions. Where every escapade and encounter in Asylum was generated and fed directly back into its rich story, Arkham City goes out of its way to distract and dilute its already weak tale. As a result the game becomes unfocused and loses that sense of urgency that made Asylum such a tightly paced, compelling adventure.

The first game unfolded like a film with a beginning, a middle and an end. It was Die Hard on an island starring Batman. Arkham city is more like a TV series. It starts well, ends with conviction but spends the bulk of its bloated middle throwing in villains and subplots which make no impression or have scant little effect on the main story. Add to this a weak antagonist in the shape of Hugo Strange, an enjoyable if pointless re-occuring cameo from Catwoman, and villain of the week episodes starring Zsaaz and it becomes easy to forget what the hell Batmans main mission is, even after only a few hours.

While many of the games most pointless diversions are easily avoidable they are not as easy to ignore. Batman is often just pointed in the right direction to continue his quest but on the way multiple side quests pop up by way of visual clues, radio chatter, Alfred calling, Oracle calling, cameo appearances, training modes and cut scenes. In trying to cram in as much Batman lore and content as possible, their is a side effect of sensory overload that becomes disorienting.

On a much smaller scale the gameplay too is often a victim of its makers intent of stuffing everything they can think of into the game. The combat sees the addition of many new gadgets and moves that are added at such an incredible rate it becomes easy to forget just what each one actually does or even that you have them at your disposal in the first place.

To sum up, this is a good game and in truth most people will prefer it to its predecessor. But in choosing content over quality, distraction over purpose and spectacle over story, many fans could be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not the game I wanted, this is the game I needed., 26 Jun 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I held off from buying this game for a long time. It didn't feature high on my "wish-list" as I had played Arkham Asylum and feared it would be just the same. In part I was right, but I don't know why I feared that eventuality.

Arkham City does everything Asylum did but bigger, brasher and with more freedom. Although there is a lot to be said for the enclosed environment of Arkham Aslym, the selling-point and quintessential desire that these games fulfil is the longing to BE Batman. Arkham City gives the essential moment of ziplining into the shadows of Gotham's rooftops, and terrifying the criminals below.

The storyline is written by comics and Batman: TAS legend Paul Dini, meaning the dialogue is all superb. The voice-work by Kevin Conroy (who to many is the definitive Batman) is great, and a special mention goes to the phenomenal Joker by Mark Hamill.

The combat system is easy to understand but tricky to master, meaning it is not too difficult to start but can be incredibly rewarding. The storyline is excellent and the character designs merit especial mention, taking into account years of designs but blending it with the game's atmosphere. Robin and Catwoman both have excellent designs which are recognisable whilst defining themselves as Rocksteady's specific iteration.

This game is incredibly fun, incredibly deep and has enough puzzles, Riddler challenges and side-missions to keep any player interested for months. Couple that with the fact that it comes free with the Catwoman downloadable content, this game is worth the purchase for any avid gamer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Batman trying too hard., 12 Nov 2011
By 
Mr. L. A. Okeefe "scutterluke" (Birmingham England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I loved the first game and was really looking forward to this one too. I brought it on the day of release and went straight home to play. ( I actually brought the Robin edition ) the basic game play and control system are the same as in the first game and work well. The general story of the whole island been a prison works well too, it allows a much wider and more free ranging aspect of the game. I particularly liked visiting crime alley where Bruce Wayne's parents were killed it added to the back story.
However this wide free ranging aspect of the game comes at a price the main story suffers for it, the general concept is a good one but it is too short and too easy to complete. There are far too many sub-missions and diversions which are much harder than the actually game. Just like in Arkham Asylum the Riddler trophies are very hard to find and getting all of them lasts longer and is more of an effort then the actual game itself. The same can be said about the AR sections where Batman has to fly through virtual reality green hoops, these are far harder to do then it is to beat any of the bosses. That said it is still the best game I have played this year (think the new Assassins creed might steal that title when it comes out though) the back story is excellent and meeting several new Batman villains and finding out about them was a highlight; loved the Penguin, Mr Freeze, and Hush sections. It's a shame that there were not a few more new badies and a few less of the characters from the first game(calendar man and Zazz). I did like the Catwoman part of the game and I am glad I spent a bit more to play as Robin in the challenge sections it's a shame he only makes a very brief appearance. I think if they tried to make too many extra hidden bonus sections and not enough main story arch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigger Better Badder, 22 Oct 2011
By 
S. Taylor "Kal-El" (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Let me start by saying this game is amazing, its so much better than the first game and thats saying alot since arkham asylum was the game of year in 2009, This game now introduces all the villans that u didnt get the chance to see in the first one and and finally brings you closer to kicking riddlers ass, the game is also alot bigger than the first with this massive city to explore and new side missions to accomplish and new charecters to so with like catwomen, robin and nightwing, all in all this is the best super hero game on the market and i would thoroughly recommend it. Enjoy guys and girls
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman Perrfect, 30 Oct 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Pros:- Where to begin?
You are Batman, and being batman is fun!
amazing graphics, the game is beautiful
gadgets galor
creative fighting (once u get used to it and remember the moves)
dozens of characters
shed loads of dialog
the city feels alive with variety
game is always changing
catwoman levels break game up nicely
more content and side missions and collectables and trophies and riddles and stuff to keep you busy for ages
nice menue, with bios and info to read
all charaters are well developed and interesting

Cons:- as like th first game i found that on some occasions it can be difficault to know where your supposed to go, or how to get passed a door or progress through a level, or how to deal with an enemy, and this can be frustrating.

If you dont like button mashing fighting this isnt a game for you.

I am a fan of Batman, and i enjoyed the first game, and this game was made with love, and passion, it is perfect!
Batman is the way he is ment to be, a detective and scietist, who can fight, and his whole world of villans is here, the game fits so much in if feels like its gonna explode, the voice talent is brillient with Conroy and Hamil doing the voices just makes it even more perfect, this game is by far the best Batman game ever and is definatly a contender for game of the year, and is a must buy, and sooo much fun, i cant urge you enough to buy it, but then again i am biased i suppose but that aside this game is very well made and full of content it really has been made with lvoe and care and with respect to the material and history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return of the Knight, 9 April 2012
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I bought this game truly not knowing what to expect. I hadn't played Arkham Asylum but for some reason this game just called out to me. I've always enjoyed Batman and I've always enjoyed his run-ins with his notorious and engrossing villains. (My favorite being the Joker) So when I bought this game I approached it rather cautiously unsure firstly how the game would go as it was based on a comic book and if it would be any fun at all.
Well I can tell you now that the game is spectacular in almost every sense. The combat system is simple but can still be challenging, the gadgets are extensive and yet all come into their element and the storyline is simply superb. Recently the only games I've been playing have been First Person Shooters like 'Halo' and 'Call of Duty' since when I bought this 'Skyrim' was still to be released but playing this game just made it all suddenly seem like I'd been missing out on the true essence of gaming.

Arkham City is a walled off part of Gotham in which all the villains from Blackgate Prison and Arkham Asylum have been walled in as a sort of 'super prison' run by Doctor Hugo Strange. Obviously having a massive super prison on Gotham's door-step is not in the interests of Batman and so using his alter-ego of Bruce Wayne starts a campaign to shut Arkham City down only to be captured by guards and thrown into Arkham City by none other than Doctor Strange himself. I won't spoil too much of the story for you but it truly is an amazing piece of writing both in plot and in the words the characters speak and how they speak is beautiful. Mark Hamill makes his acclaimed final appearance as 'The Joker' making the game even more iconic for it. Mark Hamill has been voicing Joker for longer than I care to remember and I will miss him greatly in the roll. Kevin Conroy also returns in the role of Batman and does a great job of it but by no means are these two the only characters. 'The Oracle' is still Batman's guardian in the game helping him track down clues on the computer while Batman scales the buildings and the amount of villains is incomprehensible. Nearly every villain in the batman universe is here. Such villains in the game vary from Penguin, to Bane to R''s al Gh'l all of whom have their own special parts and there are many more villains that arise.The ending of the game was truly shocking and although I saw something coming (which I did through various things that popped up now and again) I had no idea it would end as it does.

To compact it down Arkham City is amazing and awe inspiring. It is great a accomplishment in terms of gaming, story telling and immersion for I certainly did get immersed. I felt I knew Batman and his villains before the game but after I feel like before I knew nothing and now I do know. If your a Batman fan I'm sure you will love this game and if you're not still give it a try because it really does strike a lot of good chords in how the game works and how Batman works also. I haven't even scratched upon the Riddler challenges either which will keep you playing the game long after the main story has come to a close. The game is great and you don't need to have played Arkham Asylum to be able to play this althought there are references to it. So now I'm going to buy Arkham Asylum.
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Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360)
Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360) by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (Xbox 360)
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