One of the games I was really looking forward to playing at PAX was Batman: Arkham City. I don’t have to list the reasons do I? Batman: Arkham Asylum was the best Batman game ever made in like … EVER. The sequel had some big shoes to fill and I was eager to see if Rocksteady could pull it off.
Did they? Hell yeah they did. One of the things I wanted in Batman: Arkham City was more gadgets, more combos, fine tuned gameplay, more batlike action and well just more! I’m happy to report that it’s all there. Batman has more gadgets to use and a bigger selection of moves to employ as he puts boot to face on many bad guys.
One of the things I’m happy about is hearing that you won’t have to start over with collecting any gadgets. You’ll start with everything you had gained in the first game. There won’t be any progress connection or tie-in but you’ll have the same kick ass gadgets as well as gaining new ones along the way.
The demo they were showing had you playing as both Catwoman and Batman. I couldn’t capture any video but I can break down what it is I played.
*spoiler alert* You actually have to use Batman to save Catwoman initially. Catwoman was fast, sleak and sexy by the way. Her moves were graceful and not as forceful as Batman. Controlling her just felt so much different. Seeing Catwoman in action made me anticipate playing as Robin even more.
Even though I didn’t get to play as Catwoman, I did dawn the cape. There is nothing quite like controlling Batman as he glides through the air and grapples from ledge to ledge. There’s a new element added to his gliding that I call the dash. You can hold down the A button when you shoot your grapple to quickly zip Batman to his destination. If you perform it just right, you’ll be able to navigate above and beyond to the next ledge.
Doing a hang gliding batkick never gets old especially when you do it from a high ledge! The thugs you come across seem to be more of the same. I didn’t get far enough into the game to notice the larger and more difficult henchmen. But the ones I did fight were no match for my combo and countering skills. Even Rocksteady’s Dax himself said that my countering and combo skills are “off the chain”.
The combos and countering felt so much more fluid. I dished out plenty of damage to unsuspecting thugs. One of my favorite ways to punish them was using my Batcape to stun them and then brutally pound them with a fist combo that would make the Fist of the Northstar proud. You tap the B button for Batman to swing his cape and stun the enemy. From there you can go into a serious fist pounding move coupled with the usual slow-motion pound for full effect.
Another cool feature of the game was the way you navigate the city. I love the new Bat symbol that graces the skies to lead you to your next objective. That’s just one example of how the play of the game has been improved as well as the look of it. Batman: Arkham City is one of the best looking games on the Xbox 360 if not the best. The atmosphere and grittiness of Arkham is very much a character of its own.
So with all this said I’m confident in saying that Batman: Arkham City will be the best Batman game ever made in like .. EVER, EVER. Oh and Dax my friend I do forgive you for not calling that one last number that would have given me the Arkham City console!
Dammit if you only knew how badly I wanted that console! (smiles) Let’s go October 18th! Hey maybe someone will be so kind as to buy me the Arkham City console and the game because my birthday is a week after its release.