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Batman: Arkham City on Playstation 3, Xbox 360

You Thought the Asylum was Tough

While opening gifts on Christmas morning, a familiar shape was presented. This finely wrapped gift was opened and childhood memories were racing through my head. The spending of countless hours sitting in front of the television on Saturday mornings watching cartoons and memorizing the theme songs. One particular theme song rang in my head as the game case of Batman: Arkham City flashed into view. I sat there thinking “Batman is one of the lamer superheroes that the 20th century coughed up.” The day passed as I was thinking about what this game will do to change my mind. My doubts ceased when I placed the disc into my Playstation 3.

Gotham is viewed through a reporter’s camera, panning towards Bruce Wayne standing at a podium discussing a political movement against the newly formed Arkham City. The city is a development by the mayor of Gotham and failed warden of the Arkham Asylum. The mayor has appointed Hugo Strange to be in charge of the new city. The city is a part of Gotham that is surrounded by walls where all the criminals in Gotham have been thrown into. Strange knows Wayne is Batman, so he immediately throws him into the facility so that he does not close his new area of power. Hugo is also enforcing the elusive Protocol 10 that few of the inmates know about.

The city is a large map full of most villains that are associated with the Batman cast. From Joker to Solomon Grundy the villains are everywhere fighting for their claim of the city. The amount of their minions is close to uncountable, with their own groups that patrol the specific areas claimed by their leaders. The drama involved in this video game is identical to that of a Batman movie. The hatred between the super villains is easily conveyed. The compassion between certain characters can show you their disposition towards another.
“Free-flow” fighting has been whittled down to become smooth as can be. The counter attacks are feasible and are not what you normally expect from a video game. The movements of Batman are similar to what people can actually do in real life. There are a few abnormalities that can be explained by the background of Bruce. The artificial intelligence and voice of the enemies are true to their character. Thugs will put on thermal goggles to see where the Dark Knight is. Mr. Freeze factors in previous tactics that you have used against him and guards accordingly. The feelings expressed by some criminals are changing as you take out their buddies. From cocky to fearful and giving up, they are ever changing. Rocksteady studios really focused on emotions to bring this game a more realistic feel

Cameras are usually within your control, giving you the freedom to position an attack or to scout ahead effectively. Although the cut scenes are without your control, they provide a cinematic experience to the game. You can see the progression of illness and the cure of it in and away from the cut scenes. Camera view is huge in this game and can clearly be the changer from failing a mission to an experience boost.

This game astonished me. One of the worse, media-fed, superheroes in my mind has become a king in hand to hand combat. He has become equivalent in stealth to a Cold War era spy. He is an intelligent man who never kills anyone, even when his life is on the line. The Dark Knight is the law bringer in this corrupt city ruled by Strange.





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