What’s up guys? Finally, here is the review of Batman: Arkham City. I apologize for the review being so late, the past month and a half have been kinda nuts, but here it is!! Short Story: Six months have passed since the events of Arkham Asylum and things seem to have gotten worse. Since then, Quincy Sharp, the warden of Arkham has now become the mayor of Gotham City and converted the slums of Gotham into a maximum security prison city where the criminals rule the roost so to speak. The city is under the watchful eye of TYGER, a police force chosen to make sure no criminals get out or cause any huge damage, and this task force is under the command of Professor Hugo Strange. Bruce Wayne finds himself trapped inside of Arkham City after being taken captive by TYGER guards and being brought to Strange…who knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Now, Batman must survive a night in Arkham City, which will not be an easy task seeing as he will be taking on the likes of Two-Face, The Peguin, and once again The Joker, who seems to the dying from his Titan overdose from Arkham Island(and who has played the ultimate prank on Batman by infecting him with his own poison blood, now Batman is racing against the clock to find a cure). Score: Arkham City went above and beyond my expectations. I intentionally avoided reading anything about the storyline before the game came out because I really wanted to be surprised as the game went on. And I was completely blown away. The story was amazing and had one of the best endings I’ve ever seen in a video game. And the gameplay was very well done, it’s even more fluid than Arkham Asylum. Throw in the ability to play as the very attractive Cat Woman in the campaign and being able to play as a new and improved Robin and also Night Wing in the challenge mode and Rocksteady has given you as close to a perfect game as it possibly can. Batman: Arkham City is getting my very first score of 5 out of 5. Body of Review: Good Things: There were so many good things about Arkham Asylum. The story in itself is absolutely amazing. The scene when The Joker poisoned Batman in order to find a cure for the Titan overdose completely blew my mind. That whole plot line was incredible and was written in true Joker fashion. Only the Joker will intentionally infect his arch nemesis because he knows that Batman would find a cure to save them both then to let the Joker die from it. Awesome. Just awesome. There were a lot of twists in this game. From the Joker poisoning you to the return of Ras al Ghul, Arkham City really had a lot to offer to the story, and that’s not mentioning the side missions. There were a number of side missions in the game, and each one introduced even more villains that Batman encounters than what we thought leading up to the games release. For example, there are a number of murders coming up around the city and each victim seems to have been killed by a sniper. All evidence points towards the deadly marksmen Dead Shot. Some missions will lead you to Black Mask, some take you into a small fight with Bane, and you have a brief run in with The Mad Hatter. So the number of main villains is quite large and impressive. Speaking of additional characters, it was an absolute blast getting to play as Catwoman. She’s as dangerous as she is beautiful and as quick and agile as the animal she derives her name from. Her missions were very fun to do. We originally find Catwoman as Batman. She is being held captive by Two-Face and is about to be judged and executed by the former Gotham DA, but is rescued by Batman. Catwoman’s story goes like this: Catwoman’s loot has been stolen by Two-Face and his men, and now she is Hell bent on getting her stuff back by any means necessary. She beats up Poison Ivy and gets her to help her get into Two-Face’s vault which has her things. When Catwoman gets her loot back she intends on leaving Arkham City and going on with her life. Catwoman’s story and Batman’s story eventually intertwine again. At the end of Catwoman’s story she(kinda) has a choice. She can either walk out the doors of Arkham City with her loot and enjoy her life in Gotham, or she can stay in Arkham City and rescue the recently captured Batman. The game does give you the choice of doing either, but if you choose not to save Batman, an alternate credits sequence will roll, but it will rewind and you will have to choose to save Batman to finish the overall campaign. Still, very cool though. Getting to play as Robin is actually pretty damn cool. They have made him dark and gritty and not so campy and lame than the Robin we all know. So don’t expect any “Holy whatever Batman!” lines while he beats the ever living shit out of thugs in the challenge maps. This particular Robin is one of Tim Drake and not the original Robin, Dick Grayson. But the original Robin has not been left out of Arkham City. Dick Grayson will make an appearance as Night Wing as DLC which I believe should be available now. While Robin makes a couple of appearances in the main story, he and Night Wing are only playable in the challenge mode(which kinda sucks). Like I said earlier, the gameplay in Arkham City is even more fluid and free flowing than is was in Arkham Asylum, which I didn’t think was possible. What I found very cool and fun is that Batman now uses the environment to take down his foes. When he counters an attack near a wall or rail, he will use said wall or rail to take down his enemy, he usually bashes their head into it, which is always fun to do. Another this that is very cool this time around is that you can now counter multiple enemies at once, which makes to some really stylized combo moves executed by the character. The boss fights too were quite fun this time around. In particular, the fight against Mr. Freeze. This fight was both fun and difficult because unlike other enemies of Batman, Freeze catches on to Batman’s tricks and disables the means to do damage to him after Batman hurts him. So there isn’t a set pattern to defeating Freeze like there is with the other bosses, so that was very fun. Batman also has some new gadgets to play with in this game. The one you use the most would be a gun that shoots out bursts of electricity. There are a number of doors around Arkham City that need electrical currents to open them, and that’s where this particular gadget comes into play. It can also be used to temporarily disable enemies. Some other new gadgets include: a sonic baterang(which will distract nearby enemies), and an ice blast grenade(which can be used to close up steam pipes and can be used to make a platform when thrown into water). Some of Batman’s existing gadgets return and can be given upgrades by completing tutorials throughout Arkham City. And the cryptograghic encrypter has gotten a major over hall and is now used as a radio frequency detector and has made hacking into devices a lot more fun. Bad Things: If there is one complaint about Arkham City, it’s that you can’t play as Robin and Night Wing in Arkham City. I’m hoping that Rocksteady will release some story DLC that will feature either Robin or Night Wing, or both perhaps? Maybe? Please? Conclusion: You can’t really ask for a better game than Arkham City. It had a great story, wonderful gameplay, and some great voice acting featuring the talents once again of Kevin Conroy as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Mark Hamill as the Joker, and Stana Katic as Talia al Ghul(for those who do not know, Stana Katic is currently a star on ABC’s Castle, co-starring the always awesome Nathan Fillion). Expect to see this game to be highly considered for game of the year. It certainly has my vote. All right guys. That does it for me for now. Next month I will be reviewing Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition. Stay tuned guys. Laterz!!