I took some time to get to this review with all the happenings around me both in gaming (Blizzcon) and in real life but here it is! Two years ago I discovered Batman: Akham Asylum completely by chance. I was looking for a game while my PC was down, there were few releases and Arkham Asylum looked okay. I ended up discovering one of my favorite games of all time and Arkham Asylum turned out to be one of the biggest sleeper hits of 2009.
All of this to say that a lot of people including myself were really looking forward to the sequel, Arkham City. Is it a great game? Yes! Is it better than the original? Well… yes and no. Allow me to explain.
Much of the enjoyment of the original game came down to the originality of the game. Sure, adventure/exploration games had been done before but never quite so expertly mixed and it fitted the Batman lore perfectly. Arkham City was expertly designed and gave gamers one of the absolute best Batman experiences ever.
The second game is mind-blowing in design. Arkham city has got to be one of the better designed places I’ve seen in a video-game on par with the cities that Rockstar (LA noire, GTA) design for their games. It’s also very fidel to the Batman universe once more and delivers an authentic Batman experience. What I want to convey here is that both games are great games and solid purchases but whether you like more the first or the second game will actually come down to personal taste in comic book style.
Let me explain. Over the years many artists have written and drawn for Batman. Two style of stories have sort of emerged, one style presents a down to earth Batman who is more of a detective and less of a super hero and the second style is much more classic super hero fair. Most Batman stories tend to fall in between the two extremes but personal, I prefer the grittier Batman. The first game, Arkham Asylum was very much in the vein of the first style and appealed more to me. Arkham city on the other hand goes much more toward the second style and presents a more comic book style story.
Both games are great, but you’ll probably prefer one over the other depending on your personal taste.
The collectible game!
One particular aspect I want to touch on is the insane quantity of hidden collectibles all over the place. There is literally a metric crapton of stuff to pick up and it can get quite overwhelming at first. In fact I recommend doing a normal play through first without trying to get everything and then come back once you have finished the main story to collect at your heart content. However if you don’t like collecting and finding hidden stuff in your games you will probably find Arkham City to be on the short side with the main story clocking at about 10 hours.
The monkey loved
–The whole package! Seriously, there’s little negative I can find on this game. While specific areas could use improvement, taken together, all the elements come together to make a truly great game.
The monkey would have loved:
–More emphasis on the main storyline and a bit less collecting. It can get quite overwhelming at first.
The monkey didn’t care much about:
All the combat challenges modes. Trying to pull off a perfect combo in increasingly difficult combat situations can get old pretty fast.
All in all this game is a definitive must own title along with the first game. You’ll probably prefer one over the other but in the end both are great games!