Swooping out of the shadows with a vengence, Batman: Arkham City has finally arrived and it’s being hailed as one of the greatest games of this year (and that’s saying a lot). People are calling it “Crackdown with Batman” and it currently sits at a 95 on Metacritic (97 on PS3).
I played the game for a few hours last night and I’m seriously impressed so far. Arkham City runs on the Unreal engine just like Gears of War, but I’d go as far to say that Batman actually looks better than Gears. Checking your cryptographic sequencer on a rooftop with the Gotham skyline in the background and the spotlights casting lens flares all over the screen looks really really good. As nerdy as that sentence is, I just can’t get over how awesome the game looks.
The combat has also been refined too, so it’s a lot smoother than Arkham Asylum if you can believe it. There’s an upgrade system that works like Deus Ex’s where when you gain 2000 experience you will get a talent point that can be used to upgrade your suit or gadgets. The story is pretty cool so far too, but I still don’t get why someone thought building a giant prison in the middle of Gotham was a good idea (or how they got all the criminals in there) but I’m sure that will be explained later. I’m also enjoying Hugo Strange as an enemy; he’s of a different breed than the Joker, although the Clown Prince of Crime makes his presence known too (voiced deftly by Mark Hamill once again). I’m also enjoying the more open nature of Arkham City as opposed to the hub and spoke design of Asylum. Stalking the rooftops as Batman is just as awesome as you think it would be and the ability to glide between buildings makes it all the sweeter.
So far I’m really liking the game, but as with every massive release, we here at GamerSushi like to get your opinion on it. So, are you playing Batman? What are your thoughts?