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Batman: Arkham City (PS3/PC/360)

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{tab=Info} Batman: Arkham City is a 2011 action-adventure video game developed by Rocksteady Studios. It is the sequel to the 2009 video game Batman: Arkham Asylum, based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. The game was released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows.

The game was officially announced during the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards and was released worldwide for consoles, beginning in North America on October 18, 2011, with the PC version scheduled for November. A Wii U version is scheduled for release in 2012.

The game was written by Paul Dini. The game features a main plot and a subplot. Side missions are available instead of an open-world concept. The main plot revolves around Batman being captured and thrown into half of Gotham City, with prisoners of Black Gate Prison and Arkham Asylum, called Arkham City. Consequently, Batman must now stop mishaps around the city. The game has received universal acclaim from critics. {tab=Review(PS3)} Some years ago, a small studio from London named Rocksteady, pleased us with a game we all remember dearly, named Batman: Arkham Asylum. Reaching critical success almost everywhere, Rocksteady decided to give us a sequel. Obviously, they knew the sequel had to be bigger and better than the past installment. Did they succeed?

Arkham City, released some weeks ago, is by lack of a better word, great. It's been a year since the Arkham Asylum incident. Arkham was left practically destroyed, and Blackgate couldn't handle the amount of criminals in Gotham City. This is why, Quincy Sharp, mayor of Gotham, decided to send them all to the old streets of Gotham, placing a Giant wall around it, to keep them from going out. The zone was named Arkham City. Arkham City is protected by TYGER, but these forces follow the orders of someone who has dark plans for the city. Worried about this, Wayne decides to leave the Batman suit and start his political campaign to try and stop what's going on inside Arkham City.

Overall, the story in Arkham City shines in so many levels. It really makes it hard to speak about it. This is a story worthy of Batman, this is worthy of one of the biggest comic heroes of all time. The story is filled with mystery, plot twists and it never leaves the pace it starts with. And added to the main storyline, side quests are too interesting and fun to be left aside, showing us a big amount of known faces which you will end up beating up. Arkham City will make you feel like you are indeed the guy behind the mask.

Unlike Arkham Asylum, Arkham City never shows the big mastermind behind it all. You will never know who it is, and every single enemy feels like a threat to our hero. Not all of them play a large role in the story, some are left for secondary missions, like Riddle; which comes back to challenge us.

Arkham City is a place full of life. Going from place to place will be fun, since you will find lots of enemies to beat up, and most of them can be taken out in numerous ways. For the most part though, I spent my time gliding around from point A to point B, skipping every single enemy in the area, since there is no real reason to go and fight them, and even when you're almost forced to fight, you can skip the fight easily and head to your destination.

In terms of gameplay, Arkham City, is not so different from Arkham Asylum, but now you will have a wider environment to go through. The experience tree is back, letting you upgrade your armour, gadgets and abilities every time you level up. Some of the abilities you get to learn are way useful, specially when you are fighting armed enemies, since you will be able to destroy their weapon. Other skills give you amazing finishing moves which will end the misery of your enemies.

Arkham City, lets you choose how you want to destroy your enemies. If you're a person which likes heights, gargoyles will help your way, or if you wanna go underground, you can access pipes and such. For some reason, I couldn't help but feel that I was playing a stealth game, there were few opportunities where I was able to fight my enemies without using stealth. The reason is that, when you advance throughout the game, most thugs will be armed, and most of them can kill you easily when you start fighting them.

To help Batman, the batclaw, the explosives and every other device Batman uses is back and better than ever. Controls are really complicated but easy to learn. Once you get to know what you can do with the control and how to use it, you'll really feel like the Dark Knight. To help you achieve this task, the game will place special markers around the city, which will start an AR. AR is a training mode to master many of Batman moves.

Added to all this, you can play as Catwoman, which has little participation in the game, but is fun to handle. She can be used anytime after you finish the game, and you will be able to continue her storyline after you do so. She will have her own story and she will cross her path with Batman's sometimes, depending on your decisions.

Visually speaking, Batman Arkham City offers plenty to look at. Environments look amazing and developer Rocksteady did manage to pull something amazing. The city feels alive, every little part of it has so much detail, that sometimes you will just climb up to a building and wow at how well things look. Environments apart, are just a small part of the epicness. Great physics, colours and textures give the game the dark atmosphere the game deserves.

It's awesome to notice how Batman's suit gets damaged every time you're into a fight with a big enemy. The game lets you feel how painfully it is to be Bruce Wayne, specially towards the end of the game. I would've loved voice acting to make me feel this way; I'm not saying it is bad though, but sometimes, specially when Batman is in really BAD shape, the voices feel the same as if he hadn't fought some seconds ago.

Speaking of sound, the quality of it is amazing. Sound effects are credible, even if finishing moves sound a bit exaggerated. The score in the game is superb and there is nothing left in the dark, everything sounds just incredible.

Closing up, Batman Arkham city achieves the task of outdoing Arkham Asylum in almost every possible way. It gives us a dark and glorious world to traverse and explore, with plenty of side quests and ARs to do. This is what hero games should be like, this is what a video game sequel should be like. Even when you finish the game, Arkham City will have lots of things to offer and there will always be variety to be found here.

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