Batman: Arkham City is the sequel to the hit game Batman: Arkham Asylum, which was released in 2009, and this turned out to be a greater success than it's predecessor. This is yet one of the best Batman games ever, and some of your favorite voice actors from the 90s cartoon return, as well as new ones. There are also allies and more enemies from the Batman universe as well. Some character's voices are changed, but that does not stop this game from being ultimately epic. Since I bought the Game of the Year edition and beat it, it's time to review this awesome game.
Plot. Bruce Wayne in Gotham City holds a press conference to oppose Mayor Sharp's project on Arkham City. While he is speaking, Wayne is arrested by TYGER operatives led by Dr. Hugo Strange, who knows his dual identity as Batman. Strange plans to release Wayne into the criminal populace while preparing to commence "Protocol 10", but then Wayne escapes and thanks to Alfred, he becomes Batman. He first saves Catwoman from being executed by Harvey "Two Face" Dent, who believes that by killing her will get him respect. But then, after saving her from being murdered by the Joker, Batman tracks him down to Sionis Steelworks, believing that Joker knows something about Protocol 10. But Batman is set up, and Joker transfuses his blood to the Dark Knight, infecting him with his sickness he got from the Titan formula, which is mutating and killing him. Batman must now find a way to cure himself.
Like in Arkham Asylum, this game also has side-story DLCs such as Harley Quinn's Revenge, where you get to play as Robin, and also the Catwoman Episodes. Not just challenges and side stories, but also you get cool costumes for Batman, Robin, Nightwing, and Catwoman. Batman has costumes from the 1970s cartoon, the 1990s cartoon, Batman Beyond, Earth One, The Dark Knight Returns, and even the Sinestro Corps. The other three also have different costumes from the cartoon and comics as well.
Concept. As Batman you get to fight many criminals and save political prisoners in all of Arkham City. You have to complete quests and sidequests in order to save Gotham City from it's destruction. As Catwoman you can fight against Two-Face and Poison Ivy. Meanwhile in Harley Quinn's Revenge, you play as Robin in order to save Batman from the clutches of the sexy harlequin. Collecting Trophies can earn new maps for different challenges as well as training simulations, but finding them will not be an easy task. You fight new bosses that were not seen in the last game such as Two-Face, Ra's Al Ghul, and so on.
Design. Outside of Arkham Asylum, players are now playing in a much larger, expanded, and even more dangerous world where only criminals rule the streets. Batman has also new moves such as a dive bomb while gliding, and he can also escape easily from armed thugs by using his smoke pellets. New enemies have also upgraded their combat as some of them carry riot shields, and some one armed hulking thugs with hammers that can be very hard to beat. Developers at Rocksteady have also assured players that they can experience variety as each part of the city has been taken over by a certain villain and each territory is villain-specific. Dax Ginn, Marketing Game Manager at Rocksteady Games has said, "If you move into Joker's territory, you get a very Joker-ized experience, and all the artwork on the buildings – whether that's graffiti, signage, or whatever it might be – gives you a dense kind of Joker experience. So our art team has really put a lot of effort in making that sort of transition between one turf zone to another – really helping the player feel like they're making a physical transition into another emotional space.
Voice Acting. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill return for their respective roles and Paul Dini, writer of the DC Animated Universe cartoons is also involved in the project of this game. Arleen Sorkin is replaced by veteran voice actress, Tara Strong as the voice of Harley Quinn. Other notable voices include Kari Wahlgren, Nolan North, Dee Bradley Baker, and more.
Music. Ron Fish and Nick Arundel return as the game composers, and they did a far more excellent job than in Arkham Asylum. Most theme songs fitted the dark and grim world of Batman, and the fight scenes in the game. I really enjoyed it all.
Rantings. Now even games that are so very well made have some things that gamers like myself would rant about. The rantings I have are that this game has more thugs with guns than before and you are increasingly outnumbered. Titan thugs are now smarter as you can't affect them with the batarangs anymore when they charge at you. Now, what I didn't like about the Cryptographic Sequencer is that you need to level them up in order to hack high level doors. Another dislike is that you can't upgrade the Batclaw anymore.
Good Aspects. Things that I like about this game are not just the graphics, music and gameplay, but also the storyline as well. And the Catwoman and Harley Quinn subplots were very well written. Paul Dini definitely knows what he does and also he knew what he did when he worked with Bruce Timm in the DC Animated Universe. Some gadgets got some upgrades from Arkham Asylum, which could get you to places that are inaccessible in the beginning. The game's replay value is very high, and this game will shock you and make you jump from the edge of your seat.
Overall. Batman: Arkham City is a great game to play, if you don't want to spend your money on Xbox Live or the PSN with DLCs, I suggest you purchase the GOTY edition. Have fun with Arkham City, for it is a great game. This game gets a 10 out of 10.
God Bless and Play Hard Gamers!