Batman: Arkham City

I played the heck out of Batman: Arkham Asylum since its release a few years ago.  It was just an overall amazing game that had a perfect mix of stealth, combat and exploration.  Its sequel came out last week and naturally I picked it up and it does not disappoint.

The engine is the same and combat is essentially the same – everything just flows.  The difference is using gadgets in combat.  You can stick bombs on people in combat, or run up on their shoulders or dive bomb from the skys onto their heads.  There just isn’t a break in the combat, which feels great.   The game has an overworld of sorts, where you’re essentially in a city and have access to mini-zones (in the form of buildings) for story driven content.  The overworld is big enough and diverse enough but with upgrades to your cape and grapnel, you can travel from one end to the other in about 90 seconds in the air.  I’m sure it would be 5-10 minutes on foot.  Plenty of Riddler trophies and achievements to get (400 total), all of which can be marked on the map if you find an informant.

Voice acting is still amazing, a lot out of the 90s cartoon.  The story is pretty strong and the gameplay diversity is strong (throw ice bombs to create patches that you can float on, then pull yourself along the water) but at the same time it throws nearly all of it at you at once.  You’ll find Riddler trophies all over the place and 30% of them you won’t be able to get until you have the proper upgrades.  Even some of the missions will try your patience due to wonky situations and just simple bad luck.

That being said, it’s an amazingly strong game.  I wouldn’t put it equal to Deus Ex since it’s a different target audience but it’s one of the best games I’ve played in a very long time.