Review: Batman Arkham City (Xbox 360)

By Wayne Webb

It’s not often I have no complaints about a game – sometimes even the ones that I love have small, niggling things wrong with them. But there are exceptions such as Portal 2 and Modern Warfare. Now Batman Arkham City joins my list of perfect games.

Returning to the Gotham City we left at the end of the previous outing (a great game in its own right: Arkham Asylum), the sequel takes the original concept and kicks it up a gear or two. The claustrophobic level design set within the walls of the Asylum and its buildings is replaced with dozens of city blocks and massive internal areas to play outside missions and the main story line within.

Arkham has become a giant free-flowing walled city within the larger city and is presided over by the classic villain Hugo Strange, and, as always, the Joker is omnipresent with his fingerprints being left in many parts of the game.

There’s a rogue’s gallery of Batman villains, some in the main story – others buried in side missions you may not see until later on if you are going back and returning for the unlocakables, collectibles and side missions that litter the city. There’s much to see and do in the dark gothic metropolis of Batman’s home city. Coming back again and again, the game will provide true value for money.

The design is stunning and detailed, and is complimented by the always excellent Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as our main protagonists, Batman and The Joker. You can follow the main line of the story and rush through the plot, or take your time and eke out every little mission, goal or test designed to push you to your limits as a gamer. There’s flying, racing against the clock, seek-and-destroy missions and of course the hand-to-hand combat, which is the most gratifying thing of all. Controls are as simple as you want them to be. You can either opt for the button mashing 2 or 3 presses to execute dozens of crafted and bone-jarring moves, or use the plethora of acquired bat-gadgets to enhance your fighting (and winning) skills.

I’m sure given time and endless replays I might find something wrong with it, but I can’t fault it.

Pros: Great story, engaging gameplay, satisfying combat, loads of replay value, stunning design.
Cons: None

5 Shacks Out Of 5