Batman: Arkham City: Armored Edition is a launch game for the Wii U, a highly touted port of Rocksteady's 2011 game. A compact version, collecting everything that other players had to wait months to get (and included on the bottom line; no extra DLC charges, thank you!), Armored Edition bursts through the wall and silently takes down all of your free time.
All of Gotham City's thugs and super-villains are housed in a single area, "a sprawling mega-prison" that Bruce Wayne has been thrown into as well after a brutal kidnapping. Is there no escape?!
Not including all of the packs that were given to us off the bat (which allows us to play as Catwoman, too, seemlessly and as part of the main story, not just side stuff), the list of things that this game does well can be quite lengthy.
First and foremost, the game controls very well, and fluidly. Often in combat (pictured below), an enemy will come at you with a fists-a-blazing, or some sort of dangerous weapon, and a signal will appear above their head. At this point, you can hit the counter button to turn the tables, and it works even better when you're getting it from all angles. In other games where you'd have to nail it perfectly, here you can just tap the counter button twice in succession, and you pull off a radical double takedown. As someone who has spent some time reading Batman comics, and watching the Batman movies through the years, watching the Caped Crusader dump a pile of thugs in seconds feel second nature. I never found myself saying "would Batman really do that?;" you may chuckle, but I ask that question of games. Often. Included in this game is the all-new B.A.T. Mode for Batman, a toggle that fires him into overdrive, doing mega-damage. Great for a pinch, but can only be on for so long before running out of juice. Quite helpful.
Combat feels like "Batman," and his Gadgets feel like "Batman," too. Straight from the famed Utility Belt, they're all here (and more!): Batarangs, smokebombs, the grapnel gun (used for grappling to rooftops AND disarming foes in combat), and one of my favorites, the Line-Launcher. Where does he get those wonderful toys? Not included in there, but what may surely be one of Batman's greatest assets is the Wii U GamePad. Working right ouf of the gate, players finally get to experience a map 100% of their playtime without it clogging up the stage. Many games that are map-heavy require oodles of pausing, or an on-screen depiction that is not nearly as detailed as it needs to be. Here a simple slide of a finger can allow you to zoom in heavily to your heart's desire, and even set yourself a custom waypoint (reflected on the TV) so you can get exactly where you need to go.
Besides the map, you also have GamePad specific controls that can't be experienced elsewhere. One of the coolest things I got to do (even though I was doing it wrong at first..) was inspect a "crime scene," looking for clues. Aligning the GamePad with the TV, so you and Batman are on the same page, you can navigate the room looking for something that doesn't seem quite right with the dual analog sticks. Haha, the way that I was doing it -- and again, this was REALLY COOL so don't laugh -- was standing right in the middle of the room, and using the GamePad like my eyes; I could look where my couch is and see something totally different, completely surrounded in 360 degrees of Arkham City. For a moment, I was Batman (and the bullet hole was near the throw rug, by the way..). A remote control Batarang can be handled in a similar manner; first person view on the GamePad, and steered via analog sticks and/or the accelerometer.
Beyond the GamePad, fans of DC and Batman's Rogues Gallery will find much to be excited about here. Sparing the spoilers, I'll simply say that they've dug deep into the bag with some of these guys, and newer / more casual fans of Batman may not even know about these characters. I enjoyed it quite much, sir.
Lastly, Riddler has made sure that you never get bored with your Main mission, so he has hidden what seems like a thousand trophies around the City (it's probably more like 300 total, as well as breakable objects, and some Riddles, too). For the completionist, this is..haha, either a nightmare or a dream come true. Getting almost every single trinket in Arkham City, finishing the Story Mode, doing every Side Quest, and some Bonus stuff will only net you about 70% completion (according to my file, anyways), and nearly everything that you can pick up in the City is linked to some unlockable Bonus Material -- score (check out the super-detailed 3D models)! In that, Riddler has also arranged for some Challenge Rooms outside of the main mode promising hours upon hours of combat, skill usage, and predatory takedowns on unsuspecting foes.
Needless to say, there is a LOT to get distracted by in Arkham City...
All of that awesome aside, this is not a game for everyone. The size and scope of the City can be daunting for some, and quite easy to become lost and turned around in seconds flat. Of course, this can be remedied by repetition and simply acclimating yourself to your surroundings, but for the less patient gamer, this is a death sentence. With most true sequels, it is often assumed that you played through the first game and you know how everything works to a T. For Wii U and Nintendo-only fans, this was, and is, impossible.
While Riddlers clues and trophies and everything else is enjoyable, there is just sooo much to get. You can take Riddler out of commission before finding every single thing (so you don't need ALL of it..), but after you've got him..the interest just isn't there as it once was. Also, I've been told repeatedly that you can't advance the game or do something that you can't get back to, but I am 100% convinced that you CAN indeed mess up some clues for yourself, and you can do nothing about it. One of Riddlers most challenging..challenges is having you take a picture, so to speak, of a bright green Question Mark -- the squiggly part and a dot (you know, ..like a Question Mark) -- but it can only be captured properly from a unique perspective. This often includes climbing up somewhere high and flying over top, or crawling out on a ledge or something similar. One of the earlier trophies you find (before you might even be aware of this Question Mark business) is glowing green from below the water. Once you collect that trophy, the bottom of your dot is forever lost, and that puzzle is seemingly unsolvable.
While there is a NewGame+ mode, the main mode doesn't grant you much variety in standard battle. Some of the boss fights were pretty cool, but you can practically sleepwalk through thug encounters doing the same things you always do. This isn't a gigantic negative for me personally, but I know that some people would find this as unfavorable. As the game goes on, you find yourself facing stronger guys, packing body armor, shielding, or special weapons that require another way to get to them. It is my understanding that NewGame+ gives you these guys straight from the start. The training wheels are off, friend.
Something this picture doesn't do well is do the game justice.
All things considered, this is probably one of the best games I've played in a while, and the perfect game to launch with the Wii U. Great graphics, great sound (including the ultra-immersive "getting your bell rung," reflected by blurred vision and distorted / dropout sound), a gripping story that kept me guessing and on edge, and a game that you wish you could do all over again for the first time. There are talks of a sequel, but the way that things are nowadays, nobody surely knows what will be available, or when, or if. That said, I'm not really sure how there could be a sequel-sequel as a lot of these things were sewn up pretty tight.. In any event, this game has showed us that Batman and this universe belongs on the Wii U.
Should you give it a shot? Absolutely. This was my Game of the Year pick for Negative World, but the bigwigs here disqualified it; fear of the Dark Knight, I guess.. If you're reading this review, you're probably up to the task...unless you just stumbled across Negative World and you aren't sure what you're reading (while you're here, sign up! It is Free and Fun! Have you seen our Newsletter? Wow!).
Not much else can be said that hasn't been said already, unless I've glossed over something huge while being preoccupied by so much else. If this helps you get off the fence and into the Batmobile (not included, sorry -- there, theres another negative: no Batmobile..), then I'm glad I could help. Harnessing the power of the Wii U GamePad in the Batman universe is something that should be experienced firsthand, not through someone else's silent, motionless text. Do yourself a favor and get this game today. If you've played it before, I don't know how much will be completely new to you, but the GamePad functions were pretty neat, and the 'map in your lap' is something that I don't know if I could ever play videogames without again. (I'm looking squarely at you, Metroid series..)
It was a complete joy to play, and if you know me, you know how seriously I take my videogame scoring. My opinion is that there is no perfect 10.0 game out there, but you can get pretty close..and this game got pretty close. Among Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy III (US), Ocarina of Time, and Monster Hunter Tri, Batman: Arkham City: Armored Edition is the newest addition to my very own hallowed ground.
Hey! I didn't put Batman's Codpiece on the cover! ALSO, if you're counting Catwoman, that is the ONLY picture I have that isn't blurry -- had to stand still. (These were taken off of my TV, by Nikki, while I was playing. Really!!! These are MY pictures, -I- own them.)
Oh, yes, thank you, I really did! I should've mentioned that some of those sidequests (either by design or dumb luck) were actually completed AFTER the story mode, so I had to go back into my file even after the credits. How 'bout that?
And that crime scene deal is almost exactly like the ZombiU Scanner.
Oh, thanks! Yeah, I dunno, I didn't feel right snaking images from the internet. I know that vidcap software would be hugely better, but what can ya do? And yes, I like the GamePad map stuff. I wish I had taken a picture when it was lit up with A BILLION things instead of what I have here. My options were Nikki's file at the beginning, or my file at the end when there was next to nothing left.
I just bought this game on sunday. I only had to pay a total of $9.33 and that includes tax. Read on as I explain how I got such a great deal on the game.
I had a 20% off coupon for Gamestop. I received it in an email since it was my b-day this month. I had to buy a used copy, which is fine by me. As long as everything is include, case, paperwork, ect and its all in "like-new" condition is my only stipulation when buying used games. They had the game priced at $44.49.
I got $9.00 off for the 20% and then another $3.60 off from my Power Up card., which brings the total to $32.39. Then add in tax brings the total to $34.33. Now, at that price I would have been very happy, but it gets better. I had a gift card for $25 for the surveys I complete for e-rewards, so I only ended up paying a measly $9.33 for the game. Needless to say, I was very, very happy with that deal.
When my son and I went out, I had no idea if Gamestop would even have any games I wanted. I was thinking I would have to get a 3DS game, but when I saw they had 1 copy of Batman Arkham City for the Wii U, I had to have it. Plus, just recently the price for a brand new Batman Arkham City was dropped to $49.99 and I could tell they dropped the price from $54.99 to $44.99. If I had went a week earlier, I would have had to fork out an extra $10 for the game, which still would have been a terrific deal.
That brings my Wii U game total up to 6 games: NintendoLand, Zombi U, Super Mario U and Batman for retail games. I've downloaded Trine 2 and Little Inferno.
Yeah, thanks-- and it was apparently good enough to put me through to the 2nd Round in the review contest?! My gosh, I was certain I was done for. Totally a tough draw, and as you could see, it was pretty close all the way through. I pulled away in the waning hours it seems, but my goodness.
So the game; how far in are you? How long have you played? Did you also have experience with Arkham Asylum, or would this be your first venture into Arkham Real Estate?
I never played Asylum.....remember, I only own Nintendo consoles. I have not started the game yet. I'm just now getting into Super Mario U.
To be honest, I never got a chance to vote in the 1st round, though, I would have voted for your review, so I guess its not like my vote would have changed anything. I did read all the reviews in round 1 and everyone did a great job.
I really have not been on the internet much lately, which means I have not been on Negative World much. Seems I keep missing out on these polls. Anyways, I remember way back in Nov. saying I would review Zombi U. Heck, I have barely played it. Too many things going on in my personal life to really to be able to get into gaming and its a shame, but the way things went in the end of Nov and Dec. kindof tarnished the release of the Wii U. Not that I wasn't excited about Nintendo's new system, but life has a way of sucking the joy out of things. I've just recently started getting back into gaming. I completed Little Inferno a week or so ago. I need to get into my retail games now. Like I mentioned above, Im about 3 hours into Mario U.
I have noticed that the next wave of reviews are up. I glanced over them, some of them are really long. I read the shorter ones and will get to the longer ones later tonight.
Yeah, haha, there are precious few of us who only owned Nintendo consoles left, haha. I could never do another console nowadays; I barely have time for one! (Maybe because I still play my older ones? Hmm.)
Anyway, let me know when you dig into Arkham City. Good luck out there!
Yeah, haha, there are precious few of us who only owned Nintendo consoles left, haha.
Hey, I'm one of those precious few! But I'm a Nintendo-only guy for consoles AND handhelds, so I have even more games to play, and yeah, it's a LOT.
Anyway, I just started playing my copy of Batman earlier this week (did you see my Miiverse post) and I love what I've played so far! I've checked out the game discussion thread since there's a lot of good, useful info there (thanks!), and I'll post in that thread once I start making some progress.