Every now and then you’ll look at a game store page and see that it’s got pretty good reviews, and wonder if it’s actually any good. Well, I decided to play Batman: Arkham City and see if it lived up to the Overwhelmingly Positive user reviews on Steam ten years on.
What is Batman: Arkham City?
It’s somewhere between a spectacle fighter like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta, and an open world adventure like Crackdown or InFamous. You play as the comic book version of the caped crusader, complete with batarangs, grappling hook and an unfeasible amount of muscle that looks far better in skin-tight rubber than any man deserves.
What are the people saying?
A lot of people have made the comparison to InFAMOUS, and a massive number of reviewers on Steam basically just say “yay, I get to be Batman”, which I can understand. I’m not a massive fan of comic books or the Batman franchise myself, so this wasn’t a selling point for me personally, but clearly for people who love Bruce Wayne’s alter ego, this is an accurate portrayal of him. There were a few comments saying that Batman: Arkham Asylum was better, but just as many saying exactly the reverse. There was also much debate from the players as to whose arse looks better out of Catwoman or Batman. I’m calling a draw personally!
Is it actually any good?
It’s not half bad actually. It would probably be wise to play Batman: Arkham Asylum first as the story is a continuation and there is a little bit of assumed knowledge. There’s certainly a lot more to this game than I had initially expected, with a ridiculous amount of collectibles and side missions. Also, Batman has a bit more detective work to do than I had expected. (In the very first comics, he was more of a detective than a superhero and there are nods to that here with clue analysis in a similar vein to that in Heavy Rain.)
I enjoyed this game a lot, despite not being a huge fan of comic books. It’s not necessary to really know the character or have any fondness of them, but if you enjoy a mission-based open world game then this is definitely one to pick up and it still stands out as a great title a full decade after its original release.