Monday, October 24, 2011

Arkham City Play-Through One: Complete

Back again!

So… I finished my first initial play-through of Arkham City. I’ll try to keep this as spoiler- free as possible. Simply put, the game is fantastic. The free-roam environment, the combat, the puzzles (or should I say riddles?), the graphics, the story… all so good!

The story mode for the game is excellent. Now, in my previous post I said that 6 months have passed since the events in Arkham Asylum. It's actually been about 18. Like Arkham Asylum, as you collect Riddler Trophies and solve riddles, you gain more and more back story into what's currently going on. Bits and pieces of the events leading up to why Batman is there, interviews with the Arkham Asylum inmates, and even voice mails from missed calls to you from... the Joker (they are freaking great!). Batman is pitted against villain after villain. To find this villain you have to defeat this villain. Or, you have to talk to this villain. Or, this villain pops up. It’s intricately convoluted. On top of the story are the side missions. Things happen throughout Arkham City and you have the opportunity to find the answers. The side missions are not necessary to complete story mode, but you get plenty of XP when you finish them. As with all leveling systems, the more XP you get, the better you get. There are certain gadgets and moves that unlock as part of the story; and others that won’t unlock until you spend your Upgrade point and unlock another gadget or move first. Every gadget and move makes Batman that much more formidable... and that much freaking cooler.

I spent a lot of extra time searching for Riddler Trophies and riddles to solve. As compared to XBox Achievements, I really have to find stuff in game... I'm really OCD that way. There are 400 total items to get via the Riddler. I’m only 2 short... both of which are Riddler Combat Challenges. I'm not so good at the combat. The mastery of the Aerial Attack eludes me. Some of the riddles are ingenious. Some of the contraptions and puzzles that hold Riddler Trophies are down right insidious. You really do need to use all the moves and gadgets at your disposal to get them all. Remember, some require you to fly, or dive-bomb, or a combination of gadgets. Don’t forget Detective Mode either, it really is your friend on some of these.

By the end of my play-through, I was pleasantly satisfied... and I'm sure my wife is tired of hearing me say "I'm Batman".

Once I completed my first story run-through, I went ahead and loaded up "Game+" mode. When it comes to the combat in "Game" mode, you get prompts on when to counter thugs and enemies, not so in Game+. You will really have to pay attention to combat to know when to counter. That’s going to take some getting used to.

Another major part of the game, like Arkham Asylum, is the Challenges. You’ll have to punch and kick through some and sneak through others. Like I said, I'm not too good at the combat, but I can sneak with the best of them. I plan to at least do the stealth challenges. On top of the challenges is the Riddler’s Revenge; which combines combat and stealth challenges into 3-part story arcs; beat all 3 arcs to move on. I’m not quite sure if I’m going to do all of these… we’ll see.

All in all... Arkham City is great. Play it. Twice. You can never have enough Batman.

It also means you get to punch a shark…

In the face...