Batman: Arkham City

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Batman Arkham City

I have a problem with video games: I buy far too many that wind up on my pile of shame instead of in my list of games I’ve beaten. (It’s part of the reason I came up the idea for this site; it’d be great to know which games I can weed out and rest comfortably knowing they’re not worth my time.) That problem explains why I bought Arkham City the day it came out, but didn’t play it until just recently — and only then to prepare for Arkham Knight.

I played — and loved! — Arkham Asylum. I love Batman. Everyone says Arkham City is great. So what’s my problem? I don’t know! (Seriously, help me.)

Anyway, I finally got around to playing it and — shocker! — the game is great. Like, great great. It’s everything great about Arkham Asylum and puts it in an open world that makes you really feel like Batman. Does it get overwhelming at times? Yes, but it doesn’t have to. You’re able to do everything at your own pace, in whatever order you want.

For the completionists out there, you can continue to play the game after you beat it, or fire up a New Game+ for an even tougher challenge (and carry over your existing progress, upgrades… all that jazz).

It’s good that Arkham City lets you continue your game after you beat it (I HATE games that don’t let you go back when you’re done; what’s the point of an open world if you’re going to limit me?) because there is a LOT you can do. There are something like 450 riddles hidden around the city by The Riddler. Is it excessive? Yes, but also: why NOT?

It took me about 15 hours to beat the story and feel reasonably satisfied with my side mission status. I didn’t have any interest in getting to 100% completion (though I could have spent a lot more time roaming around the city than I did). Arkham City is a fun game that’s really well made, and truly makes you feel like Batman. It’s worth your time.

DLC

Because I’m a video game completionist (again, I ask you to help me figure out what’s wrong with me), I bought all the DLC for this game. Video game DLC from the past few years is a Pandora’s Box of hits and misses, so it makes sense that Arkham City features some of each.

The Catwoman DLC was included for free in every sealed copy of the game. Bought it used? Too bad! Fork over a couple bucks! It’s integrated directly into the story, and playing as Catwoman is an awesome change of pace from playing as Bats. She’s quicker with a new set of moves and truly a lot of fun to play as. Whether you have to buy this or not, the Catwoman Bundle Pack is worth your time.

The other meaty piece of DLC is Harley Quinn’s Revenge. Based on the name, I thought you’d get to play as Harley. Nope! You just play as Robin. Robin is like Batman, only kind of different (but not really). He’s got new moves and gadgets, which are cool, but he’s SO similar to Batman that it’s basically the same thing. Plus, for half of the DLC, you play as Batman, so what’s the point? The story is whatever. This DLC is, unfortunately, not worth your time.

There are also the Nightwing Bundle Pack and Robin Bundle Pack, neither of which are worth your time OR your money — unless you lovelovelove the challenge modes, in which case you’re (probably) an Arkham completionist and you aren’t reading this review, because you’re too busy throwing money at Rocksteady and milking these games for every last minute of entertainment. These two bundles are not worth your time.

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