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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Warner Bros.

 

Developer

Rocksteady Studios

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

November 22, 2011

 

 

- Geez, the level of detail is incredible!

- Great story if you ride it from start to finish without wandering off for the sidequests

- Combat is pitch perfect

 

 

- Playing with a keyboard and mouse feels awkward

- Feeling like a chump for having let the side-stuff distract me on my playthrough of the Xbox 360 version

 

 

Review: Batman: Arkham City (360)

Review: Deux Ex: Human Revolution (PC)

Review: Red Faction: Armageddon (PC)

 

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Batman: Arkham City

Score: 10 / 10

*There are screenshots below that could be considered SPOILERS*

 

batman arkham city          batman arkham city

 

It's amazing what a little perspective and a new video card will do for changing my opinion of a game!

 

Back in November I wrote this in my Xbox 360 review of Batman: Arkham City:

Unlike Arkham Asylum, Arkham City opens up the environment so there's plenty of Riddler Trophies to hunt down, side quests, and challenges to distract from the

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main storyline that has Batman working on Joker's behest to secure a cure for a particularly nasty ailment. The combat is better than ever and there's a constant stream of interesting and changing moves for Batman to gain the upper hand no matter the situation. It's absolutely ridiculous to say out loud, but the movement is "poetry in motion." Beautiful to watch and never lacking

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in excitement, even if some of the boss battles feel as if they will never end. The game succeeds in bettering the mechanics of the first game and even though it's "bigger, better, faster" and features a few really good turns, it doesn't quite match the experience of the first time through Batman: Arkham Asylum.

 

batman arkham city          batman arkham city

 

Now, with a couple of months passed and playing it again on the PC, I'd like redact that last part about not quite matching the experience of Arkham Asylum. That was a patently ridiculous thing to write in light of the fact that my second play through of Arkham City was even better than the first.

It's more accurate to say Arkham City matches Arkham Asylum in the story department. All those optional distractions are just that, optional distractions that don't detract from the overall experience, which are just there for the people that just love messing around or subject themselves to the frustration of finding all the Riddler trophies, as both Batman and Catwoman.

 

batman arkham city            batman arkham city

 

Anyway, something felt better playing this on PC. Maybe it's because I felt more adept at the moves and was more comfortable getting around the city. Or maybe it was the fact I was playing the game with a nvidia GeForce GTX 560Ti. (I don't mind giving it a bit of plug here.)

 

Dropping such a piece of hardware in my PC, which is serviceable in most respects, was the equivalent of a Knight Rider turbo boost. Arkham City looks good even dialled down to its lowest settings, but when it's dialled-up I think it's fair to say the difference is night and day. The detail is incredible! It was always a real reward to complete the finishing strike on a group of enemies to watch the close-up, slow motion finale. More than a few times I was calling to my wife who places video games on the low-end of the importance scale; somewhere between watching a kettle boil and vegetarians. "Honey, you've gotta see this!" And still, I'd want her to see. Even the quieter moments of just lingering on a rooftop and panning the camera around to check out the lighting effects as the snow gently falls is a great way to appreciate the level of detail the extra horsepower offers.

 

batman arkham city           batman arkham city

 

batman arkham city           batman arkham city
 

The GTX 560Ti even offers the chance for Arkham City to be played in 3D, which, sadly I was unable use thanks to my old monitor (and lack of 3D glasses out of the box).


Batman: Arkham City is one of those games that rightly garnered much attention with the end of 2011 Game of the Year lists. Maybe it didn't get as much attention from PC gamers, but it should. If you want to have the definitive Arkham City experience, I'd say PC is the way to go.

- Aaron Simmer
(January 9, 2012)

 

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