Wii U 101: Everything You Need to Know About…Batman: Arkham City

Missed out on the Dark Knight’s greatest video game adventures first time round? Luke’s here to tell you all about them.

By Luke Brown. Posted 11/08/2012 10:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Naturally, many fans hoped for a sequel once Asylum was over, and two years later Rocksteady obliged with Arkham City. This game kept the core gameplay mechanics but transferred them to an exquisitely realised open world. Everything about it was bigger and better than the original, from the impressive array of special moves and batsuit upgrades, to the far superior line-up of characters from the Detective Comics universe (Deadshot, I’m looking at you). I won’t spoil things for those of you who have yet to experience this game, but I believe it’s got one of the strongest opening acts I’ve ever come across in a video game, and I defy any Batman fan to try and play this section without a huge, childlike grin on your face– it really is that good.

Whilst there is a central storyline, Arkham City grants you the freedom to explore Gotham at your leisure and there are a multitude of optional combining sidequests to provide players with an incredibly rich game world to explore. The variety of tasks available to you from early on is staggering, including the brain taxing Riddler challenges and forensic based detective tasks. The impressive thing about them, though, is that none of the sidequests feel like padding or filler; they’re all integral and fit into the main plot seamlessly, and my first and only play through of this game provided me with one of the most memorable gaming experiences I have ever had. There’s also truly something wonderful about soaring over the Arkham skyline, perching on a gargoyle as a group of armed thugs mill about below you, before swooping down on them and silently dispatching them one by one. It’s every Batman fan’s dream come true.

“I’m Batman!”

From the chatter of these thugs, which changes to reflect your progress, to the subtle changes in weather, everything combines to create the illusion that you are inhabiting an organic, living and breathing world. The AI is also particularly impressive. Enemies will find courage in large groups, but as numbers start to diminish, they will become nervous and run away. Every aspect of the game seems to have been designed with a real attention to detail, and there are numerous little touches and cameos that serve as knowing winks to all clued up Batman fans.


So, what extra features are we being offered to tempt us to don the cowl once again on Wii U? The main draw of the Arkham City: Armored Edition is that the GamePad will work as an interface for what is, in essence, a Bat Computer. It will enable players to select gadgets via the touchscreen without having to leave the game to access the various menus. You will also be able to scan the environments in detective mode by holding the GamePad up to the television and moving it around. Lastly, there is a new sonar mode which will allow you to identify targets on the map solely through the use of the Wii U controller.

Another major addition is the all new B.A.T. Mode. Once you have reached a certain number of combos, you will be able to access B.A.T. mode via the GamePad and will grant Batman a number of new power and special moves. While this may not seem like a big deal, I have to admit that the thought of using the GamePad in this way is enough to get my geek juices flowing.

I have no doubt that Arkham City on Wii U will be the definitive version, but given that the original version was released almost a full year ago, I’ll admit that I’m quite surprised that the Armored Edition doesn’t include more exclusive material. It would have been nice to get some Wii U exclusive quests or playable characters, but instead we’re being given the exact same game with a slightly more intuitive method of managing the equipment menus and scanning whilst in detective mode. In the end, it may not be enough to make the converted play it again, but if you’ve never experienced this game before and are planning on picking up a Wii U, you really do owe it to yourself to grab a copy of this game. You certainly won’t regret it!

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