Haven Review: Batman Arkham City [Return to Arkham]

Batman Arkham City the continuation of the Batman Arkham franchise from Rock Steady. In the first installment Joker had a great plan which involved making Batman out to be a terrible monster like the Joker himself but ultimately it backfired.

Now the story continues and Quincy Sharp the old warden of Arkham Asylum is now the Mayor of Gotham City and from it he created Arkham City a place for all the mentally deranged, criminally insane and all around scum of Gotham to be imprisoned in.

Throw into this prison run by a Professor Hugo Strange the inmates are left to go about their own business. With the return of the famous voice crew again from Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamil and Tara Strong reprising their roles again for Batman, Joker and Harley Quinn.

Now like its predecessor the musical score is on point bringing a great depth and also grim atmosphere to the area. Where Batman is forced to fight for his life and learn the truth behind Arkham City before countless lives are lost to a madman who lurks in the shadows.

Now in Arkham Asylum you could only travel upon the island where the Asylum was. In this installment of the franchise Rocksteady has given us a more open world environment filled with buildings and the chance to explore quite a few of them. However the scale of the open world is still quite limited but at the time of the games release unless you are comparing to Skyrim the game’s map is quite huge.

However like its predecessor it still heavily relies on the two buttons used for combat one for attack and the other for countering. Although this makes it simple for new comers still, the combat is still a bit lacking. Although at times you will have to use two other buttons in conjunction with each other it still doesn’t offer any improvements.

The story of Arkham City though remains very on point, offering a new glimpse at old enemies and new enemies from Batman’s rogues gallery with Mr.Freeze, Two-Face, Mad Hatter, and even Catwoman joining the party. Catwoman being a particularly important character that you play as through a portion of the story.

Visually the game is breath taking, both original and remastered the game remains perfect in its representation of what we believe Gotham City should look like from the grim undertones we have been told about it. A place where villains like the Joker and Penguin fight to rule the place and cause chaos.

The game overall shows us and brings to life everything we have expected from Batman from the city he protects, to the villains he fights and people he protects. Like the character jumped from a comic book and into our gaming systems capturing the essence of Batman so well that the differences between comic and game character are almost indistinguishable.

Like its predecessor its a game I hope comic book fans and even non fans buy and enjoy. Weather it be the original copy or the Return to Arkham edition the game is worth it, and worth every penny.

-Daniel Clatworthy