In a Nutshell

Batman Arkham City was the multiple award-winning sequel that managed to top the exquisite original from Rocksteady Studios. It was in every way a true sequel, and successfully built on a stellar starting-point. If you are one of the two people on the planet that did not purchase Arkham City last year, or if you skipped any of the DLC then this is a no-brainer. If you do not fall into these categories, then this one would still complete any gaming collection worth bragging about.

Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Distributor: SterKinekor
For fans of: Comic-book superheroes, Batman Games, high-quality games
Reviewed on: Playstation 3
Also available on: Xbox 360, PC
If we had to give it a numerical score: 9.5/10

The Game

Batman Arkham City was the overall favourite game of 2011 around these [Zombiegamer] parts. The game takes place some months after the events of Arkham Asylum. The city is the security home for Gotham’s underworld. Quincy Sharp is the mayor and the sectioned-off area is run by Hugo Strange houses. The story is brand-new story and features many of the sinister characters that we have grown to love. Batman is again battling Joker and needs to ultimately find a cure for a virus that is being spread by Joker’s blood and that could ultimately kill batman. Along the way Batman will face most of the inglorious villains from the Batman series.

We dubbed Batman Arkham City as “another masterpiece by Rocksteady Studios in our original review.

Extra Content

The worthy ‘Game of the Year Edition’ ships with the highly polished original game, added with all of the popular downloadable content and a few fun added extras. The package is headlined by Harley Quinn’s Revenge story DLC, and also includes; seven maps, three playable characters, and 12 skins.

Maps include Wayne Manor, Main Hall, Freight Train, Black Mask, The Joker’s Carnival, Iceberg Long, and Batcave. The playable characters include Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing; while the added skins include 1970s Batsuit, Year One Batman, The Dark Knight Returns, Earth One Batman, Batman Beyond Batman, Animated Batman, Sinestro Corps Batman, Long Halloween Catwoman, Animated Catwoman, Animated Robin, Red Robin and Animated Nightwing.

In Harley Quinn’s Revenge, Harley is seeking revenge on “Bat Boy” following on the outcome of the events that concluded Arkham City’s story. Harley devises a whimsical scheme to kidnap Batman, leaving Robin with the task of saving the day. Playing as Robin feel fairly familiar as he’s combat and controls are not that different from Batman’s, but Robin is more nimble and carries a shield, which adds a new dimension to the combat. I thoroughly enjoyed any time playing as Robin, and while Harley’s Revenge could definitely have been fleshed out a bit more, it was certainly still worthy.

The Riddler’s challenges take up most of the rest of the content on offer. The challenges are always fun and were well designed. The variety of challenges are scattered around the new maps, testing your combat and stealth skills. I love the challenges and get lost in completing them, but I do think they will either win you over, or you will see them as a detraction from the story, and therefore not that noteworthy.

The GOTY the edition also add new levels to the Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing challenges; which like the Riddler’s challenges, I was more than happy to play through. If anything these challenges are a great excuse to explore the rich world of Arkham City and learn new skills.

The Verdict

I am traditionally and unwaveringly the type of gamer that plays through a singleplayer game once, and then moves onto the next. I also purchased most of the DLC the GOTY edition is offering, so you would think I would’ve wanted to palm off the review to another. This was not even close to the case – having a genuine reason to replay through one of gaming’s finest gems was a prospect I jumped at. Falling in love with the narrative all over again, reacquainting myself with the joyous gameplay and the added character play was an absolute pleasure.

The GOTY edition is packed with proper DLC, not added content just for the sake of doing so. The story DLC bit intertwines with the story, and most importantly the added character challenges add a great amount of more playing time. I can think of few better ways for an avid gamer to spend R350.00.

Zombiegamer rating:

Read about our ratings here.