REVIEW: Batman: Arkham City

With the anticipation of DC movies like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, and the release of the new Batman: Arkham Knight video game, I thought it would be fun to review the video game Batman: Arkham City. Released in 2011, this video game was the second installment in the Arkham series. Now, I know this game is sort of “old” and I know I am not a gaming genius ( i.e. I walk into walls and I tend to die…a lot), but even a total noob can see that this game was fun if not awesome. After all, it did win “Game of the Year”.

One of the best things about Arkham City is the main story, with or without the gameplay. Although it is a complicated story, it manages to stay coherent and integrate many of the Bat-verse characters without feeling forced. We get to see characters like Vicki Vale, get advice from Barbara Gordon/Oracle and Alfred Pennyworth, and in some levels, play as Catwoman. However, the real icing on the cake is the amount of villains we encounter. Of course, no Batman game would be complete without the Joker, and where the Joker is, Harley Quinn naturally follows. The story also seamlessly sends Batman on a quest in which he encounters Hugo Strange, the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face, Talia and Ra’s al Ghul, Solomon Grundy, Clayface, and countless other baddies. And each bad guy poses a challenging threat, especially Solomon Grundy. The dude does not die. All you can do is do a bunch of gymnastics and tumble your way around the arena and set explosives on his chargers.

When you are not fighting a main villain, usually the people you can bat-kick in the face are thugs/prisoners henchmen. There are two modes in which you can do so: stealth and combat. Stealth mode is usually used when there are a significant amount of enemies with machine guns. Usually during stealth mode, Batman just sneaks around and silently picks off the enemies one by one. You can just go in and take your chances and just fight as many enemies as possible before they shoot you to death, or you could be like me, and crank up the “Mission Impossible Theme Song” on your phone as you sneak around the room like a ninja.

Combat mode is a bit more fun. You get to button-mash your controller like crazy as a ton of enemies try to attack you. While the bad guys may have shields, knives, guns, or even a friggin’ Titan to their advantage, the worst weapon they have are the phrases they yell at you, such as “We’re gonna kill you, Batman”. Hey man, words hurt. I’m just trying to kick them in the face; no need for death threats.


When you play as Batman, the gadgets you get are pretty standard Batman gear: batarangs (damn you, remote control batarang), grappling hook, grapnel, batclaw etc. But of course there are some other things you acquire through the levels, such as the freeze blast and remote electrical charge. Personally, out of all the weapons, I really enjoy the explosive gel. I know you’re supposed to use it to explode structurally weak walls in order to stun an enemy, but sometimes, I just like to blow stuff up… just saying. The other characters’ weapon selections are kind of limited. They can still do some serious damage, but Catwoman, Robin, and Nightwing do not have the armory that Batman carries around with him. Seriously, where does Batman hide all of his stuff? He should have a bat-purse.

Another great thing about Arkham City is the side stories. From solving the Riddler’s riddles to chasing down telephone calls made by Victor Zsasz, these campaigns are great ways to encounter more villains and for Batman to yell at me to complete a goal instead of walking around in a circle. There is also a mini-game called “Harley Quinn’s Revenge”, which happens chronologically after the main story. Not only do you get to play as Batman but you also get to play as Robin *cough* lame *cough* (Does anyone have a lozenge?). Granted Robin isn’t as cool as Batman, but Harley Quinn’s insults of Robin are entertaining and the minigame provides two more hours of content.

All in all, Batman: Arkham City was and still is a great game. If you haven’t played it yet, you really should. Now I kind of want to play it again, or at the very least, go around Gotham and glide off of buildings screaming, “WEEEEEE!”

Do you agree that Batman: Arkham City was a great game? What’s your favorite Batman game? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Elizabeth Banalagay