Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition

Moby ID: 59087
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Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition is a conversion of Batman: Arkham City for the Wii U platform. Next to the base game, it incorporates all the DLC previously featured in Batman: Arkham City - Game of the Year Edition:

Exclusive to this version is the addition of the Battle Armored Tech (B.A.T.) mode. It includes upgrades suits for both Batman and Catwoman providing an additional power-up to build up kinetic energy during combat. When full, a B.A.T. mode can be entered with a heightened sense of the enemy locations and more damage can be dealt. It is activated by pressing the left and right analogue sticks simultaneously. The upgraded suits and the mode are introduced through a video embedded in the story.

The GamePad can be used to display the mini-map with objectives and waypoints. It also displays full character bios. Unique to this edition is the sonar radar used to scan the surroundings for enemies. Further touch screen use includes quick taps to access upgrades and to organize a custom gadget load out. When the batarang is thrown, the GamePad screen follows its course and the player can alter the direction by tilting the device. The Investigation mode has been tuned through the GamePad. The screen is calibrated to the TV and then the camera can be moved around in any direction to scan the environment by moving the device. When using the cryptographic sequencer it is displayed in full on the GamePad screen as a touch-based mini-game.

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  • Batman: Arkham City - Armoured Edition - British English spelling

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Credits (Wii U version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 83% (based on 17 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.3 out of 5 (based on 9 ratings with 1 reviews)

Driving U Batty

The Good
in 1940, Bob Kane first drew a character that would soon become one of the most iconic in all of popular culture: Batman. A superhero with no latent superpowers, Batman nevertheless managed to rocket up to the top of the comic book dogpile thanks in part due to his slightly grittier style, a memorable set of villains, and numerous screen adaptations with a variety of different styles ranging from cartoonish to creepy.

With Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight film trilogy as well as 2009's Arkham Asylum game, Batman has become arguably the most critically acclaimed and popular single superhero of the past few years. Keeping the bat-train going in 2011, Batman Arkham City first arrived on PC, 360, and PS3. The following year, the game was ported to Wii U, bringing the Arkham series to Nintendo gamers for the first time.

The story of the game begins as Bruce Wayne is suddenly captured and taken into Arkham City, which is more-or-less a slum that's been walled off to form an open-air prison. He escapes from his captors, suits up as Batman, and spends the next night getting to the bottom of the mystery of why he was captured. Along the way, he fights many famous villains from the comic books, including Joker, Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Ra's Al Ghul, Bane and a bunch of others.

They say that if you're going to borrow, you have to borrow from the best. Arkham City takes three distinct action-adventure subgenres and binds them together, creating a very compelling experience, and ensuring that you won't be doing one thing for very long before switching to another.

The first type of gameplay is exploration-based adventure similar to games such as The Legend of Zelda and Metroid. The game takes place in a sizable, but not exactly massive overworld city, with several dungeons, or buildings, that Batman can enter. As in Zelda, the player uses gadgets to reach his next destination, which is often locked until you earn the necessary item or upgrade to reach it. You'll want to explore every inch of this city, as the Riddler has left plenty of stuff for you to find, including trophies and riddles. In addition, it's possible to find side-missions as well.

The second part of gameplay is the combat system. There are only two buttons to worry about- Strike and Counter. Pressing the strike button while moving the left analog stick makes Batman go to the nearest enemy in that direction and attack. Whenever a blue symbol appears over a character or object, Batman can counter it by pressing the X button provided he isn't in the middle of an attack animation. Batman can also dodge by using the B button and can quickly use gadgets using special combinations. As you strike enemies, you earn points on a combo meter up at the left hand corner of the screen. You keep the meter going by constantly attacking and countering without stopping or getting hit yourself. When the meter has reached a certain level, you can also use special moves which can knock out many enemies at once. The combat system is easy to learn but definitely fun to master, and actually requires some skill beyond simply button mashing.

The final part of gameplay is where these games have received much acclaim. Invisible Predator mode is where you use stealth and gadgets to prey on a group of unsuspecting thugs. It's a lot of fun to watch their reactions go from confidence to fear as you slowly take out their comrades. Every part of the environment can be used in an interesting way to take down an enemy, and you actually have to "think" like Batman in order to come up with the most efficient plan of attack with the least risk of damage. You can use sounds to distract them, hide on top of Vantage Points, and use Detective Mode to see them behind walls, which is incredibly useful.

When you put these all together, you have a game that actually seems to capture what it must feel like to be Batman, from using his cape to glide through the city to his capabilities as a fighter to his abilities for stealth. Few games seem to really nail the essence of a character through gameplay, but Rocksteady has hit upon a winning formula that captures all aspects of Batman as a hero.

As a port of an older game, the Armored Edition uses the GamePad in some very interesting ways to add an extra layer of immersion and convenience not possible on any other platform. For much of the game, the GamePad's screen simulates Batman's wrist computer, allowing him (and you) to hack security systems, view maps, character bios, goals, and even upgrade the Batsuit, all from the same screen. It evokes the feeling of using a high-tech gadget thanks to great animations and sound as well as the GamePad's responsive touch, which is much more receptive to finger touch than most other resistive touchscreens. Perhaps the most convenient thing about the GamePad is the way you can set markers on the map by simply double-tapping where you want to go. It's so quick and easy you'll wonder how any other version of the game could have done it faster.

The GamePad can also be used to inspect crime scenes by moving it around. You can even hear distant enemy conversations and in-ear calls from other characters working with Batman through the GamePad's speaker, making you feel like you're the only one listening to these things. All of these GamePad exclusive features make this the most immersive version of the game out there. If you did play the game previously, then these features probably won't sway you, but if you're like me and never owned a super PC or a non-Nintendo current-gen console, then you'll certainly enjoy these additions.

This version of the game comes complete with all of the DLC. This DLC includes extra costumes, additional characters, new challenge maps, and even a mini campaign called "Harley Quinn's Revenge" that offers up an additional 2 hours of story. You can actually play this at any time that you want, but it includes major spoilers for the game's plot and should only be played after completing the main story.

The game uses the popular Unreal Engine 3 to absolutely stunning effect. Everything from the lighting, the exquisitely constructed environments, to the buttery-smooth animations carries the level of quality that you would expect out of a blockbuster game such as this. This is unquestionably one of the best looking games out I've ever seen, both from a technical and especially artistic standpoint. Perhaps the game's greatest visual asset is Batman himself. As the story moves along and the night grows ever darker, you'll actually see Batman take damage. His cape tears, his suit gathers dents and scratches, and even his skin gets bruised. It's a stark reminder that as powerful as Batman is, he is not impervious to physical and psychological harm.

The orchestral soundtrack is appropriately dark and moody, and really puts you into that "summer blockbuster" mindset. There is a lot of voice acting in the game- I think that just about every line of dialog is voiced. It is definitely over-the-top, but fitting for a game like this.



The Bad
I only have two real complaints with the game, though they're both somewhat tied together. First, is that most of the bosses aren't very spectacular. The puzzle elements of the gameplay go out the window in favor of the most basic dodge, gadget, dodge, gadget, punch patterns. The only boss where you really felt like you really took advantage of the environment in order to defeat him was Mr. Freeze. As a result a lot of these bosses, though they look impressive, they end up feeling somewhat unsatisfying in the end.

That's kind of how I felt about the story. It just didn't quite come together in a satisfying or even particularly neat manner. It felt like the story tried too hard to cram in too many villains in a small amount of time. Some parts of the story were just downright WEIRD, even for something based off of comic books. It delves into some seriously dippy and psychedelic stuff that I would have never expected to see in a game such as this. The ending of the game was definitely surprising, but it felt like it was awkwardly jammed into the plot line. I'm sure the story is fascinating to comic fans, but I couldn't quite get into it. In addition, the game's story seems a bit short. There is actually far more side content in the game than there is story. While this is welcome, I would have preferred a longer story, or at least a heavier ratio of story to optional content.

The game's much hyped inclusion of Catwoman is really underwhelming. By the time the credits roll, you will have only played as her three times. Catwoman takes up barely 30 minutes of the game's story, and could have honestly been left out of the game and nobody would miss her.

Finally, the game chugs whenever a lot of enemies are on-screen, and there are times, especially during the challenges, that this can be annoying. It's not as big of a dealbreaker as it might seem, however, as it actually makes the combat easier to plan out due to how slow things move, and even under stressful situations, the controls perform admirably.

The Bottom Line
Batman Arkham City is a pleasant surprise. Even though I knew going in that the game was critically acclaimed, I've never really been much of a Batman fan, although I did enjoy the Dark Knight Rises and remember the 90s animated series. This game will be adored by pretty much all Batman fans. However, even if the tales of the Dark Knight hold little interest to you, Batman Arkham City still offers an impressive and lengthy action-adventure game that will be enjoyed by most action-adventure fans. Rocksteady succeeded in making a game that really appeals to both audiences without alienating either one, an incredible feat for a licensed game.

Wii U · by krisko6 (814) · 2013

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Game added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: karttu.

Game added December 26, 2012. Last modified February 21, 2024.