Pow! Batman packs punch
Like its predecessor, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City does so much right that everything it does wrong can pretty much be mentioned right off the bat. For instance, Batman moves around rather stiffly, and the many villains introduced throughout the storyline never truly get the chance to flesh out their stories. And that pretty much sums up the faults in Arkham City - this truly is a brilliant game.
Fans of Arkham Asylum will immediately feel at home in Arkham City as the core gameplay remains very similar. One button controls offensive manouveres, one controls counter attacks and another controls jumping.
Of course, there are innumerable combinations of modifiers and upgrades, so don't let the minimilistic control scheme fool you - this game is anything but short on content.
Arkham City will certainly keep you on your toes - the hoardes of special enemies all have to be dealt with in specific ways. You'll need to assess threats and engage situations carefully, just as the Batman himself would.
This feeling of empowerment carries over to bosses. Most of the bosses in Arkham City are fairly easy, but it isn't the fight that makes the bosses fun, it's the journey through their various cowardly schemes and traps in order to gain the upper hand in one-on-one combat.
Challenges rooms return and have been given an update since the days of Arkham Asylum. There are a dozen combat challenge maps and a dozen Invisible Predator challenges and each comes with three medals to earn.
All that is standard, but Arkham City also offers up Riddler Campaigns. These link three challenges together and apply gameplay modifiers like low health, time limits etc.
Batman: Arkham City isn't perfect, but perhaps you can treat this as somewhat of a commentary on its comic-book counterpart.
Arkham City is crazy, unordered and sometimes downright confusing. But almost everything about this game is truly amazing, making Arkham City quite possibly the best game of 2011.