HOLY BAT SHIT!!! I can not rave about this game enough, all my doubts about it not being able to live up to the pretty much perfect 'Arkham Asylum' have been vanquished by the best game I've played all year!
Ok, yeah, it's pretty obvious I like it. Here's why...
It captures the atmosphere of the original perfectly and picks up pretty much where it left off. It pulls you in at the beginning in a similar way, it's got the same vibe, I felt like I'd never stopped playing it.
One of my worries about the game was the bigger scale, I was worried it would fall into the same open-world territory as games like GTA and become repetitive quickly, losing it's cinematic and driven story. Not to worry though, you can get about the city really well, gliding and grappling from rooftops. Travelling around is smooth sailing, it's actually fun and doesn't become a ball ache like some games of this type!
The presentation is slick and it's got easy to pick-up-and-play gaming mechanics.
It plays exactly like Arkham Asylum, but it's bigger (which is a good thing)! They've added some new gadgets and fighting moves to your arsenal to freshen things up, but the original was perfect anyway. It feels pretty damn ninja throwing smoke pellets and grappling away too! It's got the right balance of stealth, exploration, puzzle solving and hand to hand combat.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics in the first game really stood out for me at the time, and they're still impressive, the murky streets of Arkham really come to life and the character models and animation are as solid as always.
9/10 (for graphics)
Now, the sound design is pretty special! The music and sound effects add a brilliant cinematic feel and atmosphere, the sound is possibly the best I've heard this year. The voice acting is good, a little cheesy in places, but that is to be expected with something like this.
10/10 (for sound)
I actually went back to Arkham Asylum before playing this game and enjoyed it as much a second time around! I think given a year or two, this is deffo a game I would want to re-play again. Then you've also got the challenges, which were an awesome feature on the first game. Fighting a room of goons and going for high-scores is quite addictive, and the scores are online too!
There's a lot of little side missions to do and the Riddler's 'Riddles' are back again, and this time they're a bit trickier. You've also got the ability to play as Catwoman (with the code). And most importantly, for this kind of game it is actually quite big (much longer than the original, which was relatively short).
Rocksteady have built upon what is already (in my opinion) as close to prefect as a game could get. It's as good as a sequel could be really! And they've improved many aspects of the game. A must play! It's very rare that I think a game is worth the full £40 purchase, but this is one of them!