Current 360 Meta score = 95
Current PS3 Meta score = 98
Game Informer’s latest issue, which is already available to subscribers, contains a review of the highly-anticipated Batman: Arkham City. Believe it or not, the publication has awarded the game a perfect score. Yes, a ten out of ten. That doesn’t happen too often!
As expected, the review is full of praise. Combat was complimented, as was the amount of content available. The reviewer wrote that Catwoman “performs as admirably as the star”.
Here’s a summary regarding Arkham City’s visuals:
“Gotham City is lavishly detailed with dark hues and soaring architecture. Most of the central story missions take place indoors in environments that are just as striking. The museum is particularly impressive.”
The reviewer even went as far as to say that Arkham City “is the best use of a license in the industry’s history”.
92% is the final score stamped at the end of a review in German mag Play 3, according to a post on NeoGAF.
The review apparently calls Batman: Arkham City "Huge, exciting and beautiful. The best superhero game ever made."
The caped crusader’s highly anticipated second outing received a particularly amazing score of 97%, with the magazine describing the must-buy superhero title as ”brave, bold, brilliant – the gold standard by which all future videogames should be judged.
If you want to be reductive about it, Arkham City is more Batman, and if you want more Batman, there's no question: you should play this game. But there's more to it than that. In the two years since Arkham Asylum, there hasn't really been anything like it until now. Getting another chance to use Batman's considerable combat talents as you engage in one of the best fighting systems going today is a joy. The city looks terrific, like it's one step away from just bursting into flames as criminals crawl across every single surface doing... whatever it is that criminals do when they're locked in a city-shaped prison. The interior areas look just as good, giving you a sense that, again, this is a realistic place that's been overrun. The voice acting, featuring plenty of the same cast members that performed so perfectly last time around, is incredibly sharp, with writing that fits what you'd expect from most of the different characters you face. But to sum it all up, it's hard to imagine any fan of action games coming away from Arkham City disappointed. It might not rewrite the book on Batman video games, but when you're building off of such a strong position--and you're only shipping the second game with such similarities, rather than a third or fourth--it's hard to bicker too much about what changes the developers did or didn't make.
It doesn't take the world's greatest detective to spot that this is an expertly crafted adventure, one that maintains a breathtaking pace and invigorating rhythm from beginning to end. Dizzyingly extensive and lovingly detailed, Rocksteady has created an intricate, spirited and unequalled playground worthy of one of the most iconic characters in modern fiction.
Batman: Arkham City tries to do too much and can come off a little heavy-handed, but that doesn't stop it from doing a vast amount of things right. It's a beautifully bleak game that constantly pays tribute to one of the greatest icons in comic book history and provides an experience that one can get lost in for hours. Its biggest problems lie in a combat system that manages to be too simple and too complex in the wrong areas, and this can often exasperate, but the overall product is one of the most absorbing and engrossing ones on the market.
It doesn't quite reach the highs of its predecessor, but Arkham City rarely sinks low and does its best to answer major criticisms from the first title. When it's all said and done, you'll be begging for more, but not because there wasn't enough. It is just too damn fun to be The Bat.
Arkham City has some slight imperfections; besides the aforementioned issues, I have other minor complaints like the way Detective Vision remains necessary for stealth sequences because the enemies tend to blend into the dark color palette, as well as the questionable character design (poor Harley Quinn), and the somewhat drab visual design of Arkham City itself. Nevertheless, it remains a superlative superhero game overall. The richness of content -- by which I mean the campaign, the challenge maps, the Catwoman episodes, and the New Game Plus which offers an extra-hard difficulty that lets you guide your upgraded Batman through a re-balanced version of the campaign -- along with the general improvements already puts Arkham City on my short list. The experience of having Batman glide through the air; seeing the screen light up with incidental and contextual dialogue, multiple objective markers, and trophies to collect; and then finally diving into a pack of schmucks is a simple yet enjoyable experience. Controlling Batman as he completely terrorizes his victims, whether via the invisible predator gameplay or the brutal combat, is an experience rivaled by few others. From its memorable Bourne Identity-esque opening to its shocking ending, Batman: Arkham City secures its place as my favorite superhero game since
It's a role-playing game in the most literal sense of the phrase, a game in which you're encouraged to give in to the fantasy, and to see what life is like when it's composed of rooftop brawls and zip-line getaways. Animations, traversal mechanics, takedowns: they're all building towards the same thing. In Arkham City, you become Batman.