Airsoft Action 07 - Mar 2012 - Page 94

The Caped Crusader makes his videogame return to help rid Gotham City of scum (again). Alex Wharton checks out the latest installment I ’m Batman! Well, if only – I’m actually kinda skinny and pale. I’m also not a ninja, a fact I learned many years ago when I nearly broke myself trying to flying kick my brother off a chair after watching Power Rangers. But Batman: Arkham City allows you all the Batmanning goodness without the worrying side effects (namely various psychopaths attempting to remove parts of your anatomy like a kid with a spider). Batman: Arkham City takes what Arkham Asylum did and runs with it, stretching it out to a much larger and more open form. Arkham Asylum has now been expanded to a large section of the city, walled off from the rest of Gotham, where all of the villains and criminals can run riot to their hearts’ content. Not the most original of stories, but cast your mind back to the various movies and they’re all based around this same premise. This time you get to play Batman though, the world’s greatest detective (and of course the badass-est of all badass superheroes). And now he’s got a whole playground in which to kick 10 levels of the proverbial out of anything that moves. Right from the beginning of the game you can go 094 March 2012 anywhere – soar from the highest buildings to the deepest of sewers. But even so the city doesn’t seem quite as large as it was hyped up to be. It takes around three minutes to fly from one side to the other – but that space is packed with a whole heap of stuff to do and explore including some relatively linear inside areas that take you through parts of the story. And what an awesome little story it is: thrown into Arkham City by Dr Strange, the overseer and prison warden of the city, you come face to face with most of the great names from Batman’s history. The Joker is of course here, along with Two-Face, Bane, Poison Ivy, The Penguin and The Riddler – to name a few. You get to play as Catwoman as well in a semi-altruistic role which changes the setup slightly. The game is part stealth, part exploration and part beat-em-up. A lot of time is spent in the rafters of rooms, picking grunts off one by one, a well-executed element of the gameplay that heightens the predatorial feeling. Watching from the shadows as that last guy in the room runs around in a panic before you finish him is just great, sadistic fun. Sometimes though you simply have to pick a fight and take them all down. The combat in Batman is best described as a rhythm game. When surrounded by