Batman Arkham City is the perfect combination of cinematography and interactive entertainment. It’s an eerie, desolate, and depressing world to become part of, but a world you’ll always want to return to.
Following on from the events of Arkham Asylum, Arkham City further explores the relationship between heroes and villains. The story’s protagonist and antagonist both have one night to cure their unknown illness, working loosely together in an attempt to save themselves from death. It explores the true nature of the two’s relationship, questioning whether the emotions between the hero and villain are hatred or a form of twisted love. It’s a gripping narrative direction that pushes the hero to his ethical limits, and the villain to the point of desperation.
The story is further enhanced by a well-established setting. The city sized prison is a brilliantly crafted playground for the immoral. Gangs wage war in an attempt to expand their territories, reshaping the prison’s appearance over the course of Arkham City’s thirteen hour campaign. Its transformation from a relatable metropolis into a nightmare, brilliantly executed to make the city’s final appearance even more satanic.
The city itself creates the perfect ambiance to go alongside its narrative, making it easy to sidetrack whilst traversing. Becoming sidetracked is encouraged, providing more stories and secrets as a reward for your curiosity. It helps the city appear like a believable, but superficial, place with interesting characters whose backstories you will want to invest time into discovering.
This is what makes Arkham City a timeless classic. It’s a step forward in craftsmanship and storytelling for the interactive entertainments industry. I haven’t even touched on the flawless fluidity of Arkham’s combat system because it’s been adopted by so many other game series, and so no longer is what makes Arkham City unique, but the precision delivered on every one of Arkham City’s features highlights why it’s a worthy contender for the best game of all time.
Available on; PS3, XBOX 360, and PC