WiiU

North America

Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition

by Patrick Barnett - November 24, 2012, 1:00 pm PST
Total comments: 11

8.5

The Dark Knight has his handy gadgets, and now you have yours.

This year we learned Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition would come to the Wii U in 2012, a year after Arkham City proper released on the other consoles. If you refrained from purchasing any other version of the game until now, you may have made the right decision. Between the additional on-disc content, off-screen play, and GamePad features, this may be the best way to experience Arkham City. 

The plot of Arkham City remains unchanged and worth experiencing. The entire story takes place in Arkham City, a closed-off prison colony inside Gotham. Like the first game, this concentrated setting gives the series’ eccentric characters and dark tone room to shine. Many of the game’s moments involve you running from one building to the next to advance the plot; at some points, this felt like too much of a task, though an interest in the plethora of side quests may make up for it.

Along with the extras built into the main game, the Wii U version features content on the disc available through download on the other console versions. Most notable are the addition of Catwoman levels and an extra campaign, “Harley Quinn's Revenge.” The Catwoman levels are played throughout the game’s main story and feel like more of the same with a different combat twist. Harley Quinn’s Revenge puts you in control of Robin after the events of main story. Both sets of levels act as additional stories in the game’s fiction, allowing you to spend more time in the engaging Arkham City. 

Batman’s technical performance on the Wii U didn’t impress me quite as much as the game’s story and setting. I noticed at least four instances of significant slowdown in the middle of cut scenes, during which the whole game would freeze for several seconds. Eight seconds of downtime out of many cinematic moments is not a huge deal, though I wish these issues had been addressed prior to launch. The game seems to excel graphically, however. I played Arkham Asylum on my PlayStation 3 last year, and this version appears on par, if not better, visually. I played much of the game on only the GamePad, but found that while it holds up visually, the GamePad just didn’t seem to capture the dark tone of the game quite as well.

Generally the combat in Arkham City felt rather bland. During the game’s often-lengthy fights, you’re either attacking or responding to the counter symbols displayed above enemies as they attack you. While there are a few enemy variations you must handle differently, after exploiting their weaknesses you return to the repetitive formula of beating and countering. This type of fighting is prevalent throughout the entire game, far too often for my tastes. Fortunately, you can often take down enemies in other ways. The game provides plenty of rooms and outdoor environments where you can use stealth instead of brute force to take out baddies. This stealth gameplay forces you to plan ahead and make moves efficiently to remain unseen. Though occasionally frustrating because of their difficulty, the amount of strategy required in these instances can also be a lot of fun. The game’s boss fights felt very easy; most focused on the use of one gadget or another and just forced you to dodge left and right while using it. 

Armored Edition’s use of the GamePad is the main thing distinguishing it from other versions. I have mixed feelings over its implementation: at times it is a handy tool, and at others it is more of a nuisance. When in combat, switching gadgets requires you to look away from the action to properly select your weapon of choice. Perhaps this could work if it froze the gameplay momentarily, but the game keeps the punches rolling even with you out of the action. When not in combat, it is fun to steer batarangs, decrypt panels, or even just upgrade your armor and weapons with the GamePad. It feels as if the developers intended to take advantage of the hardware but went a little too far, making you use it for even the simplest of tasks. 

It is hard to recommend Armored Edition to someone who has already experienced Arkham City. If you have not yet traveled the streets of Arkham City, this version should make a fine introduction; the GamePad just doesn’t offer enough benefits to warrant a purchase for second playthroughs. A few technical bugs aside, Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition is a great port of one of last year’s great games.

Summary

Pros
  • All of the DLC from other systems is on disc
  • Amazing story
  • Lots to do in the city
  • Some GamePad implementation
  • Stealthily taking out baddies has never been more fun
Cons
  • Ran into some technical problems
  • Some GamePad implementation
  • Sometimes the city feels unnecessarily large

Talkback

TurdFurgyNovember 24, 2012

The only gadgets that you would use durring battle have their own button combo assignment. Bat Claw = LZ+X, bomb gell = LZ+Y, freeze thing = (RZ)*2, ect. Otherwise you have no business in the gadget select screen while fighting. As for selecting gadgets, once you're familiar enough with their locations, they're big enough to select without even looking at the GamePad.
I did however want to activate an upgrade that I was saving for when I needed it, but when I needed it I couldn't get to it because I was being shot at.

EasyCureNovember 24, 2012

Spoiler alert! I had no idea Robin was in the game :P: Eh I don't care honestly.

While this is a great review, I feel it is important to mention that certain things that are advertised as done on the gamepad can be done by more traditional methods as well.

For example, people have complained about the remote baterang controls being difficult to use via motion control. While I personally don't find that true, you can still steer using the analog sticks, it just happens to be viewed on the gamepad. Also the new B.A.T. mode can be turned on without use of the gamepad by simply pressing both analog sticks. Even if you don't prefer this method, like me, it really isn't so hard to tap the icon as it is very well placed and as easy to access as the d-pad is when moving your thumb off the analog stick.

Other tasks such as switching gadgets felt daunting at first until the game explained you could assign shortcuts to 3 items on the gamepad's d-pad. Going with the theme of Batman prepping beforehand, it suits you to get assign key gadgets ahead of time so when you do need them, you're not forced to take your eyes off the screen.

The map implementation is very well done and intuitive, and I like that character bios appear on the gamepad as soon as they're unlocked. I'm still at the start of the game and have yet to find myself in a situation where the gamepad hindered my experience. Arkham city is so huge that you could easily find a quiet rooftop/vantage point away from enemies to spend a few minute staring at the gamepad screen whether it be for the map, gadgets, upgrading your gear or just reading bios.

edit: As TurdFergy also mentioned, there are button combo shortcuts for gadgets as well. Personally This method confuses me at this point in time, but I'm sure with practice I'll remember the combinations enough to make use of them and play the game a little more fluidly.

AVNovember 24, 2012

Can the graphical problems be fixed with patch?  I heard that textures also are inconsistent . This sort of thing really annoys me and make it almost not worthy of my time

EasyCureNovember 24, 2012

Quote from: Mr.

Can the graphical problems be fixed with patch?  I heard that textures also are inconsistent . This sort of thing really annoys me and make it almost not worthy of my time

Will you be going from area to area staring at walls and such to enjoy the textures? Otherwise seems like a very minor complaint. The game looks solid despite a small framerate dip or two in certain cut scenes.  I've only played the game for a few hours last night and noticed it once, and I've yet to notice it (or read about it happening) during actual gameplay. Other impressions I've read indicate its not that bad, just kind of a shame that it couldn't be ironed out. Other than that the game looks really good, and plays really good too.

AVNovember 24, 2012

Quote from: EasyCure

Quote from: Mr.

Can the graphical problems be fixed with patch?  I heard that textures also are inconsistent . This sort of thing really annoys me and make it almost not worthy of my time

Will you be going from area to area staring at walls and such to enjoy the textures? Otherwise seems like a very minor complaint. The game looks solid despite a small framerate dip or two in certain cut scenes.  I've only played the game for a few hours last night and noticed it once, and I've yet to notice it (or read about it happening) during actual gameplay. Other impressions I've read indicate its not that bad, just kind of a shame that it couldn't be ironed out. Other than that the game looks really good, and plays really good too.

http://www.gametrailers.com/reviews/ffp51k/gametrailers-com-review


I don't want to fly to my death because some stupid graphical glitch.

EasyCureNovember 25, 2012

First of all, that wouldn't be the end of the world. It's not you flying to your death, it's a virtual character..

Secondly, what am I supposed to be looking at in that video? There's more than just batman on there and I doubt I'd see such a glitch in such quickly pasted shots.

TJ SpykeNovember 25, 2012

Maybe he is talking about the scene where Batman swings onto a building but the game has Batman falling through the ceiling (as if its not there) and into nothing.

joshnickersonNovember 25, 2012

Quote from: TJ

Maybe he is talking about the scene where Batman swings onto a building but the game has Batman falling through the ceiling (as if its not there) and into nothing.

Let's be honest... you can probably find a similar glitch in nearly every other 3D polygon based game ever made if you try hard enough. Hell, Super Mario 64 speed runs are based on such glitches.

EasyCureNovember 25, 2012

Quote from: joshnickerson

Quote from: TJ

Maybe he is talking about the scene where Batman swings onto a building but the game has Batman falling through the ceiling (as if its not there) and into nothing.

Let's be honest... you can probably find a similar glitch in nearly every other 3D polygon based game ever made if you try hard enough. Hell, Super Mario 64 speed runs are based on such glitches.

Can Super Mario 64 graphic glitches be fixed with a patch? I heard that textures also are inconsistent . This sort of thing really annoys me and make it almost not worthy of my time

:P

Kytim89November 25, 2012

Can you opt out of the BAT mode and just have Batman and Catwoman in their normal costumes like the original versions?

TurdFurgyNovember 25, 2012

I think you can choose the original as a skin after you complete the game, but you still have B.A.T. mode.

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Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition Box Art

Genre Action
Developer Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Players1
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition
Release Nov 18, 2012
PublisherWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
RatingTeen
jpn: Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition
Release Dec 08, 2012
eu: Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition
Release Nov 30, 2012
PublisherWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
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