Hello readers! So, If you’ve been keeping up with the reviews as of late, then you know that, starting last week, I’ve begun my review of the Batman: Arkham Series! This week I’ll be delving into Batman: Arkham City, the sequel to Arkham Asylum.
Batman: Arkham City opens with Bruce Wayne meeting the press to discuss the dangers of the newly opened “Arkham City.” After the asylum was ravaged by the Joker and other high profile villains, a man named Hugo Strange appeared, (Seemingly out of nowhere) and initiated the building of Arkham City. It’s placed in the middle of Gotham, with nothing but steel walls protecting Gothamites from the criminals inside. So, of course we can see why this would be a VERY dangerous thing. As Bruce is protesting the miniature prison-city Arkham City Guards swoop in and arrest him. He wakes up tied to a chair and being confronted by Hugo Strange himself, who somehow knows Batman’s true identity.
Hugo releases Bruce into the clutches of Arkham City, where Penguin gets to him first. Penguin, who holds a Financial-related grudge against the Wayne Family, plots to beat Bruce to death. You play as Bruce, and once you’ve defeated Penguin and his goons, you make your way to the rooftops to gain signal to Alfred. After retrieving your Batsuit, you immerse yourself into what’s happening in the crime-riddled mini city. You soon learn that Arkham City is part of something called Protocol 10, some mysterious plot that could only mean bad news. In the midst of al of this, Joker grabs your attention by kidnapping an EMT that sent in with a medical team to help maintain some semblance of health among the prisoners.
When you reach Joker, HarleyQuinn knocks you out and you wake to find yourself (Yet again…)strapped to a chair. Joker is deathly ill from the large amount of Titan he’d ingested on Arkham Island and to ensure your help in finding a cure, he injects you with his tainted blood.
He doesn’t know anything about Protocol 10 and only recruited to you get to Mr. Freeze. Freeze was being forced to work up a cure for Joker, but had recently gone M.I.A. You find that Freeze was captured by Penguin, and was being used as some sort of sick museum display. Once you’ve rescued him and get him back to working up a cure, you begin to realize just how bad this disease is. It’s making you weak and defenseless. You get word that Ra’s al Ghul and his League of Assassins are holed up in some forgotten underside of Gotham’s subway system, protecting his Lazurus pit. The pit has been keeping Ra’s alive for years, and you drink some of it. You suffer through some nasty hallucinations, but you’re backup to fighting strength. Temporarily, at least. You learn that Protocol 10 is the “last stand” for Gotham. If the prisoners get out of hand, Protocol 10 is meant to level Arkham City and kill everyone inside. Hugo, working under Ra’s, is bent on purging the city of it’s “filth” and earning his right by Ra’s Al Ghul’s side. He’s been funneling weapons in to the prisoners, and letting the city board think that they’re trying to overtake the guards. But, you prevail and so Ra’s kills him, thinking him a failure, before disappearing into the night. Joker Contacts you again, believing you’ve stolen his cure. Desperate, He kidnaps Talia Al Ghul, Ra’s’s daughter, and Batman’s true love. You meet him at the old Theater, and, after finding it was she that stole the cure, he shoots her. You take your portion of it, and you and joker come to blows. He stabs you in the shoulder, in a frustrated attempt to get the rest of the cure from you but it causes you to drop it and the vial breaks. Joker, too weak to do anything more, eventually dies.
That moment alone is one of the most surprising points to happen in the batman universe, and makes this game that much more intense. It’s a very open-world game compared to Arkham Asylum, and an amazing continuation of the Batman Storyline. This game delves into the darker aspects of Batman’s world, and provides not only an amazing main story, but some fantastic sub-plots as well. Stay tuned for Next week, where I explore Arkham Origins! – Charlie