I usually try to be fairly positive with my reviews too provide a better experience for the reader but seeing as I’m feeling a little cynical, this week that’s going out the window. Batman: Arkham City Lockdown sucks.
It’s no Kim Kardashian when it comes to the sucking department but more like a low-powered vacuum cleaner that leaves the floor slightly dirty after you’re done. Which I suppose has more in common with Kim than at first glance…
Last week I reviewed Infinity Blade which is an excellent context-sensitive combat game. While very similar to Infinity Blade in many respects, Lockdown is a prime example of how just a few small differences can make the big difference between a game being fun or a torturous toil.
Arkham City tells one of the many tales of Batman; The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader or the guy with serious deep seeded emotional issues that dresses like a bat. This game does have things going for it, first and foremost of which is that you get to be Batman, but the rest of the experience is slightly lacklustre.
The Bad (and the Ugly)
Almost every area of the game has at least some sort of small issue that irked me. The controls are simply not sensitive enough.
Touching the screen will cause Batman to dodge an attack while swiping down will cause him to parry but all too frequently I found myself dodging when I intended to parry, parrying when I intended to punch and combos would break midway through simply because the touchscreen has difficulty picking up commands.
In terms of graphics, the models, animations, level sprites and sound bites are re-used again and again, level after level. A huge issue is the distinct lack of direction in the narrative.
Rather than an overarching story tying gameplay together, each level is prefaced with a bland 30 second monologue from the ‘boss’ of the level and while having characters such as Two-Face, The Joker, Harley Quinn and Solomon Grundy make appearances, none of them truly add anything special to the formula.
Defeating opponents sees you earning experience which can be used to upgrade Batman’s arsenal and strength but once again it never truly lives up to expectations as each upgrade feels like a marginal power boost rather than a new tool for your utility belt.
After the recent excellent console based Batman games, I expected a more well-rounded title for the iPad but Arkham City is whats we gots. Infinity Blade forever, man!
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