Saturday Morning Gaming: Going Back To Gotham
The next really big game that has me really excited is The Outer Worlds but it doesn’t come out for a WHOLE MONTH. (And given that it’s Obsidian, I should probably wait a couple of days before installing to make sure it doesn’t brick PS4s or something. I should probably wait for the first full hotfix, now that I think about it.)
So since I’m waiting for a really awesome game, the best way to not freak out is to replay a comfortable awesome game. So I went back to Gotham.
I began by playing the remastered-for-PS4 Arkham Asylum (it was bundled with the remastered-for-PS4 Arkham City). This game was the first pretty good superhero video game since, oh, Superman on the Atari 2600. It took the Metroidvania formula and added the voice actors from The Animated Series and actually shelled out for a writer and they made a downright AMAZING video game.
(If you don’t know what “Metroidvania” means, it pretty much means “games with a lot of differently colored locked doors”. As you play through the games, you start with no keys. Then you pretty much immediately find a blue key. You eventually use the blue key on a door that will give you a new weapon and a green key… which allows you to go back and unlock the green doors and you eventually unlock a green door that has a boss behind it who has a new weapon and a yellow key… which allows you to go back and unlock the yellow doors and you eventually unlock a yellow door that has a boss behind it who has a new weapon and a red key… and now you’ve got the keys to the kingdom and if you want to 100% the game, you’ll have to go back and look at all of the setpieces and appreciate how much work the creators put into this game for you.)
I went back to play Arkham Asylum and the voices were GREAT! And the writing was superb! And the gameplay was clunky and I kept messing up! (It’s like they didn’t know what they were doing yet.)
And now I’m playing Arkham City and, golly, it’s freakin’ amazing. The gameplay that I kept trying to pull in Arkham Asylum was the gameplay they gave me in Arkham City. The voice acting is out of this world. The writing has me on the edge of my seat. And, this time, the gameplay has me playing like the controller is plugged directly into my brain. If I make a mistake, I find myself cursing myself rather than yelling something like “THE DARN USER CONTROL IS SLOW!” (I tried to google Eek the Cat saying “it is a poor carpenter who blames his tools, Mister Bunny” but, sadly, that didn’t seem to make it to the youtubes).
As I play through the story (and pick up sidequests and Riddler trophies along the way), I keep finding myself saying “Man! This game was PERFECT!” and wishing that there was going to be another one coming out. Sadly, we had Arkham Asylum and Arkham City setting them up and then Arkham Knight knocking them down (with Arkham Origins in there in the middle providing a great bit of content for those hungry for content… but they didn’t move it over to the PS4 and, while I wish they would, it’s not like I can blame them for not).
And then it came time for me to write this post and as I do my googling for research I stumble across this (a tweet that came out less than a week ago):
Capture the Knight / Cape sur la nuit pic.twitter.com/yMFXMd4djU
— WB Games Montréal (@WBGamesMTL) September 23, 2019
So… what are you playing?
(Featured image is “Bats” by premasagar. Used under a creative commons license.)
Arkham City was the best in the series by far–Knight was dragged down by the poorly integrated Batmobile. The stealth combat in all of them is so fun though.Report
I loved Knight and didn’t mind the Batmobile parts (though the Riddler races kinda sucked).
I want to go back and play Origins but… it’s only available as part of Playstation’s subscription service and I have this weird thing where I don’t want to pay for that for just one game (even though a 3 month subscription is $25 and I could probably be talked into shelling out $25 for a physical copy of the PS4 remaster of the game).Report
A friend let me try out Asylum at his place, and my biggest complaint was that I didn’t really feel like *Batman*, because it felt like I would try to do a “cool swooping takedown and fade into the shadows” move, and instead I’d throw a Batarang through a window then step off a ledge and faceplant in front of a thug who’d promptly shotgun the logo off my chest.
So if City makes it easier to do the first thing instead of the second thing, that sounds great!Report
The game benefits from being replayed. Where I am now, I can get into a fight with 20ish thugs and beat them on the first try. Back when I first got it, it took me days to do it. (Bonus: the Middle Earth games use the same basic combat layout. So you can finish playing Batman and then go to Middle Earth and use the same muscle memory.)Report
I’m in the middle of finishing off the 440(!) Riddler trophies/challenges and I am amazed at the depth of the game.
It’s got a dozen side quests from protecting political prisoners to capturing Zsasz to destroying the various cameras around the city and if you ever get bored doing one thing, you can go off and do another.
I think my favorite thing about the game as seen through the lens of Arkham Asylum, when you were getting the mere 200ish things for Riddler, he would leave maps lying around and then complain that you were finding stuff. In Arkham City, he has associates who tell you stuff. You have to fight a crowd of 3 or 5 or 14 thugs and one of them is a Riddler Associate and you have to defeat him last. If you do, he’ll tell you the location of one of the trophies or Joker Balloons or whatever. And so when Riddler is yelling about you getting some trophy or other that he thought you wouldn’t have been able to, you aren’t thinking “YOU GAVE ME A MAP” but “hire better associates next time.”Report