This is it! The “other” of my most anticipated releases of the year comes out this week (P.S. Witcher 2). Excuse me whilst I gather myself off the floor. Yep, I’m a huge Batman fanboy, and I make no bones about it. Way back in 2009, Rocksteady completely redefined what a superhero video game could be with their incredible Arkham Asylum. Lauded for it’s perfect mix of stealth, hand to hand combat and adventure style game play, Arkham Asylum pulled off what we thought was impossible. They created a game where the player WAS Batman, and they did it while staying true to the 72 year history of a character that I consider to be the single greatest modern day mythological hero. The sheer weight of this history would be enough to crush most developers, but Rocksteady did an amazing job of paying homage to some of the more popular Batman mythos while crafting their own original take on the character.
My personal favourite version of Batman is from Batman: The Animated Series, so it brought me great joy when I learned that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill would be lending their amazing voice talents to this series. Even though the final battle in Arkham City was probably it’s greatest flaw, there was just something magical about hearing Conroy say “I’ll never let you win….. NEVER.” at the conclusion of that fight. Conroy is Batman, and Mark Hamill is every bit his equal as the Joker. It is unfortunate that Arleen Sorkin will not be reprising her role as Harley Quinn in Arkham City, but I’ve full confidence in the voice talents of Tara Strong (FFX) as a replacement. Other notables in the cast include Stana Katic (Castle), Maurice LaMarche (Futurama) and Nolan North (every video game in existence).
Rocksteady is on the record saying that the Arkham City game world is approximately five times the size of that in Asylum. Gone is the hyper linear world of Asylum, replaced with an open world environment that you’ll get to explore and punch faces in. From what I’ve seen, Rocksteady has found some really creative ways to make sure that the narrative does not suffer at the hands of this new game play style. Arkham City looks to just take everything that made Asylum so incredible and just give you more of it, with a sprinkling of freedom!!!
Look, this game is going to be bloody fantastic. I want to review it for VGH, so I need to go. My copy just arrived.
Gotham Arkham City needs Batman!
And I’m Batman.
Costume Quest (PC) – Note: Matt wanted me to mention that even though this was a game that was released in the previous week, because he loved it so much he just wanted to make sure it got a little extra attention. For his thoughts, please check out this post! Also a special thanks for Matt’s help with this week’s Play More Games.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution – The Missing Link DLC (PS3, 360, PC) – Eidos, or is it Square? Decided it would be a great idea to release some DLC for their 2 month old game right when the fall release crescendo begins. What a shame. Even though I want to play the DLC, just how am I (or any other gamer) going to justify going back to Deus Ex now? I absolutely loved Deus Ex, but this is just really, really bad timing for what I assume will be a couple of hours of game play. I’ll definitely have to check this DLC out when things settle down, like sometime in 2037 perhaps.
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (PS3) – Apparently Ratchet & Clank is one of those incredible series that I’ve completely missed out on. Randy is a huge fan though so this’ll probably be on his hit list. Any game that has 4 player co-op as the primary focus will instantly grab my attention, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Insomniac Games has in store. Are YOU brave enough to solve the mystery of the Creature Collector? Find out in the next installment of… Ratchet & Clank!
PAYDAY: The Heist (PSN, PC) – You know this game is going to be awesome – why else would they spell it in ALL CAPS? The decision to delay it by a couple of weeks (it was originally due earlier this month) is a little troublesome, but with a premise like “Left 4 Dead minus zombies, plus bank robbing”, it certainly sounds promising. – Matt
Street Fighter Alpha 3 (PS1 Classic, Grab it on PSN) – For some reason whenever I think of Street Fighter Alpha 3, I immediately think of the goofy (and yet absolutely incredible) soundtrack. If you haven’t played SFA3 you need to face it straight and go for broke! Don’t be such a terrible fighter! But in all seriousness I absolutely love this game, definitely check it out if you want to play one of the more loosey goosey Street Fighter games.
Bejeweled 3 (XBLA) – PopCap’s latest edition of their casual hit Bejeweled arrives on Xbox Live Arcade. You’ll eventually own this game on every piece of electronics in your possession, so get started on your collection today.
Okabu (PSN) A PSN game from a developer that used to make iPhone games… should be interesting.
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken (PSN) – A PSN game that used to be a Flash game… should be interesting.
Dungeon Defenders (PSN, XBLA) – A PSN/XBLA game that used to be an iPhone game… should be interesting.
Rocksmith (PS3, 360) – You ARE the guitar. Be the music!
Tropico 4 (360) – Commies unite!
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (PC, PS3, 360, 3DS) – I’m not so sure about this “game”. From what little I’ve seen, it looks like a weird combination of a card game and a video game? Can someone shed some light on this for me?