Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Who Am I?

“I'm just leaving the museum in the safe hands of the cops I rescued earlier when a shot rings out in the night. I access the computer and use the telemetry I've built up of the facility to triangulate the location of the shooter. The seconds race by, all of this takes time, time I don't have. Finally my terminal feeds me the results and I'm off all thoughts of stealth are put to one side this Is to important, I can't let another one die I promised my self that years ago. I arrive to late, the man is dead, who he was and why he was shot are questions I don't have time for right now... his killer is still on the loose. I survey the scene and discover the bullet lodged in a concrete traffic barrier, the angle of entry leads me to the shooters location... he shot through a water tower. That means high end weaponry and high end targeting. That means Deadshot. That's his second victim tonight I won't let there be a third. He may be the world's greatest assassin but I'm the Batman”

Batman: Arkham City isn't a game it's a fucking Batman simulator. If that's not something that interests you then I'm fairly certain that you're not allowed on the internet, don't worry a call has been lodged with the relevant authorities and a team will be despatched to revoke your papers with all alacrity... Now that those losers have been dragged kicking and screaming away from the internet. The rest of us can talk, now I'm that by know you've read a million and one articles on the internet by know that have the theme of “Holy fucking shit-balls, have you played Batman?”... but seriously holy fucking shit-balls have you played Batman yet? To call this game good is to miss the point. This game allows you to be Batman, and it does it well... really fucking well. I could waffle on about the graphics, awesome, or the combat, free-flowing violent ballet, or even the movement mechanics, flying through the city like winged terror but the true joy of the game lies in the immersion. This game, like all great games, draws you in, in a way that no other media can. In a film I feel for Batman. In a comic-book I can feel for Batman. In a game... I'm Batman.

“I hear the cry for help from below as I'm making my way back towards the Steel Mill to finish my business with the Joker. Some punk is roughing up one of the other prisoners. I climb slowly down the alley watching the scene unfold. I'm assessing the situation. I can think of a whole bunch ways to deal with the situation. I could glide down and kick the guy in the face. I can drop from above and crash him into the ground. I could grapple the thug away from his victim, I can bat-a-rang him, I can freeze him, I can put explosive gel on his back... decisions, decisions, decisions. Suddenly it hits me. I land gently next to him and I wait, he steps back to strike and he catches a glimpse of me. He pauses he can't decide whether to run of fight, I stay still. He swings for me... wrong choice. Less than a second later he's writhing on the ground in pain before passing out. I leave before the man I saved has time to thank me.”

Where a Batman film has to remain focussed on one or two villains in order to not end up as a huge confusing mish-mash. The job of a game on the other hand is to allow you to inhabit a universe and the best way to do that is by presenting you with as much of that world as possible. The first Arkham game... I think that's what we're going to have to call this series without the convenient numbering system that many other games use... used an ingenious system of setting the game in the Asylum that every single Batman villain has at some point inhabited. Arkham City had the difficult job of expanding the concept without being able to build the entirety of Gotham in incredible detail... the solution, bigger prison. Hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it. In a moment of madness it seems that the city of Gotham, in the worst planning decision since Fred West won the contract to repave Gloucester High Street, allowed Dr Hugo Strange to put a massive wall up around the a section of the city and turn it into a prison... Now it's not fully explained why Bruce Wayne didn't just buy large sections on the planned site and refuse to sell to the city is not made clear... also if this is a private endeavour, which it clearly is why didn't he just win the contract. Probably because both those options involve a limited amount of Batmannary, and if being Batman is half as fun as this game makes it seem, then you know what I fully understand.

“As I stare down from the peak of tower, with flames swirling above me I glare at the city below me still crying out for a saviour. I see thousands of people, a seething, swirling morass of man-kinds baser instincts. I see a city in pain. I am ready to be the cure. Who am I? I'm Batman”

eddie <humming the batman theme constantly>

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