Well you know what they say, better late then never. Every time I've tried and play this game I've had really hot days, my PS3 freezing due to overheating and both Sonic Generations and Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One come out and stop me from playing it and I can now FINALLY review it.
Before we start I'd better admit that I LOVE BATMAN! Always have and always will. Out of every super hero ever created he has the best villains, no super powers unless unlimited funds count, and he's very relatable. I also collect Batman theatrical and animated movies, comics and soon statues/figures.
The story confuses me on where in Batman continuity it fits exactly and why Scarecrow isn't in this game... I like Scarecrow. Anyway it's been nearly a year since the events in Arkham Asylum and since then Quincy Sharp (former Arkham Asylum warden) has become mayor and has turn North Gotham into a newer bigger asylum called Arkham City and Hugo Strange has been charged to run the place(Now if you want more into the events before the game buy the hardcover Arkham City trade paperback. Trust me it's worth it and helps frame what happens in the game). Batman/Bruce Wayne has suspicions about the place and is campaigning to shut the place down and gets thrown into Arkham City by Strange's Tyger soldiers. Now Batman must uncover what's going on and try to survive in a place where everyone wants him dead. Also Catwoman's there and is part of the story so buy it new like a good boy/girl or pay more then the new price in total to download her.
Gameplay hasn't changed much since the last game and if this is the first one you are playing, STOP NOW and buy Batman Arkham Asylum, finish it and come back to this game. The major changes are quick fire abilities for some of your gadgets, the ability to counter more then 1 enemy at once and some new combat skills. Unfortunately these extra abilities make choosing combat tactic overwhelming. Also stealth is always the best option but if you're like me you just love jumping into the fray and start throwing gadgets all over the place... and getting turned to brooding Swiss cheese.
The city is also bigger then Arkham Asylum but is cluttered unless you're on the rooftops. Navigating the city on rooftops is the best way to get around since the streets are small and you can see things better on the roof. You also get a new ability to dive while gliding and it's useful for keeping up in the air.
Batman also comes with some of his old gadgets from Arkham Asylum and we also get some new tools like ice grenades and a weapons jammer. Thanks to the ability to quick fire a far few of these weapons, you won't need to swap them to use in battle and if you're really good you can even use them normally this way. Most are unlocked through story progression but a couple are found in side missions.
Thanks to the fact that you're in a large sandbox, the games structure lets you faff about collecting Riddler trophies, solve riddles and complete side missions but be warned, you can miss some missions when concentrating on the story and you won't be able to complete some of them in the end game. The side missions usually involve detective work and combat or in the Riddler's side mission's case, solving a puzzle through"cheating".
Boss fights have also improved since Arkham Asylum. Boss fights are now more then just fighting waves of goons alone... now you fight goons and the villains. On top of that they are memorable and fun. As much as I want to tell you about them it's best I let you find out... assuming you haven't already finished it since this IS a late review.
As mentioned before you can play as Catwoman during the story mode. She plays similarly enough to Batman to not feel crippled in combat and while she navigates the city at a slower pace, she's actually a lot more fun to play then you'd expect. She fights faster then Batman and unfortunately gets her ass handed to her faster then Bats, so you'll need to use stealth more frequently and evade a lot. She also gets her own pink Riddler trophies to find and she has to pick up some of the green ones too.
On top of the main campaign, you can play challenge maps just like before and these are more challenging then before and with DLC you can play these as Batman, Catwoman, Robin(Tim Drake) and Nightwing. Unfortunately I am not that good at these but it gives you something to do after playing the game or to use as a training tool. Speaking of finishing the game you can start the game again in a New Game+ mode with everything you've unlock, tougher enemies and no counter indicators. Guess who keeps dying in this mode... this guy... oh right, you can see me pointing at myself.
Batman Arkham Asylum was a great game, Arkham City is an even greater game. It's a great experience playing as Batman and playing just like the character is in the comics and animated series. Arkham City improves on Arkham Asylum and gives us a better game then we expected. With tons to do and DLC to come, this game will last a long time. You can clear the story at your own pace too so it's worth every penny.