Batman: Arkham City by Rocksteady Studios

4 Aug

Bibliographic Information

Batman: Arkham City developed Rocksteady Studios, released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.

Plot Summary

Batman: Arkham City is a third person Action Adventure game that is the sequel to the original game Batman: Arkham Asylum.  As the name suggests, the story expands the concept of its predecessor by turning a portion of Batman’s City into a larger holding pen for Gotham’s worst criminals.  Governing Arkham City is its creator, Hugo Strange, a man with a sinister plot known mysteriously as Protocol 10.  When Batman tries to discover what is happening in Arkham City, he is imprisoned there by Strange.  Now he must find a way to escape this terrifying place and stop Strange before he can implement his sinister plan.

Making things difficult for Batman are a host of his old adversaries, now locked up in Arkham City.  In various stages of the game, Batman must do battle with the Joker, the Riddler, Catwoman (who turns out to be an ally), Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and others.  Lucky for Batman, he has a host of new weaponry and skills that help him in battle.  Working through these villains, Batman learns the sinister nature of Strange’s Protocol 10 and must overcome great odds to disable it.

Critical Evaluation

Fans of Batman: Arkham Asylum will not be disappointed by its sequel.  Rocksteady Studios has taken the bleak world of the original and expanded it to create a truly nightmarish vision of a crumbling, dystopian urban landscape.  It’s the perfect environment for Batman to do battle with a host of creepy villains, all voiced convincingly by trained actors, including Mark Hamill reprising his role as the Joker.

While the main plot involves Batman’s discovery of Protocol 10 and his escape from Arkham City, there are numerous sub-plots, including a fatal disease that threatens the life of our hero. The designers have also expanded the moves and weaponry that Batman uses to combat villains and Invisible Predators throughout the game.  Part of the adventure is not only driven by the plot of the story, but in discovering the new ways Batman can defeat a host of villains. Knowing when to engage and when to avoid the bad guys requires players to think critically and make choices depending on the situation and the character’s need.

Helping move through these challenges is Catwoman, a character with her own sub plot that players will enjoy experiencing as well.  Her story and Batman’s are entwined as she must locate and steal objects that Batman needs to defeat the Joker and Strange.

Reader’s Annotation

Now that you’ve seen the Batman films, do you want to play him yourself?  Batman: Arkham City allows players to become the Caped Crusader in an epic adventure that allows you to do battle with all of Batman’s enemies, including the Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, and more.

Information about the author

Arkham City was written by veteran Batman writer Paul Dini with Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill.  From Dini’s Wikipedia page, we learn that “Paul Dini (born August 7, 1957) is an American writer and producer who works in the television and comic book industries. He is best known as a producer and writer for several Warner Bros./DC Comics animated series, including Star Wars: Ewoks, Tiny Toon Adventures, Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman/Superman Adventures, Batman Beyond and Duck Dodgers. He also developed and scripted Krypto the Superdog and contributed scripts to Transformers, Animaniacs, Freakazoid, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. After leaving Warner Bros. in early 2004, Dini went on to write and story edit the popular ABC adventure series Lost. He has also written a number of comic books for DC Comics, including Harley Quinn and Superman: Peace on Earth. Fall 2010 also saw the debut of Tower Prep, a new live action/drama series Dini created for Cartoon Network. It has been announced that after two decades of doing DC-related animated projects, Paul Dini will be going over to Marvel to serve as a writer and producer for Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

Genres

“Open world” action-adventure game

Curriculum Ties

N/A

Booktalking Ideas

N/A

Reading Level / Interest Age

N/A

Challenge Issues

Rated Teen for violence

Why did I include this title?

There is so much hype right now surrounding the last installment of the Batman trilogy in theaters that I thought it would be great to give fans of the series another way to experience the story.

 

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