The game spends the first 85% of it’s running time building up a collection of brawling and stealth mechanics. And then you get to the end and they throw you into three completely new encounters, which are as different from the rest of the game as they are from each other. We slog through Croc’s lair. Then we fight Ivy by way of Super Mario Sunshine. Then we fight monster Joker.
Superhero games are tough to get right, and the losers vastly outnumber the successes. This goes double for existing heroes. When talking about bad superhero games everyone jumps right to Superman 64, and so we kind of lose track of just how many other awful licensed games there are.
But here we have a game that managed to nail it. The tone is right. The art is right. The gameplay fits the character. (As opposed to the Gameboy / SNES days of just making everything a super-unforgiving platformer built around projectile avoidance.) They had multiple gameplay types blended together, and managed to keep it all contained at a single location without things ever feeling stale.
And then we get to the end and it all comes apart. I understand if they felt they needed to put a boss fight at the end because of videogame expectations. But three? Next to each other? And what about turning Joker into a huge brute? Didn’t that strike anyone as dangerously off?
In the comments, reader Ledel has been keeping a running tally of the apparent knockouts, maims, and kills (ignoring that the game claims people are “unconscious” regardless of what happens to their body) that Batman commits during the course of the game. You’ll have to go back and read the comments to get the details – Ledel regularly explains the thinking between what constitutes a “maim” or a “kill” here – but the idea is to count up how much damage Batman is doing if we assume these mooks are about as durable as a typical human being outside of comic books. The final counts for the whole series:
I really enjoyed this season. It was nice to be able to say something nice about a game after the outrage and ranting of last time. Thanks for watching.
WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.
MMO Population Problems
Computers keep getting more powerful. So why do the population caps for massively multiplayer games stay about the same?
A Lack of Vision and Leadership
People fault EA for being greedy, but their real sin is just how terrible they are at it.
Batman: Arkham City
A look back at one of my favorite games. The gameplay was stellar, but the underlying story was clumsy and oddly constructed.
Push the Button!
Scenes from Half-Life 2:Episode 2, showing Gordon Freeman being a jerk.