Wednesday, February 15

Batman Arkham City: Lockdown Review (iOS): The Five Ds of Dodgeball will help you survive this one

While Batman: Arkham City continues to wow gamers everywhere (yes Dutch, except for the ending), Arkham City: Lockdown (ACL) compliments the story further with gamers taking control of The Dark Knight as he battles his way through goons and the toughest villains Gotham has to offer.

The Good
ACL's graphics really took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting anything more than defined cell animation but the HD visuals are really impressive. Although each level is essentially the same (backdrops and villains are identical with the exception of some shirt colours), the characters are well presented and fluent in motion.

The added bonuses include a comic book reader for the Arkham City series as well as wallpapers and the ability to purchase different Batman costumes. It's nothing more than an aesthetic change but it's cool none the less, especially when playing as campy 70s Batman and Brave and the Bold Batman.

The Bad
A key error for the game is it's concept - ACL is literally one brawl after the other. You fight goon after goon with the same moves and once you master dodge, deflect, and punch you've mastered the game. The level bosses offer some sort of variety - Two Face allows use of the Batarang, Solomon Grundy changes views and battle design - but not enough to keep me addicted.

The Ugly
There's nothing worse than faulty controls. Yes, I know, it's the first excuse of a poor gamer but this is just annoying. Throughout battles you can boost your health by clicking a HUD button but it only works at certain times. When? Beats me, but to add insult to injury if you get killed, despite clicking the button, the health meter increases.

Additionally the fighting swipes could be better. When enemies are flashing red they are impervious to your attacks and all you can do is dodge them. Some of the smarter goons bring guns to the fight and no matter how quickly you tap-to-dodge, it doesn't always get you out of trouble, resulting in gunshot wounds and angry tapping.

The Verdict
As an add-on for Batman fans, it's not a bad title; but unless you like your games as predictable as gravity, this one probably isn't for you. I enjoyed playing Arkham City: Lockdown mainly for the key villains and extras but the constant repetition of the thug fights took its toll on my patience.

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