Arkham City game is just around the corner, so I thought I’d pick up the recently collected trade version of the comic series Batman: Arkham City. For those who don’t know, it’s the tie in between the first game and the upcoming game and of course, beware of SPOILERS!
To start, I’ll briefly go over the first game, Arkham City. The story deals with the Joker purposely getting caught to try and take over Arkham Asylum. Batman of course ends up stopping him in the end. This game is the best Batman game I’ve ever played and for that matter one of the best games ever in my opinion. The story is amazing with great graphics. You get to control Batman from nearly the start and are there when the Joker starts his plan all the way to the end. It’s very interesting for as you go you see less and less police/guards as the inmates slowly take over. It is a short game, one you could beat in 10 hours I think if you don’t do the side quests or challenges, but it definitely is one Batman fans or most gamers shouldn’t pass up.
This comic now starts with a recap of the first game’s ending and a set up that will get Quinn moving I’m sure before jumping 6 months ahead where Sharp is mayor with Dr. Strange as his shrink. Dr. Strange who is of course setting things up from different angles. Part of it involves an attack on city hall to such a degree it actually allows a War Zone to be declared and half the city walled off to serve as one giant asylum. Besides that, a lot of the democratic process seems to have been taken away from the city as Arkham City opens.
This new “asylum” is pretty horrid. Sharp plays it off as being a spot they can live pretty normal life with even a health care system and all for them while having a private militia policing them. But everyone is being tossed in there from Blackgate and Arkham from Joker, Scarecrow, to even lowly people who just aren’t quite able to live normal lives in public but never have done any harm. We see one of those guys begging not to be transferred as he’s scared out of his mind (and I don’t blame him). Oddly enough – but in a neat way – the Joker escapes Arkham after a failed murder attempt on him and even escapes Batman to end up inside Arkham City! And he’s happy about it and dubs himself mayor!
Jumping ahead, gates are about to close and we follow Kurtz as he checks out both the Joker and Penguin who seem to be the two big names vying for the lead role in the Asylum. We see a bit of both sides before finding out Kurtz was just Batman in disguise learning their games. Apparently Strange was watching Batman as well and has some neat equipment to do it though.
Things enter a bang as Batman’s trick to enter/leave the place is found out due to those cameras and as he enters back he gets ambushed. He also has his cowl’s radio hacked by Strange! Makes me wonder if that will – in game – mean he won’t be able to talk to Oracle or if it will be more like the Riddler was in the first game sending Batman random messages; Batman later goes on radio silence so I wonder then if he’ll keep it that way for the game too or not. Either way, all the info Strange has gathered on Batman was used to better equip and train the militia in Arkham City. Just when Strange seems to have Batman though, Catwoman jumps in with a save.
Batman manages to get out of the city after finding out who really is behind everything and pulls up all info he can with Robin. Robin – that’s an interesting one here. Batman Wikia states it is Tim Drake, though he seems to be blonde haired and much buffer than any Tim I’ve ever seen. Phsyically he actually reminds me of Dick a bit and here isn’t seen with a cape either, the hair style makes me think of Damian (not the coloring) and I think when he does have a cape that it has a hood.
Hugo, knowing Batman would go for him steps out publicly to actually make Batman taking him down harder and like a chess game, Batman goes out like Bruce to try and counter him but seems mostly to fail. In the end we get some outlook from Strange himself that finishes up with the fact he knows Bruce and Batman are the same person.
Added to the back are the digital comics that also tie into the game that I won’t touch at this moment at least. Well save a slight talk on Robin’s story. His name is never given though we see him using a bo-staff and seemingly very analytical like Tim, but we also see him younger wearing Grayson’s Robin uniform that Tim never did. I wonder if this Robin was meant to be ambiguous in who he really was, or if he is meant to be Tim but altered with some aspects of some of the other Robins here.
No matter what though, I’m really looking forward to this game. I loved the first one and this comic was really nicely done too, so I’m really expecting great things from the new game.