The single major flaw of Arkham Asylum was that the wonderful and overwhelming thoroughness in which the Batman world was depicted made it hard to imagine how a sequel could accomplish or cover anything more. Every single element that defined the character was spot on, from his gadgets to his combats.
Even his detective skills that he had previously neglected are displayed in the most spectacular fashion in Arkham Asylum. At Rocksteady, the developers featured a few of Gotham City's greatest villains and then added hidden references to almost thirty more as mere fan service. A morbid setting was created with enough detail in efforts to capture the horror of the comic, but with enough scope to fit a Batmobile, Batwing and Batcave.
Rocksteady's developers thought of Arkham Asylum as 'practice' from the moment the Arkham City project was underway. Considered as the best ever superhero game, Asylum was the 2009 Game of the Year. However, in comparison to Arkham City, it seems like a demo - a draft or a blueprint for the most amazing Batman and superhero game ever created.
Improvements to Arkham Asylum
Any questions regarding how much better and bigger Arkham City is from Arkham Asylum can be answered by the sensational list of villains mentioned in the latter, but never seen before.
These names include Ra's al Ghul, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, The Penguin, Two-Face, Scarface and the Ventriloquist, Clayface, Firefly, The Injustice Gang, Professor Hugo Strange, Mad Hatter, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Black Mask, Hush, Killer Moth, Calendar Man, Prometheus, Maxie Zeus, The Creeper, The Ratcatcher, The Great White Shark, Humpty Dumpty, Amadeus Arkham, Martin "Mad Dog" Hawkins, The Spirit of Arkham and the Mystery One-Armed Inmate.
Half of these villains play big roles in Arkham City. In addition to that, all but one of the villains that were introduced in Arkham Asylum makes a return appearance in the sequel.
The developers and writers of the game could barely have done a better job, having successfully developed and justified the place of each character in narratives that make total dramatic and logical sense. The story is something special, blending the Animated Series episodes' humanity, Frank Miller's comics' brutal darkness and Christopher Nolan's films' confident risk-taking.
The innumerable moments of shock, awe and squealing will make a fan overpowered by these emotions in a matter of minutes of playing the game. The incredible quality of graphics makes the characters almost life-like, and the sound effects add to the intensity of the game.
Other features of the game
The magnitude of the game's atmospheric intricacy and epic scale is sure to leave you floored. Each building is unique and countless rooftops with distinct neon signs can be seen. A huge Ferris wheel reveals hidden bodies in each compartment when scanned using Detective mode.
While you may not be able to get your hands on the Batmobile just yet, climbing and diving and leaping and gliding across the vast playground using Batman's tools and cape offers incomparable exhilarating freedom, making Arkham City the best superhero game ever.
Bottom LineBatman Arkham City does everything Asylum did but bigger, brasher and with more freedom.