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Batman: Arkham City - Reviews - Post #882


The Sarge
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Ok first impressions: jesus this game has an amazing main menu. These guys do presentation like nobody else :wub:

I believe* the Mortal Kombat guys came up with that front end for MK v DC.

*to be corrected with the first Unreal game to do the dynamic front end

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So, put a couple of hours into this and I'm enjoying it a lot more than when I started. It was a bit baffling just to be thrown into this huge, confusing world covered in these daft Riddler puzzles that I couldn't seem to interact with, loads of race and collection sidequests, and short, busy bursts of narrative.

Now I've unlocked a few gadgets and gotten a little further in the plot and stuff is flowing nicely. You just had to realise that for the first couple of hours they're still introducing things, and you're still functionally in the tutorial and not go off and explore just yet.

Couple of crashes so far, which is a shame. Also the Bruce Wayne section was all kinds of funny - it's surprising how necessary the cape is for covering stuff like animation and giving a sense of movement and momentum, because it looked bloody daft seeing it "bare", sliding around the level and switching direction while in a suit.

E: It's also annoying that they haven't fixed pretty much my only complaint about the first - that sometimes unrelated story events get in the way of side content. In the first I found myself locked out of finding trophies in the mansion since I decided to try and get them between a story beat where everything was overgrown and one where it had died off. Similarly here, I found myself locked out of a Riddler hostage quest because I was on the bit with the signal jammers.

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There are some Achievements missing from the PC version, if anyone cares, including the 50x combo one (I would have just smashed that with a 90x combo that put me into 41 in the world on Survival of the Fittest), Gotham Base Jumper and Catch. Possibly there's more as well. It looks like they were taken out to incorporate the Catwoman Bundle Pack Achievements into the limit of 50 retail games can have. smh

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The PC version isn't very well optimised. Both the Arkham and Steam forums are full of people finding it pretty much impossible to avoid frame rate drops. Biggest offenders are populated areas, a handful of NPCs and you can forget about getting the relatively consistent console experience. Arkham Asylum was much easier to get running at a steady clip. It's usually fine, but the drops are very noticeable and really rather unnecessary, even with the resolution lowered and the likes of SSAO off.

Hopefully the incoming patch will sort it out.

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Its Direct x11 thats the offender to frame drops. Turned it off and had no problems whatsoever. Hopefully a patch can come out soon and fix it though otherwise kinda pointless me waiting for the PC release :(

If only that solved it!

It drops even with DX9 for a ton of people. Coming straight from the comparatively consistent PS3 version it's probably even more noticeable to me.

I'm not really impressed by the customisation options. The opportunity to turn certain effects down rather than have an all or nothing situation would be helpful.

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Weirdly, performance overall is best to me at 1080p (highest available to me)- it looks as though it locks itself to 30fps on my computer and the drops are far less noticeable. I have everything on but AA and SSAO (DX9). There's less pointless judder, too. Playing at, say, 720p was great when all was smooth, but it holds its FPS appallingly and switches completely to 30fps in isolate areas, giving a SNES R-Type style effect.

Strangely, when I edited the ini to force 30fps at a lower resolution it seemed to drop more than it does at 1080p. Still drops far too much in NPC areas compared to the console versions.

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Weirdly, performance overall is best to me at 1080p (highest available to me)- it looks as though it locks itself to 30fps on my computer and the drops are far less noticeable. I have everything on but AA and SSAO (DX9). There's less pointless judder, too. Playing at, say, 720p was great when all was smooth, but it holds its FPS appallingly and switches completely to 30fps in isolate areas, giving a SNES R-Type style effect.

Strangely, when I edited the ini to force 30fps at a lower resolution it seemed to drop more than it does at 1080p. Still drops far too much in NPC areas compared to the console versions.

72124634.gif

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Fuck me, this is great, but a little overwhelming, it's almost like there's too much to look at!

I'm not keen on those 'local transmission' (or whatever they're called) bits, where you jsut overhear nearby enemies, it's a bit confusing/disorientating.

Epic music though.

Man. Too good. I may have to put Skyrim on hold and give this the time I think it deserves :D

P.S NO PC ISSUES, 60FPS AMAZINGNESS FOR ME THANKS.

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I put on Arkham Asylum last night just to see how things were, y'know. One thing I'm noticing is that I pretty much feel invincible going into fights and that Batman himself doesn't "flow" as he does in the fights in Arkham City....oh, and how easy some of the Riddler Trophies and Riddles are. Also, there seems to be more of an emphasis on inverted takedowns from gargoyles - which I really enjoyed - in Asylum, than there are in City. Still an aces game, but.

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I got a free download of this a while back with my new video card, and I downloaded it last night on Steam. I initially got a slip of paper with the video card with a code on, which I redeemed on Nvidia's site. They then sent me another code to activate it on Steam, which I did.

Problem is when I load it up for the first time, it's asking me to put in an activation code. Again. And the Steam one (which was emailed to me by Nvidia) doesn't work, so I guess it's after the one from the piece of paper, only I'm buggered if I still have it, because as far as I was concerned I'd already used it on Nvidia's website and wouldn't need it again.

Any ideas? :unsure:

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Yeah you start with zero challenges unlocked, just like the first game.

Did / does anyone else find those intercepted transmission things really break the immersion? I feel like i get no time to just chill and stalk in story mode, it's more like people are constantly shouting at me. A shame.

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There was a few people moaning about them earlier in the thread, but I quite like them. They're well written and funny, and make the goons a bit more real rather that just combo fodder.

Inmate 1: "How about a game of Rock, paper and scissors?

Inmate 2: "Can you even do that with 3 people?"

Inmate 1: "Yeah, of course, come on, one, two, three..."

Inmate 2: "All paper, what are the odds?"

Inmate 1: "Do I look like I went to school? Again, One, Two, Three.."

Inmate 3: "Gun beats paper."

Inmate 2: "No, Gun doesn't beat paper, stick to the rules!"

Inmate 1: "One, two, three..."

Inmate 2: "What the hell is that?!"

Inmate 3: "Dynamite."

Inmate 2: "For the love off!!..."

I agree. Apart from that they're well written and funny, they also reflect on your actions, which is always a nice touch. Some of the best writing in any game this year, easily.

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This seems to be a lot more stingy with the challenge rooms. I'd been seeing unlock notifications at quite a clip, but when I checked I only had a few. Do they start you out with none or something?

Yes, they’re miserly in releasing the Challenge rooms. I wanted to pace my game by completing them as they appeared, only to find most of them stayed locked until I was able to solve specific Riddler trophies near the end of the game.

Done at 56 of 60 Achievements – I even fudgineered the Storyteller (good idea for a little easter egg; not so for an Achievement). Going through NG+, I wish there’d been a front-end console option to disable any DLC as I felt mildly penalised by having to do the Catwoman episodes twice. I’d love to rattle through the Robin and Nightwing DLC right now too but there’s no way I’m sending WB a message that it’s acceptable to charge 1,120 Points for a couple of extra challenge maps and characters that are only playable in challenges. I’ll revisit this next year when they’re giving it away.

Why play as Catwoman when you could play as Batman? To answer that, you’d want to list everything she can do that he can’t. And it’s not a great list after

1. Faster silent running

2. Moves on the ceiling – in fixed areas

unless you’re seriously into fan service. She certainly demands a different style of combat to succeed, but that is easily summed up as ‘forget about variety, get into Freeflow Focus ASAP and stay there’. She also presents a challenge, which must be why I’ve obstinately got all her Combat, Predator and Campaign medals, and in fairness she helped me to see a couple of tricks from the level designers (e.g. throwing bolas from the ceiling to set off museum exhibits below; spotting the best places to plant caltrops and not waste them).

Compare skills and Batman’s glide is so controllable that you can land him on top of a flagpole. Much invisible worldbuilding work went into the contextual nudges that mean, from a player’s point of view, Batman’s moves flow smoothly within an environment of absolute physical integrity.

Fewer resources were available to go into Catwoman’s unpredictable jump.

It’s contextual but not always smart about it, so whether you’re pouncing long distances or just dropping from a ledge she can suddenly go flying or fall dangerously short in a way that occurs just often enough to take you by surprise every time. She’s sticky too, so she’ll unexpectedly grab on to walls and furniture you wanted to avoid and then stay there for precious long moments, waving her arse at enemies while you’re hammering the B button for no discernable purpose and screaming “Drop down, you silly cow!”

There’s also a bug where her whip swing prompt for a possible anchor location takes an age to appear or fails to show up entirely. You can either hit the button and hope you’ll still end up on the gargoyle you were looking at -- which sometimes works, other times puts her in completely the wrong place – or you can do the raindance of hopping around the spot and staring upwards to see if you can make it appear, wasting more precious time.

In the long run, and for all the excellent improvements, I rather suspect we’ll still be looking back at AA as the better overall package. But this was in no way a disappointment for me, and I’ve been loving it for many evenings. Just like AA, the smart map meant I was able to find and solve all the Riddler puzzles without a guide or faq. I find that slightly amazing, even if it’s the way games should be.

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I’m struggling to find a clue for the second Deadshot victim – all I get is a massive white circle in the top right of the map. Am I supposed to just search it with a fine tooth comb? I’m not even sure what I’m looking for.

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I’m struggling to find a clue for the second Deadshot victim – all I get is a massive white circle in the top right of the map. Am I supposed to just search it with a fine tooth comb? I’m not even sure what I’m looking for.

not-quite-a-spoiler:

Bodies also show up in blue in Detective Mode, and from a reasonable distance, so you're looking for one that wasn't your handiwork. I think my habit of tackling enemies that didn't respawn, and whose bodies then disappeared after I'd been inside a building, may have helped me on this one. But yeah, how about some more colour coding on the HUD?

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