As our first review done in 2012, Batman: Arkham City rolls in as our last contender for 2011 Game of the Year. Does it earn that title, or is it just overdone hype for another third-rate third-person action game?

Batman: Arkham City

Having not had the pleasure of playing Uncharted 3 for lack of a PS3 in the AAGH stable, I’ll go on a limb and say that Batman: Arkham City may be the best action/adventure game I’ve played in 2011. It beats out Brink, Monday Night Combat, Dungeon Defenders, Terraria, Dragon Age 2 and Saint’s Row: The Third in my book. The last game I played that I was this impressed by was Skyrim, and before that, Portal 2. This is also the right way to do a licensed game.

The combat control is responsive yet loose. You aren’t tied into long, stiff animation sequences and can jump from baddie to baddie with supernatural ease. Using you arsenal in the heat of combat, something I was concerned about coming in is extremely easy. It’s also rewarding to pick off armed foes stealthily and it is then that you really feel like Batman.

Batman’s cast of crazies are brought to life really well. The Joker I wasn’t concerned about but Two-Face, the Penguin and the Riddler are also really well done. Catwoman isn’t nearly as impressive to me, and is the only characters who’s performance is too over-the-top.

Batman: Arkham City

Collectables are strewn everywhere and I was always veering off course to gran them. Some gamers don’t like that – they associate ‘collection’  with ‘lazy design,’ but to me it’s fun trying to grab the Riddler’s  trophies. Where he got all of these trophies to hide in the first place is beyond me.

Visually, Arkham City is solid but not spectacular. I can’t say that I’ve been blown away by anything I’ve seen in the game. Sound-wise the voice acting is the high point, but the rest of the audio is good as well.

If you like action games, this is a title you must play. There’s allot to like here, with only a few flaws dragging it down. It may not be the best game of 2011, but it’s not far off, either.

Alphasim out.

Good audio with great voiceovers; Rock-solid control; Great action; Best Batman game yet Not allot; Combat can be hard for some people

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