When it was first released last year, Batman: Arkham City did more than turn a few heads. It defined exactly what a comic book-oriented game was supposed to be. Featuring a larger environment than the original Batman: Arkham Asylum, breathtaking amounts of stuff to do within the prison-like city, awesome gameplay ranging from gliding to fighting enemies on the ground, and plenty of unique story twists, it set the standard for games that will follow in the years to come. And with that, WB Games was probably wondering, “Why let Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC owners have all the fun?”
Last year, the company announced that a port of Arkham City was in the works for Wii U, and this year, it showed off the game in action during Nintendo’s pre-E3 press conference. Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition features all the content from the previously released hit game, along with various new missions to tackle and gameplay that has been adapted to work with Nintendo’s tablet controller. While it’s far from perfect, this new experience is bound to draw in a few Bat freaks, as well as attract hardcore players getting into the system for the first time.
In case you’ve never played the game before, you play the Dark Knight, exploring the prison-like Arkham City as you try to find out what’s happening with the guy running it, Hugo Strange. Meanwhile, a cavalcade of Batman’s old foes pop up, including the Joker and Two-Face, along with his on-again/off-again love interest/foe Catwoman, who has an agenda all her own. Batman has to fight his way through the city, resolving missions and using items on his utility belt, to get to the bottom of this mystery. And even then, you may not be prepared for what lies ahead.
Throughout the game, Batman will use various gadgets to his advantage, which will help him get through certain parts. Once again, he’s able to turn on Detective Mode with the flip of a switch, seeking out clues and interactive items, such as glass that can be destroyed with explosive gel. He can switch back and forth between real vision and Detective Mode pretty swiftly, without any sort of disorientation.
For the Wii U version, there’s a twist. As you’re searching for clues within the Detective Mode, you won’t just look around on the main game screen. Instead, you’ll use your tablet controller like a scanning device within the area, finding a clue and zooming in on it, so you can pick up a trail and make your way to the next mission. Very cool stuff.
The Wii U screen also plays a huge part when it comes to using certain items on your utility belt, such as the Batarang. Now, instead of just throwing it and guiding it with your analog stick (which you can still do, if you prefer), you’ll actually look down at the Wii U screen and tilt the system to guide the path of the Batarang, past walls and into the target that you’re aiming for, such as a switch box. Though this ability is a bit difficult at first, by the second or third throw you’ll have it down.