Batman: Arkham City:
Another outing for the Dark Knight opens with Bruce Wayne being arrested and put in Gotham's new experimental prision, "Arkham City." His accuser: Prof. Hugo Strange who is working with a mysterious outside agent and Mayor Sharp (formerly Warden Sharp of Arkham Asylum) to block off a large section of Gotham City and leave it to mob and criminal rule. It doesn't take long for Wayne to don the bat suit and get on with finding out who is behind Strange's rise to power and quickly encounters several of his rogue's gallery, including Two Face, Then Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and of course the Joker and Harley.
The largest change from Asylum is an more open world environment and side quests. Or so it seems, at first. Aspects of the side quest are triggered by events of the main story, and much like Asylum, you find yourself at the end of the main story entirely too fast as each mission tends to lead directly into the next with either no warning or a plot twist that forces you to continue the main story whether you're ready or not! I was also lucky enough to have the GoTY edition that had the Catwoman downloadable levels that integrate themselves into the story. They're short but amusing and a good break to the seriousness around Bats. The under user prize goes to Robin. He shows up briefly (and it's hard to tell if it's Tim Drake or Dick Grayson at this point and if not for Barbara being Oracle and not Batgirl I would never have figured out it was the Tim Drake Robin). He shows up, smacks a couple of assassins, and gets chased off. Meanwhile Hugo Strange is preparing to almost literally nuke the city, prisoners and innocent political prisoners alike. I get it, Batman likes to work alone but even he knows when that's tactically stupid.
I cannot add much to the visuals that I described in Asylum. They're very similar and still, very stunning. As good as any Batman animated feature.
The sound remains superior. Kevin is still the Bat and Mark is still the Joker. (Diane's note: And Harley is still enough to get me to leave the room). I still very much approve of the music lowering at times to hear the dialogue and being unobtrusive.
Control remains fluid and easy to use. it is an enjoyable play.
Story: Once again, like its predecessor, it is too short, and there's no indication how far along the main story you are so you don't know if/when you can separate and do those side quests which are a lot of fun with one exception.
The Riddler. Fuck the Riddler. With his question mark shaped cane.
The Deadshot story, however, is entertaining and actually requires a bit of detective work!
Story: 3/5 This get's knocked down a tick because they dropped the ball. You have an entire section of Gotham City and the story is the same length as what took place in the Asylum. Good story - well written, just too short.
Playability: 3/5: Would have been 2/5 without the Zzass and Deadshot side quests to boost the story simply because of how obnoxious the Riddler shit is.