12 days of Wii U: Batman: Arkham City – Armoured Edition review
I’m not usually a fan of console ports in general, but there are some games that simply must be played. Batman: Arkham City is one such game. If you’ve just picked up a Wii U and are looking for the one title to add to your collection, sit back and relax, you’ve just found it.
Batman: Arkham City hasn’t lost much at all in the Wii U exclusive Armoured Edition conversion. Sure the graphics may be slightly less sexy, but the gains you’re granted make this purchase pretty hard to resist. Not only do you get the entire game previously released on PS3, Xbox 360 or PC, but you receive all the downloadable content to date. This includes the Catwoman missions, Harley Quinn’s Revenge, access to both Nightwing and Robin in the Challenge Rooms and all the different costumes for the above characters.
That’s not all that’s different in the Wii U version. There’s increased functionality through the Wii U touchscreen. You use it to map out your extensive arsenal of weapons, which is quite handy in a pinch. It is also utilised to search rooms and remote control your batarangs. This use of the controller seems a little tacked on and is more fiddly than using a classic controller (as the other console versions did). You also receive all radio transmissions through the controller’s speaker, a neat little touch that really helps add to the immersion.
Call me crazy but I kind of wished Detective Mode, where you can see enemy outlines, points of interest and interactivity like an x-ray, could have been solely accessed through the gamepad. Possibly even used by holding it up to the TV screen. I don’t know if it would have been very comfortable for extended use, but I would have liked to have seen the gamepad functionality capitalised on a little more.
Combat handles a tad differently as well and this is where the “armoured” in the Armoured Edition comes into effect. Both playable characters of Batman and Catwoman have had additions to their costumes beyond the aesthetic, namely armoured plates for added protection which store kinetic energy. Beating the crap out of the endless cannon fodder fuels the suits and when they reach critical mass this energy can be released in the form of more powerful attacks and greater defensive capabilities. Enemy outlines are much easier to see while this mode is active and it can save your Bat-bacon in some of the later stages of the game.
That said, it doesn’t make a massive difference and can mess with your flow, especially for those who have mastered the wonderfully intuitive combat and gotten their timing down to a fine art. This addition feels like more like a justification for re-release or mini-incentive to buy a title that has been out for quite some time already. This begs the question, should you buy Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition?
If you’ve never played it before or have just purchased the console and are wondering which launch title to fork out your cash for the answer is a resounding hell yes! However, if you’re a multi-platform owner there is very little on offer other than the downloadable content to justify playing through it again. Bottom line, this is easily the best Wii U launch title and an absolute must have for those who have yet to have their hands on the Dark Knight and experience all his wonderfully menacing arse-kicking glory.