"Boo! Funny thing Halloween in Arkham. It seems redundant here. Within these walls the monsters are on display year 'round. Of course, there was that one year Joker lead a breakout on All Hallows' Eve. What a wonderful night. Costumed revelers innocently partying alongside killers and fiends. Of course, the real screams came when it was time to unmask. Trick or treat."
-Calendar Man, Batman: Arkham City
For those of you who have already played Batman: Arkham City, you probably ran in to Calendar Man, at least once during your playtime. While you can visit his cell in Arkham Asylum, you actually meet him in person in Arkham City, albeit while he is locked up in his jail cell underneath the courthouse. The thing about Calendar Man is exactly what made Arkham City such an awesome game, and how much further they took the ideas from the first Arkham game and implemented them into full effect for City. The attention to detail, and how much of the Batman universe they wanted to include into the game, instead of just hints, easter eggs and subtle nods to the characters of Gotham.
You see, in Arkham City, when you go and talk to Calendar Man, he will ramble on about how many days are in each month, and pretty much insignificant babble. However, when you visit him on real-world holidays, he will break into various monologues about the crimes he committed on each of the holidays. It's a phenomenal little detail that most people wouldn't even know about if they didn't make a trophy/achievement for visiting him on each one of the 12 holidays (one per month) and listening to his stories of madness. Again, it's all the details when it comes to City.
The amount of characters in this game is mind-blowing, as well. Sure, Asylum had a lot, but City took that game and made it seem small in scope of the amount of characters it added to it. Even if the characters weren't involved in the main story line, you would encounter one after another in smaller story arcs and completely optional side missions. Even if you know which characters to expect, when you finally encounter them, there is a sense of wonderment when you finally go face to face with them.
Oh, and let's talk about the Riddler, and his plethora of trophies he has hidden all over Gotham. You run in to them all the time, as you traverse the city skyline back and forth, but most of them you can't get to because you haven't gotten that upgrade to your suit yet. This means that after you finish the game, there is still a lot more to do, if you're into that sort of thing, of course. And of course, I was, as I spent hours trying to find and collect every single Riddler trophy in the game, which I eventually did. But by doing so, I also go to see and experience a larger portion Gotham City, exploring every nook and cranny and really appreciating how much attention to detail went in to recreating a fictional city, brick by brick.
Another thing that made this game memorable for me, and easily one of my favorite games of this generation without question, was the DLC for it, which I actually went back and played through again. First, there is the Catwoman DLC, which you get to play as Selena, with her own story arcs, side missions and Riddler trophies to pursue. While that DLC was awesome, and made the world seem even bigger, it wasn't until the last piece of DLC to come out for it that I realized how special this game was. It was the Harley Quinn DLC, which takes place a couple of weeks after the end of the game, which depicts Harley taking over the thrown of madness. Even better, you get to play as the Boy Wonder, searching for Batman who has gone missing while searching for Harley, which is even more troubling given his mental state after the events of the game. Playing as Robin gives you an entirely different feel of the game, just as Catwoman does, and its nice seeing the secondary sidekicks getting a chance to shine.
Overall, if there is a distinctive Batman game, Arkham City has to be it. Never before has Gotham been placed under such a spotlight as in this game, and it's refreshing to see so much care and love placed into not only the characters, but the world in which they live in, also.
And speaking of cities, below is a link to an article everyone should read. It is exactly the reason why Batman is such an important figure in our culture, for everything he represents and stands for. And if you don't get a little choked up reading the last line of the article, well, something is wrong with you.
San Francisco to be transformed into Gotham City for a day
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