When I officially retire from my full geekdom in around 250 plus days, I’ll be able to say I saw a trilogy of great films (I hope) and 2 great video games all built around my favorite fictional character. I finished the story mode of Batman: Arkham City tonight, somewhat shocked at how dark it was (which is saying something), but ultimately satisfied that ‘the Dark Knight’ has been given the best possible treatment in both cinematic and video game form.
Arkham City is the sequel to the immensely popular Batman: Arkham Asylum game of a couple years back that saw Batman trapped in the looney bin where most of his rogues gallery were kept. The sequel builds on the story and structure in the best possible ways, expanding on the events of that game, but not being so tied into that game’s story that someone can’t just pick up the new one to see what the fuss is all about.
I don’t know how official it is but I’ve heard repeatedly that this was Mark Hamill’s swan song in voicing the Joker. Nothing will ever replace the role he will always be best known for (which you know even if you don’t immediately realize it), but to have two iconic characters to your name in one career is something he should be extremely proud of. Taking my personal bias aside, everyone involved in making and promoting this game should get a pat on the back. The story is interesting enough to play through to the end, and there are more than enough ‘side missions and goodies’ to demand replays for those who have the time and the patience.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but to my people at Warners, you may need to go with one of the lighter versions of Batman after Nolan’s film. There’s only so much Dark Knight even the Prince of Gotham can take.