Batman Arkham City made it real big in the console gaming list. Breaking new barriers and setting it a few levels above the previous edition, Arkham City was a delight to play. Unfortunately, it seemed like the PC edition didn’t fare too well due to bugs and glitches, which we’re sure the developers, Warner Bros. and NeatherRealm Studios will fix in due time. What was quite a pleasant surprise was the spin off that made it to the mobile gaming arena – Arkham City Lockdown. Available exclusively for iOS, we were curious to see just how the mobile edition fared, so we put all out on our iPad 2 and here’s what we found.
Look and Feel
In terms of graphics, we’re talking about a game that looks absolutely fantastic for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4. The shades are reminiscent of the original console version with dark hues and typical of what one would expect the legendary Gotham City to look like. Although the essential feel of the game is very much similar to its console counterpart, the rendering of the same on this small a screen creates a whole new appeal.
The Bat is back
The use of colours, shadows and highlights to show you the mean streets of Gotham and the vicious thugs the Dark Knight battles goes far for this version. It looks quite similar to Arkham City on the console in terms of graphics and character design, even if gameplay is slight different. But the fact that it looks so good and plays out so well is what makes this a worthy purchase, even if you’re not a true fan of the franchise. But looks aside, let’s talk about gameplay.
Taking on a very Infinity Blade-styled fighting methodology, Arkham City Lockdown is quite a bit of fun. It’s not difficult to learn and adapt to the sequences. It can easily be handled with two hands. Character movements are fluid and fight scenes are quite animated and would make the console version proud. Although the story line is rather vague, it’s a pretty simple layout. You simply start on the streets of Gotham beating up henchmen of the various villains till you reach the boss.
Costumes for all occassions
We found the gameplay, although very well designed, to get very monotonous, after a while. Think of it this way, after the first level it’s all the same. The thug fights are all the same with extremely limited variations. It becomes a bit repetitive as the levels only get dynamic in terms of locale, but remain quite static in terms of getting through them. At each level, depending on the boss at that stage, the henchmen’s garb will be modified. It’s just a superficial change, nothing more.
Boss fights are a whole other take, when compared to the other fight sequences. It involves quite a bit of interactivity and not just random fighting motions. These are the parts in the game that truly make it worth playing. The issue is, dying at this stage will take you back to the very beginning of the level, which will require you to go through the thugs all over again. This is about the only major downside to whole game. The game goes by quite quickly but repeat playing does make it more interesting.
The Bat Cave
It’ll take a little while getting used to the swipe controls, but it does get quite entertaining as you progress to get to the next villain; just to see how that sequence will play out. Don’t expect too much of dialogue or cut scenes that create an overall storyline. Arkham City Lockdown is essentially a fighting game that’s meant to entertain you on those long journeys or while you’re just bored out of your mind and looking for a quick gaming fix. Finishing moves are not as impressive as the console version, of course, but are nevertheless quite cool in their own space.
Just like the console version, upgrades are also available based on your progress at each level. Some of the gear that old Bats has at his disposal and when made available are pretty cool and do help boost gameplay at later stages. If you’re looking for a slight change of pace you could purchase some of the cooler costumes that are available via the ‘Bat-Cave computer’.
Boss Fight – Solomon Grundy
The Bottom Line
Batman Arkham City Lockdown is available on the iTunes and the App Store for $5.99, which works out to about Rs.315. It’s quite worth it, if you’re a fan of the Bat, or just like action games. Even the slightly repetitive levels and restarting of the levels when you die, aren’t enough to deter this purchase, as overall it makes for a very entertaining experience, both visually as well as interactively.
The game is compatible with – iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad and requires iOS 4.0 or later.
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