Dec 15, 2011

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Batman Arkham City: Lockdown Review

Batman Arkham City: Lockdown Review

Batman: Arkham City is probably one of the best games to come out this year. With its improved gameplay and intriguing story, it’s definitely a contender for game of the year. Now, Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios bring you Batman Arkham City: Lockdown for iOS. Is this mobile spin-off just as good as its console brother?

Lockdown starts you off with a small tutorial. Batman faces a number of enemies. You dodge their attacks by tapping the screen, then you attack by swiping your finger left and right. You can swipe up for an uppercut and swipe down to deflect attacks. If these controls sound familiar, then you’ve been playing Infinity Blade. While Lockdown does play a lot like Infinity Blade, it has a few details that help it stand out. Some of the music sounds like it came straight from the console version, and the same goes for some of the dialogue, which isn’t a bad thing in this case. Unlike the console version, Lockdown isn’t an open world. Instead, it’s broken up into four levels, each with baddies to beat and bosses to fight. With each fight won, Batman earns experience points to level up. You also earn Waynetech points that you can spend to improve Batman’s abilities and upgrade his suit.

Each level has three minion fights and one boss fight. The minion fights have you face a certain number of minions. These fights can get a little repetitive, as most of the fights reuse minions from previous encounters, and most of the minions use the same attacks as the minion before. Still, some of these fights offer a small surprise or two in the form of pipes and guns.  Once you clear the minion fights, you can enter the boss battles, and this is where Lockdown shines. Each of the four bosses have a unique way to defeat them. You may be dodging blows or guiding the batarang to hit someone. This changes up the regular gameplay and keeps you on your toes. Saying that these bosses are challenging is a bit of an understatement. It took me a while just to take down the first boss. To me, this is a good thing, because after the four levels are complete, the game is pretty much over, so the difficult boss battles extend the length of the game at least a little bit. Although the main game is short, Lockdown comes with a little bag of goodies, such as character bios, a comic viewer to read the Arkham City comics, and even alternate Batman costumes. Unfortunately, the costumes are only unlocked via an in-app purchase, but each costume has its own stats, changing Batman’s health, strength, and speed.

Lockdown is a very beautiful game. It may even be as good looking as the console version. The game uses the Unreal Engine, and while not as pretty Infinity Blade, it still shows how powerful an iOS device can be. Overall, this game is certainly a must-have not just for Arkham City fans, but for all iOS gamers. It may be similar to fellow iOS title Infinity Blade, but the boss battles keep the game fresh and exciting. While the game my not be as long or as deep as Arkham City, and a little on the expensive side, Lockdown is a near perfect spin-off and an excellent addition to the Arkham family of games.

Batman Arkham City: Lockdown
Platform: iPhone, iPad (Req. iOS 3.1 or later)
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: Dec 8, 2011
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros.
ESRB Rating: 12+
MSRP: $5.99