Batman: Arkham City Lockdown ReviewMark Gibson
Batman Arkham City was undoubtedly one of the best games of 2011 and showed us what a superhero-based game should be. Its predecessor, Batman Arkham City Lockdown, won't add anything to the story line, but is a fun, casual app to play when you're on the go.
If you are looking for a story driven experience with extensive combo style combat, you won't find it in this app. Instead, Lockdown offers a seemingly simple arcade fighting style that requires you to swipe your finger back and forth across the screen to punch, and tap to dodge. While at first this seems simple, it becomes repetitive. You won't be able to learn new fight combos, but you can upgrade your utility belt with smoke pellets, powered gauntlets, and bat swarms to help best your opponents. Some levels demand you fight four or more enemies in a row with little health regeneration. While health and armor upgrades are available, fighting several henchmen one after another becomes tedious.
The only real break in the game is in the boss battles. You get to do things like steer your batarang at Two-Face and tap to dodge the massive fists of Solomon Grundy as he chases you down the Gotham sewers. But, then some boss battles don't break from the norm, like that of Deathstroke, which is the same as any other fight with the exception of avoiding hits from his katana.
What makes the game most impressive is the graphic quality and excellent sound design. Made with the Unreal engine, Lockdown is one of the best-looking games I've seen on a smartphone. However, for people with older generation phones, lagging can become an issue. The older devices have a tendency to heat up quickly , due to the high quality of the graphics. Once your phone is overheated, it becomes inevitable that the game will crash. This can become a problem with the way the levels are designed. Nothing is more frustrating than fighting through three or four henchmen to make it to the final boss fight only to have the app crash, forcing you to start all over again.
Another cool feature is the ability to dress Batman in different suits from all different eras, shows, and comics. Right from the start you are awarded the 70's grey and blue suit, which looks entertaining in the gritty setting of Gotham. While there are achievements awarded, there are no unlockable achievements for the other bat swag. Unfortunately, you will need to purchase them at 99 cents a suit. My personal favorite is the Batman Beyond skin which offers a boost to the Caped Crusader's speed.
This may not be a game that captivates you and causes you to play for hours, but it is certainly a great, casual game to play when you are bored at work, school, or waiting around for something. If you decide to finish the game all at once, there is roughly one hour of gameplay. However, I found the game much more enjoyable playing in short spurts, rather than trying to play in one sitting.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.
Mark Gibson is a journalist who resides in sunny South Florida. He loves video games, movies, and beer. His favorite games are RPG and FPS. When he isn't busy gaming and writing, he enjoys hanging out at cool bars and talking about gaming and writing.
About the Author: Mark Gibson
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