Batman Arkham City – GOTY? My friends its only the beginning…

Well the follow up to Rocksteady’s suprisingly successful Batman Arkham Asylum is almost upon us. With a few early “exclusive” reviews coming through and none breaching a below 90 score its safe to say at this stage we have a surefire Game of the Year candidate on our hands here. Sure I could let the Bat geek out of his cave here and go into “it IS game of the year” type irrational rants but i’ve subdued that side of my personality to look at this objectivly. Thats not to say that I am not hyped as hell to get my hands on this title.

A few months back I wrote up a Top 5 Games article (https://theanonymousgamer.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/my-top-5-games-of-the-upcoming-gaming-year/

It has been getting a lot of views lately, mainly due to the amount of searches being done for Batman. Obviously Batman Arkham City made the list. It made it to number 2 and was beaten by another game that is sure to be in the running for GOTY – Skyrim. When this list was written I decided to look at the larger picture and not just say Batman wins because I love the Arkham universe that Rockstead and DC have merged to create. I looked at length of play, variety and I had just read a huge Skyrim preview which had me all giddy at the thought of the possibilities that game presents.

No caption can sum up the bad assery of this image...

Since that time a lot more of my attention has swung to Batman because its closer to release and my lead up games in “Rage” and “NBA 2k12” have failed to keep my interest for as long as I would have hoped. Upon having all eyes on the Batman – I have picked up on several pieces of news that peeked my interest and now I must say if I took another stab at the Top 5, Skyrim would lose its top spot, and I believe with good cause. Remember this was MY Top 5, so subjectivity is the key really. Suffice to say a lot of the details that Rocksteady slowly released in the past coming months had  stealthily escaped me like Batman would do himself.

When I read the Game Informer review for Arkham City it wasnt the score that got my attention (10/10 – not to shabby), and it wasnt the epicly writen hyperbole (intentional hyperbole mind you) that did it either. It was the writers one comment that he had finished the game and was only 42% complete. He followed that up with a mention that after 60 total hours of gameplay he was nowhere near complete with the amount of Riddler challenges and side missions and challenge maps etc…

15 hours worth of side character/sub plot gameplay... thats as insane as the Joker...

As a wrap up on that its said that the main story line is at least 25 hours gameplay… The Riddler challenges and additional 15 hours… plus other side missions… plus challenge maps… sure its not near the 300+ hours promised by Skyrim’s Todd Howard (but we all knew that a new Elder Scroll would breach 300 hours) but for an action adventure game that amount of content is outstanding.

This is why you dont drop Batman in the pyramid configuration...

I must also say I didnt bat (no pun intended) an eyelid when I first heard that OPM Australia gave a 10/10 in the first review to go out to the public. Unlike so many others I didnt immediatly question the reviewers integrity and look at corruption as the only answer. There are to many non factors for that to even be the case, Rocksteady have no real reason to hype the game any further then it already has due to the success of Arkham Asylum. I also understand that 10/10 is not a PERFECT game, but rather a respective score based on the reviewers time and appreciation of the game (ergo an opinion) this is why a game like Dead Island can get a 6 from one reviewer and an 8 or 9 from another. There are only so many opinions to go around and yours may not fit with one review as much as it does another. This in essense sums up the cynical world of the videogame fan nowdays.

I was having a discussion the other day with a few friends who all believe that the gaming industry is on its way to a crash and needs to have one. They had several issues with certain aspects of gaming and I agree with a lot of them from DLC to Publisher monopolies ruining game content. But I couldnt agree with the logic that the industry is heading towards a crash. Personally I cant see how anybody could maintain this idea when we are heading into a period where 3 former Game of The Years are being released all within a few weeks of eachother.

Batman Arkham City -> follow up to Batman Arkham Asylum Game of the Year recipient

Uncharted 3 -> follow up to Uncharted 2 Game of The Year recipient.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -> follow up to Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year recipient (not to mention developed by Bathesda – Fallout 3 Game of the Year recipient)

Still to come!!!

These are heavyweight times we are in for and that doesnt include games also coming out around the same period of Battlefield 3, MWF3, Assassins Creed: Revelations, and a year to follow that includes blockbuster titles like Bioshock: Infinite and the rumours and chatter of a Grand Theft Auto V.

Sooner or later Rockstar will announce it and we will all still be shocked.

My new summary of the Top 5 games will keep changing as we go along because as a gamer I want all the games as bad as the last one I got. Its too fluid and too good an industry at the moment to cement anything really. The gaming year may have started with Deus Ex: Human Revolution but its actually only starting to heat up next week with the release of Batman Arkham City.

Strap yourselves in gamers and check your bank accounts its about to get CRAZY!!!

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