I remember we had a thread about this game that started when it was first announced, but to my surprise, nobody ever started one to share impressions after it actually got released. I guess everyone is playing Mass Effect 3 and not this? It was a hard choice for me, but I decided for Batman first.
I've just almost finished the main plot (only the last Catwoman mission remaining), and then going to go for all the (many many many) Riddler riddles. I wonder how many I'm going to have to look up on the web.
As was expected from all the previews, the game gives us more of what we had in Arkham Asylum, only in a free roaming district of Gotham City, with non-linear side quests and quite a lot stuff to do. Oh, and Catwoman. I think her fighting animations and the distinct feel of owning the gangsters with sheer dexterity and precision (and a whip) is one the most beutiful experiences of martial arts I ever had in a game. Pure awesome.
The atmosphere, as in Arkham Asylum, is dark, dystopic, and very appealing to my taste and favorite "flavour" of Batman's world, that from the classic "The Man Who Laughs" and "The Killing Joke" comics. I especially loved the Mad Hatter's quest, and of course the exquisite perfomance of Mark Hamill as the Joker.* Also, I think the opening sequence is even better than that of Arkham Asylum, and that one was already highly praised.
The weakest parts are in my opinion the whole Ra's Al Ghûl plot pieces. I generally dislike mysticism in my Batman, prefering themes inspired by darker sides of psychology and psychiatry.
part I also disliked
I also heavily disliked the deus ex machina plot twist when after defeating the Joker and his henchmen, Batman gets crushed by a falling roof, wtf.
best part of the plot
One of the best parts of the plot, however, is for me the one not long after the abovementioned part, where Catwoman ponders if she should save Batman, while the main objective still tells you to just take the stolen goods and leave. If you simply "follow the arrow" you don't get to save Batman! I wonder if it's really game over for Batman then? (don't spoil this for me though, please)
One more thing I'm really glad about is also the fact that the predator and combat parts are not so strictly divided, you often find groups of enemies, where only a few of them have firearms, and it's possible to simply beat them up, although it's safer to take the armed ones predator style. You also not always have gargoyles or other vantage points available when fighting armed foes, and when you do, they're no longer the magical invisibility mode they were in AA.
Unfortunately, there's also a part of the game that's very frustrating for me - It's called Advanced Augmented Reality Training, and you have to glide through 5 really inconviniently placed, consecutive points for each of the (4 or 5) parts. Really hard for me, although completely optional (you get a gadget upgrade for completing it). I guess it would be easier with a gamepad (I'm on PC with board+mouse).
That's it for now, now if any of you Commander Shephards played it, share your impressions!
*Sadly, Mark Hamill announced that this is his last performance as the Joker, ever.
end game, do not read if haven't finished!
Kinda wonder if his decision affected how the game ends.