Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition review

  • Outstanding gameplay still holds up
  • Sporadically creative uses of the GamePad
  • One of the better Wii U launch ports
  • Most GamePad features are unneeded
  • Batman and Catwoman have silly new armor
  • Not the best version of the game

Batman: Arkham Asylum raised the bar for comic books-based games and developer Rocksteady improved on that formula immensely with last year’s Batman: Arkham City for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The open world epic tested the Caped Crusader like never before, and the end result was an instant classic. Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition transports that adventure to Nintendo’s new console with all its best features intact, making it still one of the finest games in recent history. However, those who have already played Arkham City on another platform can safely pass on this version.

The core of Arkham City hasn’t been touched at all. As before, a huge chunk of Gotham City has been transformed into an open air prison for Batman’s worst enemies. The carefully rendered penitentiary is overseen by the devious Hugo Strange, and Batman has to invade the carefully guarded compound to uncover Strange’s nasty plot. Along the way Batman battles some of his greatest rogues, and utilizes his many skills to solve countless mysteries in a one of the greatest escapades in the character’s long career.

In the Wii U version of Arkham City, the dynamic hand-to-hand combat still feels great, the story and voice-acting remain world class, and Batman’s collection of gadgets make him one of the most versatile protagonists in gaming. Additionally, Arkham City’s approach to stealth empowers players, making you feel like an unstoppable predator stalking the shadows.

Since everything that made Arkham City one of the best games of 2011 is included, what separates the Wii U version from the rest, other than coming out a year later? The port, handled by WB Montreal, successfully integrates many of the Wii U’s unique features into the game. Most are little touches like having radio messages come from the GamePad’s speakers instead of the TV, but the biggest alterations involve transferring almost all of the sub menus to the touchscreen. You choose your equipment loadout by touching different items on the tablet screen, while many of the minigames used to unlock doors and find secret transmissions work well with touch interface. There are deeper uses, too, including searching crime scenes by pointing the GamePad at the television or setting off explosive gels by tapping the map on the touchscreen.

Unfortunately, these methods for using the GamePad are inconsistent at best, with the equipment selection being the most inessential. Almost none are preferable to playing the game with a traditional controller. Much like the new armor Batman sports in the Wii U release, these changes are primarily superficial. They don’t get in the way of enjoying this exemplary game, but they certainly don't make for a better play experience.

If somehow you’ve yet to play Batman: Arkham City, Armored Edition is a great way to finally appreciate the game along with a majority of its DLC. However, the Wii U port isn’t preferable to Game of the Year versions you’ll find on PS3 and 360. Armored Edition utilizes the GamePad better than some other AAA games being ported to the system, but that’s still not enough to make this the definitive release, or one you should go out of your way to play.

More Info

Release date: Nov 18 2012 - Wii U (US)
Available Platforms: Wii U
Genre: Action
Published by: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developed by: Rocksteady Studios
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Alcohol Reference, Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence, Mild Language


  • Subject87 - December 29, 2012 9:58 a.m.

    Having owned this on ps3 and playing on 360, I have to say the Wii U version (which I just bought) is my favorite. The touch screen makes the minigames much more fun, and the armor looks badass. I don't know why the screenshots are so shiny, but it's not that bad in the game.
  • santaclouse37 - November 18, 2012 11:45 p.m.

    Might want to include "Review" in the article title.
  • 7-D - November 18, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    That metallic armour looks daft, even if I hadn't played it and had a Wii U i'd get the ps3 version. Batman should be dark and shady not shiny like a copper kettle.
  • ultimatepunchrod - November 18, 2012 8:57 p.m.

    It reminds me of the Batman and Robin movie's cold armor...not good.
  • Redeater - November 18, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    "Not the best version of the game" I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is going to be a tag in the majority of WiiU games. I actually just bought the damned system so I'm hoping this isn't the case but I have a bad feeling. I guess it won't affect me in the long run since I'll only be playing first party games on the WiiU anyways.
  • minimaxi - November 18, 2012 7:19 p.m.

    If you really wanna root for the wiiU I suggest you do your part by buying quality third party games, don't let it be like wii where third party non shovelware titles almost always (if not always) flop. If the market is healthy enough some fantastic developers might rise up and deliver outstanding second/third party exclusive, like what naughty dog did to sony.
  • Cyberninja - November 17, 2012 11:31 p.m.

    I would buy it again if it has the dlc, so is it on disc now?
  • Dante1924 - November 18, 2012 4:09 a.m.

    Yeah, I think the DLC, like in Darksiders 2, is on the disc for this version.
  • Fuzunga - November 17, 2012 10:57 p.m.

    I actually haven't played this... but I have a 360 copy somewhere that I can't find so I might as well not buy it again.
  • ObliqueZombie - November 19, 2012 8 a.m.

    You should do yourself the biggest favor of your life and find that game. NOW.
  • shawksta - November 17, 2012 10:30 p.m.

    Great review, so far so good, the system needs to keep showing that it can gain 3rd Party support of Multiplats without hindering it.

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