When October/November roll around it’s always a big time for games. This year however has been exceptional, and many of our wallets have been tested to their limits. Arguably the biggest game of this period is the mighty Batman: Arkham City
. TA is currently tracking over 21,000 members currently playing this title, and the numbers are showing no signs of slowing up.
With this in mind, we have something a little different for you now. As we’re all addicted to the achievements, the sweet sound as they ‘pop’ and chasing down our next challenge, what could be better than having a blow by blow strategy guide from market leaders Brady Games to help ease you through those hidden collectibles, or trickier puzzles?
In this article we’ll be taking an in depth look at the Batman: Arkham City
Limited Edition guide from Brady Games and looking at how it could be your most powerful tool in trumping the Joker and securing the streets of Arkham once again.
We’ll be offering this sleek, sexy and downright gorgeous guide to one lucky TA member too, so stay tuned for competition details!
The first thing you notice about the Limited Edition guide is the superbly illustrated, almost monochromatic cover, interspersed with splashes of blood red. This is a guide in keeping with the tone of the game; it’s serious, it’s premium and akin to a piece of illustrative art. Let’s crack it open and dive in...Inside the cover
So what content do we find within the guide? The short answer is everything, the more detailed response? The following sections are found within the guides 260+ pages.
- An introduction to the game
- The control system explained
- Gameplay tips and instruction
- The characters of Arkham City
- The complete story walkthrough
- Catwoman content and breakdown
- Full side-mission details
- Answers and tips to the Riddler’s fiendish shenanigans and best kept secrets
- The full achievement/trophy list
- Extra content which we’ll speak about laterPresentation
Despite the fact there is a broad array of content spread across multiple pages, the layout and flow stays consistent and logical meaning that there isn’t much effort in jumping from a plot walk-through to quickly checking out a solution to a Riddler clue which has you stumped. Each sub-task and collectible is clearly numbered within it’s own section with appropriate visual aids which combines the simplicity of a text based guide with the benefits of a YouTube-centric video aid.The main walkthrough
Gamers need information, but we also want it to be readable. The main story walk-through contained a stronger narrative in contrast to the bullet pointed approach for collectibles. There’s also an introduction to each area with a useful map/overview.
The narrative style of the walkthrough works well. If the content had been more staccato in it’s delivery, you’d find yourself endlessly pausing and unpausing your game. It’s also fair to say that many games of high quality reward gamers who explore and allow themselves to soak in the world that has been created for their pleasure. To this end Brady Games go so far as to note conversations that occur between NPCs which add depth, detail and history to the world of Arkham, pointing out where you may want to hold off on your devastating flurry of fists to allow dialogues to occur. This will please fans and gamers who want to enjoy every drop of dialogue and as many intricacies of the game as they can.Challenge rooms and more
Away from the main story line, Batman: Arkham City of course features the Challenge Rooms. Not everyone enjoyed them the first time round as blood levels inevitably rose to dangerous levels! I personally loved them, and this guide offers some insider tips on how to best maximise your score, trim your best time and equip Batman with modifiers for the best results.
The guide has your back on Riddler’s Teeth, balloons and more too. The traditional map layout returns here, and because of the size of the locations having an aid like this is invaluable for hunting down missing items.Achievements
The full achievement listing is found at the rear of the guide and contains tips and advice on how to bag each. In the case of the collectible achievements you are referred to the appropriate section in the book which makes polishing off missing Achievements much easier. Better yet the achievements are divided into the appropriate categories so you can see at a glance which pertain to side-missions, or are achieved by playing through the story for example.Extra content
As this is the Limited Edition guide, you get more bang for your buck. The guide encased in a hard cover, you get a 3 foot pin-up poster featuring the delightfully twisted Harley Quinn on one side, and the simply delightful Catwoman on the reverse. The official Brady Games blurb stats that ‘each femma fatale appears in a seductive pose for your viewing pleasure’. I’ve taken a long hard look and confirm, the poses are seductive, and it does lead to viewing pleasure.
Just as interesting, are the six comic book sized lithographs which show off Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, Harley Quinn, The Joker, The Riddlers and The Penguin.
Hidden away at the back of the book is a sneaky peak of the Arkham City Graphic Novel, and trust me, it looks even better than our photographs show. We’re treated to the opener of the Graphic Novel which is available separately in stores, and I can see it tempting the wallet of many a Batman fan.Summary
The conclusion and final word? This is a fantastic guide, not just on the strengths of it’s content and strategic value, but also on the back of being a fantastically crafted addition to the world of Arkham City. Everything the guide sets out to do, it does incredibly well. There are no ‘misses’ and all aspects of the content have been very well put together. There’s strong supporting illustration throughout the whole of the guide but information is clearly presented and given the clarity and prominence it deserves. All of this helps you feel like you’re consulting an actual piece of the game. Almost as if this was magically contained within the retail case of the game itself.
My only personal drawback was with the way the pull out posters are presented. They’re neatly folded into the back of the guide concertina effect which sadly causes several sharp creases which won’t drop out easily, if at all. Considering this is a key selling point of the Limited Edition of the guide I felt it worth a mention.
All in all however, Brady Games have a reputation when it comes to high quality, luxurious guides and this certainly doesn’t disappoint. We here at TA can solidly recommend this purchase.
With my review of the guide concluded, we’re so pleased to be able to offer this awesome prize to the community at large, and a standard edition of the guide to a runner-up! The competition will be appearing on the front page tomorrow, so be sure to drop by and enter for your chance to win!