Okay, so since we already have 3 overall reviews I decided to do one specially for those who haven't played this game yet and are looking for opinions about its pros and cons. About the cons, mostly, since the good is more of the same and nothing so unusual.
I finished the multiplayer first and the campaign just today. The first can bore you pretty fast and I can't see most people continuing to play it online once the related achievos are unlocked. The campaign is okay and too much like Arkham City. The graphics are fairly good as well as the voice acting.THE PROBLEMS
I think it's important to point out and let other people know what are the problems that make this game less enjoyable, so I'll go straight to the point:
1- Although this title pretends to be a prequel to the other 2 Batman games, many facts are out of order for those who know something about the comic books. It's a big mix of stories, slightly based on their original and official versions. For example, Bane and Joker are back... again... (this could be a critic on its own, because the developers seem uncapable of doing a Batman game leaving either of them out), and are introduced on this same period of time. I wish they had stuck a little more to the comics when they decided to make a game about Batman's first years as a hero. Bane came way later and shouldn't be here. Batman and Gordon barely know each other, so how could Batman have heard of Bane before? Also, both these villains that I mentioned are obcessed with Batman, but the explanation for why is far too vague to my taste. Some people know that they are not just mercenaries, so it's not about the bounty. Yeah, you can guess that they are trying to prove themselves and their points, but what are they? The little explanation given feels so shallow that the developers themselves tried to add something extra to fulfill that gap. In Joker's case you play and watch some nightmarish visions full of sentences of abstract meaning. Never a concise reason. Near the end of the game Joker tries one last time to "corrupt" Batman's resolve regarding never taking a life, but all conclusions about Joker's motives must come from yourself. You can try to justify the lack of a sense on his insanity, but to me this is clearly the price one pays for having too much story to stuff in in a movie or game. They don't have enough time to explain things deeper. The same goes with Bane. I really wish they had let him out of this story, but then I guess they feared not having some big opponent for Batman to fight. And since we're talking about this, their fights (boss fight) was too repetitive, move wise and in frequency.
2- Gotham is a lot bigger than in the previous game (the word of order on the market nowadays is to get bigger with every title, right?) and that isn't a bad thing in itself, but I found myself having a bit more of a hard time finding good spots to attach/grapple around to navigate the city than in Arkham City. It's not something major, but I feel it's still worth mentioning, since it was downgraded since the last experience. Also, sometimes instead of lauching you onwards when using the grapnel gun boost, the auto aim attachs to a ledge to the side, deviating your trajectory and camera, sending you to another direction. Finally, the devs probably realized that the city had too big of a map for us to keep coming and going just by grappling, so they made a fast travel system and justified it with a Batwing cutscene. Not a bad idea, except that by using this system some people experienced the next issue.
3- I haven't bought the DLCs for this game yet but I believe that Arkham Asylum will continue to be my favorite Batman game so far, one of the reasons being that it had no unnecessary extra buyable content with achievements. But the problem that I'll point out happened anyway. At the middle of the story, all of the sudden, a message came to my screen saying that my DLC was corrupted and the game was returning me to the main screen. I freaked out. I play connected to the LIVE, so I had already the available patches and updates previously released for this game (in which they supposedely fixed the particular issue) and, as I've said, I have absolutely NONE of the extra DLCs downloaded nor installed. Not even the free suits that they give you if you register in their website (thanks, but no thanks). So, it pretty much was saying that the game save corrupted itself and justifying it with a lie. By the way, I had already installed the game on my xbox's hard drive when that happened, so that had nothing to do with I playing from the disk. Luckly, I went to the dashboard, made a copy of my saved progress to the cloud and cleaned my console's cache, reloaded the game and it worked. Then I decided to look it over on the internet and saw that many more people had had this problem. From then on I stopped using the fast travel system, just in case, since a few people reported not being able to recover from that. I didn't want to loose my progress, which included a fair amount of collectibles and many
achievements inside achievements
challenges that I had already done.
4- Last but not least, the thing that pissed me off the most, the most important thing that they screwed up in my opinion, was the responsiveness of Batman's commands when fighting. It's off, it's late, it's slow. If they are close, the enemies are faster than you no matter how on time you press the button, which, by the way, sometimes responds and many times does not. You know that you pressed the button, you know it happened on time, but Batman didn't execute the move. That's very frustrating. So you will eventually be hit and somebody will break your combo at some point, unless you're super careful and keep a great distance all the time (but then you might not have a good area view). This is something annoying that you have to put up with throughout the game. Now I can see and appreciate how Batman was fast and loose in Arkham City, compared to the way it became slow and stuck in Origins. Maybe they did that in order to "fix" the combo flow and scoring system and bring it closer to how hard it was in Asylum, I don't know, but it's awful. In "FOCUS" mode is even worse to keep control of your guy, so maybe they named it that because you REALLY need focus to not loose control of him. Besides the delay in the heroes' response and how faster than you the enemies can be sometimes, even in normal difficulty, the camera view and the edges/walls made the experience worse. It was annoying having to fight Shiva without being hit, because the angle of view was so bad all the time and then the stairs by the door of the Wonder City elevator would sometimes stuck/hold me, making me vulnerable and loosing my combo. Same thing happened against Deathstroke. This time the room wasn't small, it was bigger than a MMA cage, but still the fight would be dragged to the corners and the camera position was just another thing I had to fight with at the same time. So, if you can pull those two achievements off, congratulations. I mean it.
I could still point out about some other BS, like the multiple times that the game freezes on you during loading times and cutscenes, or some unskippable scenes (image having to watch the same dialogues 3 times if you don't feel like it), the stupid achievement requirements like the one envolving Alfred, or the "sixth sense" of the AI enemies in Predator encounters, the way that they sometimes seem to feel
your presence and act differently from the usual, specially if you have your Dectetive Vision on, and how much that doesn't make sense, since, theoretically they are not seeing you back. Or yet, about the increasing number of collectibles (I've read somebody cheer that "At least they made us collect just 1 Riddler trophy this time!" C'mon! What's the difference between 250 trophies or 270 of some stuff else? Answer: 20 more of something to collect! No matter what you call it). But none of these bothered me as much as everything else that I mentioned.
All in all, this game made me appreciate its antecessor a bit more. And THAT can be a bad sign. Luckly I only have to play it twice more: New Game Plus and
New Game Plus Plus
I Am The Night mode. Really? Couldn't there be just one New Game Plus? And all of the remaining overwhelming quantity of challenges. You see, they did it again. If you bought and played the expendable DLCs of Arkham City, you know what I'm talking about. Having to play the same thing under different names and the same maps over and over, with 4 different characters, was beyond tedious. And here they go again. This time you don't have only 3 kinds of challenges to earn medals - Combat, Predator and Campaign (which was just a bundle of the same Combat and Predator stuff) - but ranked challenges, campaign challenges, custom challenges and training challenges. I feel overchallenged, having to prove my skill multiple times in the same sheet.
If after reading all this you still want to give a go for this game, be my guest. You're warned.
I don't know if I'll play the next Batman that they have on the making, but as a guy that liked the Dark Knight since childhood, I wanted to experience all of the instances that they made for the 360 to this point and now that I have I know by myself which one I liked better and why. All I can do to other people is advise. Cheers!