Game Review: Batman Arkham City Escape

pic1489902_mdBatman Wins!  Or so goes the mantra of his die hard fans that believe that he can beat any hero or villain in any scenario providing that he has long enough to plot out a strategy.  Taking that same concept and applying it to a video game version of the character might seem like a good concept, but there needs to be a connection between the concept and the finished product.  In this case the story pits Batman against not only one of his villains but numerous as they have simultaneously escaped from Arkham.  This is a two player game with one side taking on the role of the villains in the breakout and one player taking on the role of Batman.

The villains are given a few additional mechanics, but not as many as Batman, who relies on a variety of skills and items that one assumes would be associated with him.  This is one of the high points of this game, in that the character playing as Batman can really get into the game as the character which is a common problem in other games.  At the same time, it would seem as though the game designers ran with the interesting concept and forget to play test it enough that it would make an engaging finished product, instead relying on the artwork and the characters to draw in fans.  When it comes down to Batman having to round up and defeat all of the bad guys this is a definitely one sided game for the villains.  Batman requires a lot of luck as well as a great strategy to take down the bad guys, while conversely the player playing the villains doesn’t really have to try hard in order to win, meaning that one side will find not much of a challenge while the other side will be scrambling constantly to try to pull out an unlikely victory.

One must be careful when dealing with a thematic game like this one.  While some games incorporating in popular products can work well (such as either Legendary for Marvel or the DC Comics Deck Building Game) this game proves that one must be wary when purchasing games for their content without first checking on the mechanics.  A little bit of extra playtesting and smoother mechanics would have gone a long way here, but as it stands the game is mostly a dud.  In this case Batman almost certainly doesn’t win.

Score: 4.5