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Batman: Arkham City: Armored Edition Preview

danielrbischoff By:
GENRE Action 
PUBLISHER Warner Bros. 
DEVELOPER Rocksteady 
T Contains Alcohol Reference, Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Consider it your utility belt.

The Wii U's Control Pad has interesting implications for the future of gaming. It could turn console games into big-boy Nintendo DS ports. It could mean you never need to use the TV to play Mario again. It could mean... maps, item screens, and so much more!

That's the kind of enhancement Batman: Arkham City (a game I love) is seeing in the Armored Edition. With Rocksteady Studios hands-off in this Wii U port, WB Games Montreal has taken the cape and cowl and given them a bit of a makeover for fans of the original game and newcomers to the series via Nintendo's next home console.

In a demo built specifically to show off the Armored Edition's new features, Batman (and I) took on a gang of thugs in pursuit of a League of Shadows ninja. In combat the Dark Knight can still use all his fancy-doohickeys, but in Armored Edition Batman can also be powered up with the B.A.T. mode. This meter powers up over time and then electrifies every punch, kick, and elbow drop in combat.

More persistently, the Wii U Control Pad gives instant access to what would normally be hidden behind a series of menus. Regular Batcomputer functionality like maps and items are always available on the touchscreen. If you're hunting down Riddler trophies, it'll surely make for an easier search.

Small touches, like Batman looking down at his wrist display while you're interacting with the controller, make for a polished experience. Other times you'll have to look around with the Control Pad while investigating a crime scene.

Promising the complete Batman: Arkham City experience, Armored Edition is certainly adding enough functionality that two types of players will just have to take the leap: newcomers who've never played the game before, will certainly get that original Arkham City experience, along with all these new tools. Diehard fans like myself won't be able to resist, either.

Being able select the exact sequence explosive gel should be detonated in, or even just having the rolodex of Batman's enemies at my fingertips, is enticing enough for another playthrough. I probably would've wanted to don the cowl and cape one more time anyway.

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