The Wii U gets all touchy-feely with Batman. Let's leave Robin out of this.
Batman: Arkham City: Armored Edition
for Wii U has one of those amazing video game moments early on that is the reason I adore video games in the first place. There’s a moment where you change from being just Bruce Wayne to Batman, putting on the Bat-Suit on the Ace Chemicals plant rooftop. In the Wii U version, the Gamepad lights up and becomes a fingerprint scanner, which you must press your finger to authenticate that you are Batman.
I pressed my finger to the scanner and it confirmed that... YES, I AM THE GODDAMNED BATMAN.
This feature is everything that’s amazingly different about Arkham City
on the Wii U from the other console versions. The Gamepad is the “wrist computer” on one of Batman’s two new armored suit prototypes (the female model having been stolen by Catwoman). All hacking mini-games, character updates, maps, gadget selection, and audio from surveillance or radio communication comes from the Gamepad, heightening the game’s sense of immersion.
The game looks amazing, as it did on the consoles, rendering the large exterior of Arkham City
with only the occasional drop-in of enemies at a far distance. At first I thought I was seeing graphical slowdown while in combat, but this was just because I was comparing the combat to the ridiculous intensity of Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge
The titular armored mode itself is a combat-expediting mechanism. During fights, as Batman (or Catwoman) takes damage or deals blows, a kinetic energy meter fills up that lets you enter BATS (Battle Armored Tech Suit) mode, which greatly increases the damage of your melee attacks for a short time. Early in the game, this helps a lot in large combats with a ton of enemies, but as I leveled up my combat abilities I found myself hardly ever using it (though the armored skins do look cool).
Another of the Gamepad features that calls attention to itself is the way that the game uses Investigation mode. On the Wii U version, you align the Gamepad with the television and look through it like a scope at clues, which you can then select by pressing on them until they are successfully analyzed.
The Gamepad also effectively makes Batman more vulnerable. Since you're looking at info, arming weapons, or choosing upgrades on Batman's wrist computer, this happens in real-time; meanwhile, enemies can see or attack you, one of my favorite features from Dead Space
. Since a huge part of the game's core is stealth, this doesn't affect the balance of the game. Also, if you look up at the top screen while messing with the Gamepad, you can see Batman messing around with his wrist computer—
a nice touch.
comes with all the pre-existing DLC as part of the game, and the player can jump right into Harley Quinn's Revenge
from the start screen (though it warns you that this is likely to spoil a great deal of the story). This, plus the awesome immersion of the Wii U Gamepad makes it so, I can't imagine wanting to play this incredible game on any other system.