This is probably my favorite app on my iPhone right now. Seriously. I know that a lot of critics so it’s alright, but I disagree. The problem is, they’re reviewing it in comparison to the console/PC editions of the game, which is unfair. Obviously there isn’t going to be an open world free roam environment on iOS. It has to be reviewed on iOS standards, not in comparison to console games.
So, for those of you who have read my blog post on my top 5 video games (If you haven’t… here’s the link https://jlbotbyl.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/my-top-5-video-games/), you know that I love Arkham City. In fact, I consider it to be the best game I have ever played. So, obviously, more Arkham City is what I wanted. When this was first released at, I think, $2.99, I didn’t think it would be worth it. Over the weekend, though, the price was lowered to $0.99. And I got it, of course.
Now, I already knew that this was essentially just a brawler, and it would be extremely linear. And that it is. Everyone will fight every opponent in the same order. You get to choose the order in which you will do the missions, but most will be practical about it and do the missions in order of decreasing difficulty. So, yes, that part of the game is extremely linear, as is the story.
The Batcave offers a suitable starting point for the game
But how you deal with your foes is up to you. True, choices aren’t exactly abundant here, but with a host of combos that you can dish out, a little variety is added. But there’s also a host of upgrades and gadgets that you can choose to activate. Like in the full game, there are armor upgrades, but there are also combat upgrades. You can upgrade the amount of damage you dish out to your opponents. You can upgrade how fast you inflict that damage. Each has multiple levels of upgrades, and unlocks other upgrades as well.
Upgrades can make the game a lot more interesting
But where it really gets interesting is with the equipment upgrades. You start off with only the health pack, which will become extremely useful. It works on a charge basis, so you can use it whenever it charges up. Which, depending on how you play, could be pretty often. There are also a bunch of other gadgets. I haven’t completed the game, so I haven’t unlocked them all. I have the Bat Swarm, Smoke Pellet, and electrified fist.
And I’ll tell you, they’ve changed my play style quite a bit. Bat Swarm, which takes a nod from Batman Begins and is similar to the combo form Arkham City of the same name. Basically, it launches a bunch of bats at the enemy, which deal him damage for a five second period.The only way the enemy will attack you is if their in rage mode, in which they cannot take damage and you must block their attacks in order to avoid being dealt a massive amount of damage. Anyways, Bat Swarm allows time to recuperate, use a health pack, or just give your opponent a thrashing.
Bat Swarm can be a useful tool to have…
I’m not going to go into detail about how other gadgets have helped me, but they have, and I’m sure that others I unlock in the future will also change up my play style, which is nice. Also, there are different costumes that you can get. Some are free, but I think you have to pay for some, and they do have an effect on you. They have differing stats, so their speed, attack, and armor levels will increase or decrease. And what I love about the armor is that it’s loyal to the comics. For example, the Dark Knight Returns Batsuit has slower overall movement, but greater defense. The Batman Beyond Batsuit is faster, but has less defense. It’s great to see how they’re integrated, and I’ll for sure be testing some of them out.
Each batsuit has a different look, but also a different set of stats
Now, the story. There’s not really much story to tell of at the point in the game I’m at. I doubt that will change very much as I play. But, it does serve as a prequel to Arkham City, which you can tell by the fact that battles take place in areas that are not a part of Arkham City, but, in fact, Gotham City as a whole. The story is slightly disappointing, as it is essentially made up of “go here, beat these people up, take out this boss.” missions. Not that I’m complaining, since it’s fun, and I only payed $0.99 for it. Boss fights are fun, and there are a variety of bosses. You’ll do battle with the Penguin, Joker, and Solomon Grundy, among others. And the boss fights are generally not the same. For Solomon Grundy, the game briefly transforms into a runner, and for Two Face you get to use the remote controlled batarang.
You’ll get to explore different environments… from the streets to the sewers to the steel mill
And what makes the game even better is the presentation. You can hear parts of the Arkham City soundtrack in the back, which is really cool, especially since it’s such a great soundtrack. And the visuals… They’re easily some of the best visuals I have ever seen in an iOS game. Sure, the likes of Dead Space and the Assassin’s Creed games looked great, but I have to say that these visuals are honestly better.
Combat is excellent, but controls can get annoying at times
The only other complaint I’d have are the controls. They’re quite simple. You just swipe across the screen to attack. Swiping down allows you to use your cape, and an up swipe is the block. Tapping the screen allows you to dodge incoming attacks, and gadgets are accessible in the bottom of the screen. The controls are simple, but that’s not my complaint. At times, they seem a bit unresponsive, which can be slightly annoying.
Despite it’s few shortcomings in the areas of controls and the story, Arkham City: Lockdown is an excellent game. Essentially, it takes the fun combat from Arkham City and gives it it’s own little home on iOS, and it is fun. Really, really fun. Definitely worth checking out.