At last Nintendo’s shiny new home console is upon us, successor to the Wii and sporting something no other console has, a touch screen gamepad.
The Wii-U is without doubt an intriguing piece of tech thanks to its main attraction, a hefty controller with an embedded motion sensor and touch screen.
But how does this incorporate and enhance our gaming experiences?
With arguably one of the best games in the Wii-U’s launch line up, we can find out with Rocksteady and Warner Bros Interactive’s epic masterpiece, Batman Arkham City Armoured Edition.
The caped crusader makes his way onto the Wii-U introducing players to what the gamepad will bring to games like these to make the player feel more like they are actually Batman.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you will have played this superb game on other formats, if not then let me explain the story.
You play as Bruce Wayne who, after being purposely captured, gets sent to a cordoned off part of Gotham City named Arkham City, which is being used as a holding area for Gotham’s biggest and baddest criminals including the iconic villains of the Batman universe such as Penguin, The Joker, Mr Freeze and Two-Face and more.
Inside Arkham city, Wayne dons his updated armoured Bat suit in an attempt at stopping an evil master plan being assembled by mastermind Dr Hugo Strange known only as ‘Protocol 10’.
Many of Batman’s arch enemies come together to stop Batman and the voluptuous and feisty Catwoman from spoiling Strange’s plans, making Arkham City the biggest Batman game ever! The story is brought together by appearances from many of Batman’s villains and it all merges together beautifully.
The animations of the characters and voice acting is outstanding thanks to Batman’s voice actor Kevin Conroy, who voiced Batman in the animated cartoon series and also Mark Hamill voices The Joker who really gives him the sadistic character that he is, you wouldn’t think he used to be Luke Skywalker.
Arkham City looks as fantastic as it did on other formats detail by detail.
However, I did notice slight frame rate issues and screen tearing, but this does absolutely nothing to spoil this masterpiece and the entire game can be played on the gamepad alone and looks amazing.
However, for full effect of Arkham city, playing on the TV is advised as the gamepad becomes your very own Bat computer.
On the gamepads screen, you can use a more prominent version of the map screen and also a sonar feature which allows viewing of NPC positions as well as viewing upgrades for your Bat suit or gadgets and character profiles.
It’s a handy tool to have as you don’t ever need to pause the game to view this stuff and also in game radio chatter and communications from enemies come through the gamepads speakers instead of the TV which makes you feel all the more like Batman and he even looks at his arm computer whenever your messing around on the gamepad which is a nice touch,
Gameplay is the same, traversing Arkham City still feels as amazing as it did the first time around, using Batman’s gliding ability and combat feels just as fluent and stylish as it did before.
However, exclusive to the Wii-U, Batman can now activate a special function within his new armoured suit called B.A.T. (Battle Armoured Tech) mode which just makes Batman stronger for a limited time.
Also exclusive to the Wii-U is the ability to use the gamepad to look for clues in detective mode in certain parts of the game.
Yes OK it’s very gimmicky but it is a nice change from using just the control sticks, you basically move the gamepad around you to search for clues inside the game.
Also included with Armoured Edition is all of the DLC that was released on PSN and Xbox Live such as Catwomans stints in the main story, Harley Quinn’s Revenge sub story featuring Robin and all of the Robin, Catwoman and Night wing challenge packs and also the downloadable skins all on one disc making Batman Arkham City superb value for money.
Batman Arkham City Armoured Edition makes a heavy mark on the Wii-U’s birth sporting some gimmicky yet handy exclusive features using the gamepad as more of a tool than a full on asset to the overall experience. These features make you feel more like Batman than ever before and I strongly believe this is the best version of Arkham City available and being able to play the entire game on the gamepads smaller screen is a brilliant feature that does nothing to compromise the superb graphics on offer whatsoever. It was a great move porting this epic masterpiece to the Wii-U making us all very optimistic for the future. Batman Arkham City is without doubt a classic and with the Armoured Edition, it just got a whole lot better.
Batman Arkham City Armoured Edition
Publishers: Warner Brothers Interactive
Genre: RPG action adventure
Release date: 30th November 2012
Story – 5/5
Graphics – 4.5/5
Gameplay – 5/5
Overall – 5/5