Tag Archives: Awesome

Batman Arkham City – First Impressions

Since my PC died a few weeks ago my xbox has been having a bit of a renaissance.  After speaking to some friends I acquired my own copy of Space Marine and have really enjoyed it.  But that’s not important now as I’m looking at the latest Batman game Arkham City.

I was a fan of the previous game, Arkham Asylum.  It had action, mystery and was very characterful environment.  Well Arkham City was released the other day I very dutifully bought my copy and have since spent a few hours jumping from roof tops with my underpants on the outside of my trousers.  So what are my first impressions?

If you liked the Asylum then I’m sure you’ll enjoy City.  It has everything that Asylum game plus more.  You have the action, the Riddler’s puzzles, the predator aspect of hunting down bad guys from the shadows.  You also have the options of upgrades as you get more experience.  With new gear and skills available.

The extras include things like playing as Catwoman in some of the missions.  She’s not as powerful as the Bat, but she is a hell of a lot faster.

And the city?  Wow!  It’s a massive map, and I mean huge.  There are major buildings for you to enter, plenty of rooftops to jump off and loads of bad guys to beat up.  Most of the major bad guys are there; Joker, Bane, Penguin, Freeze etc etc.  In some ways it’s a little overwhelming.  You have the main mission which involves Hugo Strange, but there are loads of mini/side missions such as rescuing political prisoners, hunting down an assassin, destroying the remaining Titan toxin, plus lots more.  I’m a particular fan of Zasz’s (spelt wrong I know) mini-mission where you have to hunt the phones ans trace his calls.  It’s very easy to get distracted by also these extras and this is probably the only thing that poke holes in with this game, and even then this isn’t a real criticism, it’s just hard to decide which missions to give priority to.  Oh and to fully appreciate the story you may have to buy Asylum as some of the story lines carry on from it.

Overall a fantastic game if you like a good mix of action, adventure, puzzle solving and just moving around a fantastic environment.

Cataclysm – “I Know How to Queue, I’m British”

Another day, another post about Cataclysm as the blogosphere erupts now a new expansion has descended upon the gaming fraternity (and sorority if you believe that there are actually women on the Internet).

Last night was a night spent at home, I’d therefore be able to spend some time doing whatever and with Cataclysm out it’s more likely I’m going to be diving into Warcraft than sitting at my table painting. Although I do need to do some more of that!

The greatest problem to that at the moment is that every man and his dog that has ever had a character on Argent Dawn now seems to want to get in on the action, there are queues of between 1400 and 2000 people at most times since the midnight launch of Cataclysm. After dinner last night I fired up the PC and logged in, around 1900 people in the queue so I went to do the washing up, I figured that would kill some time and reduce the waiting time.

When I did actually get to the PC there were still 1400 odd people queueing so I had time to kill with an estimated one hour till I’d get to the front and be able to log in. I’d started WoW at 8pm and the household chores took me up till around 8.30 pm. Rather than sitting and watching the numbers tick down (or up as they managed to do from time to time) I thought I’d take the opportunity to play some Lord of the Rings Online. It’s now Free to Play and I had downloaded the client the previous week. I’d already created an Elven Hunter with one of my two character slots but fancied trying something a little different so I fired the game up and created Vayl, an Elven Lore-keeper. I went through the tutorial again and started the quests around the ruins of Endhelion (sp?).

I got up to level 6 before WoW was less a minute from letting me in and it was nice to take a break from an MMO I’ve got a lot of experience with. Free to Play means I can dive in and out at will and I did enjoy the more story-based aspect of the questing, it felt like I was actually doing something rather than picking up arbitrary jobs for random people too lazy to do it themselves. If long queues persist then I can see me spending more time exploring the LOTRO world.

When WoW did finally let me in I fired up Phake who was in Dalaran, checked my Oracles Egg that had hatched into yet another White Tickbird Hatchling (I could start my own breeding business with the amount of them that have popped for me) and flew off to Warsong Hold (grabbing another Egg on the way of course). I took the blimp to Orgrimmar, got the auto-quest for Cataclysm, grabbed my Azeroth flying license and sailed off into the sunset.

Vash’jir is quite an interesting diversion from the normal quest zones, being underwater and having to watch x, y and z axes is a new experience for MMO play. Sure you’re still killing X of this and collecting Y of that but the environment is certainly pretty, it’s just a shame that it is so overcrowded with at least 10-15 people doing the same quests as you are. I also saw my first level 85 in the flesh.. I almost felt sorry for them! I didn’t have a huge amount of time so quit the game having gotten around 20% towards 81, it’s going by pretty quickly with the small amount of rested XP I’d built up from logging off Monday night. I look forward to getting to spend longer than the hour before getting to bed trying things out.

For the last ten minutes of my play time I created a new Worgen Hunter, I played through the first part of the starting zone and have to say that it was absolutely fantastic! I don’t want to spoil it for those people who haven’t seen it yet but if you have the spare character slots I’d roll a Worgen and go sample it. Sure it plays off some Victorian era horror stereotypes but I love it. While I’m taking my Shaman to 85 I might be levelling another Alliance character… I want to stick with Horde but the Worgen are cool and I do need to try the new levelling experience and all my money is on Alliance side.

So far then Cataclysm is looking good, the new zones I need more time with as I am evidently one of the few people on Argent Dawn who have a full-time job and go to bed at a reasonable hour while also spending time right back as being a noob with one of the 3 new characters I have created using the new race/class combinations.