Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Michelin Game - Batman Arkham City Lockdown Review

2010's release of Infinity Blade has brought about a slew of similar swipe/touch combat games on the iOS platform, and with the recent release of the iOS version of Batman Arkham Origins, I thought it would be good to look back at 2011's Batman game that was based off the same console game that year.

Certainly, it bears a lot of similarities to the Infinity Blade series, and is a stripped down storyline of the console version. Despite that, it is still the best Batman game for the iPad and iPhone.

And more importantly, it is still a very playable combat game with RPG elements in terms of upgrading gear and attributes. In fact, it makes good use of the Batman universe.

Unlike the newer Arkham Origins game which is free, this is still pretty much a "premium" game, and costs US$6. It also still has IAP for buying additional Batman suits and in-game currency to upgrade faster.

Infinity Dark Knight

Yet, you can still win the game without all the additional purchases. The game does allow a very progressive upgrade. If you have played the Infinity Blade series, you will be on familiar ground.

The game basically progresses through 6 different levels. Each level, you will have to go through about 3 to 4 stages, and during each stage, you are likely to do combat with 3 to 4 thugs. At the end of each level, there is always a boss that you have to overcome, and that comes in the form of a famous Batman villain.


Villains include Two-Face, Joker, Solomon Grundy, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. There is somewhat of a surprise "villain" at the end, but I will not ruin that here. Nevertheless, every boss fight is slightly different and will feature different tactics to deal with.

The combat itself comprises of dodging and deflecting, and the fighting is mainly centered on fist fights. Swiping left and right will launch blows, and tapping will dodge. Swiping up will deflect and once the enemy is dazed, that is when you can attack. Very similar to Infinity Blade.

There are also some breaks from the swiping combat, and that comes in the form of tilting batarangs to hit enemies or using the touch feature to wipe off poison etc. All in all, there is quite a lot of variety in the game, though the gameplay is relatively short.

Solomon Grundy

After every stage, you will earn points which you can then use to upgrade your armor and gear, or buy gadgets to aid you in your combat. These include smoke screens and power gauntlets which you can activate during combat.  A bit like the magic spells in Infinity Blade.

Once you completed the main game, you can replay the entire game again on a harder difficulty but retaining the RPG upgrading arc, which is really quite neat and allows for some degree of replayability.

There are also quite cool Batman suits which you can purchase and if you are a fan of Batman, you will be overjoyed to see versions of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight and Year One suits replicated in exquisite detail here.

The Dark Knight Returns

The graphics themselves are beautiful and are based off the console game's, which is also rendered in Unreal engine. The animations are really excellent and all the action is very smooth. The music score and voice overs are all very well done too and that makes for a very immersive Batman universe. Batman, and Joker in particular, are so well-rendered that you are watching almost a 3D comic in motion.

Although the gameplay is not really original nor as deep as the console game, Lockdown by itself is a very enjoyable game on its own. And despite it being similar to the Infinity Blade games, it is still a very well-made and really fun combat game that can be played on the go.

Forget the newer free version, and despite being almost 2 years old, it looks and plays better than the newer Arkham iOS game, which shows how well the game's graphics and mechanics was designed in the first place. And on the retina devices, it looks absolutely gorgeous and is a great way to show off your device's graphic capabilities.

For those who enjoy touch combat games, this is one of the best of its kind, rivaling the Infinity Blade series in some ways. As for Batman fans, this is a no brainer.

Batman Arkham City Lockdown
US$5.99 - Click here to download

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