This may seem like a bit of an odd thing, who wouldn’t want loads of variety in tasks, but in Batman: Arkham City I couldn’t help but think “whoa, steady on with the content!”.
From the first game, Arkham Asylum, I loved trying to solve The Riddler’s puzzles, even if I knew I’d never get them all (without playing all the way through again) and on top of this just pottering about climbing on things to find hidden objects or taking out bad random guys was just brilliant fun. So why didn’t I love the larger open world area in Arkham City?
I think the root of my problem with Arkham City was the sheer quantity of side quests that were opened to you. There was such a variety that trying to go through and take them on all during the main gameplay was a little overwhelming so quite a lot of it got ignored. However some of it was a little in my face. QUICK A PHONE, GO ANSWER IT! Given my love of pottering around, throwing in side quests the game took me quite a while to complete and at times I kind of lost interest in the plot.
This is probably the key point of my argument. The story was probably very engaging and I liked how many characters they brought in. As someone who doesn’t follow the comics but likes the Batman world and what I’ve experienced with characters, I thought the story and characters were well done. However at the same time it could be ages between one mission and the next because of the side quests and encouragement they put in to explore the world. I believe that I would have been a bit more engrossed in the game if they’d given me more tunneled vision. Given I can spend ages covering a building in Generic FPS Game 7, searching for ammo, this wasn’t going to end well.
I’m a big fan of open world content, exploration and side quests but in the case of Batman: Arkham City, the environment was too compact for the amount of content you had. It was far too easy to get distracted, getting caught up on the busy world around you and simply losing the plot.