Just completed Arkham City. Could have had a much better ending. My gripes with the game are, funnily enough, pretty much the same gripes I had with the first game. There's little variation in stealth again. It ends up boiling down to gargoyle>takedown>gargoyle>takedown just like Asylum. Sure you're given a multitude of gadgets that you can upgrade but when the AI of the enemy is set to basically go around on a patrol route, stand gormlessly under gargoyles, and automatically home in on whoever was taken out last, it doesn't leave much room for you to experiment. You end up just going the easiest way possible, made slightly aggravating, when you have to wait for enemies to inspect their fallen comrade, then go off on their way again for you to take them out. It wouldn't feel so annoying if there were new ways to take out people but there aren't. You're back to inverted takedowns, wall explosions (which you can't even rip down with the grapple anymore as far as I have seen), ledge takedowns, silent takedowns. It's just more of the same.
Hand to hand combat and activities are the only thing here that have been built upon from the first game and even with the latter it ends up falling into that uncomfortable repeated side quests deal that a lot of free form games end up as. The Riddler's quests are more original and are an example of what the random side s**t could have been if more attention had been put on them. Interrogations I remember in previews being talked about. I expected old Bats to be physically threatening people for inside information and goons to be literally letting you know stuff. What did I get? Batman makes one threat, the goon says "I'll tell you!", and suddenly a location is marked on your map. He doesn't tell you a street name or a basic location, he's just a pointless extra with no detail. It wouldn't be so bad if what he had to say was in some way interesting or at least detailed, especially when you have to make sure to leave them til last in a large fist fight. Sure it's just a tiny thing but detail would have been nice there.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. Short but I enjoyed it. Is it an amazing game that kicks the hell out of the competition? What competition? There is no competition. It's a good game yes, but far from the fantastically amazing game that a lot of people are saying it is. It's just a really good game that sadly suffers form the same problems that I had with the first game. They took a really good Batman game that had moments of repetition thanks to their not being much else to do, and shoved in some random side s**t in the form of "do 3 of these, collect 6 of those" side missions. I would have gladly liked the side villains to be fleshed out more and less of the samey free roaming generic side quests bullshit. As for the map, five times bigger is a gross exaggeration. More like the amount of things you can do is five times bigger.
I most likely sound as though I'm being far too hard on the game but there are just so many things with the game that I would have done differently. It's just.. more of the same. Just.. more.
Has the hots for: Several friends, that quiet brunette down the street, Kai from Heavenly Sword, sonic_uk, Multiplayerking, Doug, and probably your sister and/or mother.