E3 2012: Hands On Preview: Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition on the Wii U
Batman: Arkham City has been out for nearly a year, released back in October of 2011. The Nintendo Conference at E3 announced that a special Armored Edition of the title will be coming out on the Wii U. There were mixed feelings about having an old game that has already been out across other consoles and the PC already now getting released on a system that isn’t even on the market yet.
I was having mixed feelings myself in both loving the title itself, but not wanting to pay full retail cost for an older game when the originals have marked down in cost already. However, after getting my hands on the demo that was available here on the E3 floor, I have to at least admit that while the story is the same, the way you get from start to end is almost entirely different.
Getting to play with the new Wii-U controller, I stood in front of the screen picking up in a spot just outside Ra’s al Ghul’s lair. This is nearly the exact same spot where I left off at home playing a new game just before I left for Los Angeles. Smugly, I picked up the controllers and started to explore for a way to open the large metal doors that lead into the hideout.
Looking at the graphics, it didn’t have the look of any other Wii title. The HD was stunning enough to make me forget that I was playing on a Nintendo. Looking around, I suddenly realized that I had absolutely no idea what do to. The entire area has been completely revamped to utilize the Wii U controller. Puzzles have been completely stripped and recreated to force your hand into using the mini-screen on the controller to scan for evidence, switch out your tools, and solve puzzles.
For example, hacking locked doors to find the password has moved to your mini-screen, as well as scanning for evidence. You have the options to physically move around with your screen in hand to search for clues or to use your joysticks in you prefer to stay stationary. Controlling your remote Batarang has also moved to the small screen, giving you the same choices on either moving around or using the control sticks.
The menu is simpler to control on the touchscreen as well, allowing you to interact with the screen as if you really are Batman poking at his wrist computer. Despite the width of the new Wii U controller, it’s surprisingly light and for the time I was able to play, the controller didn’t seem to hold a lot of heat. I was actually surprised picking up the thing that was barely heavier than a large smartphone. It’s also easy to hold with one hand, which is great considering you have to stop and tap at a lot of things.
Looking at the game, I would almost consider it a remake. Yes, the story is the same, but as I mentioned before, the puzzles and maps are completely redone to fit with all the features of the Wii U. If you’re a fan of the game in its original form and maybe looking to have a new challenge with the title later on, you might want to consider picking this up if you’re tickled pink by the idea of being more like Batman or if you never played the game before.