App Review: Batman: Arkham City Lockdown

The best reason to save space on your utility belt for an iPhone.

Batman: Arkham City Lockdown

Price: $5.99

What’s it about?

Touching Batman. Ok, ok, we know how that sounds but, let’s be honest, it’s the Dark Knight and a poll among iOS gamers shows us two things; half of them all openly want to touch Batman and the other half are liars. Fitting nicely between Arkham Asylum and City, Lockdown unleashes Batman’s fury on a pre-superprison Gotham where minions and super villains run amok. Brace yourself, vengeance will rain down like guano in a batcave.

How does it look?

Lockdown has graced the App Store courtesy of Netherrealm Studios, the same guys that brought you the latest Mortal Kombat, and, though the graphics aren’t in the same league as Arkham’s console-based brethren, they’re still an impressive feat on the iPad 2’s A5 processor. As we get amped up for the impending release of GTA III on the iOS, we have to say that we were disappointed that Lockdown didn’t include the free-roam greatness found in both Arkham Asylum and City, instead opting for an entirely different style of gameplay. The end result is a game that feels more like a Bat-skinned Infinity Blade than an entry in the Arkham series but we wouldn’t exactly call that missing the mark.

How addictive is it?

Anyone who’s mastered the excellent fight system of Arkham City will feel like they’re going back to the drawing board to relearn the simplified controls found in Lockdown. It’s a necessary evil when your bringing a major franchise like the Arkhams to a touchscreen but there’s no way to avoid feeling like the combat is just dumbed down, especially when the repetition on minion battles starts to feel stale. Boss battles are a different story, pumping up the difficulty significantly when Batman faces off against the likes of Two Face or the Joker. Waynetech upgrades and the addition of Bat gizmos help to stave off the inevitable feeling of deja vu during fights but including alternate skins for the caped crusader as well as a variation of the New Game Plus mode from Arkham City are really just stop gap measure to tout replayability in the app. However, that replay value, like communism and cock rings, was definitely better in theory than in practice.

What’d they screw up?

Forgoing the open world of Arkham feels like a missed opportunity. We’re seeing that the iPad and iPhone 4S are definitely capable of handling a massive sandbox and letting it shine on a touchscreen. Instead, what Lockdown brings to the table feels like a watered-down Infinity Blade jammed into a cape and cowl. Normally, that kind of strategy (Game of the Year App of the year=great success!) would work on us like Spanish Fly on a drunk chick but the devolved controls and repetitive minion fights left us barely satisfied and disappointed that this game didn’t live up to its potential. Maybe we were just expecting too much but Mom always told us to keep high standards. She was definitely referring to the skanks we were bringing home when she said that but it’s just good life advice in general.

Out of five? 

4. It’s Batman. On your iPad. Watered down or not, that’s a winning combo.

If I like this, what else will I like? 

Infinity Blade II, Superman, touching Batman…especially with boobs like this