By Spencer . November 19, 2012 . 3:44pm
One of the other Wii U launch titles I’ve been playing (should I say replaying?) is Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition. The cover art shows Batman with blue electricity emitting from his new Battle Armored Tech suit. Basically, this Batman has a super meter that charges whenever Batman deals or takes damage. When its full you can tap on a neon blue Batman icon on the Gamepad or press the left and right analog sticks down to activate B.A.T. mode to dish out double damage for a few seconds
Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition includes the Harley Quinn’s Revenge, Nightwing Bundle, Robin Bundle, Challenge Map, Arkham City Skins, and Catwoman DLC packs. Catwoman also has shiny new armor and a B.A.T. mode.
I’m not sure why Warner Bros. focused on the new armor. A super meter is nice, I guess, but what makes Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition stand out is how Warner Bros. Montreal used the Wii U GamePad. The controller is essentially the Batcomputer. You can view the mini-map, swipe through character profiles, and use a new enemy sonar function on the touch pad. When Alfred talks to Batman, his voice comes out of the Wii U GamePad while you hear Batman talk on your TV.
Players help Batman scan for clues by moving the GamePad around in detective mode. Mini-games like finding radio signals and hacking have been reworked for the GamePad too. It’s gimmicky, but giving players the Batcomputer adds another layer of immersion. The downside is some tasks like upgrading Batman’s skills are more cumbersome since you have to flip through more menus to do the same thing. Batarang throwing utilizes the Gamepad’s gyroscopic sensors, but it’s faster to just use the right analog stick to target enemies.
I fired up Batman: Arkham City Game of the Year Edition as a comparison and the game feels smoother on Xbox 360. The game doesn’t have huge framerate drops or anything that makes it unplayable, but animation flows better in the Game of the Year Edition. If you already own that, there’s isn’t much new in Armored Edition. However, if you’re upgrading from Wii to Wii U, Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition has an excellent combat system and whole city to fly around in.