Batman: Arkham Collection - PS3

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Batman: Arkham Collection (PS3)
Also for: PC, Xbox 360
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Compilation
Strategy: Stealth
Adventure: Free Roaming
Media: Blu-Ray Arcade origin:No
Developer: Rocksteady Soft. Co.: Warner Brothers
Publishers: Warner Brothers (GB)
Released: 22 Nov 2013 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Connectivity: Network Players, Network Features

Summary

The Batman: Arkham Collection is the definitive package for batfans who've yet to venture into Arkham, packing all the games into one box.

Never mind the hype, Batman: Arkham Asylum was actually the must-have game of 2009 for superhero fans. Featuring a tasty blend of two fisted action, stealth and, of course gadgets, this is sure to tickle your inner nerd.

Gameplay starts with Rocksteady's 'FreeFlow' combat. The way this works is that combat basically just consists of attacks and blocks. That might sound tedious, but actually it's thoroughly rewarding. Rather than stringing together overly complex moves, it's about getting the rhythm right – being sure to counter enemy blows then moving smoothly into an attack, stringing together as many moves as possible to maximise your XP.

Stopping this from being a straightforward brawler, however, is a hefty stealth component. Batman's many things, but not one of those things is bulletproof. This makes sneaking around and taking out enemies one by one a necessity where guns are involved. Your first step in doing this is switching into Detective Mode, highlighting handy features of your environment such as baddies, things like air vents and high-up gargoyles you can use to get around and weak structural points you can blow up. You'll be dropping down for inverted attacks, swooping in for glide kicks and generally being a sneaky badass in no time.

Between Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, Mayor Quincy Sharp has bought up a massive chunk of real estate, walled it off and shoved all the inmates of Arkham Asylum and Blackgate prison in there to do as they will. With Hugo Strange in charge of this little slice of dystopia, however, you can take it as a given that this new chapter in Arkham's history is not going to be a happy one for Gotham.

The biggest addition to the game is in the scale. The playable area is five times the size of that in Arkham Asylum. While large sections of the game still take place inside Gotham's creepy gothic buildings, there's also more of an open-world feel as you navigate Arkham City.

Arkham Origins takes players back to the start. The crime lord Black Mask has put a 50 million dollar bounty on the Dark Knight's head, and some of the world's most fearsome assassins - including Bane, Firefly, Copperhead, and Deathstroke - have answered the call.

This isn't quite the Batman we've met in previous Arkham games, either. This is Batman circa year two of his career. Yes, he can fight and hold his own, but previously he's gone up against organised crime and regular street-level heavies. He's never gone up against anything like these master assassins before.

As you may have gathered, there's an increased focus on combat in this instalment - the first developed by WB Games Montreal instead of Rocksteady. While the careful balance of attack, counter and dodge is preserved, WB is looking to push the player's skills in different areas to make them a master, not to mention throwing in new gadgets. The idea is that as Batman grows and develops as a fighter, so do you.

That's a lot of Batman for your buck!