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Arkham City Day#4: Out in the Cold

Day#4 is I think the rhythm of this game, for better and for worse. I have to do a LOT of running around the world, and while it is less annoying than I found it in the first session, it’s full of tons of distractions that pull me off of the plot. And the plot itself is just nonsensically stupid. Thankfully, you can just ignore it and treat the game as a set of fights, stealth, and mini-quests. And as that, the game is very good. Or at least it’s very good until you hit the one room where you have to use an awkward mechanic or solve a hintless puzzle. Mixed bag I guess is what I’m saying. Spoilers within.

So something didn’t work when my game crashed last time, so I have to do whole Catwoman fight over again. Sigh. I win again and go back to Batman. He CS recovers on a roof. He gets up and the Joker talks to him through a PDA taped to his chest. Turns out the Joker poisoned Batman, and he only person working on a cure is Mr. Freeze. Sigh — what villain is that again? Eight? So I have to find Freeze. There’s no clear location where Freeze is, but I can follow a temperature gauge to find the coldest part of Arkham City. I start heading there, and I hear a phone ringing. I answer the phone and it’s again Zsazs.  I guess that’s the role of payphone’s here — to have a psychopath talk to me. When I get on the phone, there’s a scanning animation to look for Zsazs’s phone. He hangs up before the trace completes, but he tells me that I have to find the next payphone he rings or he’s going to kill someone. It’s a race across the city against a clock. I do it with almost a minute to spare,  just as a thug comes on me. When I pick up, there’s another scan as Zsazs talks about his parents and his psychosis, and oh, there’s a mini-game here where I have to follow Zsazs’s cellphone marker with my reticule to slowly complete the trace. Then the phone hangs up. I start heading back to Freeze, but there’s another side quest on my map, so I get distracted and go to it instead. I find political prisoner there who tells me that Dr. Strange had him setting up things around the city. The prisoner suddenly gets shot and killed. I have to set up a crime scene to find out what happened. I scan to reveal the line of the shot and then I follow to a ledge where I find a bullet casing. I scan the casing and GOOD GOD ANOTHER VILLAIN?!? Ok Dead Shot fired the shot. Fine. Can I PLEASE get back to the plot now?

I keep following Freeze by temperature, having to restart once because of an unclean disc. When I get to where Freeze is supposed to be, I have to predate some guys who are camped out here. I die once because I don’t remember the button commands, but then I take them down easily the second time.Once they are down, I find my first Titan container and blow it up with my explosive gel. I then waste a lot of time trying to find another one in the Steel Mill before I give up. I answer another Zsazs call, and race successfully to the next phone in time. Right after I complete the second call, I die in a fist fight because I’m sloppy. I go back to Freeze and finally head inside the building where he’s supposed to be. I find my first Riddler trophy here under some stairs. I see a gate I can power up, and then I slide under the partially open door to get to the main room. (And thanks for the reminder about sliding, Greg.) From a fallen guard, I get a radio signal for Penguin. I get to a main room where I find five thugs that I have to predate, which I do handily. I interrogate the last one and find out that the Penguin has Freeze for some reason I frankly don’t pay any attention to, because really, how could this possibly make sense? Joker poisoned me to get a cure from Freeze who was kidnapped by Penguin? Oh this is such a dumb story.

I try to go back outside to find Penguin, but Penguin locks me in this building. I have to use my detective mode to trace wires then use my cryptographic device to unlock the door. It’s a little confusing to do, as you have to rotate the L and R sticks until you fill vibration, but I get it. I work my way back to the museum where the Penguin is. I get to the museum, beat up the guards outside, and creep in. Inside are a couple of guys with knives. There’s some command to dodge the knife that makes no sense to me, so I take my cuts and just beat them up. I find a motion sensor that locks a door I need to go through as soon as I walk through an archway. There’s a terminal to hack to turn the motion sensor off,  but the Penguin is blocking my cryptographic device’s signal. I need to find the disruptors to stop the Penguin’s hack. I go back outside to find them. I find the first one quickly, and after a fist fight to take out some guards, I then punch my way through the three monitors on the disruptor to destroy it. I find the second one after quick predation, but there’s a third one being quickly set up in a subway.  I find an entrance to the underground and I fight way through a bunch of guards, finding a couple more Riddler trophies on the way. I predate my way to the last jammer and take it out.  That sequence was pretty fun.

I head back to the museum and beat up more guards outside. I get inside and deactivate the motion detector. As I head deeper into the museum, I beat up more guys inside (including a guy in body armor that I have to do some weird beat down command sequence to defeat) who are threatening a hostage. When the thugs are down, I talk to Officer Jones who is held hostage. Jones knows a code to convince me he’s actually a cop. He tells me that there’s more of his team inside. I continue on through some hallways to be blocked by a gate. I have to use stupid remote batarang to get past gate (by hitting a button behind the gate) and it takes me like twenty tries to get right. Your camera follows the batarang and it’s impossible to tell where you are at first. I finally get the gate open and keep going. I arrive in a new room to see a CS of Penguin killing one of the cop hostages. I see more of the cops held hostage. Penguin and Batman CS trade credible and decently written threats. When that conversation is over,  the Penguin lets loose a hoard of initiate gang members on me and I take them all down easily. The Penguin then lets loose a big Titan-drugged guy along with some new thugs. I beat up the big guy, jumping on his back to charge him into the other thugs, and pretty easily take them all down. Penguin leaves and locks the doors. So, to keep going, I have to do ANOTHER FUCKING REMOTE BATARANG to hit the button to get past the electrical fences. The great part of this is the place where the batarang has to go, the SCREEN IS TOO DARK TO SEE. FUCK YOU GAME!!!!!!  I finally get the button, but past the one gate that opens, it’s nothing but a Riddler trophy. It turns out that to actually proceed after the Penguin, I have to disable fuse box from behind the main gate. I try hitting it with batarang and it doesn’t seem to work. I can’t get anything through the gate that I can tell.  FUCK YOU GAME. I’m done for the night.

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