Weekend Playlist: The retro assault on Arkham

Batman Arkham City

Welcome to HITC’s weekly slot where we share the games we’re currently playing

I’ve been flitting between two games this week, both or one of which will be loaded up this weekend. On the one hand I’ve been getting re-stuck into the ‘last -gen’ beauty of Arkham City and all the slick covert Batman-ness it has to offer, on the other I’ve been running around full-pelt shooting ‘Pig Cops’ in Duke Nukem 3D Megaton edition.

Batman: Arkham City

I borrowed Arkham City from a friend three years ago, got about a third of the way through and had to give it back, but since picked up a cheap copy when my local Blockbusters got shut down, that was a very successful afternoon wasted on stocking up on cheap PS3 game discs, one which as a result I still have a tower of games to get through. I’m really looking forward to the new Batman title (coming to PC and new gen in June) and in the interest of getting a sense of continuity I decided it’s high time to play through Arkham City to the end.

For me Rocksteady’s Arkham series are easily the best comic book hero games. From the dark stylings of the ‘sandboxy’ game environments to the beautifully fluid, balletic combat there’s a care and attention to Rocksteady’s Batman that really makes you step into the role. Using your best stealthing skills to overcome the game’s set pieces still gives great satisfaction every time.

As the series has progressed, so the world Bats silently moves through has expanded, giving more opportunities to perform daring glides across bleak city roof tops, something which is to culminate in our well-monied hero gliding daringly onto a moving Batmobile in the new game, and then have him racing around in the biggest sandbox yet, (super hero GTA?). Order for the day is to level up my remote control Batarang skills, I don’t remember that being as hard last time I played the game!

Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition

In the interest of posterity I’ve also been reliving the good old days of first person shooters with the free copy of Duke Nukem 3D that is up on PlayStation Plus this month. To be honest, Duke Nukem never really appealed to me at the time. The Duke is a misogynistic meat head, that while lampooning your 90s action heroes is just an outlet of contrived one liners and I’m sure the feminist lobby would have a field day with this game (it was not Doom either, which was the FPS of choice back in the day). Comparing Nukem to Doom though I can appreciate the superiority in the game’s level design, there’s a great deal more verticality and lots of quirky interaction with the levels and I’m taken back to the days when exploring levels for secrets would pay you off with bonus health and items instead of a series of otherwise meaningless trophies.

I’ve been having some heavily nostalgia-gilded fun with the multiplayer - there’s nothing quite like hoofing it around at Mach 2 exchanging close-quarters shotgun fire and with Nukem you get to put in the 'Mighty Boot'. Of course today we have come to expect a lot more from our first person shooting games, especially in terms of the ‘reality’ of the experience. I look at Overwatch however and see elements of the 90s FPS (does anyone else think this looks like a shiny Blizzard Team Fortress-style frag fest?) and this just makes me wonder how the Doom reboot is going to pan out, the buzz being that the game is going to return to it's roots.

So those are the games I’m currently getting stuck into, do leave us a comment to let us know your current favourites, be they ancient or modern, and be sure to stay tuned to hear about what my esteemed gaming colleagues are playing. 

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