Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Monday, May 2, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : Arts : Arts and Entertainment News
2/8/2012 10:11:00 AM
Video games: Batman still has caché
A scene from new Batman video game.
A scene from new Batman video game.
Catholic News Service


NEW YORK — Even after 70 years, the image of Batman — a lone figure prowling the night to protect the innocent — has lost none of its potency. By adopting a code of honor and turning the trappings of evil against those who would do evil, Bruce Wayne transformed his personal torments into an almost chivalric quest to save others.

What most impressed generations of children (and adults) is that he did it all without any "superpowers" beyond his own intelligence, wealth, and physical prowess.

Comic book figures have a fairly mediocre track record when it comes to video and computer games, and Batman was no exception. In 2009, however, a relatively unknown studio called Rocksteady unleashed "Batman: Arkham Asylum," and the superhero genre finally had a game that could stand on its own merits.

Combining superb storytelling and visual flair with a wild mix of gameplay styles — stealth, detection, exploration, puzzle-solving, and hand-to-hand combat — "Arkham Asylum" became one of the breakout hits of the year.

"Arkham Asylum" took place on a single island, allowing the designers to create a tightly crafted, carefully structured masterpiece. Any follow-up would have to follow the mandatory sequel formula: bigger, better, more.

But more and bigger, as we know, isn't always better. Taking Batman from the confined location of the asylum and placing him in a sprawling open city game is a risky proposition.

Would the focus of the gameplay become diffused, and the tension of the madhouse setting lost, once the Bat was free to spread his wings over a sizable portion of Gotham City? Could the strange mix of gameplay elements survive a significant increase in length and a more open style of play?

The answer is an (almost) unqualified "yes." The "almost" has to do with the one thing "Batman: Arkham City" (Warner Interactive) can't duplicate, and that's tightness. There wasn't an ounce of flab on the original. Everything pointed to a singular end, and nothing was wasted. "Arkham City," on the other hand, is big, sprawling, and jammed with content. That's not a bad thing, but it does dilute some of the suspense of the original.

The game begins with a remarkably implausible setup, reminiscent of the 1981 film "Escape From New York." A big chunk of Gotham has been walled off and turned into a maximum-security prison for supervillains and assorted criminals, as well as the occasional innocent or political prisoner. Catwoman is there as well ... just because.

The rest of Gotham has fallen under the control of Arkham Asylum's former warden, Quincy Sharp, who has placed Arkham City under the control of supervillain Hugo Strange (who knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne!) and his army of mercenaries.

Strange arranges for Wayne to be arrested and committed to Arkham City for no discernible reason, thus allowing the World's Greatest Detective free range inside the supervillain's fortress city on the eve of Strange's unveiling of a cryptic evil plan called "Protocol 10."

None of this is even the tiniest bit credible, even at a comic book level. But once you muscle past the premise, you really do get a terrific setting for a game. The city is a warren of buildings, underground levels, alleys, and major sites like the museum or the police station.

Batman soars through this concrete jungle like Spiderman, using a combination of grappling hooks and the gliding properties of his cape.

A number of plots and villains present themselves almost immediately, which slackens the tension of the central story line involving Hugo Strange, but does provide plenty of quests for Batman to follow. The result is a huge game with lots of places to explore, secrets to find, mysteries to solve, crimes to stop, people to save, supervillains to thwart, bosses to fight, and cats to rescue from trees.

Batman, it seems, can't go a block without someone either trying to kill him or needing his help.

All of the other gameplay features are brought forward from the original. The hand-to-hand combat, based on timed moves and the use of gadgets, is as brilliant as ever. And the batsuit, skill, and gear upgrades come at a measured pace.

Boss battles — seriously frustrating in the original — are a little better this time around, though they still have a puzzle-like quality that may irritate some. With 400-plus Riddler secrets and puzzles to find, and plenty of regenerating foes, there's also a lot of room for ongoing gameplay after the major quests are finished.

From a moral perspective, there is both good and bad. The criminals range from minor thugs to raving psychopaths, and all of them are perfectly willing to kill. Batman, of course, never kills, but merely knocks his foes unconscious.

The atmosphere is grim and dark — there is no sunlight in the environment — and corresponds to the gritty tone of the current movie franchise. This is not a game for young children, particularly considering the bone-crunching nature of the dustups, the unrelenting nastiness of the villains, and the occasional use of innuendo and foul terms.

The game contains extensive hand-to-hand and weapons violence, a few gory images, several sexual references, suggestive costuming and some crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Entertainment Software Ratings Board rating is T — Teen.



Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved