By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
Batman Arkham City Lockdown (5.99) for the iPad and the iPhone is very similar to Infinity Blade except that you are playing as Batman and there aren't any swords involved. Using the same Unreal engine, stunning graphics and the mood and characters from the Dark Knight's mythology, we found it one of the most engaging games on the iPad and to a lesser extent, the iPhone 4.
Arkham City Lockdown isn't an easy game to pick up. A purely touch-controlled game, users need to master various swipes and gestures in different combinations in order to dodge, block and punch. Going crazy unleashing the moves isn't going to beat opponents any faster since the key to survival is to be able to dodge and counter as much as it is to string together a combination of attacks.
The game's flow and story is tied in to the Batman Arkham City where the inmates of the famed asylum for the criminally insane have taken over the city.
Players earn points by defeating thugs and eventually bosses. Aside from fighting, you get to shoot Batarangs at your enemies but need to guide them with the iPad's motion control and it is harder than it looks but once you can master this it makes things move along a lot quicker.
Once credits are gained, they can be used to improve armour, training or purchase gadgets that enhance the utility belt. Some of these gadgets like electric gloves that can speed up the punching and inflict more damage on enemies.
Others, like the ability to sic a swarm of bats on your opponent, aren't that useful in one-on-one fights but can distract opponents long enough for you to regain the advantage in the slugfest.
Buying add ons with real money, through in game purchases, gets more power ups, additional costumes and gadgets which is a neat option for those who may not want to grind to get these items.
First few times we played the game we found it a bit difficult to sustain the swipes and timed taps. Gameplay can be repetitive and exhausting at first.
The quality of the music and the visuals are stunning and this game really shows off the iPad 2 and iPhone 4's graphics capabilities as overall responsiveness and animation are top notch.
There are a few problems with the game. When you fail to finish a level you need to start all over again. This means if you've managed to dispose of three goons and finally make it to the boss and get defeated then you're starting back from before the three goons.
Cutscenes, which help the game along, get tedious when you have to watch them over and over again when you need to restart the stage. Frustrations aside, the learning curve improves after a few hours and this is a great adjunct to what is already a very popular game. Batfans will enjoy the game and it's accurate depiction of the Dark Knight's world. We prefer playing it on the iPad because the tablet's larger size makes it easier to manage the swipes and taps needed to play the game.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5