YMMV / Batman: Arkham City

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The game gives much ground to show Batman as a self-destructive Failure Hero who is perfectly pegged by Hugo Strange in a Villain Has a Point observation. He notes that he essentially made the city a playground for acting out his tragic but essentially selfish neuroses and that all the violence and destruction caused by his conflicts with supervillains are primarily his fault. More to the point, he's shown to be rude and dismissive of his allies and friends and nearly bullying to Robin which suggests that he is selfishly possessive of being Gotham's guardian in a way that makes him Not So Different from Strange. And he even escalates tension unnecessarily with Mr. Freeze when he could have merely told him, "Yes, I'll obviously rescue your wife." Come Batman: Arkham Knight this is no longer an alternative interpretation but actually part of the Arkham Batman's character.
    • More disturbingly, Batman seems to have an epiphany regarding this at the end. He notes that letting Joker live will lead him to continue killing all just to spite him and he notes to Joker that he would have let him live, despite poisoning Gotham and killing a woman he loved, all in the knowledge that the Clown Prince of Crime would continue hurting people close to the Dark Knight even after that. The fact that he's visibly shocked and saddened at the end, carrying Joker's body suggests that the latter was the only one he ever related to in the game.
    • While Hugo Strange is a Psycho Psychologist, a lot of gamers feel he's not incompetent. His observations and analysis of criminals and supervillains, with the exception of the Joker is fairly spot-on, pegging Penguin's Napoleon Delusions of Eloquence, Harvey Dent as a public servant who caved in to the pressures of having a good image, Catwoman's stealing being essentially a cry for attention from the man she loves (which she more-or-less admitted to once) and Mr. Freeze a self-destructive Jaded Washout who is letting his great scientific skills go to waste over his Trauma Conga Line because he himself isn't making an effort to get over it or at least take responsibility for his own actions. There's also his Breaking Speech to Batman which Batman never gives an adequate answer and response to. You can say that even with Joker he makes some good points. Strange observes that Joker' blame on Batman's causing his Start of Darkness is simply an excuse to commit more and more horrific crimes (and going by Batman: Arkham Origins, it seems to be true).
  • Annoying Video Game Helper:
    • You might want to scream this at Bane when the two of you team up to fight a roomful of mooks. He's not trying to hit you, but he will if you're near his target. Bane even apologizes to Batman if he hits him.
    • Sometimes even if you're on opposite sides of the room and Bane is surrounded by enemies, he'll deliberately walk over to where you are and start swinging. It's easy to question his sincerity. Especially after he reveals that he in fact collected Titan for himself.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Hugo Strange and the Penguin. These characters have never been known for their physical prowess; it's getting to them that's the challenge.
  • Awesome Bosses:
    • Mr. Freeze, who COMPLETELY averts Boss Arena Idiocy by forcing the player to think creatively about their attack and stretch their Predator skills as he nullifies every method of attack after it's used on him once. Beating him requires that you utilize every stealth-based attack you have used.
    • Second-best probably goes to Ra's al Ghul. Thanks to getting a taste of the Blood of the Demon, Batman fights Ra's in a giant hallucinatory desert city where Ra's himself summons a giant monster of sand and assaults him with hundreds of ninjas. It has some of the best (and most outlandish) visuals in the game (which is saying something), a tense atmosphere, and gives Batman the opportunity to counter attacks from over 20 opponents at the same time (He's normally capable of a mere three counters at the same time).
    • Third has to go to the battle against Joker and his gang consisting of at least twenty mooks, a Titan mook, and Mr. Hammer. The only thing holding this fight back from being awesome was that it's not really Joker you're fighting and that Harley Quinn was "tied" up at the moment.
    • Fourth goes to Solomon Grundy, who becomes a electrical zombie Hulk inside a dungeon basement of fire and lightning. You eventually finish him by ripping his electrified heart out.
    • And last but not least, there's the Final Boss Clayface, in which you wield a freaking scimitar against him while dodging his insane attacks and slicing up his Mooks while near a Lazarus Pit, culminating in an awesome Finishing Move against this boss.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Catwoman. Some see her as one of the game's highlights, while others find her too terrible to play as outside of combat.
  • Broken Base:
    • Catwoman and the DLC episodes themselves. They are either fun and provide a nice change in gameplay, or are overhypednote  short missions, which appear at the worst times that only detract from the main story.
    • The story. While the Clayface twist is (almost) universally praised, other parts are more divisive. Did the villains get good roles, or were they underutilized as an attempt to shove as many Batman villains into the story as possible? Do the characters grab the Idiot Ball in crucial plot points Example  just so the plot could happen, or are their actions understandable given the situation?
  • Cant Unhear It: Stana Katic's performance as Talia al Ghul is one of the most popular yet, with many claiming it to be on par with if not better than Helen Slater's equally well-known voice. The same as been said for Grey DeLisle as Catwoman compared to Adrienne Barbeau.
  • Common Knowledge: Thanks to a case of type 2 of Now Which One Was That Voice?, for a while it was thought that Dee Bradley Baker replaced Steve Blum as Killer Croc, Crispin Freeman was Robin, Kari Wahlgren was Vicki Vale, and Quinton Flynn as Nightwing—but these have since been debunked: Blum confirmed he was still Croc; in addition to voicing Two-Face and Catwoman respectively, Troy Baker and Grey DeLisle confirmed they were the respective voices of Robin and Vicki Vale (the latter of whom also voiced the character in the Animated Adaptation of Batman: Year One, which was released the same day as City); and many noted that Baker's grunts for Tim were reused for Nightwing.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Calendar Man's story of what he did on New Year's Day starts out disturbingly stalker-y, but crosses the line a second time when he acknowledges that stepping into a crowded ballroom with a flamethrower was a bit dramatic.
    • Calendar Man's stories have a habit of doing this. For the 4th of July, he starts off by telling how he rigged the entire asylum with explosives and expressing his disappointment at Batman stopping him but not before the fire swept through the intensive care ward because 'what's the Fourth of July without a barbecue'.
  • Demonic Spiders: Armored enemies in Predator challenges. They're immune to silent takedowns and most other kinds of stealth KO, forcing you to use the very loud Beatdown to take them out. In the harder Riddler's Revenge maps, where being spotted is practically instant death, this is a major issue. Said harder challenges also love to give armor to already dangerous enemy types, like snipers.
  • Designated Love Interest: Talia. Her and Batman's past is only mentioned, and sounds like a mere one-night stand. Both dislike the way the other deals with criminals, the two barely interact, and yet the writing implies they are in love.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Hugo Strange gets a lot of this from fans, as can be observed under Rooting for the Empire and Alternative Character Interpretation. Sure, there are very valid points to be made, but this is still a man throwing in innocent people to be executed and he even encourages some of the gang wars by providing Joker and Penguin guns, along with threatening to dissect Catwoman's brain while alive.
  • Ending Fatigue: Not in the main game, but the Catwoman DLC adds a mission immediately after the main ending. The mission focuses on Catwoman getting revenge on Two-face, with an additional predator boss fight. Especially annoying if the player doesn't enjoy Catwoman's gameplay or has not upgraded her enough to take on unlimited waves of predator enemies until Harv is down. To rub it in, you can't free-roam as Batman until the mission is over.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Mad Hatter is this to many players as his only scene in the game is one of the most memorable portions of the game. Like Scarecrow from the previous game, many found his side mission to be Nightmare Fuel and he tries to take control of Batman and the mask he puts on him.
    • After decades of being a rather lame, gimmicky villain, Calendar Man received a darker, edgier, and grittier retooling that with it brought him a decent following that's growing since the game's release.
  • Even Better Sequel: Many of the reviews posted agree that Arkham City is much better than Arkham Asylum. And considering the reviews for that game...
  • Fake Longevity: Arguably, Challenge Campaigns. While Challenge maps are a fine way to lengthen the gameplay, Challenge Campaigns require you to beat the exact same levels again with a few modifiers. Basically, to reach 100%, you need to beat all 24 challenge maps at least twice as Batman. And if you want the trophies, with Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing as well.
    • While there aren't really any for the main game, Bat Swarm is extremely handy in Combat Challenges; it gets everyone off of you, can get you a few thousand points if your combo is high enough, and makes the Lieutenants a piece of cake (do the move close to them, pummel them to get your combo gold again, then do it again as they start to recover).
    • Not full-on game breaker, but damn close: the Batarang Takedown. When executed, any enemy that's been knocked to the ground gets pelted in the head and instantly knocked out. It makes you feel like a total badass to instantly neutralize seven or eight mooks with one move.
    • The secret to breaking combat challenges is Redirect. The AI can't handle it well. Literally just attack once, redirect, repeat. It overrides attacks that could be countered, knife attacks that have to be dodged 3x, titans, everything. Throw in the occasional takedown for armored enemies but as long as you remember to redirect after every attack you will get 60-70ks in no time. Getting larger comboes gives better multipliers.
    • Critical Strikes. It's one of the first upgrades you can unlock, and it not only allows for extra damage on properly timed combos, but increases the experience multiplier by 2x instead of 1x on a properly timed hit. Master your time of it and you can hit multipliers in the 30s and higher on large groups of enemies, allowing you to effortlessly rake in experience.
    • Freeflow Focus, which slows down time when a 12 hit combo is reached. After you obtain it, you barely need to counter anymore, although the slow-mo ends if combo finishers are used. It was nerfed in Knight, and instead adds damage without slow-mo.
  • Goddamned Bats: Shielded and Stun Baton mooks. Both of them can't be countered and instantly end your combo if attacked head-on (damaging you too in the case of Stun Batons) The Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors methods to defeat them aren't difficult, but in larger brawls it can be easy to accidentally punch one via Damn You, Muscle Memory!, which can easily break your high-score attempts at Riddler's Revenge maps.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Behold, how to escape from Arkham City!
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Remember how the Joker mockingly aimed the Titan Shot at his head to make it look like a suicide shot back in Arkham Asylum? After the end of this game and what the Titan wound up doing to him, that moment takes on a much darker tone....
    • "Twinkle twinkle, little Bat. Watch me kill your favorite cat."
    • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, in "The Knights of Tomorrow!", the Joker is sick and dying, with what seems to be like short time to live, all while he acknowledges his own Joker Immunity ("I'm the Joker! I always survive!"). Come this game, where the plot similarities are, at most, almost uncanny.
    • The fact that the climatic battle takes place in a movie theater, in light of the Aurora Theater Shooting.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • In the epilogue, various mooks can't accept that Joker's dead. Several fans believe the same, coming up with theories where he could still be alive. The Arkham City: Endgame comic exists to confirm that Joker really is dead, with Gordon in possession of the body for two weeks following the end of the game, and the final panels of the story being Joker's body being cremated.
    • Thanks to two Easter eggs; his mask ironically being found perched as a crow's nest and the contents of his Nightmare Fuel boat, many fans are convinced that this is exactly what Scarecrow is doing at the moment.
    • Invoked with Ra's al Ghul. He falls to his death and is impaled. The next time you see that spot, he's gone. Ditto for his daughter Talia, whose body also mysteriously disappears.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Nightwing is voiced by Quinton Flynnnote , and many of his moves are somewhat acrobatic and ninja-like in nature. Let's just say that Quinton later reprised a character very similar to him in that regard in another predator stealth-based game.
    • The casting of Troy Baker as Robin. Even though the Robin in the game is Tim Drake, Baker would voice Nightwing in Injustice: Gods Among Us, mirroring the path of the original Robin, Dick Grayson. He also mirrors the path of the DCAU Tim Drake, voicing the younger Joker in Arkham Origins.
    • A rather roundabout one in conjunction with a debatably intentional Casting Gag. The TYGER guards are voiced by Michael Gough who, in addition to sharing a name with the actor who played Alfred in the Burton/Schumacher Batman movies, also voiced Deckard Cain in Diablo, who some have noticed sounds almost exactly like Bane.
    • Coincidentally or not, this game and The Dark Knight Rises share several plot elements even if the latter was released a year afterwards. Both feature a Magnificent Bastard Heavy armed with knowledge of Batman's secret identity who cordons off a large part of Gotham with the intention of destroying it to fulfill the Knight Templar legacy of villain Ra's Al Ghul. Catwoman appears as a Heel Face Revolving Femme Fatale who is ultimately faced with a choice between abandoning Gotham and staying behind and aiding Batman. Batman himself is shown in both stories being pushed to his physical limits by the machinations of a villain before being outwitted by a Big Bad in the climax. Ironically, Batman realizes the Joker outwitted him after Talia stabs Joker in Arkham City, while in The Dark Knight Rises he realizes he has been Out Gambitted by Talia AFTER she stabs HIM.
    • The infamous "Press X to Pay Respects" from Callof Duty Advanced Warfare is in fact Older Than They Think since this game has a similar event and prompt involving Batman visiting the spot where his parents were murdered. This article offers an explanation as to why it was accepted here but mocked in Call of Duty.
    • As noted on the main page, some of Riddler's challenges look like they came straight out of the Saw franchise. Years later, Telltale's version of the Riddler would use these kinds of death traps almost exclusively.
  • Hype Backlash: While it's a fine game, and among the best superhero games, going into the game after hearing "It's the best game ever made", can seriously damage its possible impact. At times, the story can feel like the developers took a bunch of characters and tried to shove them into the story, resulting in Two-Face's very minor role, Solomon Grundy's sudden appearance and Vicki Vale's rescue mission. Most bosses follow the same tactic of "Evade and spam gadget X", some go down with a single button press, and the acclaimed Mr. Freeze fight requires both characters to suddenly go Jerkass towards each other for it to happen. On the other hand, the game does manage to excellently foreshadow the Clayface twist.
  • Inferred Holocaust:
    • All those times Batman finishes an arena-style fight, only for the 'arena' to blow up or wreckage to fall immediately after it's finished. It's doubtful the unconscious goons were moved to safety beforehand... Examples include the Joker fight just before Protocol Ten initiates and the Tyger guards in Strange's tower.
    • Speaking of that, during the race to stop Hugo Strange, he says that fatalities caused by Protocol Ten are reaching twenty-two percent. One in five of the inmates Batman took down were killed in the destruction.
    • Also, in the Riddler's lair where all of the doctors plus Aaron Cash are being forced to walk along tracks, there's a list of names with two names crossed out, and one of the guards from the church is missing. The other one could be on the Riddler hostages, but this guard, the mustachioed guard, is nowhere to be found.
  • It Was His Sled: The Joker being Killed Off for Real at the end has quickly become one of the most infamous plot twists in gaming history. It got even worse once Batman: Arkham Knight came out, since a major portion of the game's entire premise centers around said spoiler.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Quincy Sharp. Yes, throughout the games he's mostly been a pompous ass, but if you listen to him post-game at the church, when Vicki Vale is trying to interview him he just sounds so broken that it's hard not to feel sorry for the poor sod.
    • Talia Al Ghul. Despite being badass and sort of evil, she loves Bruce and is used by her father like a simple tool, even trying to stop Batman when he says he's going to kill (the first time, anyway). Made worse when she dies with a gunshot that came out of nowhere.
    • The Mad Hatter, especially in his audio tapes, just sounds so pathetic and unwell. He needs some real medical and psychiatric care, not Hugo Strange. And after you defeat him and return to his hideout, he's openly weeping. When you realize that the little, one-room hovel with a half-dozen formerly mind controlled thugs is his base of operations, you see that he wasn't trying to take control of Batman out of spite or hatred: he just wanted a prayer at facing the other villains.
    • Victor Zsasz. With his meek sounding voice, his ferret-like physique and depressing backstory, you can't help but feel at least some pity for him.
    • Harley, at least come the "Harley's Revenge" DLC. Not only has she actually lost her Mista J, but the one shining hope for her, the idea that she was gonna have his baby. Turned out to be a bum pregnancy test, judging by the "May give false positives" box and the dozens of negative strips laying around in a few spots of the DLC. She even takes Scarface - the puppet - and puts him in a crib with clown makeup on. Harley was always sympathetic, bordering on Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain status sometimes, but seeing her go further off the deep end than ever, dive headlong into psychopathic villainy, and try to take Batman and a large portion of Gotham out with her still in it so she could see Joker again, happily is just heartwrenching.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: A real-world example: before the game was released, several news outlets spoiled the plot point that Batman finds The Joker lying dead while Harley cries over him, in the first two hours of the game. Most of the outlets expressed shock and near-indignation that something this shocking could have happened that early in the game, and there was an immediate backlash from fans who thought the plot was completely spoiled. Then it turned out that everyone fell for the "oldest trick in the book" - as soon as Batman finds his "dead" body and turns his back, Clayface posing as a seemingly rejuvenated Joker pops up behind him and shoves a stun gun into his neck while the real Joker continues to play dead until Batman is completely knocked out.
    • Joker's sick? He might die? Yeah, right. This was even lampshaded in the enemy chatter at one point. Only, they really do. Joker dies at the end.
    • Takes on a meta-plot thing, as the twist is that The Joker gives Batman a hint early on the game that there is actually an impostor standing in for him. The leak takes on a whole new meaning, seeing as though it led fans to think that the Jokester will make it out of this one alive.
    • Played with on a meta-level as well. Mark Hamill retiring as the Joker after this? He came back as a major Posthumous Character in the next game, will be voicing the Joker again in an animated adaptation of The Killing Joke, and has been confirmed to be reprising the role for a new Justice League cartoon.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Hugo Strange, invoked by Catwoman. And by extension, Ra's Al Ghul. What makes him impressive is that he's able to make himself a nearly Joker level threat purely out of his powers of observation and skills as a psychologist. Fans cite his boast to The Riddler that he figured out Batman's identity purely by creating a psychological profile and figuring out who it best applied to, Boring, but Practical and far more effective than Riddler's petty bag of tricks and puzzles which never let him figure out Gotham's greatest riddle, who is Batman?. He uses the same to manipulate every faction in Arkham, the only one who eludes him is The Joker which puts him ahead of The Penguin, Two Face, The Riddler, Bane and Mr. Freeze at least.
    • Riddler almost applies, but he gets out bastarded by Strange and the man himself.
    • Joker. It's practically tradition but even then his plan in the game, him rubbing it into Batman's face how obvious it is and how it's happening right under his nose, makes The Reveal a dark, twisted Moment of Awesome for him.
  • Memetic Molester: Though Mad Hatter's psychosis is only confirmed in-game as eventually driving him to kill his "Alices", the nature of Tetch's reaction to a picture Strange gives him of the corpse of one of his victims ("No, no, no..."), the ambiguous way the girl herself is described, Tetch's habit of drugging the tea he gives to others, and his general unwashed, socially stunted, creepy demeanor has led some to extrapolate he might possibly be a rapist or pedophile, or both.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moral Event Horizon: Let's see?
    • Hugo Strange and Ra's al Ghul crossed this with Protocol 10 - which is an annihilation of all criminals in Arkham City. While it's true that most of the villains are so vile that they should be killed, there are many innocent people (Political Prisoners), whose only crime is knowing too much. In either case, mass murdering a bunch of unharmed, defenseless people, equipping one group with military weapons to use on each other as an excuse to justify their killings is supremely inhuman, regardless of whether victims are criminals or innocent.
    • There's Hugo Strange: brainwashing of Quincy Sharp, who, while not innocent, is not a villain, into executioner; that of TYGER guards into remorseless killers, who are willing to kill Political Prisoners, kidnapping doctors and giving them to Joker, etc. And don't forget about insane freaks from the first game...
    • For Ra's al Ghul is when he captures his own daughter and threatens to murder her, if Batman won't kill him and take over his position.
    • For Joker: many, but the most are poisoning Gotham with his infected blood, killing Talia.
    • Don't forget Calendar Man. Listen his stories about him killing his parents and girlfriend...
    • Even though he's an Insufferable Genius, the Riddler's always been held up as one of Batman's lighter and less-sadistic villains. While he had put various security guards in elaborate death traps, at least there was always the chance of Batman being able to save them. That's why it's so genuinely shocking to see him put Cash and the other remaining guards in a death trap that it will inevitably kill them, allowing him to watch them slowly walk and walk until they're too exhausted to continue and they meet their end. All while he taunts them for being too ignorant to escape on their own. If you look around the control room, you'll find a "scoreboard" that shows a few of them had already met their end before Batman came to the rescue.
    • Hush crossed this by murdering six innocent people, cutting off their faces while they were still alive, and making his face a perfect copy of Bruce Wayne's all to ruin his life over a petty grudge.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
  • Most Wonderful Sound: "Augmented Reality Training complete." Made all the sweeter if you've been having trouble beating it.
    • The sound that accompanies a Mook being KO'd. Doing it as Catwoman adds a faint yowling or hissing to the background.
    • "It's the freakin' Bat!" Oh, yes it is.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Joker attempts this twice in the game, toward any girl who would stand in between him and Batman. The first one was Catwoman ("Twinkle, twinkle little Bat; watch me kill your favorite cat"), and the second one was Talia. He was successful the second time.
  • Narm: While otherwise a serious and very good game, it does have some unintentionally goofy moments.
    • One of the pivotal moments of the game is when Catwoman has to decide between saving Batman or escaping Arkham City with her loot. Choosing the latter choice leads to a Non-Standard Game Over in which The Joker won and Oracle is one of the last survivors. The game then rewinds and makes you go and save Batman. The true kicker is Batman is just stuck under some rubble.
    • Batman struggling against the Mad Hatter's mind control looks completely ridiculous, because he's just shaking his head around and yelling while standing still. That mask Mad Hatter gave him makes it all the more silly.
    • When Batman overrides the Freeze Gun Penguin stole, he knocks Penguin (a diminutive, balding, old man) off the balcony he's on with the most over-the-top Shoryuken ever while heavenly music plays in the background. It couldn't be more ridiculous if Batman was screaming "YEEEEEEEEEAH!" as he did it. It's even funnier on the off-chance that the punch fails to make contact.
    • If you already know (or have been spoiled on) the Clayface Plot Twist, some of the Foreshadowing comes across as painfully obvious. Count the number of times someone says The Joker is "like a completely different person".
    • Clayface's Game Over screens are truly a sight to behold. Though the quotes alone are snicker-worthy, his accompanying stage movements and Jiggle Physics are what really gets the crowd going. While the idea is that Clayface was formerly a hammy old time actor, it's overblown either way. William Shatner would be proud.
    "Next, I will BECOME YOU, BATMAN!"
    • Building on his boss fight, a lot of Clayface's animations are really stupid looking, especially compared to how realistic everything else is, such as his hammer move that tracks you no matter how far away from him you are, or his spinning move where he just starts rotating on the spot.
    • Also, this line from Batman. Yeah, It Makes Sense in Context, but it still makes death sound really, really cheap:
    "Talia, where's Ra's? If he's dead again, I need you to wake him up."
    • Shortly after that, we get this gem from Talia: "Destiny will decide your fate." Apparently, writing vaguely prophetic mumbo-jumbo is harder than it looks.
    • As Talia makes her speech about the League of Assassins' importance to the world, she ends it with a quick "Only we can do this." The line feels very out of place, almost like a kid explaining that only they can beat some huge threat while playing something.
    • In general, some of the design aspects go so far into Darker and Edgier they can start to circle right back around to Narm, like the Penguin's monocle being replaced by an actual beer bottle jammed into his head.
    • Penguin's real name, Oswald Cobblepot, is rather silly-sounding. It's hard to take Batman seriously as he growls at him, "You're not giving orders here anymore, Cobblepot."
    • It's a bit hard to take Deadshot seriously when the supposedly excellent assassin keeps leaving his crap lying around. Additionally, there's no need to leave his (already encrypted) PDA in a stash, as he seems to have pockets. It's not like he needs two pockets full of ammo since he never misses and he has like 6 targets. And this is before his boss fight. note 
    • Turning on Big Head mode during important story moments results in this, but this time it's entirely intentional.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Like the first game, Batman: Arkham City has received universal acclaim. Many critics have even stated that to call it the greatest comic book game of all time doesn't do it any justice proclaiming it as one of the finest action/adventure games ever released.
  • Older Than They Think: Judging by the praise the scene gets, you'd think that Joker had never died in any other Batman media. For example, he died in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Burton's 1989 Batman and of course, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker written by Paul Dini. What makes Arkham City surprising is that two of the other examples were set in an alternate continuity future story (the kind where one expects character death), whereas the game was promoted as just-another-Batman-adventure similar to how Batman: Arkham Asylum was; the kind that everyone expected to end with Joker Immunity which made the twist a special Shocking Swerve.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The Mad Hatter's bit only lasts for one creepy intro and one fight scene, but damn if it isn't memorable.
    • Killer Croc. It's very brief and easy to miss; being accessible only after you fight Ra's Al Ghul, but players have found his Easter Egg appearance in the game to be very cool and wish he had a bigger role like he did in the previous game.
    • Robin, who pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment at the same time.
    • Solomon Grundy as well, plus Clayface in his true form.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: This game has done wonders for many of Batman's less respected enemies, especially among non-comic readers.
    • The Penguin is portrayed as an outright sadistic and dangerous psychopath and an arguably worse boss than Joker. In fact, he arguably angers Batman more than anyone else in the game, even more than Strange, with the way he brutally tortures and murders cops.
    • The Riddler started getting this in the first game for non-comic fans and then blasted out of it in this game, becoming exactly like a Saw villain. Again, in the comics, this portrayal is common. But outside, this was a huge step up for his character.
    • Calendar Man. Whilst his status as a Scrappy is debatable, there was no doubt he was hardly a respectable villain before this game came out. Once it was, there's little doubt Rocksteady really changed people's perspective on the character when he was made into a Nightmare Fuel story telling Easter Egg that legitimately is terrifying. In fact, the character may now be receiving a fanbase.
    • Hugo Strange was always seen as second string even by comics fans with only one or two decent stories. The Arkham!Strange is considered to be the most intimidating and impressive version of the character and the first exposure many non-comics fans had of him. Unlike comics!Strange who stumbled on Batman's identity by accident or simply unmasking him, Arkham!Strange cottoned on by using his skills to create a psychological profile. Many were disappointed by the weak resolution of Strange's plot, feeling that the good doctor deserved better.
  • Rooting for the Empire: After the entire game showed that Arkham is filled to the brim with violent criminals that kill you on sight, whose Enemy Chatter is half the time about how much they enjoy murder and torture, and all of whom voluntarily work for even worse bosses, the player may be forgiven for wanting to ask Strange to airlift the political prisoners and maybe Mr. Freeze, Ivy and Catwoman out and then just letting him have his fun.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The "Protective Aura" modifier in challenge maps. Whenever it's active, it makes one enemy immune to everything, and switches its host at random. Doesn't sound too bad? Either by glitch or design, it can be active on more than one enemy at a time, its deactivation takes slightly longer than you are allowed to be inactive in combat without losing your combo (and the final enemy of any given wave will have it), and can seriously ruin some of the predator medals that require careful planning due to its random nature.
Here's an example from a combat situation. Note that they are the only enemies left.
  • Catwoman's climbing is loathed by stealth fans, as it's slow, visible, and is annoyingly specific about where it can be activated, resulting in many cheap deaths.
  • Some find Challenge Campaigns to be this, as they simply recycle the challenge maps while forcing some new limitations, resulting in what many see as Fake Difficulty.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The general consensus on the story DLC, Harley Quinn's Revenge. It was either too short, too gimmicky, or didn't properly take advantage of the Batman: Arkham Asylum-like linearity of the level design to proper effect like the first game which is what people might have expected, there's no side quests, and it doesn't wrap up any of the dangling plot threads from the original story leaving little resolution for the characters beyond snuffing out a potential Sequel Hook. It's by no means bad, just generally not seen as up to par with the actual game.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: This is the best Escape from New York game ever made.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Batman became upset when he thought Talia "killed" the Joker. But as she pointed out, he never would have done it himself and it would have solved their problems. Batman even admits later on that no matter how often he caught the Joker, he'd always escape and cause more misery and death.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Batman's treatment of Robin has shades of this. To a wider gaming community, Robin is still seen as part of Batman's Narm Charm and seems out of place in the serious and gritty Arkham verse and Batman's annoyed and bullying treatment of Robin, almost as if he's embarrassed to be seen with him, and rolling his eyes at Tim's earnest offer of help seems like this. It's subverted since the Arkham Robin has won some fans and people generally regarded Batman's rudeness to him as a really Jerkish moment in the game.
  • That One Boss:
    • Mr. Freeze on New Game+. To be more precise, Mr. Freeze on a normal playthrough is considered by many to be quite fun. But during a New Game+ run, he gets controller-breakingly frustrating due to his increased health and general badassery.
      • First, he's more aggressive than usual and faster.
      • Second, if you keep your Detective Vision on for an extended period of time, he jams it into uselessness unless you turn it off for extended periods of time much longer than the duration you left it on in the first place. Have fun having to actually track Freeze on your own.
      • Third, and this one requires some explaining... There are a total of twelve ways to damage Mr. Freeze. On a normal playthrough, you only need to use five or six of them to defeat him (depending on difficulty level). But on New Game+, hits don't do as much damage on bosses, just like the mooks, so you'll need to use almost all of the techniques to defeat him.
      • Also, as in Hard Mode, he's completely invulnerable to a head-on attack and can kill you in under five seconds with his ice beam.
    • Two-Face can easily be this for Catwoman: like Freeze, it's a predator battle, but he's guarded by numerous armed mooks, damaging him naturally alerts him to your presence and after they figure out you're there, any mooks you take out will be quickly replaced by Two-Face: due to the above and Catwoman's limited number of gadgets and lower health, you're either forced to take potshots at him while he's separated and hope you get away before the reinforcements arrive (which isn't helped by the finickiness of her wall-climbing) or just beat him, do your best to disarm any mooks that arrive to help him and hope you can deplete his health before you're overwhelmed. The preferable alternative is to jump next to Two-Face and beat the Christ out of him while throwing Catwoman's caltrops to either side of him to keep mooks away while you drain his entire health bar. Really, if you could play this battle as Batman, you could finish the battle in a single try by throwing at smoke bomb at him and kicking his ass practically unopposed.
    • Harley's Revenge contains a predator battle much like above, and since Robin has access to grappling hook and smoke bombs as well as having the same amount of health as Batman does, the mission is much easier when it comes to taking Harley down, and there are far fewer reinforcements. However, to compensate for it, not only do you have to take down all thugs in addition to Harley (Catwoman's Predator room ended the second you took down Two-Face), there are 2 hostages in the room as well.
    • The Penguin can be this if you don't know that you have to wait for him to say "Gimme your best shot" or "I'll give ya a free shot", walk up to him slowly, and then use the weapon scrambler.
  • That One Level: The final predator section outside the theater. There are about a dozen snipers dotted across various buildings, each one covered by at least two or three of the others. The architecture isn't conducive to being stealthy, so every time you take out a sniper, you risk getting a large chunk of your health chipped away by the others. This by itself isn't too bad, as long as you're patient. Unfortunately, it's very, very hard to be patient when the Joker keeps screaming "Continue Your Mission, Dammit!" messages at you every few seconds. After just a few of his speeches, you'll want the entire section to be over just so he'll stop being so condescending at you.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Augmented Reality Training. Most of them are merely hard, taking perhaps 2-3 attempts. But there are a few in there that are button-destroyingly difficult, requiring not just god-like reflexes, but insane amounts of luck to complete. One in particular near the steel mill essentially equates to having to thread a needle at high speed. Get used to hearing the Batcomputer's voice.
    • Some of Riddler's gliding/pad puzzles qualify as this. Not because they're hard to figure out, but because there's often no room for error. A few of his gadget-based puzzles also qualify, as several of them can't be solved without knowing obscure hidden uses of Batman's gadgets that serve little practical purpose outside of completing Riddler challenges. Did you know that, after spraying 3 clusters of Explosive Gel, you can detonate them individually by using first-person view to zoom in on them? Despite this being in the Gel's menu description, this feature is useful for exactly one Riddler Trophy in the game.
    • Finding Deadshot. The quest itself isn't so difficult, as the game gives you a notification and general location of his victims. The hard part is getting the notification to trigger in the first place.
    • Finding Hush. Unlike Deadshot, who often fires at someone nearby a location to alert you to the next part of the side mission "Shot in the Dark" and the various political prisoners who scream for help during the side mission "Acts of Violence", "Identity Theft" is completely reliant on finding the areas where Hush has struck next with absolutely no help whatsoever. The bodies are pretty well hidden in alleyways you probably wouldn't think to go looking in unless you went out of your way on ground level to find them, made worse by the fact that dead bodies are hard to distinguish from unconscious thugs in Detective Mode, meaning clearing out areas makes things harder for you. Once you find all of the victims, finding Hush's hideout is extremely easy because, y'know, it's actually marked on your map.
    • The Riddler sidequest. It's not difficult, but it takes forever to get through. The premise is simple; Interrogate a Riddler thug to add some riddles on the map, after which you go and (usually) solve a small puzzle to collect it. However, you'll need to travel around a lot for any thugs to spawn, and you might want to add all riddles to interior maps before heading in. The problem is that the thugs reveal their locations by random, and there are 440 riddles. While the sidemission also appears in the other games, City's sheer amount of collectibles is maybe a tad too much.
    • The Calendar man trophy/achievement is a downplayed example. You need to visit and talk to Calendar man during certain holidays marked on a calendar next to his cell. The problem is that family/friends usually go above video games on priorities, and if you've visiting relatives far away, you miss your chance that year. It can also trip up non-American players, as not all countries celebrate Father's Day in June. It's possible to cheat through it by changing the system's time, however, something the developer's fully anticipated since they added a fiendishly clever Easter Egg that can only be unlocked by changing the system's time to the specific date of December 13, 2004 note .
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Penguin's redesign is this or Adaptational Badass.
    • Robin's newly revealed characterization as a brooding, introverted man who cagefights in his spare time, mostly because this Robin is Tim Drake, aka the happy, well-adjusted Robin. If this was Jason Todd or Damian Wayne, or maybe even Dick Grayson, it would be more in-character, and smacks of pushing Darker and Edgier until the characters start to break.
    • Nightwing's lack of lines is getting a bit of this, especially as part of his charm comes from his string of witty quips that he gives out in his fights.
    • Harley Quinn's redesign is this for those hoping she'd be more like the classic Sexy Jester look. Though the jester suit is available to her in Arkham Knight.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: One can't help but feel a little this way with Professor Strange. The trailers and the early game built him up as the Big Bad and he puts on a good show, manipulating Batman, several of his villains and the entire city, seemingly always several steps ahead of anyone who might threaten him. It looked for a while that this game would pull him from obscurity and make him a top-tier Bat-Villain, but then it turns out Ra's Al Ghul was controlling him and you don't even fight Strange directly.
    • If it helps Ghul does make it clear that he only funded Strange (as he wants to see if Strange can be his replacement), everything was Strange's idea.
    • One of the Riddler's interview tapes with Strange implies that Strange has a replica of Batman's suit hidden in his office. We never get to see him wearing it and he never tries to replace Batman directly.
    • A minor instance of this trope would be the inclusion of Jack Ryder, who throughout the game is only ever seen in his civilian identity instead of his superhero alter ego, The Creeper.
    • Batman gets ambushed by a female ninja before being saved by Robin. There's no in-gameplay in which the Dynamic Duo team up to fight her.
    • The strong implication that Harley isn't pregnant has gotten this reaction from fans.
    • The fact that a challenge map campaign downloaded with Tim Drake/Robin with Black Mask as the villain might imply Robin is on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for Stephanie Brown's death. But, Stephanie wasn't even mentioned (though that's really per the norm these days).
    • Catwoman's Wolverine Publicity status gave many the impression that she was going to be pivotal to the plot, but not only was her campaign really short, but she only crosses paths with Batman twice.
    • Early on, Joker sets up a remote controlled sniper rifle to shoot at Catwoman and Batman. One might expect this trick to pop up when you take him on in a boss fight later as a way to give Joker a threat level while he's dying from the Titan poisoning but it turns out you never really face him at all.
    • At the start of the game, Batman can cross paths with several innocent prisoners, thrown in by Strange to cover his tracks. Just about all of them are starving and are no match for the criminals filling the streets. Yet Batman never thinks of calling Alfred, asking him to perform a food drop with the Batwing into the location of his choosing, and protecting the political prisoners from any potential attackers when they reach/are given said food.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Hugo Strange knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman and knows that Bruce is the head of Waynetech. While the majority of security boxes are municipal locks that were built well before Arkham City, Strange decides to make the command boxes for Tyger be from Waynetech. Ra's al Ghul could easily have given him the money to create his own encryption boxes. As a result Batman tears through his security with ease.
    • Towards the end game, as Batman scales Hugo's tower, Hugo's arrogance has him assume that Batman fell off the tower and died when his goons report that everything's gone quiet with no Bat in sight. Then he goes face-to-face with Batman on their confrontation boasting about how he's the real savior of Gotham, and gets punched in the face for his stupidity.
    • Joker is literally right at death's door and Batman is holding the only cure. What does he do? Stab him in the shoulder, which results in him dying of blood poisoning.
    • Batman suffers from this at one point. Mr. Freeze has the only cure for Batman's condition, and he demands Batman to find Nora before he gives him the cure. Batman doesn't even attempt to negotiate or mention the fact that he was vomiting blood and almost died while getting the ingredients to said cure.
  • Uncanny Valley: Joker sometimes looks almost plasticine, possibly because many times Clayface is acting as him.
    • The Joker always looks different than your average clown, but in Arkham City his dying, decaying form looks disturbingly realistic somehow and Clayface's version of him is disturbingly... just slightly "off".
    • The BTAS alternate skins deliberately evoke this; they're rendered in a completely different art style with mostly smooth textures and simple colors.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Solomon Grundy, a super-strong zombie who fights the space-faring Green Lantern, turns out to be stuck under the Penguin's night club and acts as the game's first boss. Batman fans were taken aback by the presence of a character with such little assiciation with Batman.
    • Also the five different Batman skins for pre-ordering: Batman Beyond, 70's Batman, Earth One Batman, DCAU Batman and The Dark Knight Returns Batman.
    • The Nightwing DLC even comes with the Batman: The Animated Series skin of Nightwing
    • We go from Joker's machinations, Gambit Pileups, and somewhat humanoid enemies to tossing ice grenades into the full-on massive mud-slinging monster that is Clayface and then whacking him with a sword.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Seriously, just check out the Hugo Strange trailer.
    • Never Trust a Trailer: The game's graphics are good, but not that good. The gameplay trailer is a better indication of how the game actually looks.
    • The remaster also looks quite amazing. While it looks slightly more colorful, it also adds much more detail and features to every character - for example, Joker has blood stains on his clothing.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Like its predecessor. Yes, it's got the USA rating of Teen, which is the equivalent of the PG-13 rating. Is this game for children? Most definitely not.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Dee Bradley Baker's casting on Ra's Al Ghul has received this from quite a few people, who thought he sounded too young. Although if you think about it, that's an effective way of conveying his immortal, ageless nature, giving him a voice way too young.
    • Nolan North as the Penguin. He's mostly known for playing smooth, American-accented leading men like Nathan Drake, so many had doubts about his abilities to play a quirky villainous side character like the Penguin with a Cockney accent, and these concerns weren't alleviated by his performance in the final game. There were others, however, that were pleased with his performance.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Most of the redesigns for certain characters can be passed off based on the setting of the game. Tim Drake's Robin design however has drawn some criticism. Notably, his costume looks more low-tech than Batman's does, wearing only ordinary pants on his lower body and with less protection up top, making him look a little more like someone trying to emulate Batman rather than his actual protege. However the real clincher is that his gloves have fingerless tips to them... meaning he's going to be leaving fingerprints everywhere he goes, thus bringing danger to the whole "Secret Identity" thing and seeming like an incredibly sloppy choice for a member of the Bat Family.
  • The Woobie: Batman when he's reaching Ra's Al Ghul's lair, while suffering from the effects of Titan poisoning. He can't run at all and is constantly coughing, sounding almost like a child. You want to rush to the next checkpoint just to see him get better, any better.
    • Batman in general. Particularly as his suit gets damaged as the night wears on, and how he doesn't even pause to change into a fresh suit (or, it's implied, take a break) following the dramatic climax. He even loses both Talia to murder and the Joker to Titan poisoning, which is taking a terrible, emotional toll on him.
    • Mr. Freeze. His wife is still frozen, and he's blackmailed by the Joker for the TITAN cure, leading to him getting captured by Strange and thrown to the Penguin, who proceeded to torture him, giving him woobie status until the Batman came around. Eventually he did reunite with her, but only if you're willing to endure that side quest.
    • Ratcatcher, based on the info you can get from his riddle and conversations from thugs. When Arkham City was opened, Ratcatcher simply hid and sold small extra things to thugs like buttons, soap and mints, things that his rats scavenged and brought back to him. When the Penguin found out, he had him captured, dragged through the streets screaming and followed by rats and thrown into a pit filled with them. When that failed after several days, Penguin fed him to his pet shark, Tiny. The Arkham Knight tie-in comic reveals that this didn't kill him, but left him heavily crippled and he lost his right arm. Then the Arkham Knight burns him to death with a taser.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/BatmanArkhamCity