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  • 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 Bruce 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 similar to 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.
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    • 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). And his Start of Darkness was his fault, not Batman's.
  • Annoying Video Game Helper:
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    • You might want to scream 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.
    • After he betrays Batman, Bane runs into a small room (elevator?), followed by Bruce throwing a batarang to close it's door. The fact that none of the walls are that thick and the door is made of metal bars makes it doubly so, since he could easily escape it.
  • Awesome Bosses:
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    • 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.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • 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?
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Getting to beat the shit out of Penguin following the boss fight with Solomon Grundy is immensely rewarding after constant showcases of how vile and despicable this version of the character is, and the Hell he put Batman (and the player) through before this point.
    • Finally seeing The Joker die for good, after being the trope namer for Joker Immunity, is equal parts as satisfying as it is shocking.
    • After seeing how cruel and sadistic this version of The Riddler is, smashing his face into his computer and forcing him to partake in one of his own traps (secretly deactivated) is absolutely satisfying.
  • Cant Unhear It:
  • "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, 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.
  • Creepy Awesome: Calendar Man. He just sits in his cell, recounting his horrific crimes that he did on specific holidays, and yet is more memorable for it.
  • 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.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The entire game is spent building up Protocol Ten, and in the endgame Batman finally takes on TYGER and infiltrates Strange's lair, the Wonder Tower. However, the TYGER personnel fight the same as the thugs you fight on the street, just a few of them have stun sticks now and need to be attacked from behind, otherwise you can beat them up just fine with the same tactics you've used all game. As for the Wonder Tower, infiltrating it amounts to two predator sequences and a fight with a group of guards, and the last predator sequence before Strange is just six guards, child's play for a properly upgraded Batman.
  • 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...
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • After he hadn't been thought of much in comics, the Arkhamverse's version of Hugo Strange gave the character a big leap in popularity by being a cunning Magnificent Bastard who uncovers Batman's secret identity and nearly succeeds in his plans to eradicate all crime from Gotham.
    • In his last outing, The Joker proves himself as manipulative and evil as ever by manipulating Batman into finding him a cure for the TITAN disease, killing Batman's love interest Talia al Ghul, and having Clayface impersonate him to hide the fact that he's dying.
    • And then of course there's Ra's al Ghul, thanks to his awesome fight with Batman and being the true mastermind behind Arkham City.
    • To a lesser extent, The Calendar Man surprisingly qualifies as well, mostly due to the his Creepy Awesome storytelling routine on one holiday each month. Fans certainly haven't forgotten about his chilling stories on the crimes he committed over the years.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • 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 combos 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.
    • Arkham Knight confirms Jason Todd exists in this universe and was seemingly killed by the Joker, explaining Bruce's dismissive treatment of Tim - losing Jason still hurts him years later, and he doesn't want to lose Tim too.
    • Arkham Knight also pulls a slight Cerebus Retcon on the moment where Mr. Freeze's face suddenly turns into that of the Joker's; It's a side-effect of Joker's infected blood slowly turning Bruce into a Joker-esque lunatic.
  • 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:
    • 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, even more so if you consider that he also went on to voice Batman himself beginning with the LEGO Batman series. 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 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 Call of 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. Curiously, it went mostly uncommented on here, but was widely mocked when Advanced Warfare did it. This article explores why.
    • 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.
    • After the main story is over, you can walk through Arkham City and an inmate will ask "Two Jokers? How do we know there ain't a third?". Turns out there are three Jokers, as of The Button storyline.
    • During the press conference at the beginning, Bruce Wayne, a billionaire who has developed a sudden interest in politics, pledges to “Make Gotham safe again.”
    • If you're speedrunning the game, the credit for "Lead Environment Artist Will Smith" appears while Deadshotnote  taunts you.
  • Hype Backlash: While the game is good and deserves a place on the "Best superhero games" list, the sheer praise and claims how it's the best game ever made somewhat diminishes its impact. Some parts of the story seem to be there for the sake of showcasing an iconic Batman character, yet the game glosses over them and continues on, resulting in Two-Face's very minor role, Solomon Grundy's sudden appearance, and the Vicki Vale rescue mission. Most bosses follow the same tactic of "Evade and spam gadget X", some go down with a single button press, and even the acclaimed Mr. Freeze fight requires both Batman and Freeze, both very intelligent individuals, to ignore all attempts of negotiation and grab the Jerkass Ball so their fight and the final half of the game can actually happen. However, credit where credit is due, the Joker/Clayface twist is considered excellent even by the game's detractors.
  • 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.
    • While Batman is ultimately able to find and distribute a cure to people in Gotham hospitals poisoned by Joker's blood (as confirmed in Arkham Knight), it is likely many died before the cure could be distributed. Bruce, a man in impeccable shape, seemingly only survived the night with the help of a small Lazarus Pit dose.
  • 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.
  • Memetic Loser: Bane has this reputation among some fans, because he's dealt with in a cutscene and how he's completely unable to break free of his cell despite his enormous strength.
  • 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:
    • "Two guns, bitch!"note 
    • Augmented Reality Training failed.note 
  • 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 biggest offenders are poisoning Gotham with his infected blood and killing Talia.
    • The Penguin crosses it when he guns down an unarmed and handcuffed police officer in cold blood, just to piss Batman off.
    • 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.
    • The Identity Thief AKA 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 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.
  • Narm: While otherwise a serious and very good game, it does have some unintentionally goofy moments.
    • 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.
    • 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!"
      "IT... WAS THE PERFORMANCE... OF A LIFETIME!"
    • 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."
    • Turning on Big Head mode during important story moments results in this, but this time it's entirely intentional.
    • Before The Reveal, the ending of the Hush sidequest is foreshadowed by some inmates discussing how Bruce Wayne is seemingly going around killing people. The problem is, when the killer is finally confronted he still has his bandages on - meaning that either A) before bandaging it, Hush went around wearing his unfinished face fully visible and the mooks couldn't tell the difference, B) that Hush went around in his bandages/coat combo and the mooks thought that Bruce Wayne looks like a mummy dressed up as an arms dealer, and/or C) that Hush finished his face, unwrapped it, went around killing some more folk, and then rebandaged it just to perform a Dramatic Unmasking for Batman. Either way, the Fridge Logic present kind of deflates the supposedly dramatic moment.
  • Never Live It Down: Bane being unable to escape a small room with thin walls and a door made out of metal bars is seen as a very low point for his Arkham Series counterpart.
  • 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 Batman (1989) 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.
  • Padding: The "Remote Hideaway" side mission consists entirely of Batman talking to some cops on the Iceberg Lounge. They give him an gadget upgrade that could just as easily have been a regular upgrade bought with XP.
  • 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.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Michael Gough voices the occasional TYGER guard here, 2 years before he got to voice Gordon in the prequel.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Catwoman Riddler Trophies can only be collected by Catwoman, and will shock Batman if he tries to get them. While some of them require Catwoman's unique abilities to access, others are out in the open and perfectly accessible to Batman, yet require switching to Catwoman for the express purpose of picking them up.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The opening level with Bruce Wayne arrested by Strange who knows he is Batman. Bruce busting out his cuffs, beating the Penguin and then summoning his suit, and pulling the cowl down on his face.
    • The Mr. Freeze boss-fight.
    • The Reveal about the secret behind "the old fake Joker gag" near the end.
    • Joker's death in the finale.
  • 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 becomes upset when he thinks Talia "killed" the Joker. But as she points 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 catches the Joker, he'll 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 a smoke bomb at him and kicking his ass practically unopposed.
      • Becomes Hilarious in Hindsight with his "fight" at the end of his mission in Arkham Knight. This time, you actually do get to play as Batman, and to say he's an easy boss would be a MASSIVE understatement, considering he quite literally goes down like any other mook; no extra health, no gimmicks to avoid your KO moves, no summoning reinforcements as you take them out, NOTHING. As a matter of fact, many a player take him out without even noticing that they took him down, especially if you're using detective mode and the game's Fear Multi-takedown ability making it really easy to take down up to 5 foes in quick succession. That said, may provide some nice Catharsis Factor if you want some sweet revenge for the absolute gauntlet that was his aforementioned Arkham City level. You can take him out in the most humiliating way you can think of like dangling him from a gargoyle with an inverted takedown, then drop him back on the floor with a batarang headfirst, or leave him as the last enemy and toy with him before taking him down in any way you want: beat down, fear multi-takedown, silent takedown, environmental takedown, collapse a wall on him, REC blast him, line launcher him over a walkway, make him trip down an escalator like a total prat, drop a chandelier on his head, you name it. Suffice to say, Batman isn't kidding when he says "I am Vengeance".
    • Harley's Revenge contains a predator battle much like above, and since Robin has access to the 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 ends the second you take 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.
    • The predator room at the top of Wonder Tower comes to mind as well, considering that it's one of the only predator sections in the entire game without gargoyles or grate systems that spread across the entire room, with the only cover Batman has being a few crates here and there. It's especially difficult on NG+, where the enemies are more aggressive and keen. Couple that with Hugo Strange being a total asshat and yelling things like "Are you blind?!! Batman is over there!!" whenever he sees you sneaking around, which you may not notice since you're probably trying to stalk a guard for a silent takedown.
    • Getting 3 Medals on the DLC Riddler's Revenge challenge Joker's Carnival is known for being notoriously hard. The entire concept is that you start off with three minutes to fight off increasingly difficult unending waves of enemies. The more enemies you beat, your level increases, as does the difficulty of the enemies, all the way up to level 6 where you fight a Titan henchman. For each level, you can "bank" your level for extra points and time for a maximum of 500000 points and 75 extra seconds at level 6 (max gauge not included), which resets your level back to 0. However, you can't get hit at any point, otherwise your level will reset. And if you want all three medals, which requires 1000000 points, you basically have to keep a perfect freeflow combo going at least until after you bank level 6 and get a few rodeo strikes, as if you break your combo,you lose your combo multiplier even if your level doesn't reset, which significantly decreases the number of points you get for each move. This usually means you typically need to maintain a perfect freeflow combo of at least well over 200 if you want a chance of getting to the point threshold. Thankfully, Batman at least has some very helpful tools to make the whole thing more bearable. The special combo disarm and destroy and bat swarm in particular are very helpful. The former comes in very handy since each level will only drop one of each weapon, so all you have to do is watch out for them and take it apart the second a mook picks it up and not worry about it again. The second one is insanely helpful for point farming as the score is multiplied by the number of enemies caught in the swarm, and is just generally nice if you need a quick breather. It also makes the Lieutenants and Titan henchmen much easier to deal with, as you don't have to re-stun the henchman and you can easily cheese the Lieutenant with it. He also has the REC Blast, which is just as useful for the armored thugs. It immediately knocks them over, saving you the trouble of having to either waste a special combo takedown or focus a beatdown on him. You can just knock him over and multi-ground takedown, taking down anyone on the ground as well as everyone he knocked over as you blasted him. As a matter of fact, his multi-ground takedown in general helps to give more breathing room and clean out the field every now and again. His other tools also have their uses as well, such as his freeze grenades, batarangs, and explosive gel; doubly so when combined with the aforementioned multi-ground takedown and with the freeflow power gadgets upgrade. They make the entire level much more bearable, though still immensely hard. Catwoman, Robin, and Nightwing don't have those tools, however, so good luck completing the level with them. Your best bet then is to go into Freeflow Focus and spam critical strikes and hope that no one's fast enough to land a hit and hit so fast that no one can pick up any of the weapons, but it can get very hard to keep track of, especially when the hordes of enemies get larger and it makes it much easier to miss a counter icon. It can also be considered somewhat monotonous, as it just turns into button mashing the game series has been known to try to avoid, so although it might technically be the most efficient way, it still doesn't make it easy. Point is, the level is insanely hard, but to finally get three medals feels so damn good; even more so if you do it in a custom challenge with the One-Hand Tied modifier, which takes away the counter icons a-la New Game Plus.
    • Also getting all 9 medals on the predator campaigns, even more so than the individual rooms since you're forced to add modifiers that often make it much more difficult, with effects such as the room being pre-lined with proximity mines, detective mode being scrambled (jammer or not), and all the gargoyles being booby-trapped among others so they blow up if you ever land on them. Of a special note is the Predator Master campaign, which requires just about the all of most difficult modifiers across three of the hardest rooms with the hardest medal requirements of all the maps.
  • 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. All this put together will probably add up to you completing the main plot and literally almost every other sidequest in the game before getting the next lead on the Identity Thief murders unless you're actively searching for them, at which point it all piles up at once and Oracle calls you to let you know about all the other victims one after another rather than being spaced out like the other sidequests and probably ruining most of the mystery and intrigue behind which of Batman's rogues is actually responsible for it, and by which time you the player have probably stopped caring about anything other than 100% completion.
    • 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:
    • Arkham City has many lines of dialogue of the city having psychos, criminals and cannibals. There is no side plot to fight off against any cannibal antagonist in the game, with Killer Croc being just a Easter Egg, meaning that the only acts of cannibalism presented in the games are told by the goons.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • A lot of the sidequests can come off as this as many of them simply require exploring the game world and/or picking up collectibles, and with a few exceptions don't really provide anything new. There are no new big combat or predator encounters and most of them have little payoff — out of 12 side missions only 3 have a boss fight at the end, and even those bosses go down with single takedown.
  • 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 Batman: The Animated Series alternate skins deliberately evoke this; they're rendered in a completely different art style with mostly smooth textures and simple colors.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The remaster 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.
    • 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.
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