First off I must state that this game in all reality is still a good game, the reason I give it a 7 is because it fails to deliver what Arkham City and Asylum gave us. The game is very buggy. It makes me wonder how such an established franchise could allow a game to be released in this condition, the box art alone should be an omen as to how lackluster this game turned out. The story is the best of the three games in my opinion, but the gameplay lacks the perfection that Rocksteady established in the last two games. Warner Bros. Montreal essentially stood on the shoulders of Rocksteady, made Origins, which looks identical to Arkham City and ruined the gameplay.
Bugs I've encountered: one game freeze, repeating dialogue lines, stuttering and bad frame rate during cut scenes, often times I get stuck in spots where the game will not continue and I have to restart at the last checkpoint and do it again with hopes that I can advance this time, I've had the enemy guards engage me in a fight but I can't hit them and they can't hit me. Also I think that the disarm and destroy combat move is either broken or non-existent in this game because when I try to do it nothing happens and I lose my combo modifier. Sometimes when I counter a normal enemy he will not fall or he'll instantly pop back on his feet. This is unacceptable. I can't recall finding a single bug in Arkham Asylum and on RARE occasions I'd come across one in Arkham City, this game should not be this broken. This is the main reason why this game is such a disappointment. I can't imagine what the PC version is like because I hear it's worse than the console ports.
Graphics: What we've come to expect from the Arkham series, it's virtually the same thing as Arkham City.
Sound: Again, this sounds like previous Batman Arkham games and that's what you'd come to expect, maybe the music has more of a darker feel to it.
Gameplay: Broken beyond belief. The combat is terrible in this game, the disarm and destroy move is non-existent, the CPU does not stay down very long, when you're in Batman slow-mo doing an attack the CPU moves at normal speed and often hits you when there is nothing you can do. Now I have completed 100% of City and Asylum, I would say I'm pretty good at the combat in these games but in this game fights are so irritating. You constantly hit the counter button all day and NEVER have time to go on the offensive, the multiple batarang takedown and the shock gloves seem to be the only way to win fights in this game. Also, the grapple hook never seems to work right in this game. The stealth aspects seem intact however.
It's Christmas Eve and the Black Mask has put a $50,000,000 bounty on Batman's head. Assassins such as Bane, Firefly, Copperhead, Deadshot, Deathstroke, Electricutioner and Killer Croc are hunting Batman down. To be honest and not to spoil the game however, I must state that I don't recall ever seeing Deadshot. The story takes place 2 years into Batman's career. He is still somewhat of a myth or legend. This time period would have been a great chance to really instill fear into the criminals around but, they don't seem to help give you the sense of Batman being this unknown terror. . The problem is the game never really puts you in a position where you appear as scary as you would think Batman should be. It seems as if the developers at WB Montreal really didn't get imaginative with the layout of the predator maps, weapons and gadgets and they barely changed the look of Arkham City other than a few Christmas decorations here and there. For example, Batman's gadgets minus a few are all repeats of City and Asylum, like the "glue grenade" which is essentially the "ice cluster grenade" and the disruptor makes a return. Batman is know for all of his gadgets but this game didn't really bring much to the table to add fun new gadgets. All the gadgets in this game mostly return from the other games but they have a different name The boss fights are done really well however. They are fun and fresh enough compared to previous entries in the series. Riddler challenges are a staple of the series but they are uninspired in this game, the Riddler aka enigma makes a return in this game but there are no riddles actually, just a scavenger hunt for "extortion files". You don't really have to solve puzzles to get them and if you do they are often really easy. Mad Hatter and Anarchy are some other villains who appear in the game as well as crimes in progress that you can stop if you are in the area. All in all I just feel this game was kind of a cash-in to get a few more dollars out of the people before the next REAL Arkham game comes out on the next-gen consoles. It's really a shame because the story to this game is very good, I thoroughly enjoyed it more than the last two games. The plot thickens as the beginning to the Batman-Joker rivalry that would become one of the biggest rivalries in comic history unfolds, Bruce Wayne needs to cope with the fact that sometimes Batman can't do it all alone and even Alfred has some true character growth.
All in all this game is good by any video game standards, but it doesn't rise to the occasion like Arkham City and Arkham Asylum. This game wasn't worked on by Rocksteady and it really shows, where WB Montreal did their research and did a great job telling a Batman story, they failed to deliver a game with the attention to detail in the gameplay and programming that Rocksteady did.
Graphics and presentation: 8 out of 10
Character models look good, on par with Metal Gear Solid 4. The environments are somewhat more colorful, the bosses all have unique colors and styles. The environments are somewhat bland however. The cyborg characters have nice colors for their gear and Raiden looks pretty awesome.
Gameplay: 8.5 out of 10
I loved the gameplay in this game. Playing as the Cyborg Ninja Raiden was a blast. You have a primary and secondary weapon which require the square and triangle buttons to use in specific combos. The ninja run used by holding down R1 allows Raiden to run over and under obstacles with ease as well as deflect enemy bullets. The problem I had was the blocking or parrying in this game. Instead of having a block or counter button you have to push up and square towards the attack as it happens to block it. It works well for the most part but when you fight enemies with quick combos it can get really annoying. The quick time events aren't too annoying but I really don't care for them in any game, let alone a Metal Gear game. The camera works well for the most part too, but sometimes it gets in the way and it may be hard to tell where attacks are coming from. You face memorable bosses, upgrade Raiden and unlock concept art, techniques, wigs which could give you certain advantages like infinite ammo or unlimited rage to be Jack the Ripper. When you are Jack the Ripper your attacks become more powerful and you take less damage, this is only temporary however and you must have full battery consumption to activate it. You can kill enemies and consume their energy as well as collect their left arms which stores data needed to unlock abilities. The Zandatsu is fun to use and you can cut at any angle. The game is pretty linear and there is not much you can do other than go forward, so roaming around isn't really necessary unless you want to unlock everything. There are also unlockable VR Missions to play as well like in past MGS games. Many may not like the fact that stealth is almost non-existent, but you play as a powerful cyborg ninja, so why would you want to sneak around anyway?
Story: 7.5 out of 10
The story is decent, not up to par with what we've come to accept from Metal Gear games, the cinematic scenes are much shorter, the action scenes look awesome and the story and dialogue aren't overly complicated. These things all sound like they might make the game better and for the most part they do, I love Metal Gear and it is my favorite game franchise but the 30 minute cutscenes drag on too often in the past games, but the story in this game is too straight forward and somewhat predictable in this game. I was hoping to see more references to past Metal Gear games, this game pretty much reminds you of the fall of the SOP system from MGS4 and see Sunny, that's about the only time you hear anything about MGS4 or anything before it. This game focuses more on the return of "Jack the Ripper" which is cool but they way they go about it feels rushed and inconsistent, one moment Raiden is questioning something for being morally wrong or claiming to fight to protect the weak, the next minute he is crazy as he becomes "Jack the Ripper", a blood thirsty, ruthless persona he had kept suppressed for years which he developed from being a child soldier during the Lyberian Civil war as a child. Jack the Ripper enjoys the hacking slashing and killing. The change is too fast pretty much on the flip of a switch, and not really built up right, he flip flops between the two sides of Raiden and Jack too often and he resembles Jeckyll and Hyde at times, also Quentin Flynn's crazy Raiden voice is a little over the top for my taste. The main story has you fighting to save children from being harvested for their brains by Maverick, the evil organization in this game. they want these children's brains to turn them into cyborg child soldiers. This strickes a nerve with Raiden because he too was once a victim of a child soldier program that forever changed him into what he is today. Of course this game goes farther than that and gets more complex but I don't want to spoil it.
Overall I'd give this game an 8 out of 10
I love the new fresh direction of MGR and I hope it becomes its own series, many hated this game before it was released because it wasn't a real MGS game and you didn't have to sneak around. I say give it a chance, it is very fun, has great replay value and any true Metal Gear fan would still love it, even if it is a radical departure from the roots of the Metal Gear franchise. Who want's to sneak around when you're a Cyborg Ninja anyway?
Why not just let er' rip?