Batman: Arkham City Collectors Edition Review - October 31st 2011

Arkham City is Rocksteady's follow up to the sublime Arkham Asylum, dubbed as the best Batman and maybe even the best superhero game of all time. We've already published our review, but if your interest is in the Collector's Edition, then stick with me.

AC's Collector's Edition comes in a fairly sizeable box so as to house its central feature (other than the game of course), the statue. The presentation of the box itself is very nice with colour highlighted images of Batman, Joker and Two-Face on the exterior. On the inside there are scenic images of Arkham City which provide the perfect backdrop for the Batman Statue. The Back side of the box houses a compartment that contains the art book and all the leaflets with the redeemable dlc codes on them. The base of the box contains a slide out draw where the Gotham Knights Blu ray and the soundtrack redeemable code are found.

The statue is designed by Kotobukiya, one of the biggest and best craftsmen of figures and statues from Japan. It is a high quality sculpt that has a great likeness to the in-game Batman model. The sheer amount of detail used on Batman's suit is amazing. All the divots, shadows and textures have been perfectly realised. As a statue the figure has no articulation and Batman remains set in his crouching, ready-to-pounce pose with a stern look on his face. This statue is of the highest quality and standard, providing a great companion to the game and almost solely justifies the extra price tag of the Collector's edition.

The statue is designed by Kotobukiya.

The art book doubles as the game case, which fits inside the back cover of the book. This is a nice touch but limits the resell ability of the game itself (assuming you wanted to keep the other items in the box), but then most who purchase collector's editions plan on keeping them. The pages of the book are emblazoned with detailed concept art of numerous characters from the game and their steady evolution into their final in-game forms, vistas and backdrops of Arkham City, posters and Batman's gadgets. The book is another great addition and one that collectors will indeed enjoy.

The Gotham Knight Blu Ray is a collection of six short animated films, each about ten to twelve minutes long, starring The Dark Knight. Loosely set in the aftermath of Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins the stories charter Batman's plight against the mobs in Gotham and other famous villains from his rogues gallery. Some of the stories also give some background information on Bruce Wayne, which is a nice change of pace. The shorts in Gotham Knight are produced by different animation studios and as such have differing art styles. This is an interesting idea and it gives us the chance to see how the different designers view Batman. The Dark Knight himself is voiced by Kevin Conroy, just as in the games and Batman The Animated Series, which provides a great sense of authenticity to them despite some of the strange art styles. The short's themselves range in quality with standouts like 'Crossfire', 'Field Test' and 'Deadshot' being the best of the bunch.

The art book is extensive and makes for an interesting read.

The soundtrack comes in the form of a download code which is slightly disappointing as I think a hard copy of it would have been better suited as this is a collector's edition. There are twelve tracks on the album by various artists such as Coheed And Cambria and Panic! At The Disco. It's a fairly decent collection, if a little disappointing, and probably not for everyone as anybody who isn't a fan of rock or metal will find little to enjoy here. The other download codes provided with this edition are the standard Catwoman DLC, but also the Iceberg Lounge Challenge Map and the Dark Knight Returns Skin. It's nice to have these extra items but as a collector's edition I believe that the Robin and Nightwing DLC should have been included as their content is of more importance to players.

Batman Arkham City Collector's Edition is a good package on the whole, with some decent content that many players will enjoy. However, there are some omissions that I think could have been included seeing as this is the ultimate edition of the game. The Robin DLC should have been a part of this edition (rather than a Game/Gamestation exclusive) and I also think another nice addition would have been the Arkham City comic book that bridges the gap between the previous game and this one. Despite these issues, the Collector's Edition is still a great package and one that definitely warrants its slightly larger price tag.

4 Stars

Alex Goodenough

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