Arkham Asylum, the depository for all Gotham's evil crazies, has yet again failed to keep them locked in. So along comes Batman tasked with punching seven shades of bat guano out of those pesky prisoner henchmen and their evil bosses.
The controls are very similar to Infinity Blade II, though less sophisticated. Swiping back and forth sets up punch combos and the tactics boil down to dodging (tap the left or right of the screen) a blow or deflecting it (downward swipe) to dizzy your opponent, then charge in with a quick flurry of punches.
Opponents regularly go into a "rage", at which point you're forced to dodge because it's impossible to defend against it. A nice addition are the blue circles which appear occasionally on the bad guys. If you're quick enough to tap them, you trigger a set move – disarming them or pulling a finishing move, say.
And this is the mould for each of the game's levels – grind your way through the levels of henchmen, then face the big boss at the end of each of the four zones (after another smattering of henchmen, of course).
As you progress, Waynetech points let you buy upgrades for Batman's armoury, skill and power. A small number of gadgets for his trusty utility belt are also available, like electrified gauntlets and a device that prompts the local batlife to swarm upon your hapless attacker.
Even with these extras, the fighting gets repetitive and with little new in the way of plot, dialogue or even scenery to get your teeth into, it's sometimes all too tempting to give Batman the day off. The boss levels do mix it up a bit, though: you're prompted to take out bad guys by guiding the batarang using tilt control, or using a different approach to overcome the likes of Solomon Grundy.
Batman fans will enjoy seeing their favourite hero come to life on the mobile screen, and the game looks good. You can even take the big guy shopping for a new threads, kitting him out in different versions of his suit, including one from the animated series. However, you'll have to pay for the privilege as sadly this is an in-app purchase, rather than something you can earn along the way. Other extras include three graphic novels which serve up the game's back story frame by frame.
Batman Arkham City Lockdown uses similar controls and the same Unreal game engine as Infinity Blade 2, so it's impossible not to level comparisons. Unfortunately, while enjoyable and nice to look at, Batman lacks the finesse of its swipe-'em-up kinsman.
Those looking for a pocket-sized version of Arkham City will be disappointed, and we can't help feeling that a crime-fighting puzzle element could have added the extra depth that this game desperately needs.
More after the break...
Batman Arkham City Lockdown
Batman gets punchy but Arkham City Lockdown can't live up to the high standard set by console titles