Batman: Arkham City
Developer: Rocksteady Games
While Arkham Asylum struggled with some poor, beat-up-the-brute boss fights, including a disappointing finale with a roided-out Joker, Arkham City delivered some much smarter battles.
Great moments in PC gaming are short, bite-sized celebrations of some of our favorite gaming memories.
There are two types of boss fight. The good kind challenges you to use all the skills you’ve learned up to that point, pumping up the challenge and drama for a kind of final exam. The crap kind just plonks down some jerk with a million hit points and goes and gets a cup of tea while it waits for you to slug it out.
Mr Freeze is arguably the pinnacle of the ‘good’ kind. It’s a moment of pure Being Batman that transcends everything else in the already wonderful Arkham series, all while sticking within its own rules.
This version of Mr Freeze is a powerhouse, and his cold-gun makes short work of the caped crusader. Stealth, then. But the twist is that while most bosses happily let you repeat the same basic thing until they fall over, Freeze subscribes to the ‘fool me once’ school of encounters. Every trick, from sneaking up on him to trying to just plain punch him in the face will only work once, forcing you to deploy the grumpiest Batman’s entire bag of tricks to take him down.
It’s a tense version of cat and mouse mixed with high explosives and bat-gadgets, which is not only beautifully satisfying but perfectly suited to Batman’s strengths as a combatant. In a series of amazing moments, from those Scarecrow hallucinations to never having to drive the bloody Batmobile ever again, this fight truly stands out as Arkham at its absolute best.