I’m playing Batman – Arkham City. Without a doubt – in my humble opinion – it’s the game of the year (despite some bad points of the script). I still prefer the first one (Batman – Arkham Asylum) but I’m really happy with the experience of Arkham City.
I think the game offers a good experience because of a lot of good features: excellent combat mechanics (with very funny combo sequences); beautiful ambient (the streets and buildings of Gotham are awesome); good selection of villains (ok, it’s easy with Batman); clever extra challenges; the mini games inside the main game - and I want to talk a little more about this last feature.
In Arkham City, like in Arkham Asylum, you have one main mission to accomplish and a lot of parallel missions hidden in the scenario. Some examples of this side missions are: solve puzzles from Riddler scattered around the map; find Azrael’s mystical signs; save political prisoners; save victims from the villain Deadshot; destroy gallons filled with poison; get skilled in the virtual reality flying training, etc.
This kind of extra content offers the player more hours of fun, more challenges to finish and more trophies/achievements to his or her social network. And offers the experience of the metagaming.
As we can find in Wikipedia metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game.
And going beyond the extra games, Arkham City presents a very funny web tool: a searching engine (like Google) managed by Alfred Pennyworth (Batman´s right arm) in this address: http://alfredatyourservice.co.uk/ .In the first Batman game it’s possible to access a “real” website of the Arkham Asylum in this address http://arkhamcare.com/ to expand the experience of the game outside the television screen.
I think this kind of practice is necessary nowadays to attend a very wide public. In “Collective Intelligence”, Pierre Levy offers a compelling vision of the new “knowledge space”, or what he calls “the cosmopedia” that might emerge as citizens more fully realize the potencials of the new media environment. The members of a thinking community search, inscribe, connect, consult, explore... Not only does the cosmopedia make available to the collective intellect all of the pertinent knowledge available to it at a given moment, but it also serves as a site of collective discussion, negociation, and development.
And you? What do you think about that?
LEVY, Pierre. Collective Inteligence: Mankind´s Emerging World in Cyberspace. UK: Cambridge-Perseus, 1997. p.217.