Batman: Arkham City – Joker Fight in Steel Mill / Perfect Combo

Analysis and tips on how to achieve a Perfect Combo for this brutally challenging but ultimately satisfying fight with Joker and his goons in the Steel Mill for the game Batman: Arkham City GOTY on HARD Difficulty.

Joker Fight in Steel Mill – Perfect Combo Analysis and Tips (Hard Difficulty)


When I finally got down to playing this game, I had set two conditions for myself. Firstly, it had to be on HARD DIFFICULTY. And secondly, ALL combat had to be PERFECT COMBOS (yeah I know, I am a sucker for punishment, what can I say? XD).

This particular part of the story which involved fighting Joker in the Steel Mill was no exception. Needless to say, the two conditions made it brutally tough. Perfect combos strung together ultimately became “almost perfect” due to multiple derailments by bad timing, wrong key presses, lack of awareness, or simply strokes of bad luck (rail car anybody?). It took me a few days and close to 8+ hours spread out to finally nail it. I replayed the whole fight again and surprisingly was able to complete it in just a few minutes with more variations thrown in.

Was it worth it? Hell, yes! Personal achievement and satisfaction aside, what I had learned from this fight was invaluable. I began to understand the strengths and weaknesses of both Batman and my enemies a lot more than I thought I did, as you will see in both the video and from my analysis of things.

Here are some of the things in this fight that will mess up your perfect combo string big time. Some you may already know, some maybe not(?). But here they are all the same.

Rail Cars

More annoying than dangerous, these cute mini-cars have been instrumental in derailing my perfect combo quest more times than I can count. To minimize the risk of being knocked over, DO NOT STRAY beyond the two rail lines. Better yet, don’t even be on the rail lines like you see me occasionally do in the video (and paid for dearly as evident in the Blooper section). It was unnecessarily risky. Just keep your fight confined to the middle area of the room and you will be fine.

Item-Throwing Goons

Crate-throwing or stool-throwing in this fight looks like some goon’s idea of unadulterated fun. Well, not so fun if you are on the receiving end, as in something being thrown “AT” you as opposed to “TO” you.

While the amount of time given is reasonably generous before the item is finally released and tossed at you, that is precisely where the danger lies. The lack of urgency is too easy to take for granted, and equally too easy to forget someone is about to throw something at you in the middle of all that chaos (because it almost always happen from a distance).

So staying vigilant is key here. Always pay attention to the goons far away. If you see them holding something up (even if you are not sure), just shoot a Batarang their way. Try NOT to shoot a kick at them from far away if you can help it though. They can still throw it at you before your kick reaches them, thus messing up your combo big-time.

Sucker-Punching Cowards

Watch your back for cheap shots from these scumbags. While Countering is technically great, realistically it is still very easy to screw up your combo especially when you have multiple attacks coming your way. All it takes is just one or two wrong presses of the key/button. The safest way to deal with this is to just simply vault over the enemy instead.

Knife-Wielding Lowlifes

These stabby guys are another reason why I detest Countering. It’s a mistake that you can ill-afford to make while building up a Perfect Combo. The best way to deal with them is again via our timeless classic move – vaulting – and then follow up with whatever. Another sure-fire solution would be to just toss a Batarang their way. I cannot stress enough how dangerous this particular group is toward our goal of combo perfection. For example, look at the Blooper section for the sneaky stabber that came from behind the Titan and killed my combo string near the end. Ouch!


He can throw, he can stab, and he can sucker punch. Actions that sound familiar? Countering Joker’s actions is no different than that of his goons. You can also Freeze Blast the annoying clown to keep him from bothering you for a time.

What he is immune to though, is the Special Combo Takedown. While his countering your attempted Takedown will result in failure on your part, it won’t necessary harm your combo string… as long as you recover quickly from it. Still, getting your action countered just unnecessarily messes with the momentum of things.


This one-armed giant shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you focus on closing the distance early, and taking him down fast… fast as in as soon as he appears. If you ignore him for too long, or worse, if you stay too far away from him for a lengthy period of time, he will choose to close the distance instead with one big giant leap and pummel you with his hammer. Talk about a rude awakening. You do not want that.


This hulk can be quite a combo breaker if you do not know how to deal with it proper. For example, vaulting over it, or throwing a Batarang at it won’t dent your combo at all. What you cannot do, or which would simply be practically useless and a total waste of time anyway, is to attempt to punch it. POOF! Bye Bye perfect combo.

Which is not to say that you cannot punch it. It just has to be preceded by an Ultra Stun first. There’s no way around it that I am aware of. Which makes things all the more complicated now because you may be surrounded by sucker-punchers, stabbers, and tossers, and then you have to make sure your punches don’t unerringly land on the Titan just yet. Add to all that, you also have to execute three consecutive Cape Stuns on the Titan too!

Now if you manage to Ultra Stun the Titan though, you are in for a real treat. See, the game says you need to follow up with a series of punches after that. What it doesn’t tell you though, is that the series of punches NEED NOT BE consecutive. You can hit the Titan once, bugger off and go whack some other goon, and then come back to the Titan again for seconds. Back and forth, until you have punched it enough times. Then you get to ride the Titan maybe twice (?) before it finally gets dispatched for good.

If you somehow couldn’t handle the Titan quick enough, given time he will get enraged and charge you. You can time it and avoid his charge by vaulting over him. Risky, but doable. Or you can execute a Special Combo Takedown on some poor sod right before the Titan charges because you will be rendered practically invulnerable for a few seconds. This trick works great with the other baddies too as a perfect time-out without losing your precious combo. Good luck!

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13531 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.