Batman Arkham Asylum
Batman: Arkham Asylum is a rare gem indeed.
A hero game that is worth the price tag. Too many Batman games in the
past just could not get that elusive mix that would make it anymore than
a simple token Batman game. Batman: Arkham Asylum rockets to the head of
the pack and joins those so few games that show how to do a comic book
hero correctly, in all it's glorious depth. With sizzling graphics and
the ability to play The Joker in Challenge missions, the PS3 version of
the game is a spectacular addition to have in any ones gaming library.
Dare we say it? I will, At last we have a
Batman game that rocks. This is the game that is like another Batman
Movie that places the gamer in the boots and cowl of the caped crusader.
The experience of BEING the Batman is not 100% perfect, but then again
what is? But this game brings out what we have all loved over the years
of the best Batman stories, the best of the Batman Movies, in this game
YOU ARE BATMAN. Even minor clipping issues do nothing to degrade the
Utilize the unique
FreeFlow combat system to chain together unlimited combos seamlessly
and battle with huge groups of The Joker's henchmen in brutal melee
Batman, the WORLD'S GREATEST DETECTIVE, by solving intricate puzzles
with the help of cutting edge forensic tools including x-ray
scanning, fingerprint scans, 'Amido Black' spray and a pheromone
Face off against
Gotham's greatest villains including The Joker, HARLEY QUINN, VICTOR
ZSASZ and KILLER CROC
Become the Invisible
Predator with Batman's fear takedowns and unique vantage point
system to move without being seen and hunt enemies
Choose multiple takedown methods, including swooping from the sky
and smashing through walls, and use the predator camera get a closer
look at the action
Explore every inch
of Arkham Asylum and roam freely on the infamous island, presented
for the first time ever in its gritty and realistic entirety
Experience what it's
like to be BATMAN using BATARANGS, explosive gel aerosol, The
Batclaw, sonar resonator and the line launcher
Unlock more secrets
by completing hidden challenges in the world and develop and
customize equipment by earning experience points
superhero freedom in the environment with the use of Batman's
grapple to get to any place you can see, jump from any height and
glide in any direction
Batman: Arkham Asylum is
a single player, third person game. It all starts off simple enough in
this very entertaining and attention keeping plot and story that was
penned by Batman author and five time Emmy award winner Paul Dini. He
has written plots and story lines for “Lost” season one and “Batman :
The Animated Series. So no wonder the game has some actual plot and some
story that make it feel allot more than a simple run around and punch
the crap out of the bad game game. In other words, the story does not
suck. Thank you, Mr. Paul Dini.
The player is brought up to speed pretty
quickly with some impressive cut scene visuals that makes you feel like
your watching a major motion picture only in animated form. Batman is
speeding through the dark rain drenched night on his way to deliver The
Joker to Arkham Asylum. More cut scenes and dialog give the player a
small tour of the front patient receiving areas for the Asylum and also
starts to make you feel the dread that Batman is feeling. The Joker
Yammers on as if coming home and visiting some relatives that he does
not particularly likes. Of course all hell breaks loose when The Joker
pulls a fast one and escapes with the help of some pre-placed back up in
the form of Harley Quinn. Who by the way, along with all of the major
characters looks really good for an animated character, actually Harley
looks very hot without going so overboard as to not be believable.
With out giving too much away of the games
story itself, because it has more impact if you don't know it's coming,
there are plenty of Batman villains here to make it interesting to say
The games graphics looks spectacular, appropriately gritty and dark in
several scenes as you would expect from the locations. Some of the minor
throw away characters such as guards do have some bug eyes goings, but
it's not too bad. The minor clipping I spoke about earlier has to do
mainly with Batman himself with his gauntlet wrist blades, they seem to
go through his cape. Nothing major mind you. But odd enough to notice.
Graphics on all platforms looks pretty darn good. In opening cut scenes
the PS3 version was the only one that hi-cupped a little and stuttered
ever so slightly. The PC version plays surprisingly well and controlling
Batman is no problem at all between the mouse and keyboard.
Though I do like the PS3 version a bit more for some reason, one perk
for the PS3 version is the down loadable Joker character that you can
play in some challenges.
The music is stellar, as I said it lends
itself well to that whole major motion picture feel, as do the sound
effects, all very satisfying. The only part of the sound I would draw
some criticism to would be the dialog. DO NOT get me wrong, the voice
acting is “A” one. Everyone delivers the lines so much so that you tend
to forget your playing a game. No, what is a shame is that even with
adjusting the sound levels to where the voices are supposed to be
loudest, they seem to be drowned out alot by the music no matter what
the settings. Which is a real slap in the face to such spectacular line
delivery. This got better after the first several cut scenes. Mark
Hamill as The Joker gives his usual incredible in depth performance.
Kevin Conroy as Batman from the Animated Series is also here, bringing
the dark knight to life. All of the voice actors make this more than
just a game, it's a Batman experience!
Just when you think it's more of running around the labyrinthine
corridors of Arkham and clubbing the hell out of the Joker's misguided
minions, a few welcome curve balls are thrown your way by way of
surprises, mystery and the use of gadgets and upgrades for our hero.
There are some upgrades to Batman's tactics, his weapons and tools as
the game goes on and awards are earned. There are upgrades to fighting
tactics and surprise attacks, as well as weapons like the good ol
batarang which is a cross between the comics and the movies version.
Along with those upgrades there are various character back grounds and
bios that become unlocked, providing some interesting in-site behind the
There are stealth elements as well as some detective work to be done in
the game. So it's a good satisfying mix, not just stealth in a cape.
There is a form of free flow arcade style combat that one would think
that since it does not require allot of button combos that it would be
simplistically boring, no so here. While it can be simple in some cases,
the real skill comes into play when you see just how many attacking
combos you can string together. Then of course there is the satisfying
visuals of the take downs along with the crunch of the blows to your
foes. It all joins together to make a truly spectacular Batman game at
Of course it would not be Batman unless we did some actual detective
work as well. Not to fear here, the game does not get bogged down in the
deductive puzzles, they are for the most part straight forward. Allot of
the investigating takes place with the use of some of Batman's gadgets.
Forensic tools and such that feed into the eye pieces of our heroes
cowl. Using these tools to track finger prints, or DNA traces through
out the game.
One thing I said earlier, it's not all stealth with a cape, this is true
but there are times when being stealthy and keeping out of site till
it's time to pounce comes in handy. Just rushing at even two foes that
are armed with rifles is a really bad idea. So there are plenty of
places to go unseen, through air ducts, along the tops of gargoyle
statues to name a couple. Then of course the ultra cool gliding, much
like the latest reboot movies of Batman, gliding from high places and
steering to go in the direction you need to go is not only fun, but
Re playability is perhaps minimal thanks to
three levels of difficulty, a few challenge modes including timed
stealth mode, also a real battle where it's several rounds with hordes
of enemies, each round bringing more and more in number. I would love to
see more with Batman from these game designers. Now the question
is...what's next? Because this one is going to be tough to top. There is
a section in the game that hints about down loadable content, I for one
would like to see more than just extra characters or challenge modes.
More levels or add ons would really sky rocket this game to the
Batman: Arkham Asylum is the ultimate Batman experience, hands down.
Have fun, play games.