Video games haven't been too kind to Batman. Often times when we think of a Batman game, the first thing that comes to mind is that the game just isn't going to be all that spectacular. What is it about the Batman that hasn't always worked in the past? It's hard to point out. What we can point out, however, is that Batman Arkham Asylum doesn't fall into that category. In fact, it is easily one of the best Batman games to be released. From its humble beginnings, the game is fine tuned video game that does most of what it does incredibly well.
Let's begin with the production values. This is by far one of Arkham Asylum's strong points. The game begins with the Joker being caught and taken to Arkham Asylum, but he seems to be pretty non-chalant about it, and Batman doesn't like that one bit. And it turns out he was right to be suspicious. The Joker springs a trap and Batman is caught in the middle. Now he's trapped inside the Asylum with the Joker controlling things, as well as several other adversaries.
One of the nice things about Arkham Asylum is that it presents its story very well. The art style feels comic book like, but it doesn't skimp on the overall visual presentation either. There's a lot of artistic flair and technical goodness to behold with the graphics. Most of the environments look fascinating and will really draw you into the game. The tone is perfect. The other good aspect is the voice acting. If you remember that Batman: The Animated Television series you'll be surprised to see its the same voices. Kevin Conroy is Batman and Mark Hamill is the Joker. And the voices are done very well. The production values of the game are absolutely stellar.
Of course, a game just isn't much if it only goes off of visual flair alone. In the past gameplay seems to be one of the areas in which Batman games often stumble. In the past the games have had a hard time crafting together good gameplay elements or sometimes being unreasonably clunky. This is mostly Batman's past. The games sometimes felt rushed. This isn't the case with Arkham. In fact, the game mostly keeps things pretty simple. The combat is really easy to pick up on, having you string together simple combos. But the game hardly devolves into button mashing. This is because your enemies will take advantage of the situation, and the game makes sure you can't rush head on into things. First and foremost, most of your foes are willing to take advantage of their surroundings. Second, you can't go head to head with several enemies all toting guns at once. This is definitely not a beat 'em up kind of game. In fact, in some areas, caution and stealth are required.
There has rarely been a Batman game where you actually feel like Batman. In some places you'll be able to swoop down and leave your enemies hanging from gargoyles... or perform a glide kick or use some of Batman's gadgets to get the job done. For such simple gameplay concepts, there are actually quite a few ways to implement them into the game. The game also lets you upgrade and improve on your techniques as you progress. So there actually happens to be quite a bit of variety.
At the same time, though, the game is accessible to just about everyone. You can also enter what's called "Detective Mode" if you so choose. Within this mode, Batman can see certain things he otherwise couldn't. You can tell where your enemies are easier and find some hidden goodies. You'll no doubt be playing a large portion of the game in this mode, but it's very worth it to do so. Choosing not to means missing out on some of Arkham Asylum's secrets, and there are a lot of secrets. The most prominent of which is that you can find riddles scattered all over that will unlock lots of different things for you to do. You'll also be able to unlock small character bios and audio samples about certain characters. These are other things that really make the game come alive in its own way. And in the midst of all this, the game doesn't appear too challenging or intimidating.
That's not to say you won't be challenged. You will. Particularly when you reach something new. It's nice to know, however, that the game isn't overly difficult. It's just to say that when trumping through it at least doesn't feel easy. When helping you get acquainted to things, Arkham Asylum is pretty easy going. But once the game takes away the training wheels you may find yourself hitting a few snags every now and then.
The visual look of the game isn't all that adds to the game's atmosphere. So does the music and so do some of the animations when you're fighting. Sometimes it's fun to battle just to look at some of the animations as they take place. Other times exploring can be absorbing because the music really knows how to set the tone. Arkham Asylum has a lot of strength, but the game seems well aware of just what those strengths are.
There's really not much that keeps Arkham Asylum down. In many ways it's exciting to play a Batman game that's good. After getting several Batman games that felt like a throwaway of the license, Batman Arkham Asylum feels like a breath of fresh air. Most of its gameplay conventions have been done before, but it's mostly how the game mixes them together that works well, and the absorbing atmosphere it emits in the process. Batman fans might find themselves pleased by this one. It's a simple game to play, but there is definitely a lot in it that could keep you busy for some time, and a lot to explore. It's great to see a Batman game come to fruition, and to do it so smoothly.
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM is one of the best games I’ve played in a long time. After spending so much time swimming amidst the sewage of Grindhouse and horror titles, it’s refreshing to be climb back into the mainstream realm with something so technically polished, artistically well realized, as well as innovative. This is a game that hits so many notes right that the blemishes which do mar it seem almost tragic. Whatever the case, it’s fitting to say that if you … more
In general, superhero video games are bad adaptations of the comics on which they are based. Usually, at best they are just an average game (the only exception to this being when a superhero game has a great co-player mode, such as JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES from a few years ago). That changed with the release of BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM. I didn't have an opportunity to play the game until earlier this year. However, after having played, it is in my opinion the best superhero game ever made so far. … more
I'm pretty late on this one. Arkham Asylum is one of the rare games that is universally praised by everyone, and for damn good reason. I stayed away from it cuz, well, superheroes are kinda lame, but finally Doomrider talked me into playing it, and I'm glad he did. It's damn sweet, and even if you think superheroes are completely lame and for dorks, you should still play it. It's got some of the best beat-em up gameplay I've seen this gen, jumping into … more
As I sit down to write this review I am in a little bit of shock. I don’t think that anyone wanted this game to be good more than me, though not even I could have imagined that it would be such as masterpiece. As someone who plays just about everything that comes out, its hard to find a game that essentially does it all but Batman: Arkham Asylum pulls it off beautifully. After finishing Batman: Arkham Asylum, I had to seriously reevaluate my Top 10 and Top 5 games of all time, this game made … more
Batman: Arkham Asylum is the total package of video games. The gameplay is fantastic, there's an amazing story and it features a superhero. Through the years, game developers have tried their hands at making the ultimate superhero game. Most have failed as many of them have been movie tie-ins. What Rocksteady and Eidos have done with Arkham Asylum is create a world and feeling that The Dark Knight can thrive in. Playing as Batman in the game, you get the feeling that … more
Batman Arkham asylum is the new game by publisher Eidos and the game is developed by Rocksteady using the Unreal engine. This is not a movie licensed title but a NEW original game of DC Comics famous Batman character. The game was was written by Paul dini and features the voice talents of Mark Hamil and Kevin Conroy who are now staples to the Batman series having originally voiced these characters in the smash hit 90's cartoon "Batman The Animated Series". PROS … more
Batman: Arkham Asylum, developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Eidos, is easily one of the best Batman games ever and really makes you feel like you’re actually in the shoes of the Caped Crusader. And it’s not just about the fighting and gliding around (even though that’s great too). It’s also about being the greatest detective, facing past and present psychological fears and regret, and everything that makes Batman an icon as well as a vulnerable human being. It’s … more
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the Dark Knight takes on his greatest challenge yet when he becomes trapped with all of his most dangerous villains inside the insane asylum of GOTHAM CITY - ARKHAM ASYLUM! Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum –Gotham’s psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City’s most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum. Using a wide range of Batman’s gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker’s demented scheme. Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner, Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series. With amazing graphics and a moody, immersive setting, Batman: Arkham Asylum offers diverse gameplay options that push the envelope for all action, adventure and superhero games.