Batman: Arkham Asylum

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9.0 Overall Score
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 9/10
Controls: 10/10

Amazingly fluid movement, great controls

Repetitive villains, a few let down super-villain battles

Game Info

Game Name:  Batman:  Arkham Asylum

Developer(s):  Rocksteady Studios

Publisher(s):  Edios Interactive/Warner Bros. Interactive

Platform(s):  Xbox 360/PS3/PC

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): August 25, 2009 (Xbox 360, PS3)

September 15, 2009 (PC)

ESRB Rating:  T

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Batman, Don’t go all “Batman Begins” on me. I didn’t say I hated “Batman and Robin”

Batman and Joker continue to play their endless game.  Joker escapes Arkham Asylum and Batman captures him and takes him back…but this time Joker has a plan.  Batman’s trip to Arkham Asylum is playing right into the Joker’s hands.  The Joker has a strong following in Arkham and now Batman finds he is the one trapped.  With guards and other innocents threatened, Batman must regain control of Arkham and take down the Joker and the other inmates before it is too late.

Batman:  Arkham Asylum is a DC Comics action adventure strategy game.  Developed by Rocksteady Studios and released by Edios Interactive and Warner Bros. Entertactive, the game received positive reviews and award.

Batman:  Arkham Asylum is not only one of the best super-hero games made, but also just a really good game.  The world of Arkham Asylum is pretty large with underground passages and hidden rooms.  The designers did a great job using the environment.  Areas are locked and cannot be opened until Batman gets more weaponry (and being cut-off from his Batmobile is a great way to get around that).  It also makes you excited to get new weaponry to return to old places to expose new areas.

Arkham Asylum is also a puzzle game.  In addition to the challenges of finding your way through the maze that is Arkham, there are actual “Riddler Puzzles” and hidden Riddler totems that can be located.  These puzzles aren’t impossible or often required, but they are an extra challenge gives the game more depth.

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Suck on this Spider-Man!

The real fun of Batman:  Arkham Asylum is how smooth the fighting is.  Even in the movies, Batman seems kind of “stiff” due to the limitations of his costume.  Here there are no limitations.  Batman moves, jumps, and punches all in one smooth motion.  Add to that upgrades (with more attacks) and a very stylized visual (kind of does a speed-up/slow-down as seen in 300).  There is also a fair amount of stealth operations that feels like a suped-up Solid Snake…like dropping in on an enemy, stringing them up, then cutting them down to distract another enemy.

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Hey Puddin’! I’m just as obnoxious in this as on the cartoon!

Another gameplay involves receiving challenge medals for completely specific actions in a specific amount of time or with specific amount of points.  Predator Challenges involve tracking down the Joker’s men unnoticed and taking them all out.  Freeflow challenges involve taking out Joker’s men in a steady flowing fight for points…the more points you get, the better the medal.

There are a few drawback (very few).  The enemies are all pretty similar and for the most part not very challenging (unless they are armed).  There are also not enough super villains.  The only real villains battled in the game are Poison Ivy, Zsasz, Killer Croc, Bane, Scarecrow, Harley Quinn, and Joker.  Both Killer Croc and Scarecrow battles are kind of frustrating because they combine the stealth with the trying to act quickly.  It would have been nice if more bosses somehow were worked in and a couple more physical battles with the villains.

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Batman…taken out by common thugs…that’s going to happen…

Another drawback does involve the puzzle aspect.  So many times early on the game you see an area that could be pulled down/opened that sometimes, backtracking when you get a new weapon can feel a bit tedious, or you out and out forget where you saw some of the secret tunnels.  If they had made a way to put markers on your map, it would have helped open up the world and speed up the process.

The problems in Batman:  Arkham Asylum do little to negatively effect a great game.  The challenges aren’t very interesting (when compared to the game) and could have been left off.  Batman:  Arkham Asylum should be used as a basis for other superhero games, and I could see it enduring longer than some other franchises.  Batman:  Arkham Asylum was followed by Batman:  Arkham City in 2011.

Related Links:

Batman:  Arkham City

 

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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