I noticed that we don’t have a review for Batman Arkham Asylum with Arkham City coming out soon. Now that’s just a shame isn’t it? I know it’s a little older, but hopefully this will convince some of you guys and gals to go out and play it before the new one comes out. Now let’s begin.
In Arkham Asylum (AA), you play as the Caped Crusader, Batman. He’s just as awesome as ever in this rendition. The story starts with Batman taking Joker to AA. He ends up breaking free of the guards while you’re there and now you gotta stop him and all the other baddies that are let loose.
Inside of AA, there are plenty of bad guys to fight. Harley Quin, Zsasz and Killer Croc to name a few. There are plenty more where that came from, including a plethora of henchmen for you to beat up. They really went all out on the cast of this game. There are even several items referencing other characters just for you to reminisce about.
When you start the game, you’ll first notice the amazing graphics. Trust me, they stand out so amazingly. The creators put the Unreal engine to good use here. Every character has an amazing amount of detail and their animations are so fluid and vivid. On top of that the environments are even more amazing. AA has so many tiny details everywhere that it’s almost too much. You know that corner of the room that no one cares about? Well they do. That’s honestly how much detail is in there.
So throughout the game you play as Batman from a third-person view. It may seem a little odd to some at first but it’s for the best. It lets you admire everything and take in everything around you completely. It honestly does. When a game is in first-person, you’re limited to what you can see directly in front of you. So you may see one enemy in front of you, but not the two on the side about to jump you. It’s for this purpose that they implemented it into the entire game. You’re playing third person normally, but when you get into combat it becomes almost an overhead shot. Suddenly, the environment becomes an open view and you can see everyone and everything around you.
The combat system that they input into Batman Arkham Asylum was simply amazing. It’s a freeflow system that allows you to stream combos very easily, while looking visually stunning too. It’s not only entertaining to the player, but anyone watching as well. You have a punch button, counter, stun, dodge, and your equipment. You can attack your enemies head on and if you spot someone going to attack you from the back, you hit counter at any time, even in the middle of your combo to keep the train going. Now, you’re not limited to only enemies directly within arms distance. Batman is too awesome for just that. If you knock an enemy out and the other is a few feet away, point in that direction with the analog stick and hit attack and Batman will leap across the area to attack him now. The idea of freeflow is being hammered in so much that getting a combo of 50-60 hits is well within reason.
The other combat system is Batman fighting from the shadows. You basically have enemies that are armed with guns and searching the area. Your job is to take them out stealthily. It stays true to Batman and how he takes out enemies one by one. You can string them up from gargoyle statues or even drop them on your enemies below to frighten them.
The detective angle of Batman Arkham Asylum for the Xbox 360, is great as well. It’s not only focusing on the fact that Batman is a great fighter, but still keeping in touch with the fact that he’s the best detective ever. There are puzzles hidden around for you to figure out and follow the clues to the next area. They implemented an alternative view mode called Batcowl. It identifies key items in the areas such items, trails, NPCs, badguys and whether or not they have a gun. If you want, you can stay in that view forever. It makes the game easier by identifying everything easily, but you don’t get to enjoy everything else because it kind of puts things into an x-ray view.
Batman Arkham Asylum Rating:
Graphics: 10/10 The graphics are absolutely amazing. I can’t repeat it enough. Everything from the environments, to the characters and even items scattered around are so clean and crisp. It really allows you to be pulled into the game even more when the game looks like a movie.
Gameplay: 10/10 The fighting is awesome. The detective work can be difficult if you want to go for side objectives, but still engaging enough in the main story to allow it to still be present.
Audio: 10/10 The sounds of the environment help to pull you into the game more. You don’t have loud music when you’re trying to be stealthy. It makes no sense. So what ever audio is in there has its place and purpose.
Replay Value: 10/10 I played it twice. Once on normal and once on hard. It wasn’t just to beat the game, but because it was so much fun. It doesn’t take away from the experience at all. I may play it one more time right before Arkham City comes out.
Overall: 9.8/10 I honestly want to give this game a 10/10, but that’s just not possible. No game is perfect. But this is the closest to one that I’ve ever played or seen and it’s honestly one of my top favorite games. No complaints at all about it and I would recommend it to anyone. Here is a video clip of the upcoming Batman Arkham City, set to release on October 18th 2011.