Batman: Arkham Asylum

By on September 4, 2009

The Dark Knight’s latest adventure is not one to be missed.


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First Impressions
My reaction is

The Dark Knight himself wouldn’t have blamed you if you decided to skip some of his previous adventures. Comic book related video games quite frankly suck for some time now. They actually managed to reach new levels of low with each iteration. Superman himself provided N64 owners with some of the most disappointing and frustrating hours of their lives back in the days and Spidey only managed to impress a handful of fan boys. Taking all of that negative history into consideration, it would seem that coming up with a good comic book based video game is nigh impossible. But Rocksteady is about to change all that. Their Batman: Arkham Asylum is thee best comic related videogame ever released. By far.. Ever.. No seriously!

Playing this game for the first few hours, we couldn’t quite figure out what exactly makes it so good and fun to play. Fine, the graphics and gameplay are really good and yes the sound effects are amazing but what about this game really stands out? Suddenly it was all clear; it can only be the fantastically done environment. Using a combination of the good graphics, gameplay and sound effects the game makes you feel like you are the Dark Knight himself.  Every time the Joker throws a story twist right into your face, you will come back stronger seeking revenge and justice. Walking around the rooms and buildings you will sense evil in the air making the experience that much better. Every time a hostage is in trouble, you will be running to save him/her not only because the game forces you to but because YOU ARE the Dark Knight.

The gameplay in this game is very unique. Giving you a huge advantage going around the levels is the detective mode. Here you will be able to see items, enemies and escape routes clearly highlighted. From our experience with the game, it was nearly impossible going by a whole building without using the detective mode many times. The other fantastic aspect about the gameplay in Batman AA is the variety. Batman is a 3rd person game but it also has some RPG and fighting games aspects in it. You will be rewarded with XP points every time you beat an enemy or solve a riddle. These XP points can be used to upgrade Bat’s suit. The fighting aspects here has you linking combos and timing them perfectly to score more points and unleash greater damage. 

The story itself is your typical super hero tale. The Joker was all locked up and ready to face justice only to get away setting up a trap in progress. From there on you will be facing a series of old batman nemesis.  The story will take its expected twists and each character, on your side or not, will be introduced with style. Unlike every other comic book videogame, the characters are not just there to look pretty or to add more gameplay time. Characters in this game come with a personality, extraordinary characters design and some fantastically done voice acting jobs. Each boss character has its own fighting style and ways to beat. It is very important to point out that the boss fights in this game are nothing too difficult. You should fight your way through every boss with absolute ease, since after all.. You are the Dark Knight!

To beat the main story itself, you will need to spend around 9 hours on the island. Exploring and beating the crap out of the bad guys. The combat is split into two main parts: Straight up kick ass and stealthy kick ass. Straight up is pretty straight forward. Walk into a room filled with bad guys and beat them up as you wish. Master your combo and counter attacks and the thugs in this game are in for a treat. The 2nd style, stealthy kick ass, is not so straight forward. Here you have to use the environment to your advantage and since Bats has a thing against bullets you quite often have to look around carefully for cover.  Once you set yourself comfortably and watch the enemy walk and search of you, it’s now time to strike.  You can slowly sneak behind the enemy and take them down silently or swing your way around the room taking down each enemy with style. The process might repeat itself many times during your time with the game, but it will feel as fresh and exciting every single time.

The other part of the game has you exploring and solving riddles. The exploring is just fantastic considering the amount of effort the developers put into designing each room and building in this game.  Even with all the amount of rooms and stuff to look at, you will rarely get lost with all the hints the game keeps throwing at you. Solving the riddles can get pretty tricky at times. We must confess that the riddle solving side of the game was not one of the concepts we anticipated approaching this one. But after a little bit of time and once we got used to the controls, we were chasing hints and riddle trophies like crazy. To make solving these riddles a bit easy, you can find a riddle map in each building, so do not sweat it if you miss a riddle or two the first time around.

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The Scorecard
A perfect combination of combat and exploration.
Nothing not to love here, both the cut scenes and in-game graphics are fantastic.
One of the best sound design coming from a video game in some time.
The story itself is worth playing more than once, but the riddles and challenges infuses a whole lot of replay value in to the game.
The Joker adds a lot to this game, he is fun to watch and his sarcastic monologues are often hilarious.
What a game. There are no two opinions about it: Go out and get your hands on this master piece now.


I love my Sports games. Throw me on an Island with the newest FIFA, Football Manager and NBA 2K and i will live forever. Follow me on Twitter (@RabieA11) for updates or on the PSN and XBL (Rabie1).

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  • dassmax

    its one of the best hero games i have ever played.

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