Reviews: Batman Arkham Asylum

I'm FINALLY Batman

Batman: Arkham Asylum is not the first Batman game I've played, but is most certainly the best.

First, the controls are great, even on a PC. The game reminds you what button does what, but not annoyingly often, so you'll be okay if you forget.

Secondly, the fighting in this game is epic. You may be mostly clicking (with a bunch of countering, of course), but you won't find yourself making the same moves over and over again. No, you're bashing your enemies into a wall, kicking them, punching them in the face, and it all flows so naturally. You can't just fight mindlessly, either. Some enemies have guns, and you have to use stealth to defeat them one-by-one, while others have knives and must be stunned before they can be taken out.

Thirdly, there is a decent amount of content. Arkham Asylum may be on an island, but that doesn't stop it from having many secrets. Add the size of the island with Riddler's Challenges (which involve you going out and finding said secrets), and you'll be exploring Arkham Island beyond the storyline.

Speaking of the story, it really is amazing. It may seem simple from an outside view (Joker's causing chaos in the Aslyum), but don't let that fool you. All the characters, even the common Mooks, are interesting and enjoyable to hear. Most of the villians who show up, such as Killer Croc, are quite classic and very well characterized. Some of them, such as Riddler, are even improved, with great voice actors, to boot!

In conclusion, I have to say that Batman: Arkham Asylum is a truly amazing game. With the stealth, the tools that never become useless, the excellent fighting, and the story, I don't feel like I'm simply controlling Batman when I play. I can finally, truly say...

"I'm Batman."

Batman as he should be

Let me tell you, this game series takes the trope "The Problem with Licensed Games" and kicks it in the soft parts.

This is Batman at his finest, going against a huge array of his rouge gallery from the Joker to Killer Croc to Poison Ivy, I was thrilled to see these familiar faces.

Batman Arkham Asylum is a leap forward, with fun innovative game mechanics, a good story, and the return of our old friends Keven Conroy and Mark Hamill taking on their respective roles and delivering flawlessly, the game is one of the best for this generation. If they re-tool it for the PS 4 I would buy it all over again.

They say it's the best superhero game ever

The good:
  • Interesting array of gadgets.
  • Shout-outs to seemingly half the population of Gotham.
  • Genuinely creepy atmosphere.
  • Riddler's puzzles are the right blend of obvious, obscure, and tear-your-hair-out, where-the-hell-are-those-last-three-Joker-teeth frustrating. (Hint: there's a second floor in the Warden's office. It's kinda hard to find.)
  • It may be cruel, but listening to mooks freak out in predator challenges is very, very satisfying. As are the inverted takedown and the use of explosive gel as a landmine.
  • Slow-motion final attacks in combat challenges. Watching Batman fracture a pelvis in slow-motion? Callous, yet awesome.
  • Wonderfully dark humour, such as everything the Joker says.
  • You can be the Goddamn Batman!

The bad:
  • On a PC, the camera tends to be annoyingly jittery.
  • It's very easy to press the wrong key in a stressful situation.
  • Goddamn it, Knife Nut! Just lie down! I've thrown you three times already!
  • It can be hard to tell when to counter, especially since frequently an attack will haul you out of range of the attack you intended to counter...except when you're betting on that outcome, at which point it'll leave you right in the path of four feet of rapidly-approaching metal pipe.

The ugly:
  • Titan mooks. (Hey, I'm not saying ugly isn't effective...)
  • Detective Mode is very useful, but oh sweet mercy it hurts your eyes after a while.

So is it the best superhero game ever?

Until such time as Arkham City comes out, I have no problem with saying: