GAME NAME: Batman: Arkham Asylum
DEVELOPER(S): Rocksteady Studios
PLATFORM(S): PC, PlayStation 3Xbox 360
RELEASE DATE(S): August 25th, 2009
Super hero games have usually been considered average at best until now. Batman Arkham Asylum has shown the true DC comic book feel of Batman’s persona. They have landed a very well made game with a great portrayal of how Batman and every villain in Gotham should be. Paul Dini, who is also responsible for Detective Comics and Batman: The Animated Series, is the mastermind behind Arkham Asylum’s story. The game starts out with Batman capturing the Joker and delivering him to Arkham Asylum, soon realizing that was Joker’s plan all along. Batman Arkham Asylum draws in the diehard comic fans and hardcore gamers with ease in this full on action and puzzle mixture.
Arkham Asylum proves to be a villain’s playground to the max with the single player story and challenge maps. The player will take the Dark Knight all over Arkham Asylum’s huge sandbox style world. As the game progresses you get to obtain and use many of Batman’s wonderful toys. The stealth portions of the game have a semi splinter cell feel, with a unique addition using Batman’s tools and weaponry. Every area in Arkham Asylum has been filled with riddles straight from The Riddler’s ingenious mind. The challenge maps are a mix of stealth and beat em’ up tasks to achieve with online leaderboards to gain bragging rights. The Joker was made playable in challenge mode exclusively for the PlayStation 3, which might weigh some buying decisions for most.
The visuals replicate more of the recent Batman films, keeping a dark atmosphere giving you a true “Dark Knight” experience. The Unreal 3.5 engine and Physx engine (PC only), show amazing detail on the characters and environments around Arkham Asylum. The sounds are very exciting, with ambience that emerges you in a truly realistic atmosphere. The voice acting is by far some of the best in games, with the voices of Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy and Arleen Sorkin used for the Joker, Harley Quinn and Batman.
I’m extremely satisfied with how this game was put together, especially how real the characters seemed compared to the DC comics. Some of the riddles were a little frustrating and will take longer than players will want to spend on them. The challenge maps were fun to play through trying to make the online leaderboards. For the people that enjoy the challenge maps, they have lots of DLC (Downloadable Content) with new maps to keep the challenges coming. The replay value is definitely there with the challenge maps and over 200 riddles and collectibles to find in the story mode. This game succeeds where many super hero games fail.