Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360)  » Games  »
4.5
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  • However, it is not so much the story in and of itself that makes this game so compelling and interesting, it is the arc, the essence of that story, what happens in between middle and end, that makes you realise just how scrutinizingly thought out and well made this game is
  • It wasn't enough to sour the experience in any way, but something that could have been improved upon
  • If combat's your thing this is definitely the way to go, as once you're got bad-guys surrounding you it's even more fun putting together combos and landing meaty wallops on your adversaries
  • It's this attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile that really brings home the length the creators went to to make this, one of the best games undoubtedly in the history of Batman games, and most certainly in the history of non-Batman games
  • If I had any criticisms, the first would be the way B-man handles when running, but that's really a minor issue

    • by The Groisht
      TRUSTWORTHY

      all reviews
      This game is a genuine gem-nut. It is a truly rare achievement to encounter a game that so effectively strikes the balance between gameplay, story and graphics, the fundamentals of what makes a good video game.

      Much like the Batman films, Batman video games have been around for a long time, but the quality has been subpar at best. Until now. This game is what Batman fans and gamers at large have been waiting for. It is such a perfect amalgam of core video game elements and really shows what is capable of being achieved in the medium.

      I am a fan of games that take you on a journey and give you something to get your teeth into. In this respect, Arkham Asylum does not disappoint. The story that you play through has you trying to get to the Joker, who has ingeniously infiltrated the asylum on Arkham island and taken control, releasing the inmates and consequently reeking havoc on the asylum and potentially the city of Gotham.

      There are a number of characters from the Batman universe featured in the game, each with their own info pages containing facts about the character, their backstory and their attributes. Several also have interview tapes that you can collect and listen to, an aspect I will go into further later in the review.

      The


      story itself is pretty standard Batman fare; Joker has plan to turn Gotham’s public into an army of monsters, Batman has to jump through Joker’s hoops and find a way to stop him. Sounds like any other story from one of the many comic books. However, it is not so much the story in and of itself that makes this game so compelling and interesting, it is the arc, the essence of that story, what happens in between middle and end, that makes you realise just how scrutinizingly thought out and well made this game is.

      To gameplay. This being a Batman game, there’s going to be gadgets, and they’re going to be utilised. It plays much like the Zelda series; each time you acquire a new gadget you can get past a point in the game that you wouldn’t have been able to get past had you not acquired that gadget. You can also purchase upgrades that affect health, combos and the versatility and effectiveness of your gadgets.

      The way Batman moves feels fluent and natural, but can prove slightly befuddling. When you have Batman run, the camera doesn’t stay behind him, rather it stays where it was before you started running, so that you have to navigate him through blind spots, and since there’s no centre the camera button it can be annoying to have to keep stopping to see what’s around the corner. It wasn’t enough to sour the experience in any way, but something that could have been improved upon.

      The gameplay allows for optimum come-back-and-playability, and for completion junkies there’s a myriad of trinkets to collect, secrets to find and riddles to uncover. The Riddler, one of the earliest and most frequently featured of Batman’s foes, appears in the game but only as a pesky outsider-looking-in. He teases you about solving his riddles and finding his hidden question marks around Arkham. These are dotted throughout the island as well as patient tapes that feature interviews between inmates and the asylum doctors and make for compelling listening, and as the interviews are split up into 5 tapes, each time you hear a new tape you are steadfastly motivated to search for the next one to hear what they’re going to say next.

      There are also hologram question marks that Batman can only see when in detective mode. Detective mode is a kind of X-ray vision that lets Batman see where villains are through walls and is primarily used when looking for clues in crime scenes and trying to stealth out bad guys. You can use detective mode whenever you want and it makes finding hoodlums and planning out your attacks all the more ...


      • Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360)
      tactical, and satisfying if you get it right.

      The way you take on baddies varies. Depending on the situation, you can either go at them gung-ho or you can be stealthy about it. As stated above, you can uncover their locations and take them out one by one, as to not have any of them see you thus alerting others to your whereabouts. Or, you can stand on a high-up platform, set your gaze on a foe, and hit X to take them out with a glide kick. This is hugely satisfying and so good to watch you’d think you were watching a (good) Batman film, what with the use of the slow-mo effect combined with different camera angles. If combat’s your thing this is definitely the way to go, as once you’re got bad-guys surrounding you it’s even more fun putting together combos and landing meaty wallops on your adversaries.

      The graphics are stunning. The landscape shots of Gotham from within the asylum compound are breathtaking. Perhaps a little dark to the point that you can’t see all that well, the use of lighting and colour tone create an atmosphere in keeping with the shadowy, ominous mood of the storyline as well as the elements in the history of the Batman universe.

      It’s not just the broad shots, there is also a

      great amount of detail. Pressing the right analog stick activates a strong zoom function. Using this you can look around to find where you need to go next, to solve riddles, or to seek out points of interest. Of these there are many, including a showcase filled with the Penguin’s umbrellas, complete with sharply rendered penguin heads on the handles. On the title screen there’s also a Character Trophies section that lets you view the characters on a podium. You can zoom in and check out all the angles of the characters as you collect them (you do this through finding Riddler’s trinkets or solving his riddles). It’s this attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile that really brings home the length the creators went to to make this, one of the best games undoubtedly in the history of Batman games, and most certainly in the history of non-Batman games.

      If I had any criticisms, the first would be the way B-man handles when running, but that’s really a minor issue. The other would be that you can’t fly in the Batplane, or drive in the Batmobile, but I’m probably asking too much, and had these been included it wouldn’t have made a great deal of difference, as the game is so good that they would only serve as sprinkles on-top of an already cherried cake.




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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 2822071203371031/k2311a0722/7.22.10
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