Review by youngfrankenstein
"Thanks for doing justice to the Bat."
Everyone's been saying it; so yes. We may as well get it out of the way. This is the best Batman game ever made. And I dare say it's about time too. After three decades of terrible Batman games spanning a slew of platforms, publishers and developers, something has come along to break the mold. But lets take it a step further than that.
Batman is notorious for having poor video games based on his escapades; saying this is the best Batman game ever is like comparing a single gold brick to a mountains of excrement. So lets take it a step further. This is the best Batman game ever, the best comic book hero game ever, the best looking comic book game ever, as well as a fantastic stealth-action title. I can't tell you how great this game is, and how beautifully it all comes together. The developers behind this title, Eidos, use Batman's rich history and lore in beautiful ways, both complimenting and tributing the source material lavishly. In short, they've created a truly terrific piece of programming.
Batman versus the Joker. I'm glad they employed the voice talents of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamil to reprise their roles from the 90's cartoon of Batman. Having a Joker in the game acting like Heath Ledger's Joker from the Dark Knight would've been game breaking and silly. Ledger's version of the Joker is silly enough, but this Joker knows he's mindless and revels in it. Conroy as Batman does justice to the character, just like he did way back in the 90's. If only Christian Bale could enunciate like Kevin Conroy and Michael Keaton does.
Every single character in this game is excellently voiced. Harley Quinn is both hilarious and thoughtless; there's a beautiful part where Batman is trying to rescue a hostage from her and she's singing absentmindedly. The Riddler also acts the part of showy salesman we know he is, and numerous Batman foes are equally presented with a grandeur they demand. Like I said; this Batman game knows it has a library of information to delve upon and it does so in the most opulent manner.
Above all though, the game is fun. You can play it as a stealth title or a straight up action title, a delicate balance which has only been achieved properly by the Metal Gear Solid series. The game is beautiful to look at and throws surprise after surprise your way. I'm still floored over this title. There's really nothing like it out there; this is the reason why people play video games. Most of the stuff out there these days is just garbage; innovation and ingenuity are few and far between. But this game really is something special. It's nothing like the demo.
So yes: I recommend the game whole-heartedly. But also in this review I'd just like to say thanks. Thank you, Eidos. Thanks for doing justice to the Bat.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/28/09
Game Release: Batman: Arkham Asylum (US, 08/25/09)
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