Review by condemnedj
"A review from a non-batman fan"
This game literally blew me away. First off, I don't even like batman that much. Sure, I like the movies, but never read the comics. I hate Bale. I hate Ledger. My fondest memory of the dark knight is the cartoons. So you can trust this review because I am not bias toward Bats in any way or form. This is just a straight up review of a video game, one which I consider the best ever made for an action game.
Graphics: Top notch from head to toe. If there is a gripe it would be the monotone of colors. But I tend to favor dark looking games because they are more realistic. This game is simply top of the line. The level of details on everything is just superb. Seriously, if you don't like the graphics in this game, then you must be a hardcore retro player that hates any advancement in technology whatsoever.
Controls: This is a complex game. The fighting may be a bit simple but there are a lot of gadgets you have to operate properly if you want to survive. The setup here is very good. It is obvious that Rocksteady really played the hell out of this game before releasing it. I mean, I cannot think of one instance where I can offer a more simplified and streamlined control scheme. Also, in terms of how it feels, the game is just so fluid, it even beats out Assassins Creed. I have no complaints here.
Gameplay: Good god. Man, this is sweet. The combat is so brutal and beautiful, it hands down tops my personal favorites in the brutality department, namely Condemned and Ninja Gaiden. Batman uses no guns, but his martial arts put any hong kong wire-fu action film to shame. I have never seen a game that plays like this. It is literally the best action movie out there. From the combat to the detective work to the level design, I am just awestruck. On Combat, there are so many variations of combos that you never get bored fighting enemies. And they all look so cool. There are also so many options in dispatching enemies that strategy really comes into play. On hard mode, without strategy, you will not survive. On detective work, it really made me feel like the world's greatest sleuth. In fact detective mode is so good, I will play the entire game again, only using this mode. On level design, I have never seen so much detail put into a game world. For instance, there are literal so many ways you can enter and exit a building, that this act alone is even fun to perform. Turn on detective mode and look around, you will find so much new things to do. Just by the shear amount of details to level design I would think Rocksteady put at least 5 years into the making process. If not, then they must have worked 24 hours shifts.
Sound: Great voice work. I have NEVER cracked up so many times just listening to characters in a video game talk. The voice work is especially impressive on the recordings you find lying around. Seriously those are some good stuff, especially the riddler. Soundtrack is decent but I didn't really pay to much attention since all the other good stuff got me.
Replay: The adventure on Normal mode will take you 10 hours. But you will play it at least twice. That's 20 hours. Find all the riddles will take you couple of hours more. Beating all the challenges will take you days. Also, there are a lot of unlockables to browse at. This game will at least last you till ODST comes out, hence, it gives you your full money's worth. Remember I said I was not a Batman fan? Well, now I am.
In sum, this is the epitome of action adventure right now. Sure, some game will come in the future to top this. But as of today (9/17/09), this is it. Don't pass it up.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/18/09
Game Release: Batman: Arkham Asylum (US, 08/25/09)
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