Review by 03J

"The inmates are running the Asylum"

Batman: Arkham Asylum was released for the XBox360 at the end of August in 2009. This Batman adventure game takes place on Arkham Island and inside the halls of Arkham Asylum.

The gameplay is a lot of fun whether you're hiding out from henchmen taking one out at a time or fighting off a bunch of henchmen or dealing with a boss. The difficulty level all depends on the situation because fighting off henchmen who have no weapons is easy enough with the combat system but you are not going to stand much chance if you try to go toe to toe with six guys all armed with machine guns. However the game is mostly easy because when you die, you start out a minute before where you died and you usually realize what you did wrong after a couple of times if a certain part of the game takes that many tries. One thing that is new in Batman Arkham Asylum is Detective Mode. You go into detective mode and it is like having X-Ray vision because you can see enemies are in a room before you open the door and secrets stand out more in Detective Mode. The controls could not be easier in Batman: Arkham Asylum. X was the usual combat button, Y would counter someone if you saw someone coming at you to attack, B would be useful in battles for disarming someone who had two knives so you could take care of that henchmen, and A was mostly used for ripping or kicking metal grates off the walls so you could use those secret passages to get around Arkham a little easier. The RB button was used for your grappling hook to pull yourself up to things in the air and so on. After about ten hours of gameplay, I did not experience one thing wrong with the controls.

The story of Batman: Arkham Asylum is that Batman was bringing Joker back to Arkham Asylum and after bringing Joker back, Batman realizes something is not right since Joker did not put up much of a fight before coming back to Arkham. When Joker gets lose, Batman tries to get in the room to restrain him but Joker has a bunch of thugs waiting for Batman which is the first fight of the game. After that you realize the Joker and Harley Quinn are in control of the security gates and the inmates are out free but running the asylum.

The graphics in the game are wonderful for the most part. The background was dark and not much detail where it was not needed but all the characters looked great. Some environments also had a chilling feel to it like before the first time you fight Scarecrow. The room didn't have much lighting and being told to "get out" and other things like "you don't belong" definitely pulls you into the game more. Also play the game to where you take damage and you will see the wear and tear on Batman. When I was playing, it came to where Batman's cape was shredded in some parts, Batman had a tear near his chest and there were a bunch of holes from when Batman got shot. The sound is great with no complaints. Everybody who talks sounds like they should and they also sound like they are experiencing what you see which helps pull the player in to the story. The Riddler I have heard from numerous times in the game and have not seen once but he is not an exception when it comes to the sound department because he sounds wonderful like the rest of the cast. Unfortunately I can not comment on how he looks because he has not made one appearance in the game yet visually.

Batman: Arkham Asylum I have played for ten or eleven hours and only got about 30% of the story done. After the story is over however, there are over 200 riddles to find and solve which adds to the replayability. If that's enough there is also a challenge mode which you unlock which is where you fight a bunch of thugs and try to beat it in the shortest time possible with other objectives like not getting hit or not dying even once which adds to the experience.

Batman: Arkham Asylum gets a 9 out of 10. While the game is wonderful, it is real easy to get lost or go around in circles even with a map and detective mode. Also after playing as much as I did, I only saw Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Bane and Scarecrow and heard a lot from the Riddler. I did expect to see more villains by now but anyone who likes Batman even a little bit should most definitely get Batman: Arkham Asylum.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/28/09

Game Release: Batman: Arkham Asylum (US, 08/25/09)


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