Review by Headhittin
"The best Batman game they've made thus far, but ever other game you've played."
To begin, I was never really hyped about Arkham Asylum. I have been a huge Batman fan since I could read, following his story and his ups and downs closely. But after all these years of mediocre Batman games, I just couldn't find myself too excited about another attempt to milk the franchise. But Eidos came through, portraying Batman to the near comic-book perfection. The game itself is beautiful, the gameplay fun and engaging, and the side quests numerous. But essentially it is every other third person game you have played. Let's get into the breakdown:
These graphics are beautiful. The detail within the environment and each character is astounding. Granted, they recycle a lot of the same character archetypes as fodder for Batman to kick around, but what game doesn't? The cutscenes and beautiful rendered and the animation is nicely done, with a few minor flaws such as hit detection. I can't count how many times I kick someone fully in the mouth and the game was like "You missed, loser!" The only peeve I really have is Batman's walking and running animation. He isn't very intimidating, which Batman is supposed to be.
The sound helps to set the mood, but really it just feels tacked on. Some of the pieces just don't feel right. The only reason I even gave it such a high score is because of the Joker. With his constant badgering and jokes hurled at you over the intercom, you will be entertained if nothing else but by that.
Honestly, if it wasn't for the fact it was a Batman game, I feel it would just be a random superhero game in third person. There is nothing truly awe-inspiring about the gameplay. You get a select few of Batman's numerous gadgets, but nothing that isn't in almost every other third person game. Where are the smoke bombs? Where are the explosive batarangs? Where is the ability to scale walls using the grappling hook and spikes on the bottom of your boots? There were very few times I even acted like Batman, stalking my prey and striking fear into them. Most of the time it was straight combat or running. Now as for the combat system. It's simple. It is fun. It works well for Batman and the game as a whole. I enjoyed fighting very much, but after awhile it because monotonous. All in all, it is enough to keep you engaged and playing through the story.
Before people cry down upon me with a most furious anger, I gave the story a 9/10 on the precept that it is a BATMAN storyline. It could have easily been a comic-book storyline, and as a fan, an engaging one I would have easily told my Bat-Friends about. It was great to get to interact with characters I had only read about, like Harley Quinn and Aaron Cash. Batman's Rogue's Gallery is in full force, coming out of the woodwork to take him down. Great for fans, engaging enough to keep you playing for someone who isn't really all that into Batman.
Replay Value 6/10
I really have to give it such a low score because there is nothing to it. I gathered most of the Riddler's Quests going through the storyline and what I didn't I gathered in about an hour and a half. After that, the only thing really left to do is the challenges and one hundred percent. The thing is I have had the game two days, I have one hundred percent and am almost to the end on hard. For achievement hounds, you will likely gather most, if not all the 1000 gamer points and 47 achievements doing the story or challenges.
Honestly, if you want to enjoy this game, I suggest renting it as I did. It isn't terribly long and the storyline can be ran through in six to eight hours on hard. For Batman fans, this is the definitive Batman game, like Spider-Man: Web of Shadows was. Everyone else, have fun and enjoy smiting Gotham's thugs without Bat-Nipples! Yay!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 08/28/09
Game Release: Batman: Arkham Asylum (US, 08/25/09)
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