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Posted by moonhead on Sep 28, 2009
Batman Arkham Asylum / Xbox 360 / Eidos

Batman Arkham Asylum / Xbox 360 / Eidos

The Dark Knight takes centre stage.

I know we have been quiet for a while now and this game has been out for nearly a month now but I could not let G4A’s rebirth come and go without writing something about this fantastic game. 

First things first this game is not tied to the recent and decent movie in any way other than for the fact that both the Caped Crusader and the Joker are both in the game. This game takes most of its cue’s from the excellent animation series including the same voice actors (more on these later) but there are other influences throughout from the various comics to the movies themselves it is very distinctively Batman. It’s this attention and obvious love of the subject and details that marks this above every other licensed super hero game ever made (and yes Drew that does include the Spiderman game you so loved).

Batman Gets to Grips With the Joker

Batman Gets to Grips With the Joker

 The  games story whilst not being a literary work of genius is played out and told in such a compelling way it keeps you hooked. It involves you being suckered into a trap by the Joker who has allowed you to catch him and return him to the titular Arkham Asylum. And it’s this game of cat and mouse between these two that keeps the game rolling. The before mentioned voice acting of the 2 main protagonists and supporting cast is magnificent and among the best I have ever heard.

The graphical splendour in which the whole game is presented in is fantastic and makes this without a doubt one the best looking games of this year if not this generation. Hats off to Rocksteady’s artist they have most definitely pulled out all the stops in terms of graphics from the way Batman’s cape flows and shines to the combat animation it is a graphical tour de force.

Gameplay wise the game adds up to be bigger and better than the sum of its parts. The combat is suitably chunky and absorbing mainly consisting of timed button presses to keep combos flowing.  Add in the well implemented stealth elements to the combat and it all feels well just so very right. There is no feeling like leaping from gargoyle to gargoyle and eventually pouncing quietly on some unsuspecting bad guy.Batman’s various gadgets are drip fed to you as the game progresses and none of them feel gimmicky or out-of-place and are well implemented throughout. The game even manages to add in Batman’s superior detective skills having you scan various areas for clues about the whereabouts of various henchman.

KAPOW!!

KAPOW!!

So after all the gushing glowing stuff has to come the negatives and yes there are some, not many but some. First up the boss battles they are unimaginative and tedious. They don’t ruin proceedings but seeing as everything else is top notch they just let the side down slightly. Collectables and lots of them, these have obviously been added to add to the games length and replay value. Personally I abhor collectables and nothing here is going to change my mind. As I just alluded to in my last comment the game is criminally short, on normal difficulty it will take between 6 – 8 hours. There are also challenge rooms that add some extra game  time for the high score merchants and online leaderboard whores among you out there but does not add much. Speaking about online there really is none which is neither here nor there really as it is a single player experience. 

So in all this is a triumphant super hero game and one I hope becomes the blue print for all future licensed super hero games (I do seriously doubt this though). Rocksteady and Eidos I commend you on a first class job and I look forward to the inevitable sequel.

Rating 9/10

Batman Arkham Asylum is out now on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC

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