Picture the scene, it's 2008, you’re watching the Dark Knight on DVD, then suddenly the most amazing trailer appears for Batman Arkham asylum. Come the release of the game, and I cannot contain my excitement; 25th august 2009.
After a few delays, the greatest superhero game ever made was released and rocksteady had me hooked instantly. Based after the graphic novel batman Arkham asylum, it follows the dark knight as he is trapped on Arkham island after the Joker attempts to take over the asylum. Releasing all the lunatics and Some of Batman’s greatest foes, such as Killer Croc, Poison Ivy and the monster Bane.
The plot to the game is familiar as it follows the graphic novel, but to explore a fully designed island with many buildings and secrets was so immersive as well as getting to play as The Batman himself. Scaring the bad guys and saving the hostages, with timed events and quick thinking; this is truly the closest you will ever get to being The Caped Crusader.
Using the Dark Knights arsenal, with gadgets such as the grapnel gun, Batarangs, the Batclaw and maybe even some bat-snacks! You can fight and sneak your way through the hostile buildings, taking down the bad guys, while using the coolest gadget ever! Detective vision. This mode allows you to see the bad guys who are armed with either guns or knives, it also allows you to see their heart rate, so you can give Billy-Bob Badguy a good old scare!
My personal expectations for this game were set quite low as i did not know what to expect. And as a massive Batman fan I just wanted to play what is a Batman simulator, however I was incredibly blown away by the details, the secrets, and the lore behind this game, it secured my attention.
My favourite parts of this game are the predator sections where you are in a room with six or seven bad guys, and you must take them all out, which gives you the freedom to explore different ways of disrupting enemies and how to stealthily take them out.
To use gadgets during these moments makes you feel like a true superhero as you can glide from perch-to-perch and use the classic Batman move of; hang upside down waiting for your prey to step below you, zip down and abduct them into the air, leaving them hanging on the gargoyle.
Being the first game in a trilogy (Not counting Arkham origins) this set the road for what is a universe building block. As we have Batman Arkham city and Arkham knight, and next year we are getting Warner Brothers’ Gotham knights Which lets you take control of the whole bat family.
If you enjoyed Arkham Asylum you’re going to enjoy Arkham City and Arkham Knight, also it is good to give Origins ago just for the sheer fact of it counts as an “origins” story and tells an interesting tale of Batman’s early days and meeting some of his most sinister arch nemesis for the first time.
The movements are smooth and fluid, you really feel like you are running with a cape flowing behind you. The combat flows beautifully, it has such a dynamic to it where you use the analogue stick to look where you are fighting, making incredible use of the free flow combat system. The gameplay feels polished as I did not encounter any bugs or glitches to make my game play rough.
I found the combat to be one of the best aspects of this game because it made you feel the force behind every punch and every kick. However, I can’t say it’s perfect, but I can say integrating gadgets while fighting bad guys makes you want to scream “I’m Batman” in your most gravelly voice. You can end up missing a few punches if you’re not countering attacks as well as if you move the analogue stick in a wrong direction.
The environment still Makes the player feel small as the Gothic buildings tower above you, visually this game is dark and gloomy which is what personally I want from a Batman game. I want to feel like I’m brooding in an armoured suit, and I must think on my feet to ensure that I survive.
Batman Arkham Asylum is definitely a game for the ages, especially with its remaster the game still looks phenomenal today. Every building you’re in, every room is filled with secrets and Easter eggs. you can tell it’s designed to be morbid and anything or anyone can jump at you at any time.
The character designs are immaculate, the creases on the bat suit, the smile on the Joker, every foe has something unique about them. A great feature is that as the game progresses, every time batman gets attacked or hurt in some way (cutscenes for example), the suit begins to show wear and tear, which makes you feel that you’re really fighting through a tough situation.
In the bonus section of the menu, you can look at models for characters which you unlock, which is a feature copied in many games since, and is very welcome as the designs in this game are phenomenal.
Batman Arkham Asylum was the first game in what is one of the greatest superhero franchises in the history. It has defined the superhero genre in such a way where I now expect other companies to keep up the standard that Rocksteady have produced with Batman. The hyper successful Marvels Spiderman by Insomniac games owes a lot to the Arkham series in terms of its influence.
Good luck Gotham protectors.
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