Everyone knows Batman no doubt. Unless you’re a big fan that reads the comics, it’s possible that you wouldn’t know anything about Arkham Asylum. This psychiatric asylum/prison is pretty much Gotham City’s equivalent to the Alcatraz. It is the home of almost most of the villains that quarrel with Batman. I know this review is kinda late by a long shot since the game was released in 2009, but I only got the chance to play it last night.
Not really sure if it’s a record or something, I managed to finished it in almost 10 consecutive hours. I must say, this was a lot easier than the Arkham Knight game. You’ll get to go face to face with the criminally insane in impressive combats using tactical skills and advance gadgets. Not only that, but solving interesting riddles and remarkable detective work is also included. In simpler terms, you can do all of the things that you ever wanted without owning a Batman costume. The only down side to the game is that you won’t get behind the wheels of the batmobile.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
At the beginning of the game the story mode is loaded. At this point Batman has captured the Joker, and is personally escorting him to the Arkham asylum. Suspiciously Joker doesn’t seem bothered being captured and going back to prison. This is why Batman decided to stick around a bit longer. Soon it is discovered that the Joker allowed himself to be captured on purpose. It is all part of a grand scheme to take over Arkham Island with his crew from the Black Gate penitentiary.
Immediately after you take control, you’re attacked by a few of Joker’s goons. At this point you’ll go through the process of learning how to knock them out using both basic attacks and counters. Which is proven to be quiet easy. Because at least early in the game, combat only requires you to just smash the attack button. Once in a while you have to hit the counter button if any of your enemies has that “I’m coming at you bro” icon above his head. None of the goons you’ll face pose much of a threat by themselves. Although later on you’ll encounter them in larger groups. Boss fights against the super villains such as Killer Croc and Scarecrow are definitely among the game’s highlights. But for me it’s a little disappointing that there aren’t more of them.
The fights in Arkham Asylum doesn’t really gets too complicated. By earning experience points, you’ll get to upgrade your gadgets and fighting skills. Throws, takedowns, and even batarang attacks can be incorporated into your combos this way. But you never need to press more than two buttons simultaneously, and the timing of your moves doesn’t have to be particularly precise. The combat against mobs of up to a dozen enemies is superb. Although they’re not intelligent enough to just jump you all at once, they’re not stupid either. Some of them will pull pipes from walls to attack you with, throw random heavy objects at you, and pick up weapons from other defeated thugs.
Among all of the villains in the game the one character that you really should listen to carefully is Edward Nigma, also known as Riddler. There are more than 240 “riddles” to be solved on the Arkham Island. By doing so not only you earn experience points but is also the only way to unlock character bios. The riddles vary from each other in nature, many of which don’t involve riddles at all.
The most interesting riddles are those that lead you to photograph question marks painted around the island. This doesn’t sound very interesting until you realize that these question marks can only be seen using detective vision from very specific locations. That’s because these elusive punctuation marks are painted in two parts at different locations that are often quite far apart, so the solution requires you to find both parts and then figure out where to take the photo from so that they line up perfectly.
Regardless of whether you’re Batman comics fanatic or just someone trying to pass some time playing games, Batman: Arkham Asylum does an outstanding job in entertaining you and holding you on the edge of your seat. Everything about this game such as the impressive visuals, stirring soundtrack, superb voice acting, spectacular puzzles, hard-hitting combat, etc …, feels like it has been lovingly crafted by a development team that’s both knowledgeable and passionate about the source material. Miss out on this one and the joke’s on you.