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Batman: Arkham Asylum Review

This is a discussion on Batman: Arkham Asylum Review within the Game Reviews forum, part of the Trophy Guides, Reviews & Articles; Batman: Arkham Asylum Review by transformer27 Basic Information: Developer: Rocksteady Studios Ltd Publisher: Eidos Interactive Ltd N. American Release Date: ...

  1. #1
    Breakpoint's Avatar

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    Sep 2011

    Batman: Arkham Asylum Review

    Batman: Arkham Asylum Review
    by transformer27

    Basic Information:
    Developer: Rocksteady Studios Ltd
    Publisher: Eidos Interactive Ltd
    N. American Release Date: 25th August 2009
    European Release Date: 28th August 2009
    Australian Release Date: 3rd September 2009
    Trophies: 28 18 1 1
    Batman: Arkham Asylum Trophy Guide / Forums

    Batman: Arkham Asylum is the newest game from Rocksteady Studios, a small London based game development team. The game itself is set in and around the eerily daunting Arkham Asylum. A colossal and oppressive prison where all the evil-doers of Gotham City are held. You play the game as Batman (obviously), and the action starts straight away when a simple prisoner transfer goes horribly wrong. With hordes of free inmates running a-muck around the Asylum, Batman must fight his way to stop Joker from fulfilling his devious and potentially deadly plans.

    When I first loaded up my crisp, shiny new copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum I was expecting to be enthralled in a solid, slick and visually pleasing game, and, to some extent I was. Choosing to play the game on Hard first, was my initial mistake, especially considering the fact I have retarded hands when it comes to combo enhanced gameplay. Making this mistake meant that some of the more engaging fights I encountered would sometimes frustrate, purely due to how poor my level of skill was. But, in the end, after the initial steep learning curve regarding the fighting moves, I soon began to get my head around it all.

    The game itself really encapsulates the 'Gotham' feel and is recognisable as a Batman game from the get go. Its dark and pretty creepy in places with a real sense of foreboding. It wasn't long before I began to achieve more with this title than I had originally expected. I began to feel at ease with the surroundings and with the fluidity of the control system. The team at Rocksteady has realized a Batman game that has potential to stun... Here's hoping it doe's....

    Story Mode:
    From the opening scene to the first meeting with the Joker I knew this game would be special. The image of the Asylum has been vividly realised with an amazing array of features to peruse at your leisure, (that's after you beat the bad guys first of course!). That brings me nicely to the fighting part of the game. Now, we all know that it's fun to run around, shooting wildly with an AK-47 at anything that moves, but there are so many games like that, that I think it makes this game feel extremely refreshing. The only weapons you have at the start of the game are your fists and your Batarang's. Although in a fight with random henchmen the fists (and feet) are your best weapon.

    Getting used to the fighting-combo style gameplay was difficult for me, especially on Hard as I have never really experienced a game like it. I'll be honest, there were more than a few occasions I nearly threw my controller at the wall. But I didn't (it gets way too expensive). Although it didn't take long for me to control Batman to a level high enough to complete the story without too much hassle, I did still struggle to get a well balanced and lengthy combo going, but hey; that's half the fun right?

    Rocksteady, the development team behind Batman: Arkham Asylum, somehow managed to make the game feel really expansive while skirting around outside, while at the same time creating a sense of claustrophobia when traversing through the dimmed hallways of the Asylum. This makes the game feel extremely less linear than it really is.

    The missions throughout the game are varied enough to keep anyone playing happy through to the end. My one and only real gripe with the story mode was the henchman area's where you had to take down a certain amount of enemies while trying to stay invisible, which is great the first couple of times, but it did start to feel a little same-y towards the end. But probably the best part of the game, for me anyway, was the detective mode. Almost like a sixth sense, it could be used to scan area's for clues or evaluate the surrounding entourage of henchman so to create a decent strategy before tackling them. This alone encourages the player to take a more stealthy approach to the game, so brings a new slant on things. Thinking before acting is the key to success in many sections of the game.

    The final negative about the story mode is it's ending. Not in relation to the gameplay though, but the story. This is because the story throughout the entire experience had been fantastic to the point of poetic. The epic-ness of the finale that I was expecting was sadly lacking, but even this could not dent the amazing experience I had playing this title.

    Challenge Mode:
    There is no multiplayer mode in this game, which really isn't missed at all. In its place though, is a collection of 'challenges' to complete. These are split into two categories. Predator challenges see you attempt to take-down a number of enemy henchmen in a varied amount of ways, very much like in the story mode. Each challenge has three objectives, which upon completion awards you with a bat. Get three bats to complete the challenge. Combat challenges pit you against an ever increasing number of enemies, with a large free-flowing combo being the ultimate goal to award you with a high enough score to achieve three bats.

    Although these challenges are fun, they are not all together easy. For me, if it wasn't for trophies, this part of the game would probably have gone unnoticed as I prefer the story to a game. Having said that, the challenges themselves are a treat to play. Planning your moves before you unleash havoc is a must, meaning a more strategic approach is needed here than in story mode. As you would expect the further you delve into the challenges the harder they become. This will be the most frustrating part of the game for the average player, due to the fact that, although you have played through the whole game beforehand, pulling off a 40 move combo is still very difficult indeed.

    Overall though, I much prefer these 'challenges' to the thought of a multiplayer mode. Although there really isn't anything here (apart from the ever elusive platinum) to keep the player intrigued enough to see it through to the end.

    What can I say, Batman: Arkham Asylum is one of the best games available on the PS3 to date, with amazing flowing graphics and creepy, but brilliant soundtrack this is a game oozing with quality. The frame-rate in the game never dropped and the game ran beautifully on my Full HD 60hz TV. The voice acting was also an impressive part of the story mode with both Batman and Joker being read perfectly.

    Gameplay: 10/10
    A fantastic example of how to make an exciting, flowing game which is a joy to play. Controlling Batman is a great feeling.

    Story Mode: 9/10
    With only the poor story ending and some slightly repetitive fights, this singleplayer experience holds its own against the best that's available.

    Challenge Mode: 9/10
    A great decision to add this instead of a multiplayer option. Can get a little repetitive and very frustrating at times, but still an amazing experience.

    Technical: 10/10
    The most impressive part of the game for me, a total A+ package from a relatively new development team.

    Overall: 9.5/10 Brilliant

    Buy it. It's as simple as that. If you already have it you know what I mean. This is a gaming experience every PS3 owner should enjoy. It is a pleasure to play and well worth the full asking price. You will be immersed in an engaging story with strong characters we all love. A must have title.

  2. #2
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    CrashTV-XHess's Avatar

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    Nov 2011

    Sweet review! I agree.

  3. #3
    Lvl 4 - Silver
    SkyMirror's Avatar

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    Feb 2014
    ~ Just under the ending of the sky ~

    Your review is very accurate and greatly written I might add. I read it a few weeks ago and picked up the Arkham Bundle pretty soon afterward. I very much enjoyed the game like you described. This one's a keeper for me.

    It is indeed a must have title.

    Flesh is heretic /
    My body is a witch /
    I am burning it


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