Published by: Eidos Interactive
Developed by: Rocksteady Studios
The funny thing is, is that last year when “Batman: Arkham Asylum” came out I was playing “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2”, and while MUA2 is average at best, Batman AA is a down right video game masterpiece. Rocksteady Studios has made the greatest video game ever based on a comic book character. Yes, it’s even better than “Wolverine: Origins”.
Some have called this game “Bioshock Batman” because the feeling and mood of Arkham Asylum as you wander around as The Dark Knight closely resembles that of Rapture, but this is only a testament to the immersion the gamer experiences. You will really feel like Batman playing this game, whether you’re taking out 20 thugs in a combo filled slugfest or attacking from the shadows like an invisible predator. While I never mastered the skull crushing combos of the game’s combat system, I wasn’t bothered by it because its very easy to pick-up and execute. However, this doesn’t mean you’re just mashing buttons because you need to be dedicated and quite skillful in order to excel at it. I, on the other hand felt alive as Batman by performing the stealth moves in the game. To me nothing defines Batman more than a silent takedown, especially an inverted takedown.
There are also tons of riddles for Gotham’s favorite detective to solve which helps break-up the pacing of the game. And there are gadgets. “Where does he get those wonderful toys?” You’ll have Batman’s whole utility belt at your disposal giving this action filled game even more depth. There are literally thousands and thousands of ways to take out the goons and crazies of Arkham.
Technically speaking “Batman: Arkham Asylum” is also one of the most finely polished titles in years. The sound and voice-acting are just ridiculous. Mark Hamill might actually go down in history better known as the voice of The Joker than as Luke Skywalker. His performance in this game outshines the live action performance of Heath Ledger. The visuals for the game are incredible, very detailed environments add to the over-all creepiness and little things like the tearing of Batman’s cape and suit are unique and cool. There is also a “Detective Mode” much similar to Wolverine’s “Feral Sense” in his game that adds an extra dimension that comes in handy when trying to solve puzzles or eliminate a room full of bad guys.
The music in “Arkham Asylum” is on par with anything from the cinema and captures the mood perfectly. The story is well written and the weaving of Batman’s multiple villains in and out of the plot is done without feeling forced. Whether its a showdown with Bane, a trip with The Scarecrow or the end battle with The Joker, “Batman: Arkham Asylum” features Bob Kane’s iconic hero at the top of his game and provides a universe of pleasure for comic and video game fans everywhere.
5 Adam Wests out of 5