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The combat system in this awesome third-person action game is intuitive and very accessible. You should be able to get resultsinstantly by tapping the Strike button but to deal with large groups of enemies, gun toting baddies and some of the super villains lurking around you’ll need a bit more finesse. In this guide we’ll focus on the combat aspect of the game. If you want to learn more about it then check out the Batman: Arkham Asylum review.
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Use Detective Mode
Before you even engage in fighting you should size up the scene. Use your Detective Mode before you enter each new area and make sure you have identified all the threats. You'll be able to see thugs through walls. The blue ones are unarmed and the red ones have guns. Remember thugs will react to noise and unconscious colleagues and they tend to patrol so don’t assume they’ll stay in the same position.
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The combat system is based on combos. They allow you to show off your mixed martial arts skills by chaining together a series of punches, kicks and throws. The vast majority of the enemies you’ll knock out are basic thugs who are either unarmed or wielding pipes or bats. You are tough enough to wade into a group of these guys and just ping around tapping Strike to knock them all out.
You’ll get even further if you introduce a second button to your repertoire and start using Counter. Your honed bat senses can predict incoming attacks and you’ll get visual cues that a thug is about to hit you in the shape of a wavy lined icon above his head. Get the timing and directions right and you’ll be clearing rooms full of thugs in no time. Strike and Counter can be chained together for a continuous flow of violence which will give you a maximum multiplier for your XP reward.
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There are also several gun toting baddies in the game and Batman is not bullet-proof. You may be surprised how quickly you’ll die if you get caught in a fire fight. These thugs require a bit of stealth and the best way to clear a room is often to use stealth. Use your grappling hook to jump up out of view and survey the scene from atop a gargoyle. You can perform Glide kicks and then take people out on the ground by pressing Crouch and Counter. Do not use the ground takedown when there are multiple enemies around because it will leave you open to attack.
If you get the chance to sneak up behind a thug then make sure to hold Crouch so you don’t make any sound and then tap Counter when prompted and you’ll send him off to the land of nod without alerting his chums. In a room full of thugs pick off the loners first because a group will see you coming and alert any remaining enemies to attack you. You can also hide behind corners for surprise attacks just follow the onscreen prompt. If you do get spotted you can swing round gargoyles in quick succession or disappear into a vent to escape.
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The next command you’ll want to master is Stun. This is tremendously useful especially for the knife wielding super thugs you’ll encounter. Hit Stun as they approach and you’ll knock the weapon away and leave them open to a follow up attack. You’ll see a red wavy icon on thugs with weapons.
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As you progress in the game you can unlock new weapons and abilities. In fact this is your incentive to pull off big combos because the more moves you chain together, the more Experience Points (XP) you’ll earn. This can then be spent on Waynetech upgrades. One of the most useful is the ability to droop down from a gargoyle and pluck a bad guy up.
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Batarang, Explosive Gel and Bat Claw
You also have some handy equipment you can use. First of all there’s the Batarang. This trusty throwing device can be used to target any area of a bad guy (the head works best) and knock him down for a short time. When facing thugs with guns you can target their hands to disarm them before you attack. You can upgrade it to do more damage and if you want to hit a group from distance it is a good way to buy some time before you swoop in to finish the job. You can also quick fire the Batarang by tapping the aim button and you can use them to lure thugs to specific areas.
There is also the Explosive Gel gun. You’ll mainly use this to break into secret areas or find new routes through the map but you can also hurt bad guys with it. It can be detonated by you or you can get an upgrade which sets it off whenever a thug gets close. It is great for diversions as well, if you want to draw the thugs to a specific area.
The Bat Claw is usually used for opening grates up high but you can also grab enemies with it and pull them off ledges to send them tumbling to the ground.
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When you come to face some of the super villains you will have to be light on your feet. Batman may be tough but he can’t stand toe to toe with the likes of Bane so you’ll need to be fast and agile. Tapping the run button will allow you to dive out of the way of incoming attacks.
You can find more help for Batman: Arkham Asylum in these articles.