About The Game
It has often been said that black will always be in fashion. Never has that been more true then when it is a black cowl. It is time again for the caped crusader to show up in the much anticipated “Batman: Arkham Asylum” title. No doubt this game will be a departure from other Batman games you may have played, for no other reason than because it is based on the comics and not the cartoons or the movies as previous titles have been. Let’s see if going back to basics has breathed some new life into the Dark Knight’s gaming franchise.
Graphics (4 out of 5)
Even if I didn’t tell you that this game was based on the comics, you would have known when you get to the first level. The graphics have a deadly pulp feel. I know that sounds a bit corny but it’s not. The game manages to be both whimsical and gritty at the same time, which is a hard balance to pull off. Graphics quality is, of course impeccable. If they weren’t, the attempted look would have fallen flat on its face. The most striking aspect of graphics by far are the faces. Villians clearly got a lot of attention in this title and it shows in their expressions. Even if you didn’t know who the Joker was, the first time you saw his face you would be sure he was mentally unbalanced.
Game Play (5 out of 5)
Most Batman games highlight solely the combat aspect of the hero, but this game takes a different tact. It spans a fair portion of gameplay reminding us that the bat is as much a detective as he is a butt-kicking machine. When his blue tinted visor is activated, you enter an investigation mode which can show you not only points and objects of interest, but give you an idea of what kind of weapons the baddies in the next room are packing. This mode is also used to solve a series of forensic puzzles you will encounter during the game.
Combat is also fun, but a bit more basic than what you may be used to. Once you get the hang of creating strings of combos with those basic moves, you will see that they are all that you need. There is also a limited stealth mode included for your stalking pleasure.
One last gameplay note to those of you who generally don’t do a lot of searching rooms. You need to if you want to get the gadgets that you need to progress. Never pass up an unexplored area and keep an eye out for secret rooms.
Location and Enviroment (4 out of 5)
You may be wondering why Arkham Asylum was chosen as the location for the game. Well, it prevents a large plot hole, since we already know why the villains are there. The second reason however is the one worth writing home about. The creators chose a small and enclosed place (Arkham is on an island for those of you who don’t read the comics) so that they could create a fully open 3-D environment where you can roam at will. You can see now why the game wasn’t set in Gotham proper, as making that kind of an environment for a city that is supposed to be the size of New York City would have taken years.
Final Thoughts (4 out of 5)
All in all, this game is one that will be worth the investment for gamers that are in search of a new and interesting challange. With more than just a basic punch and throw to the game, this one will keep even the most jaded gamer guessing what will happen next. This game has a truly open world and a nice mix of cannon villians to keep you entertained. The visuals are nice as well, and following the original comics is a huge plus. This game is definitely mandatory for your list of must-buys.
Eidos and Rocksteady have yet to release official system specs.