Monday, April 23, 2012

Arkham Asylum Is Crazy Good

When I got my PS3 a few months back, I knew that one of the first games I had to get was Batman: Arkham Asylum. It seemed like a no brain brainer; the reviews were stellar across the board and Batman is great character.

The Story
The game starts by setting up the story. Batman has just caught the Joker (again) and is delivering him to Arkham Asylum. They begin the long walk through the halls to the holding wing while being joined with guards, doctors and Commissoner Gordon. Batman thinks aloud that this time it seemed too easy, like the Joker actually wanted to get caught. The group finally reached a checkpoint that Batman would not be allowed to pass through, as his presence would greatly disturb the other patients, and that's when the real story starts.

As soon as the Joker is out of Batman's reach, he breaks free of his restraints and runs off deeper in the facility. It is also quickly revealed that his loyal sidekick, Harley Quinn, has already taken control of the main security room and is quickly able to head off Batman's pursuit. And thus Batman now has to explore the island of Arkham Asylum, which is not swarming with angry inmates as well as a handful of super powered criminals.

The Game
The highlight of this game is great mix of action and stealth. There are some rooms where you will be met with a large mob of released prisoners. At time like this you use the nice and fluid combat system to chain attacks together between enemies. You can punch, throw, block & counter, toss some batarangs and perform nasty finish moves that lead perfectly into each other. The controls for these parts are just wonderful.

On the other side of the coin are rooms that are rooms that swarm with armed gunmen, intent on ending Batman's career. These rooms feature the stealth aspects of the game. To survive, you need to stick to the shadows and air vents in attempt to take down the inmates one by one without alerting the others. This mix of gameplay styles really epitomizes the essence of Batman's character and how he operates.

The Goodies
At the heart of it all, this game is a love letter to Batman and a real treat to all of his fans. The game is littered with secrets and easter eggs that cover the gamut of his mythology, rogues gallery and secrets. The super villains that they used as bosses are a great selection and are done extremely well, especially scarecrow's very eerie and disturbing sections. There is plenty of content to keep a gamer going.

I'm glad I finally got a chance to play this great game and I'm looking forward to getting to Arkham City.

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