I've been getting pretty damn sick of Batman. From the rabid fanboys slobbering over any information over the sequel to The Dark Knight
to Batman's WTH departure from the comic world (for a while at least), I haven't exactly been deprived of seeing the caped crusader in my life. When I heard that a new video game would star the Dark Knight, I wasn't exactly thrilled since his past endeavors in video games have usually been the equivalent of a plane crash into a hospital. Full of puppies. It comforted me to know that this game would be bad like the rest of the Batman's games. However, Rocksteady has just torn away that comfort blanket and fed it to a wood chipper.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
has the player stars as Batman who is bringing back The Joker from a recent hostage attempt on the mayor. It's soon revealed, after the Joker escapes custody, that Joker has planned all along to be brought back into Arkham with an army of mercenaries hiding throughout the building. As Batman attempts to discover the true motive of this takeover, the Dark Knight soon discovers that inmates such as Scarecrow, Killer Croc, and Poison Ivy are all dying to get the chance to fight the caped crusader, turning this debacle into Batman's longest night.
The story in the game is astoundingly well done, especially if one attempts to discover all the hidden interview tapes with the inmates as well as Riddler trophies hidden throughout the island. While the plot doesn't exactly breach new ground, it does manage to provide tension as well as psychological fear, especially when confronting The Scarecrow. The pacing is perfect, between exploration, fighting, and storytelling; the game never gets boring. The gameplay itself is a mix of flowing combat (easy to use, but difficult to master) and CSI-like detective work where you scan the scene of a crime to look for clues or hidden passageways. The guys at Rocksteady have made a game that engulfs you into the atmosphere of Arkham Island; the atmosphere is on par with such other great games as Bioshock
or Dead Space
. The style of the game is an amalgam of Nolan's realistic Batman and the eccentricities of the comic book version of Batman.
In the section of voice acting, veterans of the cartoon series (which I honestly was never a fan of) Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Arleen Sorkin reprise their roles as Batman, The Joker, and Harley Quinn, respectively. Their voice acting for the main characters is fantastic as it seems like the roles were as easy to slip into as a pair of comfy old shoes. However, not all the voice acting is superb. Overusage of voice actors like Tom Kane and, especially, Steve Blum is painfully apparent as you will be confused as to why every other other character sounds the same. The music is dark and moody and perfectly sets the tone for Arkham Island.
Graphics-wise, the game is a powerhouse. Lovely detailed models along with a crisp frame rate ensure that Batman: Arkham Asylum
will be a heavy-weight contender for one of the best looking games this year, as well as one of the most artistic. There are however, some problems with lip syncing which are noticeable, but ultimately just mere annoyances in the grand scheme of things. Subtle touches like water physics and Batman's increasingly torn suit over the course of the game make every visual just that more awesome.
I cannot recommend this game enough for fans of the action, super hero, exploration or platforming genres. This game is a must for anyone who proudly call themselves gamers or fans of Batman.
My Review: BUY IT! BUT IT NAHW!!!
This game has everything, but the awkward sexual insinuations between Batman and Robin.
HOLY SURPRISED REACTIONS, BATMAN!!!