I’ve heard a lot of praise for Batman: Arkham Asylum, so decided to give it a shot since it was a free download for playstation plus members. As usual, I only put a few hours into the game, so this isn’t a comprehensive review of every aspect, but rather an overview to see if it’s worth putting your time into.
Despite being an older game, the graphics still look fantastic and you really feel like you’re immersed in the gothic environment that you expect of a Batman title. The story, as far as I made it, involves you being trapped on Arkham Island at the insane asylum that holds the rogue gallery of Batman villains. So far, the villains have been well woven into the story with the Joker (of course) taking over the island and leading the jailbreak. The story is well paced and keeps you playing “just a few more minutes” to discover what happens next.
I’m not terribly good at these sort of fighting games. But the controls feel clunky, and more often than not I feel like I’m button mashing as opposed to executing martial arts maneuvers. Though that could be my own fault. As you fight, you get experience to upgrade your various combat abilities, batarangs, suit, etc. It would be nice if your costume reflected some of the more cosmetic upgrades. Lastly, some of the boss fights require a specific method to win (like the fight with Bane) and you will probably die while figuring it out.
There are “Riddler Challenges” that are in each area. For the most part they feel shoehorned in and don’t really tie into the main adventure at all. Just busy work to do for the completionists. It would be nice if you accessed secret areas or better gear or something for completing them.
The game does a good job of putting you in the boots of Gotham’s caped crusader. You can’t go guns blazing into most situations or you’ll be shot dead. Unlike most super heroes, Batman is mortal, and there is a great balance between his awesome fighting abilities and the basic laws of bullet beats fist. Since he doesn’t use guns you get the chance to really sneak around and dispatch enemies the way comic books intended.