Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Picture taken from Matt1113322 Photobucket
Just to be clear - I'm not a Batman fan. I never really understood the appeal, I never read the comics and I think I've seen one movie. However, I gave Arkham Asylum a shot. Thankfully my first impressions of Batman were gravely wrong.

The story starts with Batman returning recently captured Joker back to Arhkam Asylum. But, because he is the Joker, he escapes and starts unfolding a master plan. The asylum turns into a madhouse (ha, get it? Yeah you get it) as lunatics are released, security are murdered and criminals take control. Batman stands as the last defence against anarchy and the destruction of Gotham.

Picture taken from The Gaming Effect
For a game that has so many gadgets, the selection process is well thought out. You start off with hardly any weapons/gadgets but as the game progresses you pick up more. On the Xbox 360 the DPad acts as your item selector so you don't have the awkwardness of cycling through weapons (something I'm not a major fan of).

Picture taken from Blog Critics
This may be a personal problem, but I had an issue with aiming. For example there are many 'sneak and destroy' missions where you need to put down armed criminals without detection. If you're detected all hell breaks loose and bullets start flying. It takes only a few shots to take down Batman, so you need to react fast. To escape you need to use your Batclaw, but for some reason your Batclaw doesn't have auto aim. So while you've already taken three shots to the chest the Batclaw is telling you that there is nothing for you to shoot at and escape to. Just to be clear, I'm well aware you need to be facing the direction you want to be shooting at, but I still find this very frustrating.

Picture taken from Microsoft
The extras included in Batman: Arkham Asylum are just the cherry on top to a somewhat perfect game. The Riddler issues you a series of challenges that vary in difficulty. Some are riddles that require a keen eye to solve. Others need you to simply stumble upon interview tapes, trophies and mysterious carvings. This was my favourite aspect of the game because, as a non Batman enthusiasts, I was able to gain an insight into the characters.

Replayability is a big thing for me as a gamer. Thankfully Batman has it in the bucket loads. From the get go there are sections and items that are just beyond reach. But, as mentioned above, as you progress through the game you gain more weapons/gadgets. Once new technology is found you just have to remember where to use them. Of course it is your choice to run around unlocking these extra goodies.

Available on PC, Xbox 360 & Playstation 3

Game satisfaction: 9/10

Characters: 10/10

Graphics 10/10

Storyline 9/10

Controls – 8/10

Overall – 9.2/10