By John B.
What is Batman: Arkham Asylum? One of the best super hero experiences ever to grace a gaming console.
I've been reading comics longer than I've been playing quality console games and because of my love of comics I'm extra critical when the gaming industry attempts to deliver the energy and excitement of comics in game form. And with good reason, the last Batman game ( BATMAN BEGINS ) was just a shallow attempt to cash in quickly on a movie license.
Even the much lauded Spider-man games on PS2 fell flat in my opinion. The first game didn't allow spidey to climb, swing, jump or take the stairs down to the sidewalk, condemning Peter Parker to solitary confinement in an endless sea of rooftops.
The second was a repetitive hodgepodge of 5 missions in a beautifully recreated Manhattan occupied by 10 people.
( I do have to mention that the Ultimate spiderman game on the Xbox was awesome & the rare exception but by them most people game up on Spider-man games )
BATMAN: Arkham Asylum manages to do everything right.
A story by Paul Dini who has been spinning excellent Batman v. Joker yarns for almost 20 years ( who to me is right up there with the likes Denny O'Neill and Chuck Dixon ) .
Characters that look like they jumped out of the page and came to life ( You can see influences from all the great Batman artists )
Gameplay that takes what seems like a limited locale and manages to keep things fresh thanks to riddles by Edward Nigma, great pacing of action vs story and a nice variety of enemies that have complete control of the Asylum that means that they come at you from all sides.
In my honest opinion, anyone calling themselves a fan of good gaming and comics needs to go out and pick up INFAMOUS on the PS3 ( which in my opinion is hands down the reigning king of the "superhero" game.) Then go out play Batman which it a very close second.
INFAMOUS is done in the vein of Grand theft Auto, Sly Cooper and BATMAN:AA borrows from Assassins creed, Resident evil & Splinter cell formula. Both games improving on their predecessors by leaps and bounds.
For those of you on the XBOX 360 BATMAN is your only choice ...how sad (PS3 also has the JOKER as a playable character!)
here's a quick clip, enjoy.
(and yes it's all real gameplay footage)