Batman: Arkham Asylum

I played through this a few years ago, but just did a play through for a second time. This time I payed more attention than I remember the first time through. It was a little more than the mindless button pushing of the combat system, with the occasional counter. It was listening to the interview tapes of the various Gotham Criminals. It was the story of the deranged psychopath from the perspective of Amadeus Arkham. It deciphering all the clues from the Riddler to uncover the trophies and the pictures. And last but oh so not least. It was uncovering to plot of the Joker as you want through the buildings on Arkham island to put as top to his plot.

The story begins with Batman driving to Arkham, the Joker a passenger on his way to be admitted. Upon arrival, Batman follows him through the admission process, confessing his fears that the Joker is up to something. Quickly after they reach a point Batman is disallowed the Joker makes his move, freeing himself and taking control of the island with the help of this princess of pain, Harley Quinn. You, as Batman must work through the buildings and sections of the island to stop the joker, engaging a stunning portrayal of Poison Ivy and scenes with scarecrow which bring a very vivid and surreal experience to his neuro toxins.

As you travel through the areas and unlock new gadgets and areas, you also play against the Riddler in side quests that require a little forethought and investigation of your area. Even after you get that map, there is still some investigation necessary to prove you are the world’s greatest detective. There are hidden interview tapes involving various criminals, giving the the insight into their minds as they talk to a psychologist. The personal journals of Amadeus Arkham, who created the island, as he tells the story of his own demented history. And trophies the or often hidden in out of the way places.

Batman doesn’t use guns. So the combat is about to aspects: sneaking around in the shadows and through tunnels to pop up behind the minions and perform a silent take down, or a fast paced combo system of hand-to-hand, stuns, dodging and counter moves. Occasionally you may need to go one on one with a gun, but they hurt and it’s recommended to avoid that if possible. The unarmed combat can pit you against a number of foot soldiers, in some cases up to ten.

Overall, these features work together to telling a compelling story, that will keep you engaged with both the stories various twists and turns, surprises, and balance between combat and investigation. If you like action adventure games or if you like Batman, we definitely recommend giving this game a chance.

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