Batman at the midway point.

Posted by Irishjohn (581 posts) -

I’m obviously a bit behind the curve on this, but that’s the price of reduced playing time.  I suppose I just wanted to weigh in before everyone else has moved on to the next big thing.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is really really good.  There.  That was easy.  My rebellious streak rears its troubling head once again.

Actually, Arkham is really really good but it’s not earth shattering stuff.  For the first few hours of playing the game, I wondered where all these big score reviews, where some of the Bioshock talk, had come from.  I’m only halfway through, so there might be a big twist in the works, but so far I don’t really see it.  However, I do see a really well made game.


Everything about Arkham feels right.  The stealth aspects are fun, even for someone who doesn’t like stealth games an awful lot.  The beat-em-up style aspects are fun.  The detective mode, which I assumed early on would get stale very quickly, continues to be lots of fun.  The overall package? Perhaps if I was more into Batman, had read more books about the Caped Crusader, knew more about the backstory behind characters like Killer Croc and Bane, I would be going nuts over this.  

The game has made me much more enthusiastic to get over to my local comic book store and actually grab a couple of the major books though.  In that respect, Arkham has a lot of appeal to lots of different potential Batman fans.  If you liked The Dark Knight, you’ll probably like this game.  If you dig Batman at all, you’ll probably like this game.  If you like video games, you’ll probably like this game.  Bit of a perfect storm, no?

So, halfway through, as stunningly unfair as it is to offer an opinion, here’s one of mine:  you should play Batman: Arkham Asylum if you’re into video games and you can afford the money and time.  If not... Well, it’s a classic example of the choices so-called “hardcore gamers” often have to make.  I am really enjoying this game and I would recommend it, but it’s just not in the Bioshock “you have to drop everything and play this game RIGHT NOW” category.  But then, how many games this generation really are in that category?
#1 Posted by Irishjohn (581 posts) -

I’m obviously a bit behind the curve on this, but that’s the price of reduced playing time.  I suppose I just wanted to weigh in before everyone else has moved on to the next big thing.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is really really good.  There.  That was easy.  My rebellious streak rears its troubling head once again.

Actually, Arkham is really really good but it’s not earth shattering stuff.  For the first few hours of playing the game, I wondered where all these big score reviews, where some of the Bioshock talk, had come from.  I’m only halfway through, so there might be a big twist in the works, but so far I don’t really see it.  However, I do see a really well made game.


Everything about Arkham feels right.  The stealth aspects are fun, even for someone who doesn’t like stealth games an awful lot.  The beat-em-up style aspects are fun.  The detective mode, which I assumed early on would get stale very quickly, continues to be lots of fun.  The overall package? Perhaps if I was more into Batman, had read more books about the Caped Crusader, knew more about the backstory behind characters like Killer Croc and Bane, I would be going nuts over this.  

The game has made me much more enthusiastic to get over to my local comic book store and actually grab a couple of the major books though.  In that respect, Arkham has a lot of appeal to lots of different potential Batman fans.  If you liked The Dark Knight, you’ll probably like this game.  If you dig Batman at all, you’ll probably like this game.  If you like video games, you’ll probably like this game.  Bit of a perfect storm, no?

So, halfway through, as stunningly unfair as it is to offer an opinion, here’s one of mine:  you should play Batman: Arkham Asylum if you’re into video games and you can afford the money and time.  If not... Well, it’s a classic example of the choices so-called “hardcore gamers” often have to make.  I am really enjoying this game and I would recommend it, but it’s just not in the Bioshock “you have to drop everything and play this game RIGHT NOW” category.  But then, how many games this generation really are in that category?
#2 Posted by Oni (2094 posts) -

This game is even better than Bioshock I think, but I am also a Batnerd so take that as you will.

#3 Posted by Irishjohn (581 posts) -
@Oni:
That's just it though!  I think I'm slowly becoming a batnerd.  I don't know much more about Batman than popular culture stuff, but I really want to read more of the books now.
#4 Posted by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -

I'm on Oni's boat for this one.  
 
Bioshock had a lot of incredible atmosphere, but I didn't enjoy playing that game, only experiencing it. With Batman, it's a different story. The writing isn't as high-brow as Bioshock's, but it's more consistent, and the gameplay is enjoyable regardless.  
  
Most of the main storyline stuff comes from pop-Batman canon. Bane, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc; these are all villains who have seen some measure of mainstream success in the last ten years, be it in the Animated Series or otherwise.  
 
The Riddler's Challenges, though, is where you'll need more than an outsider's knowledge of the fiction to appreciate Rocksteady's effort. I mean, they give you the character bio for the obscure characters, which is neat, but coming into the game knowing who Hush is and how important he is to the Batman in the comic line, or how someone like Black Mask figures into the whole thing--that just makes the game sweeter than sweet.

#5 Edited by Driadon (2995 posts) -

Wow, I'm on the other end here (not in the game hating, but which I preferred), I liked Bioshock much more then Arkham Asylum largely because the gameplay variance you could create using plasmids and the different weapons. That said, I still love me some Arkham Asylum as it really got a lot right, but I'm the kind of gamer that likes elements that mix things up consistently.

#6 Posted by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -
@Driadon: I think the room for creativity is just as viable in Arkham Asylum as it is in Bioshock. I just think the developers of the former downplayed that bit, where the developers of the latter tried to underline and emphasize that point.  
 
It's one thing to drop down behind someone and smother them a hundred times over. But remember, you're Batman, you have a taste for theatrics. Throw a Sonic Batarang at a structurally weak platform, get under it, then use the Batclaw to yank the floor out from beneath the unsuspecting henchmen. Things like that. 
 
It's there, I'd say. The game isn't willing to throttle you with it, though.
#7 Posted by Driadon (2995 posts) -
@Sir_Ragnarok: Very good point, I guess I should rephrase my standing to: Bioshock pushed that variety home much more then Batman did.

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