This Game is No Joke(r)
Batman Arkham Asylum has so many great elements from the best video-games and puts them into a form that is perfectly suited for Batman game.
The game begins with Batman driving to Arkham Asylum with the Joker in his custody, and once he arrives to check him in, he realizes the Joker wanted to be caught and then the Clown Prince of Crime begins his plan to take over the Asylum. From the start, it is Batman's goal to stop the Joker and the rest of the super villain inmates while utilizing his gadgets to accomplish this.
The gameplay consists of exploring the massive Asylum, completing missions to further your goal of reaching the joker, silently taking out enemies from time to time, and engaging in a fun and fluid free-flow combat battles when the enemies begin to surround the Dark Knight. The game does a great job of mixing up the gameplay which in turn makes for a less repetitive and more enjoyable game.
The game also has a metroid feel to it, with many areas in the game inaccessible until you acquire the right gadgets to reach them. Most of batman's greatest gadgets including the Batarang all make an appearance, and can be used in many fun ways. There are also times when you must silently take out armed enemies in certain parts of the game make you truly feel like Batman. The game also has a fun challenge mode that includes combat and predator scenarios with leaderboards so you can rack your points and practice your combat skill and have your score posted to complete against the other Arkham players.
The games presentation is top notch as well, with the unreal powered engine showing the world of batman in an amazing way, and the amazing voice cast that includes Batman alumni Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, who both make Batman Arkham Asylum a very special treat to the fans. Gadgets sound the way you would expect, and the sounds of punches and gliding add to the very immersive world. This is a game that even those that dislike Batman should definitely play.
The game also has a Bioshock feel to it, with tons of interview tapes scattered around the world that help get a sense of the game's villains, and tons of Riddler trophies and Riddles to solve that help round out the investigative gameplay. Batman is truly a detective in this game, something that other batman games never really embraced.
The achievements/trophies in this game are also pretty cool as well, with many being unlocked by defeating bosses and progressing through the game, and others focusing on the game's challenge modes. Beating the game twice netted me about 600+ gamerscore, but I was missing most of the Riddler associated achievements, since there are tons to find.
Overall, this is a must play and a sure candidate for the various 2009 Game of the year awards.
+ Amazing presentation, gameplay, and voice overs throughout the entire game
+ Game truly makes you feel like Batman
+ Fun challenge mode and additional Downloadable Content down the line
- A few annoying enemy moments, but nothing Major
- Not a negative, but wish there was some kind of unique multiplayer
Bring- A playable Joker to the Xbox 360 version!
Well Deserved 5/5