Monday, August 9, 2010

Games I can't put down: Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum is without a doubt the best superhero game I have ever played. Rocksteady(the developer) literally makes you feel like Batman. The story follows the Caped Crusader as he apprehends The Joker and brings him into Arkham Asylum.(Gotham's own super villain revolving door.) Unfortunately this is part of The Joker's plan and he quickly takes over the prison. He even causes a fire at Black Gate prison to have his gang transferred to Arkham. The storyline is very well done and takes villains like The Scarecrow, and Killer Croc and weaves them into a gripping narrative.

Batman himself is portrayed very well. He's ruthless and cunning but also sticks to his strict moral code. Basically Batman doesn't kill anyone and he saves the innocent. Arkham Asylum puts you into many situations where you have to save guards and criminals alike. Bruce Wayne's origins are also addressed in game too. I won't ruin the way it plays out put there are scenes in this game that just leave your jaw on the floor. The gameplay is no slouch either. The game utilizes Free Flow Combat. Basically you can attack, batarang, and leap in all directions. Batman can also counter various attacks and perform special takedowns.

Combat is ridiculously fun. There are seemingly countless combinations. The game will award you with more experience points the better you fight too. You can't have a Batman game without stealth and this is another area where the game excels. Batman can hide in the shadows and grapple from the ceiling to avoid detection. Enemies can be taken down with glide kicks, batarangs and my favorite: the inverted takedown. If you've seen Batman Begins you know what I mean. The main game is spectacular aside from the lame final battle. There are also various challenge modes. You can even play as The Joker on PS3.

These modes consist of combat and stealth missions. Each of them have conditions that challenge your skills too. For example you may have to pounce on an enemy from above a glass ceiling or takedown a foe from around a corner. These modes give the game a lot of replay value. All in all this is a superb game. Even if you're not an avid comic reader this game shouldn't be missed.

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