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Published on September 14th, 2009 | by Daniel David

Batman: Arkham Asylum Review

Release Date: August 25, 2009
Developer: Rocksteady
Platform: PlayStation 3 [Reviewed], Xbox 360

Finally someone has done it, Rocksteady has created the best Batman game and quite the best superhero game ever. Batman: Arkham Asylum lets you control the Dark Knight himself as a trap set by the Joker gets you stuck inside the asylum and it is up to you to stop the Joker’s madness.

When you start off you get to taste one of main aspects of the game which is the Free Flowing combat. By pushing X/Square you start to initiate combos which are all done with the same button. You can counter with Triangle/Y, stun with O/B and evade with X/A. It seems really simple but it definitely will take time to master. The key to the combat is to keep your multiplier going and once you get a high enough multiplier you can do instant takedowns showing off what Batman can really do. This is Batman at his best and the combat is done perfectly.

The other main aspect of the game is the Predator combat where you sneak around taking down Joker’s henchmen before they know it. Thanks to some X-ray vision called Detective vision you can find where the henchmen are and find environmental hazards to use against your opponents. Most rooms with the predator gameplay have gargoyles to swing from to stay out of sight but the game presents you with challenges to keep it fresh. You can do some really creative things in this style of combat your imagination is key here.

Not to forget what really makes Batman, Batman is the Detective mode. He’s not called the world’s greatest detective for no reason. It’s not as big in the game as I would have liked but there are a few times when you have to whip out your Detective vision to survey a crime scene and find clues so you can move on in the story.

Aside from the main gameplay there are over 250 Riddler challenges to complete, some which can be pretty tricky to find. Tied into these Riddler challenges are recorded audio sessions and profiles for Batman rogues gallery and friends. Fans of Batman and newcomers alike should love this. Collecting the riddles also unlocks Challenge Rooms to showcase the combat and predator gameplay. These challenges get pretty damn hard and also boost leaderboards so you can compete with your friends and the world, great stuff.

PS3 owners was given the special treat off being able to play as the Joker in some challenge rooms maps and the Joker is a blast to play. It may seem a little surreal to see the Joker bouncing from guard to guard but his moves are just so hilarious you’ll simply have a blast. His predator mode lets you use a few of his gags on the guards, if you have a PS3 I would prefer that version just the Joker if not buy it for the Xbox 360 or PC because you should have this game in your collection.

Fans of the animated series will instantly recognize the voice of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamil as Batman and Joker but the voice actors from ranging from Harley Quinn to the Riddler all make their presence known and do a fantastic job. I have no complaints about the voice acting it actually made me pull out animated series DVD’s and the animated series is still awesome.

Honestly I find it hard to complain about this game. The only nitpicking I can do is that when walking close to an edge Batman will sometimes fall of unintently which I did a few times throughout the game and I wasn’t to fond of the last boss fight and I’ve seen the A.I get stuck on a few objects but this in no way should discourage you from picking this up.

Simply put Batman: Arkham Asylum is the best superhero game I’ve played to date and it would be a shame to not pick this up. Two giant thumbs up.

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