Batman Arkham Asylum has been one of the most anticipated games Iâ€™ve wanted to play for ages. Iâ€™m not a huge super hero fan, but was enticed by the free to play demo. In fact I felt the demo didnâ€™t give Batman the justice it deserved. The game opens with rain pouring down onto a gritty and dark Gotham; it becomes clear that this will truly be an interesting game.
The game captivates you from the start as you are met with scenes from stray lunatics and scary moments like opening up body bags only to find some very scary relatives. Itâ€™s got a spooky feel from the moment you start up the game. I really love the joker as he escapes and arrives at the asylum. The game teaches you combat and shows you what moves are possible at this stage as you fight the goons off. This way youâ€™re not thrown in at the deep end and it gives you a chance to develop your skills as batman. You soon learn how to attack, stun and perform takedowns; even though I just gave them a good beating.
Gradually you learn how to control your character and begin to progress further. Most of the time Batman could fight his way through any given situation. Lots of time you are met with combat fights, but it didnâ€™t deter me and found it was just the right amount. When youâ€™ve become more familiar with the controls and it does take a little time to get used to, you can creep up on enemies from behind and use the triangle button for silent takedowns which came in very useful in certain situations.
Batman has a whole host of useful and cool gadgets to aide him in his journey. Most of the time I used the grapple to get into areas above that was hard to get to, or on ledges that were out of my reach. I had amazing fun grappling from one statue to another as I glided through the air with my bat wings. Another cool option you can use with batman is his detective mode which I found very handy. Detective mode allows you to change batmanâ€™s vision in order to seek out body heat, to detect whether guards are armed or not and in some cases detect certain elements in the air such as tobacco or alcohol. I found detective mode brilliant, because many times in the areas of the game I seem to get stuck in, when detective mode is on it allows you to see things, you may not have seen in normal batman vision. Another handy tool was the explosive spray which you can spray over walls in order to blow up certain enemies. You then stand back to detonate.
In batman arkham asylum the story takes you into various scenes with the joker and in some instances you may find yourself rescuing hostages that have been tied up somewhere. The cut scenes are pretty amazing; itâ€™s almost watching a batman movie. I did personally find the game a little slow to get into, Iâ€™m not sure if anyone else felt that way but I couldnâ€™t help feeling it lacked that â€˜grab the control and play it frantically feelâ€™. It personally felt a bit sluggish and it took me some time to really get into the game. Initially I thought I had played a lot, but the percentage just showed I had in fact only played a small part of it. Itâ€™s a huge game and one that you will be playing for a long time.
Throughout the game you gain more xp and get the choice to upgrade batmanâ€™s weapons which was pretty cool. Youâ€™ll listen to a vast collection of interview tapes and discover lots of riddler trophies. Within the game you may find a selection of joker boxes that will have some small surprises for you. They are scattered throughout the various levels. There are many unlockable bios from the characters to discover. The missions keep you on your feet and you maybe met with poisonous gas in one room to people hanging from the ceiling. For a good part of the game you can use your batarang to activate switches that are hidden, youâ€™re find yourself crawling through small ventilation shafts and when youâ€™ve got a head for heights youâ€™re be effortlessly climbing the walls.
I tried out a challenge map in which you can play either batman or, exclusively on the PS3, the joker and my first mission was to take down as many henchmen in the quickest time, there is also a leader board that lets you see how other players are doing. Itâ€™s not as easy as it sounds as they are all armed.
The game is well polished and certain slow motion fighting done the game amazing credit with the combat fights. Batman doesnâ€™t disappoint, even with the slow start. You certainly have to give the game a chance to develop. I loved all the level bosses you encounter through the game, the scarecrow being my favourite. I remember watching the opening scene of the giant enemy as I ran across ledges in a bid to avoid being detected by him; the backdrop was something from a bad nightmare from the corners of batmanâ€™s darkest psyche. I felt the old adrenaline pumping as I made my way past this humongous scary boss.
All in all if youâ€™re a batman fan, then this is certainly a game worth playing. Its exciting story keeps me gripped throughout, with itâ€™s twists and turns and itâ€™s scary, dark and gritty setting takes you into theÂ depths of the ultimate batman game.