The Greatest BATMAN Video Game... to Date!

Batman: Arkham Asylum is the greatest Batman game ever created… to date. Free Roaming, detective work, fighting, strategizing, gadgets, and every other trait attributed to Batman was found in Arkham Asylum. Never before has a Batman game given you the feeling of being The Dark Knight like Arkham Asylum has. There have been good Batman games before that have offered gimmicks which made that particular game stand out. Sadly, those same games always had serious flaws which degraded the overall product. Rocksteady Studios and Eidos Interactive incorporated and improved all the best features from previous Batman games, adapted an award winning Batman graphic novel, and the greatest Batman game to date was born. Playing through Arkham Asylum I was reminded of Batman games of the past.

The detective work in Arkham Asylum refreshed my memory of the “Batman: Dark Tomorrow” game I owned for the original Xbox. Dark Tomorrow supplied the detective aspects of Batman but the game suffered from horrible camera angles and an even worst fighting system. Imagine Resident Evil 1 and Batman mixed together and you get Batman: Dark Tomorrow.

The gadgets, upgrading, and challenge modes will seem familiar to anyone who has played “Batman: Vengeance” and “Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu”.  Vengeance put the focus on gadgets but it failed from having to use the gadgets in first person view. This was a problem when you are throwing a batarang to an enemy ahead of you and other opponents are attacking your blindside.

Sin Tzu gave you the ability to use and switch from gadgets in real time and upgrade them. Sin Tzu also featured combat bonuses to purchase and challenge modes.  The bad part of this game was the time limit stages which forced you to rush through each level before the time runs out and you have to start over.
Finally the combat system, strategizing, and the fear factor meter were the main features of the “Batman Begins” game released inconjunction with the movie. Asylum has the exact combat system as Begins and the free roam aspect was present in Begins albeit very minimal and divided into stages. The ability to scare your opponents to lower their defenses was the central part of the Begins game just as “Fear” was the central plot of the movie. The trailers, ads, and box art all promoted the gimmick of using your environment to strike fear into your enemies. The major problem with Begins was realizing that you are only allowed to use one predetermined environmental fear tactic. This was atrocious for a game promoting the feature of using your environment. Thinking about knocking down those barrels to scare your opponent? Nope! If you want to progress the game you have to batarang the cable holding a crate and just incase you still want try to hit the barrels that option is not even given to you.
In Begins you couldn’t even flick a batarang unless the game told you to do it. The Batman Begins game had the potential to be spoken about in the same breath as Arkham Asylum but the creators dropped the ball.

Rocksteady and Eidos successfully blended all the good and none of the bad from Batman games of the past.  In a more broad view Arkham Asylum can almost pass as the sequel to the Batman Begins game. Based on a general overall Asylum is an upgraded/next level Batman Begins game or what Begins should have been from the start. Arkham Asylum 2 is due out this summer and we can all expect improvement and another fantastic game. The teaser trailer for Arkham Asylum 2 hints at an expanded free roam map incorporating a section of Gotham City. The teaser also includes easter eggs which hint at possible Batman rogues making an appearance in the sequel. New gadgets, combat moves, and challenge modes we can all look forward to. Another possibility is the inclusion of the Batmobile to improve free roam traveling if the map is indeed expanded. Batman: Arkham Asylum may be the greatest Batman game ever created until Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 is released.