Despite all things nerdtastic in my life I’ve never been one for comic books. In fact, I cannot name one single book that I’ve ever enjoyed and, for that matter, very seldom will I check out a film based on a comic book. As the Batman comics go, I’ve never so much as picked one up but as for films based on The Dark Knight, I flock to them.
Not really sure why. Maybe it’s because Dad would always watch the old Adam West TV show and would take us to the movies.
Still, had this game not had so much buzz around it and had I not been blown away by the demo I more than likely would never have picked it up. That being said, I am so very, very happy that I did.
Batman: Arkham Asylum is one fantastic game. With a relatively simple story Rocksteady has created a beautiful and insane world for Batman to traverse and, oh man, trust me when I say you really do feel like Batman in this game. Everything about him is so powerful from the flawless melee system to those wonderful toys, every part of this game just feels so natural.
There is so much to appreciate with this game that there is just no way I could name it all but the Riddler’s, um, riddles were so much fun and made for a very engaging side quest to the main story. All of the boss battles – with some exceptions – were unique and full of flavor only to be slightly tainted when I remember that Batman never actually kills anyone so that boss you just spent 10 minutes beating just might find his or her way back to you. The melee system leaves you feeling confident that you’ll just wipe the floor with all the baddies.
Though it is a bit of button mashing I was so impressed with the way Batman handled himself in hand to hand combat that I found myself getting giddy every time I’d see a crowd of thugs blocking my path. I will say though, crowds of thugs do not necessarily need to mingle with mini-bosses. Or bosses for that matter. Just sayin’.
I really only have one main complaint with this game and that’s that Rocksteady made Batman’s Detective Mode too good. With this mode enabled you can see how many people are in the room, what weapons they are holding, and locate any weakness like flimsy walls or objects to grapple. I say this is a problem because I found myself not wanting to exit Detective Mode and, thus, missed out on the developmental beauty of Arkham.
This is no reason to ignore this game however and I have a feeling most of you won’t.
Games this good don’t come around terribly often and Batman: Arkham Asylum just may have beat out Resident Evil 5 for my game of the year.