And I present you with the first installment to the Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Asylum. I want to go on record saying if you haven’t played any of the Arkham games yet then I’m telling you now that you should. When I first sat down to play this game, I was excited. I had only heard good things about this game and with the reviews so high I had to play. And, oh man did this game deliver. So let’s set up and get into this.
The Joker has been on the rampage in Gotham and Batman has caught him once again. Batman decides to escort the Joker back into Arkham because he feels like the Joker has something up his sleeve. That Batman is one smart cookie, because Joker getting caught was just a plan to try and kill the Bat once again. The prisoners are loose and they all want the Batman dead. That sounds like a game. Lets play!
So game play or story which one should you start with? They both have equal strengths along with their weaknesses. So lets go with story because if we’ve learned anything, it’s that no matter how good your game play is, a shitty story can kill any game.
Batman: Arkham Asylum has… a bit of a strange story to it. Does it have to do with the Joker being bat-shit crazy? Haha. Bat-Shit. I made a funny. Anyway, yes. The answer is yes. To be honest with you, I feel sections of the story are campy and high on the “make shit up” side of things. Don’t get me wrong, I understand Batman is a made up character in a made up world, but the direction they took it seems like they were reaching for it a bit. However I will say the story is still solid and everything makes sense. I just feel it feels like something that would be found in the Ninja Turtles universe, not Batman’s.
So if the main story doesn’t work so much for you, the side collectible stuff might still interest you. Why is that? Because it gives you background on the Batman universe that you may not have known. You learn things like where Arkham came from or the turning of Harley. Or even who the fuck Firefly is. I would say make sure you look for the collectibles. It makes the the game more interesting.
So, game play! Yes. Yes. It feels a little buggy sometimes, but yes. The gadgets work so well. The movement from section to section is so smooth. The puzzles aren’t too hard however they aren’t the easiest to solve all the time. And the developers were clever. They disguised some of the puzzles as battle areas. And when you realize, that’s not the way you beat it, that’s when you start looking at the areas differently. But you want to fight because the battle system is amazingly fun. It’s frustrating at first and then you understand the rhythm. After that, you just want to fight everything. The gadgets work seamlessly into the fighting as well, so it’s just fun, fun, fun. On top of all of that you are given “Detective Mode,” which is basically cheating in all cases involving the bad guys. It really makes some situations not fair. Not fair at all. However it doesn’t take away from the the fun of the game. Break all the jaws!!!
I would suggest playing this game. This game is really good and I assure you that you haven’t quite played a game like this. It is Batman as you want him and all of the villains hold their own so that you don’t feel like this a waste of your time. The game is cheap now and I think the PSN is giving it away for the time being to PlayStation Plus members, so you can get it easily.
Also, you can read my review of Batman: Arkham Origins here.