Wednesday, August 04, 2010

JayRo Plays Batman: Arkham Asylum

Many comic book franchises produce video games that rely on the name of the comic book to sell the game, and then ignore gameplay all together. (Superman Returns springs to mind immediately.) Batman: Arkham Asylum actually goes the opposite way, producing a game with rich gameplay, multiple modes, replay value and oh, BTW, you are playing Batman.

The story begins with Batman escorting Joker into Arkham Asylum to be locked up. Of course, Joker escapes, and the story then revolves around Batman trying to take down the Joker. Along the way, you learn some things about what was happening at Arkham Asylum, and some come back to haunt you.

Gameplay is interesting. There's the standard brawling which takes up a lot of the game. There's also some puzzle solving, trying to find your way around barriers, etc. But the most intriguing part of game play is the Predator mode, which is a stealth mode. The point of this is to take down the enemies without being noticed. What makes it stand out from the others is the way it uses the Batman character. You are able to not only sneak around silently, but you can use the vents and any convieniently placed gargoyles to sneak around. The gargoyles are especially good, as you can swing from them, and (once you upgrade to it) use them to take out the enemies. There are also "challenge missions" that let you use these predator tactics in as quick as possible. This is the most interesting aspect of the game, and playing the challenges is all the more enjoyable.

Along with the Joker, you encounter some more of Batman's Rouge Gallery. The most interesting is the Riddler, who you never actually see. He leaves you with trophies to find and riddles to solve. These are in unusual places, and involve doing some interesting movements to get to them.

I realize I am late to the game with my praise of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Even still, if you haven't already picked this up, you should. There is enough there to keep your attention for a long time.

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