I'm on a Batman kick so I decided to revisit Batman Arkham Asylum, which I finished back in 2009, to see how it holds up against Arkham City, the newer release. Arkham Asylum is still a great game, and worth having! Here's why.
First, the graphics. The dark, moody, atmospheric cinematography is just great. You are drawn into the story just as if you were watching a well done movie. Then suddenly you are Batman, with powerful attacks, a flowing cloak, swooping take-downs, and a real sense of being an action hero.
You've got all the great toys to rappel up onto buildings and leap down onto enemies. You can upgrade your armor, weapons, and toys to keep things interesting. There's a combination of puzzle solving, action sequences, stealth, flying, balancing, sliding, jumping, and more. You are fully immersed in this gothic world.
You've got a story mode where you work your way through the asylum taking down the bad guys. You are searching out "riddles" - question marks - along the way to make sure you explore all corners. The map system is great and keeps you on track.
There are also challenges - the typical beat x enemies in y seconds type of activities. So you can rack those up as well.
One might have thought that, after playing the 2011 Arkham City game that going "back" to an older version of Batman would feel dated. But it's just as much fun to play now. The levels hold your attention, the challenges are just the right balance of hard and doable, and again those graphics and feeling of the whole place is powerful. This isn't a shiny-new spaceship. You're down in the depths of a nasty location, and every surface reeks of the danger and destitution.
The gamemakers definitely get kudos here for making a game that stands up to the test of time and remains enjoyable.
Are there any caveats here? The game is rated T for Teen and this definitely isn't a game for the little kids. There's a harshness to the world which is fairly realistic. But for older gamers, that adds to the appeal. They are "real" bad guys you are taking down - not just pink cartoon bunnies. There's a satisfaction in making sure they are put out of action.
Well recommended, even if you're just buying it now.
I purchased Batman Arkham Asylum with my own funds for the purpose of doing this review.
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