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Batman: Arkham Asylum review
by riz64


Had an itch to play some superhero games after completing Spiderman (PS4), so I thought I'd give the arkham trilogy a try having never played them before.
Unfortunately I don't think Asylum has aged rather well, to be honest I don't think I would have enjoyed it much at release either.
The combat shows its age, it effectively comes down to pressing square and triangle occasionally and lacks any real depth. The combat is also quite clunky imo and just doesn't feel that great, with batman feeling rather slow at times. Boss battles are quite simplistic and not very well designed, most of the time it just turns into an enemy gank fest where you're left fighting enemy thugs rather than the bosses themselves. The joker fight in particular was just awful. I played on hard, and the poison ivy fight is mind numbingly annoying.  There are a variety of gadgets available in game, with the batarang being a mainstay in your arsenal throughout. Not saying other gadgets are useless however, the explosive gel and batclaw can actually be helpful during some of the games more difficult encounters and I enjoyed the waynetech upgrades (apart from the combat upgrades which I found a bit disappointing). 
Story is OK, I don't really pay much attention to story in video games as long as the gameplay is good, but a good story definitely elevates the experience. In AA, the story is decent but nothing noteworthy. 
The stealth missions are okay, somehow there are gargoyles in the room of every building on the island but I understand i'm being nitpicky there. On hard, the predator missions can be rather unforgiving if you are spotted, with armed thugs killing you rather quickly, so you do need some patience. 
World design is good and tight, doesn't feel overdone and fits with the theme of the game rather well. Level design is okay considering the context of the game, with some nice areas such as the botanical gardens and intensive treatment. Level traversal is quite linear, with some backtracking involved.
Enemy variety is quite poor, it's basically blackgate goons throughout the game with different weapons sprinkled in, and the boss fights of course. 

Enough whinging
The voice acting in this game is fantastic, especially mark hamill as the joker. In fact most of the characters are very well acted. I really enjoyed riddlers VA, he had the perfect condescending talk down tone you would expect of the character. 
Atmosphere is very well done, especially the sections leading up to the scarecrow encounters and the killer crock boss fight (which though in itself is poor, is quite tense).  
The game does look quite good, especially for a 2009 release. Although I don't like some of the art design overall it was well done. Batman visibly showing signs of wear and tear throughout the game was a nice touch.

Overall, I think batman AA is a decent game but not one that I'd ever think of replaying. 

Other reviews17

A dark, fitting artstyle, the beginnings of a great combat system, a great stealth system and a great new introduction to Batman.
It's engaging with a very good story 
«That ending!»
I like Batman and this game does him real justice. Story and it's pacing, characters (Joker!), voice acting (Joker again!), combat, gadgets, stealth missions, flying - all is truly great. I loved Arkham Asylum from start to finish.
I did not enjoyed the game, maybe just because it's quite old and not has got old very well idk. I hope the other games left about batman are better.
The beginning of the franchise that would forever change Superhero games even to this day. Rocksteady had come off only 1 game from 2006 (Urban Chaos Riot Response) and was picked up by Warner Bros and were tasked with creating a new Batman game, so it truly is amazing that Arkham Asylum has invented its own way of moving around and beating up the henchmen of some of Batman's most iconic rogues of all time, Joker, Scarecrow, Bane, Harley Quin and even more of Batman's villains appear each supporting their own moments in the spotlight, and don't worry, even if your favourite villain doesn't make a physical appearance, by completing enough Riddler trophies you can unlock character bios and even interview reels for almost every single Batman villain ever. The combat feels nice when pulling off combos to use special moves that can instantly KO and enemy or throw an enemy somewhere else, like other enemies or an environmental hazard to spice up dealing with the grunts. The story feels like it was straight from a BTAS episode and i fully endorse it, with the characterisations of these classic characters showing a lot of range, even Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy reprise their roles as both Batman and Joker, as they are masters as always. The biggest stand out points to me are the 3 Scarecrow sequences throughout the story, avoiding the Scarecrow's gaze whilst in his world, and showing disturbing versions of Batman in cages or the classic dead parents. However one issue I have with this game are the boss fights, Bane, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy have great boss fights with Bane setting you up for the titan class enemies you'll see a lot of later on in the game, however the Zsasz, Harley, Killer Croc and Joker boss fights are extremely underwhelming and easy. Overall this game is a must try and should be played by everyone that enjoys a good action adventure game with a solid story.
«Can’t stop playing»
This game invented modern melee combat.
A really well designed game, except for the bosses
Great Batman Game.
«Can’t stop playing»
«Beaten more than once»
I can commend it for making Batman fun, I can't look over how dumb the Riddler trophies and sometimes the combat feels too short, like 3 guys ain't gonna cut it, give me a 1 vs 50 moment

Best Batman Game Ever
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»