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Batman: Arkham Asylum


So much for catching up! This/last week's game was Arkham Asylum, a game that came to me with high recommendation. While I didn't hate the game, I didn't like it as much as I wanted to, so let me get into why.

The basic premise of this game is that Batman has finally caught Joker, albeit a little too easily, and he is tasked with escorting him into Arkham. Conveniently, Blackgate Prison has just had a bad fire, so all of Joker's minions are already at Arkham. I think I disliked the plot from the get go because after this is explained to the player, it was painfully obvious that this is some sort of set up and not only that, Batman and Gordan seem to be aware of this! Then they do nothing about it and Batman just walks into the trap. I guess there had to be some sort of set up to give you an excuse to explore the prison and the island as a whole, but I think it just made me care a lot less about the plot. If I'm being honest however, I've never been a big fan of Batman, so maybe that is the issue.

Once the gameplay gets going it's actually pretty enjoyable. I struggled with the controls only because the game thinks my PlayStation controller is an Xbox controller and my brain can never keep the button mapping straight. You explore the interior of Arkham, grappling around and fighting thugs, trying to keep on the trail of Harley Quinn. There are collectables to hunt for, and places your are expected to return to after unlocking new abilities, making this fall into the Metroidvania genre. The combat wasn't great, to me. Maybe it gets harder, but I was able to make it through just mashing the attack button. Batman doesn't die easy.

I think my favorite part of the game for me was Mark Hamill as the Joker. He's just great to listen to. The other voice acting is okay, and Harley Quinn sounds like she's heard her lines for the first time at recording. Second favorite thing about this would be the world design. Parts of the interior of Intensive care feel cramped and I almost felt a sense of relief when I got out of there. I probably had the most fun exploring the exterior part of the map, climbing on the buildings and finding the Riddler tokens. I didn't have access to much of it, but the Botanical Gardens greatly reminded me of Bioshock, in fact a lot of the world did in a way.

Overall I would say I liked this game but I didn't feel compelled to keep going. At the point where I stopped I wanted to continue poking around outside but Batman kept telling me to find Gordon's tobacco. I just decided to call it there for now, because I would have rather looked for more hidden stuff (after having just unlocked explosive goo). I will add this to the list of games I'd like to come back to. I think I had more fun playing while Yavuz was watching than when I was playing alone… cough cough…


PS - I just want to say I hated the camera and I wished I could have opened the FOV up more.

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