Batman: Arkham Asylum entry provided by Comics Code contributor David Cox.
WHAT IS IT?
Released in 2009, Batman: Arkham Asylum is an adventure game based on characters and settings from DC Comics' Batman. The game was released on XBox 360, Playstation 3, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows and received critical acclaim.
GOOD IDEA/BAD IDEA:
Batman is the coolest super hero. Fact! We can argue the reasons why and back up the points with examples from the comics to the Animated Series, to the films (well, not all the films) but it's far easier if you just accept it. However not all Batman games have shown the character off in the best light, so when Batman: Arkham Asylum was released things could have gone either way.
Thankfully, Batman: Arkham Asylum was great and instead of being a soul-sucking excuse for a game, it actually redefined the superhero gaming genre. The game was the Dark Knight of superhero games and stayed faithful to everything that had come before it, and changed everything that came after. It was also proof that playing as Batman was, for many Bat-fans, the highlight of their gaming life!
In terms of the presentation of the game, Batman: Arkham Asylum looked like Tim Burton's Batman, it felt like an Animated Series adventure and had a colour palette that rivalled Batman Forever. The graphics were totally convincing, the sounds and effects were similar in tone to Christopher Nolan's Batman films and the voice acting was amazing; Mark Hamill's Joker never looked or sounded so good.
As for Arkham, well the setting of the game oozed atmosphere and this was only helped by the secret Arkham Chronicles; hidden monuments scattered throughout the game. Once these monuments were scanned the spirit of Arkham himself regaled players with stories of his past offering interesting insights into the creation of the Asylum and his thoughts and opinions on some of its most famous patients. The Chronicles also made up the Riddler’s challenges, a neat series of puzzles throughout the game.
Also, and of great interest to fans, were the interview tapes. Every villain who appeared in the game (not counting a villain that you could actually miss if you were not being observant) had a set of interview tapes to collect and they were a great listen, allowing fans to delve deeper into the minds of Arkham’s most notorious miscreants.
To put it simply.
WHAT'S THE STORY?
The story was pretty straight forward - with a few surprises thrown in - and basically saw the Joker take over Arkham Asylum - the DC Universe's home for the criminally insane. It was therefore Batman’s job to stop him.
The game then delivered brilliant moments and set pieces as the story progressed; from snappy dialogue between characters to the exploration of Arkham (which looked amazing). Batman travelled around the asylum on foot, but thanks to his wide array of gadgets, he got to grapple across ledges, run across rooftops and then swoop down to meet his enemies. Now, how cool does that sound?
Players then battled their way through the game, kicking butt and dispatching many of the Dark Knight's most famous rogues.