The best superhero comes to this generation of consoles for the first time with Batman: Arkham Asylum and an advertising campaign worthy only of the best video games. Will this title meet expectations or will it stay in the middle of the road, like all superheroes?
It’s true that I’m a good Batman fan, my life has been strongly marked by this character and every time a game with his name is available, I run to the shops to buy it, but always with the idea that it won’t be good and I’m ready to be disappointed in one way or another. I can’t say that all his games have been bad or mediocre, there have been a few good ones, but never one like Arkham Asylum, who comes to define what a superhero title should be like.
Batman just caught the Joker one more time and took him back to Arkham Asylum. The Dark Knight, suspicious of the way he caught his nemesis, finds it too easy, and so escorts him almost all the way to his cell; apparently, it was all a trap and Joker has Arkham under control. Now our hero has to catch his worst enemy while facing some others who escaped in the chaos.
Arkham Asylum is an action game where you will use all of Batman’s skills to return control of the island to the authorities. What do you mean? The best way he knows how to do it: by investigating and subduing all the criminals in his path. The fighting system is simple but spectacular and fun, most encounters will be with more than three enemies, but if you are skilled enough, you can fight all the fights without a scratch on the cape… or maybe not. You can also use your cape to stun anyone in front of you to gain a little time and later in the game, you can use part of the arsenal of weapons and gadgets you find.
You can’t always deal with your opponents face to face, when you come across five armed guys, it’s time to take out the predator inside you. Batman can attack in different ways, either silently coming from behind opponents to knock them out or by intimidating methods, such as passing through glass, or by using explosives or gadgets.
This doesn’t mean you’ll have to go through the game hitting enemies and advancing, you’ll also have to repair the damage the villains cause and save guards and doctors in danger. You can use detective tools to track your opponents, find out more about Arkham’s past and solve the puzzles of… you know who.
Where Batman: Arkham Asylum triumphs over all the games that had been made of the superhero, is in the way of assuming the role of Batman. This time I really felt that I was using the Dark Knight and not some misguided and poorly researched conception of some game creator. The story was written by Paul Dini of DC, a writer who is very familiar with the character. The voices are from actors who worked on several animated versions of the series, such as Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Mark Hamill (Joker); the others also did an excellent job.
There are a lot of things to do in the game. In addition to the main story, you have the option of finding the trophies and solving two other types of puzzles left by the Riddler throughout Arkham, which will help you learn more about its story, as well as unlock more content. The encounters with the villains are epic and there are some very original moments, like the confrontation with Killer Croc.
At the end of the story, you can go all over the island to find the items you missed and have access to all levels of the two types of challenges: Combat and Predator. In the first, you have to fight to score as many points as possible and in the second you have to finish off the level enemies in the shortest time possible or by meeting certain criteria if you want to get the medals to get the achievements and trophies.
Batman: Arkham Asylum is an excellent game with an impressive technical level, is one of the best in this generation of consoles and will be remembered for a long time. Get ready to spend several days on Arkham Island, you are the guest of honor at this challenging and villainous party, a party that Batman will try to stop at any cost.