NOTE: Since this is the first game in the franchise, I will review it as if the sequels did not exist.
TL:DR? See CONCLUSION
Batman Arkham Asylum is an action-adventure game and the first title on the critically acclaimed Arkham franchise. The game was released in 2009, developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment. Arkham Asylum currently (as of the writing of this review 2014), holds the Guinness World Record for “Most critically acclaimed superhero videogame” as well as several Game of the Year awards. The Story was written by Paul Dini who's notable work include Batman: Animated Series and Batman Beyond.
In this game Batman, after just having apprehended the Joker, takes him to the now infamous Arkham Asylum. Unfortunately, Batman soon realizes that it was all part of Joker's plan in an elaborate scheme to stage a major prison riot and take over the Asylum. Now trapped, Batman has to stop the Joker and at the same time, discover whatever sinister plot the Joker has started which seems to involve a new drug called Titan.
+ Graphically beautiful with amazing locations, well textured characters and environment
+ Excellent Voice acting from the cast, specially on Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Mark Hamill (Joker)
+ Combat Mechanic (Free Flow Combat) that goes well with...
+ Fluid Animation quality where Batman can chain attacks with absolute grace
+ Lots of cool gadgets and upgrades that can aid you in several situations
+ Perfect blend of Action and Stealth without sacrificing either one
+ Scarecrow Segments and Riddler Challenges
+ Great use of the Batman Lore with cameo appearances or references to other characters and locations in the Batman Universe
+ Excellent Story that really draws you in
+ Re-playability due to unlockable Challenges and a New Game Plus
+ Easy to learn controls and game mechanic
+ Relatively medium sized map that rewards exploration
+ Excessive amount of bone breaking physical violence
- Detective mode can be abused by perpetually leaving it active since it has no real drawback
- Underwhelming Mini bosses who can be defeated in more or less the same manner
- VERY disappointing Boss (Super Villain) battles which is perhaps the game's greatest flaw
- Combat mechanic can potentially become repetitive
- Games For Windows Live
- Game does not include a Shark Repellent
GREAT GAME and a GOOD BUY
The game is a great comicbook / cartoon to video game adaptation of Batman. Easy to learn and use of the freeflow combat mechanic coupled with a well implemented stealth system makes the gameplay fun. The story is true to the formula that made most Batman cartoons and animated movies great with some added violence and mature content. Engaging and lovely atmosphere that is amplified by the excellent voice acting quality from the cast. Although the bosses in this game does not live up to the build up of the story, it still nonetheless wraps up each story arc pretty neatly.
Highly recommended to Batman, Martial arts or Stealth fans out there. At $20 for its full price this game is worth every penny and it should be a no-brainer when you see it on a sale.