Experience what it’s like to be Batman and face off against Gotham's greatest villians. Explore every inch of Arkham Asylum and roam freely on the infamous island.
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (7,788 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 26, 2010

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"Ever wonder what it would be like to be in the shoes of Batman for a night? After playing this game, you won't have to imagine anymore."

About This Game

Critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham Asylum returns with a remastered Game of the Year Edition, featuring 4 extra Challenge Maps. The additional Challenge Maps are Crime Alley; Scarecrow Nightmare; Totally Insane and Nocturnal Hunter (both from the Insane Night Map Pack).
  • Utilize the unique FreeFlow™ combat system to chain together unlimited combos seamlessly and battle with huge groups of The Joker’s henchmen in brutal melee brawls
  • Investigate as Batman, the WORLD’S GREATEST DETECTIVE, by solving intricate puzzles with the help of cutting edge forensic tools including x-ray scanning, fingerprint scans, ‘Amido Black’ spray and a pheromone tracker
  • Face off against Gotham’s greatest villains including The Joker, HARLEY QUINN, POISON IVY and KILLER CROC
  • Become the Invisible Predator™ with Batman’s fear takedowns and unique vantage point system to move without being seen and hunt enemies
  • Choose multiple takedown methods, including swooping from the sky and smashing through walls.
  • Explore every inch of Arkham Asylum and roam freely on the infamous island, presented for the first time ever in its gritty and realistic entirety
  • Experience what it’s like to be BATMAN using BATARANGS, explosive gel aerosol, The Batclaw, sonar resonator and the line launcher
  • Unlock more secrets by completing hidden challenges in the world and develop and customize equipment by earning experience points
  • Enjoy complete superhero freedom in the environment with the use of Batman’s grapnel gun to get to any place you can see, jump from any height and glide in any direction

System Requirements

    • OS: Vista/XP
    • Processor: 3Ghz Intel or AMD or any Dual Core
    • Memory: 1GB Ram(XP)/2GB Ram
    • Graphics: PCI Express SM3 NVidia 6600/ ATI 1300
    • DirectX®: 9
    • Hard Drive: 8GB free space
    • Sound: Any onboard sound card
Helpful customer reviews
144 of 159 people (91%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
15.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 3, 2014
Here are a few quotes from the game that are reason enough to buy it.

The Joker: [Over the P.A. system] Ding d-ding, dong! Joker here! Here's what's new in the asylum... Some idiot is running around the asylum, dressed like a bat...! I know! Crazy! He should be considered costumed and dangerous.

Thug: Allright the bombs are on the gargoyles.
Joker: Ok, Here goes!
Joker: Oops.

Employee's wife: Hello? Is anyone there? I'm trying to reach Steve!
Joker: One moment, I'll see if I can find him!
Employee's Wife: Thank you.
*after a second*
Joker: Sorry, but I can only find his head! I'll get back to you when I find the rest of him!

The Joker: [Over the P.A. system] Tell me Bats. What are you really scared of? Failing to save this cesspool of a city? Not finding the Commissioner in time? Me, in a thong?

The Joker: Paging Dr Bat, paging Dr Bat, is there a Dr Bat in the room?
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88 of 93 people (95%) found this review helpful
43.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 6, 2014

Since this is the first game in the franchise, I will review it as if the sequels did not exist.

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


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.

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33 of 36 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
58.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
Batman: Arkham Asylum is a Beat 'em up set in, well, the Arkham Asylum?

You are (obviously) Batman and after you catch Joker, who was strangely willing to go with you without a fight, you go to the Asylum to be sure he doesn’t try anything funny, bad part is you fail. Good part is the Asylum gets out of control and is up to you to solve the situation. But remember, Joker is not the only one there, so you have to be prepared for a long, long night.

★★★★☆ | Liked it
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23 of 23 people (100%) found this review helpful
37.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
Just finished this game and I admit it made me understand why the "Arkham" series of Batman games is so popular. The game has very nice and well-balanced mix of combat, puzzle solving and platforming. Lots of effort was put into all mechanics and as a result the player never gets bored with one part or another due to constant variation. Mechanically the game is very solid and it does give you a variety of things to learn in order to be able to progress without getting too overwhelming. All new tricks are introduced at a reasonable pace and most are explained well enough (also thanks to the fact that you are immediately forced to use the new unlocked gadgets in order to progress forward). The game is not entirely open-world and gives you a number of "hubs" or areas to explore and act in while unlocking them one after another. This makes the experience a bit more linear than some might like. Although, once again, the level design is really good and it will make your exploration enjoyable throughout the whole title.
The voice-acting is very well done and so are the cutscenes. The lore obviously adds a lot of charm to the game with lots of nice little details like interviews (voiced dialogues telling about the characters' past) and biographies to unlock and collect. The in-game graphics still look pretty good although some textures and objects do look at little bit outdated (i.e. low-resolution). Some tweaking with the usage of Steam forums might also be required in order to make the not-entirely-optimal port run at maximum resolution and with maximized visual effects even on reasonably modern systems.
The story is reasonably entertaining and holds the game together well to make it interesting for the player. The main questions the game asks (as its name states) are those of sanity and madness and how one can slide from the former into the latter while also asking the player whether the criminals can be considered as "ill" and/or "uncurable". Obviously, the aesthetics of the game is somewhat grim although not without some jokes inbetween (if you like the gags Joker produces).
One (non-crucial) problem consists in the fact that one can not access all in-game secrets that one detects immediately (special gadgets that unlock later are required for this). Thus I have spent some time in vain wondering whether I could not find the right approach to the secret before I gave in and Internet told me those secrets can only be accessed later on in the game.
The DLCs barely add anything to the main game as they do the same thing as other in-game stealth and arena combat pieces only in new locations. So if you are dying to do more combat/stealth, they can serve as some additional fun, but otherwise they are nothing really interesting. Same goes for the challenges, which basically repeat the in-game locations for arena combat and stealth missions with slight variations (enemy composition and/or additional environmental restrictions). While all of them can serve to improve your in-game stealth and combat skills, the main game learning cruve is so nicely adjusted that it is quite enough to just play the "Normal" difficulty mode continuously to gradually learn and use everything that might be necessary to beat the game.
Overall, if you want to start off with the first Batman game that made the whole series so famous, you will not be disappointed and enjoy your time. I heartily recommend this title.
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21 of 23 people (91%) found this review helpful
73.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
Batman games are very complex games. Through interesting and very thrilling story you will experience satisfying hand-to-hand combat, stealth action, puzzle challenges and detective investigating. You will need to be strategical as you proceed the main campaign, especially in stealth parts of the game.
This game is done so well, that you even don't have to know the Batman or DC universe.

Pretty much everyting about Batman Arkham Asylum is great: Story, music, characters, graphics, gameplay and also the original voice over by Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy adds the real Batman atmosphere.

My rank for this game: 10/10
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31 of 43 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
Oh, I love Batman's games :3 Nice graphic, nice story, nice gameplay..little open world. That game is awsome for guys which like using brain and logic at games :D
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26 of 37 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 27, 2014
I'll be short about this one:

It's the Batman.

(Because you know about the game, you already played it and everybody loves the Dark Knight.)
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
16.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
A very good game, filled with basic but efficient stealth mechanics, a good fighting system, and interesting gadgets. Lots of collectible items and hidden secrets that explain the lore and story furthermore.
The graphics are still pretty nice, even though the game is 4 years old.

The only downside, to me, might be the amount of backtracking: you will often go back to the already previously visited places to be able to advance in the missions. But that's about it, really. The game is enjoyable enough, I had a lot of fun with it.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
116.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2014
If you're a Batman fan, this is a must-buy. If you aren't a Batman fan, this game will quickly correct that for you.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
21.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2014
Action packed and full of awesome, Eidos did everything right to create a Batman game that fans want to play and a game that is more for the mature gamers. If your a Steam user you can find the game on sale from time to time for $7.50, its worth every penny.

As one of the best Batman games that have ever been made I have enjoyed every part of the game. The visuals are amazing and it really shows the Unreal Engines capabilities. The PhysX also really bring it all to life with the dynamic fog, steam, cloth and distributable environments, Also the absolute best part is how Batman is voiced by non other then Kevin Conroy and The Joker is voiced my Mark Hamill! That's right, the ones who did the voices for the characters in the animated series and for DC Universe Online also did the voices for the Arkham series.

The game doesn't have coop play but does offer a challenge mode that you can compare your score with others and try for first place, if your into that kinda thing. As for me I don't care for multiplayer modes in any games unless it offers coop play or team based challenges.

The campaign (or single player mode) starts off with you taking Joker into Arkham Asylum as part of the opening cinematic. The look and feel of that is incredible and being made with the Unreal engine has allowed the developers to really bring the mood of the Batman universe alive. Throughout the game you will come across other iconic characters from the Batman universe like the Scarecrow.

Through out the game there are Riddler trophies to collect and although some are easy to find, others require the use of special equipment to get to. There is a total of eight pieces of equipment that you will get as the game progresses and you will want to back track and hunt down where you can use them. I like the detective mode myself and with it you will find Riddler's questions marks around (only viewable in detective mode) and you can take a picture of them to solve the secret.

If you acquire all the Riddler's trophies and question marks, destroy all of Jokers chatter teeth and solve the spirit of Arkham asylum by finding all of the Amadeus tables, then beat the game you will complete 80% of the game.

The fighting in the game is excellent. Lots of various moves and combos that aren't hard to master. Your final hit on an enemy results in a slow motion cam for the it and a rag doll effect as he drops to the ground. All the fighting is non lethal as is Batman's style so no blood and gore here. However there are lots of Batman's gadgets to use and that is just super cool!

Weather or not your going to wait for this game to go on sale to pick it up, its worth the price paid for it.
Batman: Arkham Asylum, is worth a play!

  • Awesome visuals
  • Iconic characters
  • Characters voices
  • Lots to discover in the game
  • Lots of secrets

  • Boss battles have a recognizable pattern

CVGAnton's Rating

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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 13, 2014
11/10 You get to be batman- IGN
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
28.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 19, 2014
This is one of the few games I can say I thouroughly enjoyed and would come back to and play again after beating it. I am not a player that usually enjoys going around and getting achieves but I found myself doing that and enjoying it as well. I love the combat system it is not overly hard to learn but more of a challenge to master and I am still going for the 40 hit combo achieve. Unlike alot of super hero games I would totally recommend this to non batman fans if they exist. What are you waiting for buy it already.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
Look in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane... it's super... wait no, wrong Super Hero... Although one thing is true, this game is super. For years we video gamers have asked for a super hero game that wasn't a garbage movie tie in or flat out horrible platformer. WB and Rocksteady games did just that with the Arkham series of games. Starting with the BD... that didn't sound right I meant Big Daddy known as Arkham Asylum..

Everything about this game just works, the combat is fun and challenging for the most part, While not the most overly difficult combat system ever created, if you don't stay on your toes you can be easily overwhelmed. Although by now this type of combat system has been used numerous times and perfected in other games, like the sequels to this game and Sleeping Dogs, it was flat out amazing and new when the game came out.

The story seems ripped right from a comic book..... Batman has captured the Joker and is hand delivering him to Arkham Asylum, on the way you get some awesome views of the batmobile and Arkham City, the setting for the follow up game.. Once inside the master villain joker puts his plan into full effect. I could go into more detail but trust me it's pretty amazing.

I would recommend this game to fans of Batman, fans of beat em up's, and generally anyone that enjoys good video games.... This is flat out a good video game. You'll enjoy it, money back guarantee... (if you want your money back though... don't ask me, cause I'm not giving it... this game is a masterpiece)
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
One of the best Batman games of all time, it defined the new genre of Batman games. Batman: Arkham Asylum takes place as you would expect at Arkham Asylum, everything seems to be going as planned but the Joker always has a trick up his sleeve. I would say the game is semi-open world, yes you explore Arkham but the game does a great job at reusing previous locations to the story. It develops clever ways of ramping up the difficulty. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill do a great job at being the Batman and Joker duo. Another little thing I liked was that the Joker talks(taunts) you throughout the game, it’s quite funny. The Story is great and I won’t spoil anything in this review.

The gameplay is great and the free flowing combat is very satisfying to pull off. Batman has an arsenal of gadgets to assist him in combat and being the world’s greatest detective. The game has basic stealth and the AI is really not smart but it does the job. The easter eggs are awesome. If you do end up playing this game I encourage you to collect everything, its very interesting to learn about the history of Arkham Asylum and the DC characters in general.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
31.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2014
sometimes bigger is not better, to me this one is the best in the trilogy.
very fun and tight action adventure game, the combat is well done, the story is good for a batman game, the characters and the voice actors are awesome and really did an amazing job, great game all around.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2014
This is an extended review on Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Content: 9/10
A 15+ hours campaign story along with a great challenge mode, which also has DLC challenges included, that can extend the length of the game up to 30 hours or even more in some cases. Unlockable character bios which include character interviews that you can listen to and character trophies, all of which are rewarded to you for your play time or geekness for searching and finding the Riddler's trophies. Very nice. Worth mentioning is that the game features a "Game +" which can extend the game's play value and play time by a lot more. (for those who are daring enough to endure the harder combat and lots of deaths that will follow)

Graphics: 9/10
Except from the eventual low res textures, which are hidden very well that in some cases are not even noticeable, the game looks amazing even to this day when maxed out. And this is a console port, which shows that the developers gave the time and effort to make it look as good as it could on a powerful enough machine.

Aesthetics: 10/10
This game catches the nitty gritty and dark enviroment, in which the Dark Knight fights villains for the good of Gotham. The Arkham Asylum really feels like a psychiatric prison that went wrong! Not much more can be said.

Sound: 9/10
- Sound Quality: It is excelent, crisp and clean as it should be in any game.
- Soundtrack: Be it on scenes, menus, combat or non-combat it fits the spirit of the game and that's what matters. It is great, it feel like soundtrack for a Batman licenced product.
- Lip synching: While it is really good it feels like it could be better. One of the better lip synching i have seen in a game though.

PC Port: 9/10
- Display Settings: From Anti-Aliasing, Dynamic Shadows and Distortion to Harmonic Lighting, Ambient Occlusion and PhysX, this game has a lot of settings that will satisfy the PC enthusiants just fine. (Although the FOV slider is missing. I know, its not a FPS game but still, its not there. you can mess with the files though and set it to your liking)
- Controls: This game supports controllers and rebindable keys which is a god send! Only 2 problems, 1 minor, 1 big. 1) You cannot rebind your keys while in-game, you have to do it before you launch the game via the game launcher and, 2) As many console to PC ported games tend to do, there are actions, many of them in fact, that are binded to a single key and that can cause some problems and a lot of frustration. Be aware.
- Optimization: This game has been tested and completed using an Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 Sonic Edition. With Motion blur being turned off (cause my eyes hate it) and Bloom being turned off (cause apparently my card hates it), this game was being maxed out on 1080p 60 fps (with V-Sync turned on). Greatly optimized in my opinion.

Story: 10/10
You are Batman, escorting the Joker, an unpredictable and very dangerous villain to a psychiatric high security hospital-prison called the "Arkham Asylum", where he escapes, and its up to you to stop him, the prison break he just caused and the other "super-villains" that are lurking free in the asylum.

Gameplay: 9/10
While simplistic in its design, Batman: Arkham Asylum's gameplay is so good and successful that it already has spawned a mechanical clone (namely the Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor game) and probably many more will follow.
- Combat: The combat in theory is an action beat-them-up with counter moves and special moves that can be executed when you have reached a big enough combo on the press of a button, but it is so much more in praticality, making the game the opposite of a chore. Satisfaction is the word that can describe it. And of course you can make Batman learn new moves and combos while leveling up, making the combat even better while you progress through the game.
- Non-Combat: When there are no enemies to fight, the game includes a lot of puzzles to solve (the Riddler's trophies) but most of them are no big deal (key word being "most" of them). Use the batclaw to traverse through the island or just use your feet!
- Present in both combat and non-combat is the dedective mode, which helps you solve riddles or progress the storyline in some cases in non-combat and helps you indentify the weakness of special enemies or super-villain encounters/bosses in combat. Also, the Bat-gadgets, like for example the iconic Batarang or the Batclaw, these tools are there to help you battle enemies, traverse through the island or solve Riddler's puzzles. You unlock new gadgets while progressing through the game.
Although i will mention that combat has its hic-ups. There are times that Batman wont counter when you press the button or wont target the correct enemy or even wont hit an enemy because he isnt close enough when that isnt the case. There is room for improvement here.

To conclude, Batman: Arkham Asylum is a shining example of how a Batman game or generally a superhero game is ought to be. Full of great content, amazing story and satisfying gameplay, this is a game that you are doing yourself a disservice if you actually havent purchased and played it yet. Full price or on a Steam Sale this game is worth your buck.

My rating: Recommended
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
34.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
Batman: Arkham Asylum is a great game - and, sadly, largely better than its successors, even though they are solid enough games themselves.

What this game does better than anything else - ever - is make the player into Batman. You are Batman. You feel like Batman. You do Batman-type things. The story is great, the characters are great, the flow of the gameplay is great, the voice-acting is spot-on... even the collectibles in this game are good.

This is one of the greatest games of all time and it would be criminal not to play it.

Grade: A+
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
21.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2014
There have been many superhero games throughout the years. Most of them have been sidescrolling "beat 'em ups" in the vein of the Final Fight series. Others were horrible adaptations like the Superman game for the N64. Arkham Asylum has been, with few minor exceptions, one of the most on-point adaptations of a superhero property into a game that I have ever played.

First, the format, a 3-D "metroidvania/Legend of Zelda" type deal where new tools open new areas and items to get, plays nicely into the feel of the game. That same format also helps with the "lone hero" feeling that is in many ways the essence of Batman. You feel like yes, you are alone, but you aren't out of your depth. Also, the classic animated series voices help set the tone of the game; dark with just a bit of humor here and there.

The game world is lush and well rendered, created in that gritty style also befiting a game about The Bat. Ruined sewers, secret tunnels, and crawling through airways and up walls all give this sense of being secretive, careful, and thought out. The world you have been given to play in is tailor made to adhere to the common action/stealth tropes that exist in other Batman works.

The combat and movement can be . . . halting at times. In particular the "hold button to run" command, something that I thought I had seen the end of when analog sticks came to prominent use, feels forced and unintuitive. When the combat flows, slighlty pauses on a big hit, and Batman is leaping to and fro kicking, punching and generally kicking ♥♥♥, it looks good, and it feels good to be doing it, but there aren't any ways to "do" the one move you like, really. And the combat system is at its best when you have maxed out all your available attack options.

The fightable enemies are simple and never waver from the basic human stock of "Joker goon fight"; they are either unarmed, armed with a melee weapon, armed with a firearm, a stun baton, or they are giant mutant freaks. This includes the "boss fights", making the gameplay and world far more engaging than the actual combat. That said, most of the combat is short and simple. I think the longest normal skirmish took maybe a minute. And the best parts of combat aren't specifically the combat so much as the setpieces where you have high perches to disappear to. You can swoop down, take out a goon, and then grapple up into the shadows, listening and watching as the other goons start to freak out as you take them down one by one.

And finally the story, which at least matches the quality of the old animated Batman series movies for plots. Joker has a crazy plan, and Batman has to stop him. The winding way Bruce has to do this is what makes up the bulk of the game. Some of the story points feel contrived, but overall, the story flows from point to point in a logical way. What helps in this is that Batman himself often tells the player (and Oracle over his headset) the next step. And when Batman tells you something in this game, a combination of the voicework and the writing just seems to make the next plotpoint make sense.

With solid voicework, a lonely, beautifully crafted world, and a combat and stealth system that is only sometimes marred by its own trappings, this is a solid, wonderfully made title that anyone who counts themselves as a superhero fan in general or a Batman fan in particular should own.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
68.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2014
I luv most of the Superhero Movies/Animations out there be it from DC or Marvel, but this game made me a real fan boy of the entire Batman Franchise (Games/Movies/Animation) - A 100% Epic Game followed by an awesome sequel (Arkham City) and even the non-rocksteady prequel (Arkham Origins) was a great game.

Eagerly awaiting the final game (Arkham Knight) in the Rocksteady's Trilogy of the Dark Knight!
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
From the opening cinematic sequence, superbly timed and beautifully drawn with the intro credits rolling, as Batman goes with the Joker through the inpatient procedure at Arkham, you can see the great care that was taken in every tiny thing. Arkham isn’t just dreary, but classic gothic horror dreary. Batman glides with the ease of an athlete, the cape swaying with his paces, ominous and implacable as the Rock of Gibraltar. The Joker mugs and hams – he seems awfully happy to be back at Arkham. What’s the reason for that?

I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying that the Joker has a plan; a plan to bring Batman to Arkham to have him face all the criminals he’s put away there. Yes, the inmates are running the asylum, and Batman aficionados are going to get a full dose of the Jim Gordon, Oracle, The Riddler, Bane, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Scarecrow, Victor Zsasz, Poison Ivy, The Joker, and others. Themed similarly to the graphic novel of the same title, it is nonetheless a completely original adventure as Batman fights his way from one side of Arkham Island to the other rescuing Gordon and guards, doctors and nurses and others, while putting a stop to The Joker’s nefarious scheme.

At its root, AA is a third person fighting game. Using combinations of left and right mouse clicks Batman unleashes a flurry of attacks and counters, flinging, punching and kicking his way through packs of nameless convicts. My sole complaint with the game is that fighting these guys is pretty much a picnic. Even later in the game when they introduce thugs with greater fighting skills or weapons, you can easily beat up eight or ten or even twelve guys in a fairly confined space without one even laying a hand on you, like a scene from the Matrix on steroids, just a long string of button-mashing, head-cracking action. And if head cracking was the only thing this game had to offer, it would be pretty thin. Fortunately there’s lots of other stuff to do as well.

Batman has to do some detecting; he’s got to solve riddles, find clues, and investigate strange experiments going on in Arkham. Hitting ‘X’ puts him into Detective Mode, a sort of preternatural sight (he says that uses some kind of enhancement built into his cowl) which allows Batman to see important objects highlighted on the screen, follow trails of chemical vapors or find fingerprints. It also allows him to see thugs through walls like an X-ray, their stance, their facing, and whether or not they are armed. To aid him he also has the typical utility belt gizmos such as batarangs, explosive gel, a grappling hook, and he can do cape glides and cape attacks.

The game looks great, outstanding even. Early in the game when Batman escapes from the asylum and emerges on a peak overlooking Arkham is easily one of the top three OMFG videogame moments (the others, just for your comparison, being your first glimpse of the city of Bioshock from the bathysphere, and when you emerge from the first dungeon in Oblivion. The first view outside the vault in Fallout 3 probably also falls in that group somewhere.). My computer didn’t even meet the recommended system requirements (I have only 1GB of RAM whereas the game recommends 2), but if it caused any hiccups or slowdowns I didn’t notice them. The third person camera works extremely well, deftly avoiding the hang-ups and the ‘why am I looking at a wall’ moments. Batman’s motions are fluid, continuous, and definitely not a set of disconnected moves. He looks like a martial artist, not the sort of jerky puppet that so often happens in these games. Voice work, all of it done by actors from Batman: The Animated Series, is also perfect. Sound effects, music – all no corners cut and no expense spared. Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Mark Hamill (The Joker) particularly nail their roles, as they did for the TV series.

This is very nearly the perfect game. This game is as close to 100% as I’ve ever seen. If you’ve ever wanted to play Batman, were more than a little disappointed by the previous Batman Vengeance, and still own a pair of Batman Underoos even though they’re way too small and were probably the wrong thing to wear on your wedding night, you have to run out and buy a copy of this game. Run over your own mother if you have to. If you don’t have the money, sit on a street corner with a cup and beg to unleash your Caped Crusader within. Sell your blood. Who needs all of it anyway? Or a kidney! Likely an entire generation will go by and never find a better gaming dollar spent. Don’t miss it!

Highly Recommended

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