This is an extended review on Batman: Arkham Asylum.
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)
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.
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 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.
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.
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