I play with the keyboard & mouse & and the controls are pretty user friendly.
Voice acting is just superb, drafting in three people from Batman: The Animated Series, Mark Hamill (Joker), Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Arleen Sorkin (Harley Quinn). I have to say that Mark Hamills' Joker really does stand out. Money has not been spared on any aspect on this game. It really deserves the good reviews & ratings from the various game websites & magazines
My one small gripe is that you can't manually save the game; it goes past a checkpoint & autosaves so if you pick an upgrade and you realise it's not the one you want but have passed the checkpoint, you're stuck with it. It's certainly not an issue to knock a star off though. It means I'll make better choices the next time I play it.
This is such a playable, enjoyable game that I think people that aren't Batman fans would enjoy this. Treat yourselves, people
Enough of this review! I need to jump back on the game & show the bad guys the error of their ways.
Not since bounding around in Lego Star Wars have I had as much simple fun and frolics. Beating badguys up, gliding through the air, climbing, jumping, exploring and trying to find the hundreds of Riddler based clues...plenty to keep you active and entertained. On top of this strap an excellent rendition of an Intellectual Property, some of the best voice actors in the business, a strong story and script, a suitable environment, and a plethora of hoodlums and marquee characters to test your mettle against.
The unfortunate parts are its relative ease (one play through took me to 85% completion, which includes practically all the Riddler Clues) and the fact that despite (or more likely because of) its simple pleasures the game remains pretty shallow. For a hardcore gamer you're looking at no more than a weekend of entertainment to complete the fundamentals - after which it's really a matter of how much you care about XBox Live Gamer Points and defeating the extra challenges set (I achieved 99% prior to my save corrupting after only 4 days and about 10 hours play).
Hoodlums are 1 of 5 varieties, bosses are not much more than learning a pattern of behaviour, puzzles aren't particularly taxing, and there's very little actual detective work that isn't served on a plate. The whole process of taking down baddies is like a poor mans Splinter Cell in terms of stealth, but it tops Fisher in brutality and flair.
In all it's well worth buying, playing, enjoying, however there's no longterm charm - as such the game harks back to games of the mid90's with its story arc - just plenty of exceptionally fun and challenging situations against which to pit your reflexes and (occasionally) just expend a little aggression in a creative manner until the sequel comes along.
Pro: 1 - Great gameplay, easy to pick up, difficult to master (particularly on the higher difficulty settings when you get fewer prompts). 2 - Great graphics, plenty of attention to detail and dedication to the source material. 3 - Brilliant script and voice acting completely sells the action on screen. 4 - Best use of Intellectual Property in a game I think I've ever seen.
Con: 1 - Probably too short and too easy to complete the main campaign for dedicated gamers. 2 - A lot of returning to places you have just been, a very limited number of total maps to explore. A touch repetitive (particularly if you have difficulty with some particular element). 3 - Gameplay, whilst fantastic, doesn't tick any one single box confidently enough - game is sometimes caught trying to balance adventure / action / puzzle and fails.
I must confess that before i get this game i was thinking that it would be to play at least 1 hour, then i would put the game in a box and i would forget it! When i started to play it i had to make the painfull registation in Windows Live, then i enjoyed the first images with stunning graphics. The game starts with Joker being taken to a jail in Arkham, then he hits the guards and he runs inside the big house waiting to Batman.After this you have to fight against his men (i never had seen so good fight movements in a pc game like in B.A.A), and you have to be carefull cause some men need a little of "brain work" to be beaten, specially if they have a gun in their hands... I finished the game in a week and half, however i spent 2 days trying to save 2 guards from Harley, where i had to grab a machine and desactivate a machine in 90 seconds if not the guards would die with gas. This was the worst part of the game (very hard), however i will play it again cause the sensation of play this is amazing! Game of the year, without any doubt!
This game has to be one of the best ever made. The graphics are are so atmospheric and if you have a modern PC with a good graphics card you can be sure of a visual treat. That's not the only thing though, the voice acting is the best I've listened to for a long time, Joker is suitably mad without being too over the top, Poison Ivy suitably sexy and Batman himself with just the right amount of menace. The background music also add to a very polished game that shows time and care were taken throughout.
The game oozes style and is very large I'm not sure how long I've been playing but I'm not even half way through and the story has me hooked.
The game has a large amount of fighting in it with the player having to string fight moves together to gain experience points I have to admit I'm not a great fan of beat-em-ups but the fighting is tempered with being able to use stealth to take out un/armed opponents which I enjoyed greatly, to clear an area without the bad guys knowing what was going on was very satisfying.
Most of the game is spent with the player POV just to the right and behind of Batman looking over his right shoulder the POV took a bit of getting use to but now seems second nature, I've got the game on a 19" wide screen and it's fine but I'm not sure what it would be like on a smaller screen. Best thing to do is go to the games web site and down load the PC demo (a big advantage to PC over consoles).
This is a Windows Live game.
Extras abound from the background stories of the villains and other characters (including which comic they first appeared in) to various challenge modes that allow you to compare high scores with friends and the rest of the world.
To sum up if you like Batman this is a must, the care taken and the details sets the bar very high for future games of this type. I think this is one of the few games I've played that is worth every penny I paid for it. Even if you don't like super hero games I still recommend you at least try the demo or you'll never know what you are missing.
From the very first footage I saw from this game, I was, to say the least, exited, finally a good superhero game (don't recall has ever been done before?). And when I finally got my hands on the game last weekend, however high my expectations were, this game still managed to exceed them, this game quite simply is amazing. Everything just looks and feels just like it should, add to this a story that drives the game really well.
But to mention a few things that really stands out, the scarecrow parts, the stealth parts, and of cause the absolute best part of the game, the Joker. Personally I think Mark Hamill delivers the best voice acting I have ever heard for a game character. This game is as much about the joker as it is about Batman, he plays an enormous role in the game, and he is a complete nut-case, just like he should be.
All I can say is, its an amazing game with attention to details (I'll recommend that anyone who play this game will take the time to listen to some of the patient interviews), that really captures the batman universe at its best.
I have been playing video games for the best part of 27 years. And have played many comic hero games. And everyone has been a let down. So I had very little hopes for Batman Arkham Asylum.
But Rocksteady Studios have not only mananged to make the best comic hero game, but one of the best games ever. The game is nothing short of flawless. They have created the dark gothic feel of Gotham City and they have taken the dark torn mind of Batman and given it life.
The graphics are some of the best you will see in any game right now. And the whole of Arkham Asylum is unique and looks like every wall has a story to tell. The main characters from Batman and Joker to Scarecrow and Gordon are very detailed that you can see freckel's on their skin. And when you see the light hit Killer Croc as he is chained and walking down the corridor at the begin you know your in for a visual feast.
But the main treat of the game is the voice acting. Batman, Harlequin, Poison Ivy and all the others are so well done you feel that you have known them all for years. But it is Mark Hamill's Joker that steals the show. This is the best portrail of the Joker you will ever see, and thats including Jack Nicolson and Heath Ledgers, and is the closest you will get to the comic Joker.
The set pieces in the game will stick in your head for years. Like the first time you see Arkham from the clifts with the giant moon beaming over it or the first time you meet Scarecrow.
And the game is full of Batman Lore. The Riddler has left items for you to find all around Arkham with information about the Batman Universe. You will find prison cells in the game from obscure Batman foes with informantion about them. Audio tapes of supervillians when they first where entered into Arkham and even a chilling story from the man Arkham who build the Asylum.
If your gaming fan you will love it, if your a Batman fan your in heaven..
Batman captures Joker for the umpteenth time and escorts him to Arkham Asylum where a number of new inmates have been transferred from Blackgate prison. Coincidence? Batman's suspicions are confirmed when a blackout happens and Joker breaks free. He releases the inmates of the Asylum - Killer Croc, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Bane, as well as the hundreds of Blackgate prisoners. Then he sets off in search of the Titan formula - a drug that will make any man into a monster like Bane. Only Batman can save the day!
Isn't that a great story? Well, it's been told before but this time you're in the story as Batman! Paul Dini sets the scene nicely for one of the best games ever made. Not only is the game atmospheric as hell, the controls are excellent and very intuitive. Batman fighting is superb as he throws punches and kicks, drop kicking, somersaulting, spinning, and roundhouse kicks as he flies across rooms knocking out the bad guys. There's also a lot of slow motion for the hits so you can enjoy the acrobatics Batman's performing. For example once Batman defeats the last guy in the group you get an extreme close up of Batman hurtling down towards him and knocking him out.
Also when Batman was fighting Bane, you're supposed to hurl a batarang at Bane's face when he charges you so he's temporarily blinded, then jump out of the way as he crashes into a wall, and the action slows down as he charges - Batman elegantly flips to the side over a minion as Bane clumsily hurtles harmlessly past and Batman lands on his feet in combat position. Its been done before on film and in comics but seeing it in the game and actually controlling him doing it is pure joy.
Then there's the stealth mode where you take down bad guys from the shadows. Again its been done in movies and comics but knowing that its you doing it adds another dimension to it and its utterly fantastic. My particular favourite was standing on a gargoyle, flipping 180 degrees and picking up a bad guy and hanging him from the gargoyle. Oh, so good to see, so fun to do. The controls are excellent and can't be faulted.
Another favourite was the ability to switch between regular view and "detective mode" where you get an x-ray view of everything. This way you can see bad guys through walls before they see you, spot weak spots in walls you can blow up, see secret passageways, etc. You can also leap off of ledges and swoop down with your cape, fire off grappling hooks and shoot upwards, throw a remote control batarang and BE the batarang! Basically all the things you see Batman do in the comics/movies you get to do in this superb game.
Some of the best scenes were also the parts where Batman is exposed to Scarecrow's toxins and he enters a dreamworld where his past plays out in front of him and he has to escape an enormous Scarecrow as he makes his way across a ruined nightmarescape. Really atmospheric and creepy, they really added to the game's overall feel.
Arkham Asylum is really detailed and enormous fun to explore in. The developers did such a good job on every area of the game. Kevin Conroy is perfect as the voice of Batman, proving conclusively that Christian Bale's monstrously mangled Batman voice isn't the way to play it. Mark Hamill is the standout in this game though as the deliciously maniacal Joker. Pitch perfect characterisation and great timing, he's an incredible voice talent.
My only complaint was that you didn't get to fight Killer Croc. You get to go through his wonderfully creepy subterranean lair and run away from him but you don't go toe to toe with him like you do Bane. It's a minor complaint though as there is plenty of fighting to be done. Also it would have been really cool if I could have drive the Batmobile or the Batwing. And there were other villains that weren't here that could have been - Two Face, Penguin, Riddler (you only get his voice in this game), Catwoman, Madhatter, King Tut, Solomon Grundy, Scarface (he appears briefly). But hopefully these will all be a part of the sequel.
Overall - I can honestly say this is one of the best gaming experiences I've ever had. A fully realised Batman adventure where you can do all of the things you've seen Batman do before. Exciting, atmospheric, totally engrossing, and most importantly FUN! Really, really fun. I had a blast playing it and can't wait for Arkham City. Well done Rocksteady!
My system CPU Quad Core Extreme QX6850 3.0GHz OC to 3.6GHz OS Vista 32 bit 4Gb DDR2 1066 MHz RAM Graphics Card ATI Radeon 4870 X2 HD Raptor 150Gb Ageia series 100 PhysX card 128Mb
Update to version 1.1 the Hardware acceleration for PhysX only supports Nvidia graphics cards it recommends series 9800 and higher.
I played with the game settings at max and resolution set to 1680 x 1050.
This is a fantastic game the best superhero game to date. Rocksteady have done an excellent job and have created a game that Batman and the DC Universe can feel proud of.
The voice characterisations are superb having been taken from the Batman cartoon series. The voice of The Batman is done very well but Mark Hamil as the Joker stands out.
I have completed the story part of the game which represents less than 70% of the game. This took approximately 30 hours on hard using a xbox 360 controller and unlocks a bonus. The rest of the game comprises challenges and you can compare your score to others connected via games for windows live.
The combat system is great fun and visually stunning as you control The Batman dishing out justice. One gets to use many of his gadgets such as the batarang and grapnel gun. Stealth is an important part of the game as it should be in a Batman title and the Detective Mode is of great help.
From the moment I received this game in the post I played it non-stop. It has all the qualities of an excellent game, great story with superb characters, amazing graphics, down loadable content allowing game expansion and thus replay ability.
For me this has been the best game of 2009 so far. Outstanding!
The demo for Batman gave me pause. The title has excellent production values - it's clear there's been a lot of time and care taken to get the voice acting right, the music composed, and the level of detail down pat in the environments - including some pretty visceral fight sequences. However, it's a little easy in places and I generally have mixed feelings about it, which stops it from getting a 5-star rating.
Gameplay-wise, this is a lot like the Splinter Cell series of titles. You slink and sneak about the shadows until you're ready to "go big", and when you do, things happen very quickly. You'll need to play this on "hard" to get the best out of it, though - although you will die often until you get your strategy down pat, like so many console titles these days, you get your hand held a little too often, and some of the action isn't wholly spontaneous as a result. E.g. you'll generally be literally told where and when you can pull off a special move like a glide-kick or a hanging inverted take-down by an on-screen prompt, so there's a slight feeling of "doing what you're told" throughout the whole thing rather than improvising as you go. The AI is of the "dumber than rocks" variety throughout - unless they're armed, for example, the Joker's thugs will stand around looking at you if you perch somewhere out of reach, even if that's e.g. on top of a filing cabinet or something. There's a good smattering of gameplay devices which are suspiciously similar to quick-time events, which many have mixed feelings about. Lastly, the "boss" battles are either disproportionately difficult (the second last, in particular, is staggeringly tough) or not very tough at all. And there are a couple of cop-out "pseudo boss" battles where after leading up to an epic confrontation, you get let down by a cut-scene playing instead.
I also found this title to be pretty unstable for me. While it never crashed as I was playing, anytime I died, there was roughly a 60-40 chance it would crash to the desktop requiring a re-start, although this might've been some combination of Windows7-64, nVidia's SLI drivers, or PhysX.
If you play on hard and aren't easily frustrated, you'll get a decent amount of time out of this. If you play on easy or normal, though, it's probably not going to give you the best experience.
This game has come off as one of the most perfect console games to be (brilliantly) ported to the PC.
It's Batman, nuff said really but instead of being based on one of the sxxx films its more centred around the whole canon (mainly encompassing the animated series and the comic books with the dash of noir that tim burton plaed up in his film adaptions). There are some voice actors from the animated series and Mark Hammil's joker is superb (noone can arge with that, seriously) the dialogue, both in the story and the extras, henchman convos etc has been written with an eye for detail and a minimum of cliched/hackneyed cheese that usually finds its way into typical video games.
Now, the gameplay:
It playes beautifully a mix of freeflow fighting coupled with some stealth elements, puzzle solving and mayhem (with boss fights thrown in). Every part of it feels well thought out and executed and although vaguely linear it doesn't suffer due to the story driven nature of the game.
I could go on here but i'd just be agreeing and rehashing everything that's been said by other reviewers.
Buy it, enjoy it, complete it, and wait for the sequel and hope it's just as good.