Trap the Bat
Already a Guinness World Record breaker (most successful superhero videogame of all time), Batman Arkham Asylum is a superbly executed, deftly presented trip into the mind of DC Comics' most famed character, and the walls and halls of Gotham City's most notorious building - Arkham Asylum.
With a story penned by acclaimed comic book scribe and TV writer, Paul Dini, the game opens with the Dark Knight delivering his arch nemesis The Joker into the hands of the warden of Arkham, before realizing only too late that something is not right, and the Clown Prince of Crime sets in motion his master plan - control Arkham, unleash the inmates and rid the city of the Batman.
Joke's on you
In switching to Detective Vision Batman is also able to detect enemies from afar, highlighting the danger each one poses to him. If they are armed, then they need to be taken down first and stealthily using Batman's ability to swing from the rafter, sneak and hang from gargoyles before dropping down to snatch an unsuspecting enemy from their patrol.
Once you have survived the walls of Arkham there is also a wealth of additional material open to you in the form of the Challenge Rooms, which require you to complete goals such as taking down waves of enemies using your fighting skills or silent and stealthy takedowns. With the addition of The Joker as an exclusive downloadable character for you to play through the Challenge rooms as, there's enough Batmania here to keep fans of the comic and newcomers engrossed for many a dark night to come.
Enter the asylum, but you have been warned...
Unleash the villains
Naturally, as Batman you're not going to allow that to happen, so you're required to use all your detective prowess and arsenal of bat gadgets and martial arts skills to crush The Joker's army of crazed lunatics, while facing down some of the comic universe's most memorable and vicious inmates including Killer Croc, Bane, Poison Ivy and Scarecrow, who is utilized brilliantly at intervals during the game in nightmarish levels that add extra depth to both the dark and twisting storyline as well as exploring the character of Batman himself.
Fans of The Riddler will have their work cut out for them exploring the huge map littered with a wealth of bonus objectives set out by the villain. By completing these challenges, players can then unlock vast amounts of bonus us content as well as accumulating a hefty Trophy collection before the game's end. Of course, should you choose to play through the storyline first, then the opportunity to begin again and hunt down the Riddler clues makes for superb replayability.
Free flow fighting
To begin with, Batman has a number of simple to perform moves including attack and counter, each one mapped to a single button on the Wireless Controller. Once a battle starts, you're encouraged to keep the fight flowing using the game's Freeflow Combat system which allows you to chain moves together seamlessly using both buttons, or mix it up a little with ground takedowns, throws and stuns. It's an incredibly robust fighting system that is made all the more enjoyable to perform through its intuitiveness. Be you a seasoned gamer, or someone new to the genre, you'll be fighting and feeling just like the Batman in a matter of minutes.
The more moves you chain together, the more points you are awarded, which in turn are tallied up as points for you to use as upgrade store purchases, including new armor, dual wielding Batarangs, explosives, enhanced takedowns and more powerful moves, all of which will help turn you into the ultimate crime fighter by the time you reach the final showdown with the maniacal Joker.
Fighting skills alone won't save you in Arkham Asylum, the ability to detect and follow up on clues is an essential part of the gameplay, requiring to scan scenes for evidence such alcohol in the air or remnants of tobacco, which you then need to follow through the hallways, air vents and buildings of Arkham in order to track down your enemy, or in some cases, a close ally who has been kidnapped by one of the inmates.