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Batman: Arkham Asylum
E3 2009: Batman: Arkham Asylum Preview
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After Batman: Arkham Asylum’s recent delay, we can now expect the Caped Crusader to be swooping into stores this coming August. The initial reception regarding the game has all been pretty damn positive up until now, with Eidos themselves stating that they are expecting 90 + scores when it finally ships in August. At E3 this year we got to go hands on with the beast that was Batman: Arkham Asylum and put the winged man through its paces.

We were thrust into the opening level of the title, allowing us to get to grips with the game’s combat and movement mechanisms. For those unaware of the background of the title, Arkham Asylum has no ties to any Batman film, but rather lends its ties to the animated series and the darker substance of the comic books. You take control of Batman (go figure!) who finds himself lured into a trap by the psychopathic Joker who has taken control of Arkham Asylum, and with it, some of the mastermind criminals the big bat has himself put away. Your objective is simple ... stop the Joker ... at all costs.

A big part of Batman: Arkham Asylum initial shock and awe will surely be attributed to the game’s presentation. Not only does it look utterly fantastic (it actually won our Best Looker of E3 2009) but it sounds great as well with the two staples of the animated series’ characters being voiced by their respective counterparts (Mark Hamill as the Joker and Kevin Conroy as Batman). The game screams next gen from all aspects of its visuals; not only do the animations seem smooth and fluent, but the textures and lighting is spot on. In our run through of one of the early levels, it was hard to see a pixel that was out of place.

The controls in Arkham Asylum are fairly simple and don’t really require much thought. With one button to attack, one to counter, one to stun with the cape and one to run; it doesn’t take much mastering. All in all, it’s fairly easy to link in move after move, extending the combo with what is essentially button mashing and the odd movement of the analogue stick to move from hostile to hostile. Players also have access to a number of gadgets on hand to make use of; one of those being the batarang which can be aimed whilst holding down the left trigger and then thrown (with a cinematic camera that follows the movement of it) with the right bumper, which I must add, is pretty damn cool.

Part of the lure of the whole gameplay rests on the game’s detective mode (left bumper) and the ability to stealth through the game. With the detective mode on you can see various things in an almost blueprint style screen, from the number and placement of thugs, to the potential grapple points.  You must remember though that Batman isn’t Superman and isn’t bulletproof so too much exposure and you’ll be a bat meat sandwich within seconds if your foes have guns, so making good use of this tool is an essential part of your survival.

If there is anything that could pose potential problems, it’s the game’s AI with enemies acting a little dense at times. Whether this was the early level AI and they were making it a little easy on you, who knows? But at times, it was just a matter of waiting till one left the pack and then BANG, they’re bat meat. Only being able to grapple up on to certain objects as well may become a tad frustrating and predictable. We’re Batman dammit, let us grapple on to anything. However, the ability to drop-kick down from the elevated areas, perform stealth tie-ups and then to cut them down onto unsuspecting foes with the batarang almost makes that predictability seem slightly more forgivable.

Is the title going to score 90 + has got to be the first question, and I will admit, it does have some potential but there are also potential drawbacks. The title looks great and has intuitive (albeit a little too simple?) controls, but I can’t help but think that the selective and often limited areas to grapple up onto may make the detective work a little more predictable and samey, especially coupled with the dense AI. These are however just initial concerns from our hands on with the opening level, and we hope that come August, Rocksteady will prove that there is more substance to the game as a whole. Despite that, it does look beautiful and the controls and even camera can’t be faulted, and we can’t wait to get our mits on the final version. Must buy? We’ll see, but our hopes are still elevated and our minds a little more at ease after testing this bad boy out. Either way, this is shaping up to be a great title and not one of those poor superhero tie-ins we’ve come to loath.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is available on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC this coming August 25th in North America and August 28th in Europe.



 
 

User Comments

Forum Posts: 92
Comment #1 by ROA5T BeeF
Tuesday, June 09, 2009 @ 10:25:35 PM
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Oh damn! I so wanted to play as the Joker on PS3 in a side-game mode(sarcasm). Either way I'll be waiting for it to go down in price. Looks cool but....not yet.


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #2 by FanaticalCc
Tuesday, June 09, 2009 @ 10:27:04 PM
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LOOKS AWESOME


Forum Posts: 102
Comment #3 by wHw7
Tuesday, June 09, 2009 @ 10:27:41 PM
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Can't wait for this


Forum Posts: 5
Comment #4 by DatCaliBoi13
Tuesday, June 09, 2009 @ 10:36:00 PM
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yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!cannot wait


Forum Posts: 11
Comment #5 by Sirix88
Tuesday, June 09, 2009 @ 11:09:36 PM
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I want this game I really hope it lives up to be everything it is hyped up to be. I just hope there is plenty of action and not too much sneaking around and silent kills, either way I will buy it of gamefly it.


Forum Posts: 111
Comment #6 by XvMav3rick007vX
Tuesday, June 09, 2009 @ 11:11:44 PM
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i already have the collectors edition preordered


Forum Posts: 1
Comment #7 by JXZ0RZ
Tuesday, June 09, 2009 @ 11:32:45 PM
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OMG NO JOCKER CHALANG MAPZ BLWHAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

Oh wait that's the GameFAQs forum.

Batman looks like a badass in this game and that's all that matters.




Forum Posts: 6
Comment #8 by Hintonian19
Tuesday, June 09, 2009 @ 11:58:38 PM
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I played a demo for some of the challenge rooms and from what I played it was pretty sweet.


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #9 by Hate this site
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 12:42:07 AM
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I pooped my pants!


Forum Posts: 30
Comment #10 by crunchb3rry
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 03:08:13 AM
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Why is the Joker not on 360? Yeah, yeah, I know "money" is the easy answer. But it just seems assbackwards for the industry to still be doing crap like this. It was acceptable in Soul Calibur because (excluding Spawn) those were proprietary characters. This, however, is just ridiculous. A thirdparty game should not be doing this shit. Console games should be identical, as there are no limitations such as with handheld ports.


Forum Posts: 208
Comment #11 by xHHx CURT
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 03:16:30 AM
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rent joby


Forum Posts: 30
Comment #12 by Astrex
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 03:39:33 AM
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Hopefully this game won't be a let down, I hope the gameplay is just as sweet as it looks


Forum Posts: 242
Comment #13 by JustAFriend
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 04:02:25 AM
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europe get it first!! syke!!


Forum Posts: 61
Comment #14 by pieroglyphic
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 04:36:37 AM
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exclusive interviews from E3 including one with paul crocker, lead designer of Batman.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0q-0iokCZk


Forum Posts: 292
Comment #15 by Almsivi
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 05:10:19 AM
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Looks good, can't wait!


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #16 by StL REDBIRDS 10
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 07:03:33 AM
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man i am going to be poor this year because of so many great games coming out thank you


Forum Posts: 755
Comment #17 by l.maciver
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 08:51:39 AM
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aslong as there isnt another game i like to get out on that date, ill be pickin it up.


Forum Posts: 3112
Comment #18 by Bleeding Star
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 08:58:54 AM
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definate day one buy


Forum Posts: 141
Comment #19 by Double 02
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 09:09:46 AM
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cool


Forum Posts: 75
Comment #20 by Octobox
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 09:38:09 AM
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YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS


Forum Posts: 59
Comment #21 by Dibs No Joust
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 10:09:20 AM
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It's Batman. C'mon, why wouldn't this be a must buy?

Come oooooooooooooooooon.....


Forum Posts: 8
Comment #22 by Homicidal_inc
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 11:49:02 AM
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My Special Ed. Is Already Paid For Now I just Gattta Ebay the Walmart Exlusive Bat Suit


Forum Posts: 4153
Comment #23 by VladimirK
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 12:13:38 PM
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@22
I remember reading somewhere that the armoured batsuit was in-game and the code was just to get it from the beginning.


Forum Posts: 1299
Comment #24 by big red marino
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 12:29:19 PM
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So.....Joker play will be DLC? Most likely!


Forum Posts: 14795
Comment #25 by Webb [STAFF]
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 03:05:36 PM
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@24 - On the PS3, yes.


Forum Posts: 141
Comment #26 by GOG909
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 04:05:38 PM
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is the joker gonna look like heath's joker?


Forum Posts: 14795
Comment #27 by Webb [STAFF]
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 04:36:32 PM
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Joker --> http://www.xbox360achievements.org/game/batman-arkham-asylum/showimg-42/


Forum Posts: 187
Comment #28 by KACG Penguin
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 05:47:21 PM
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Is it really the gay shit where theres no joker? Man that is really stupid


Forum Posts: 103
Comment #29 by j schnitz
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 06:36:13 PM
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looks good especially the demo


Forum Posts: 1
Comment #30 by iTz Ghostboy x
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 06:48:37 PM
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Looks good, but no Joker? Oh well they might soon release a dlc for the Joker who knows Xbl market place is full of surprises lol :)


Forum Posts: 8
Comment #31 by NeotericDope
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 07:08:16 PM
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Hopefully it's not just an inane button masher. It has to have some substance to be good. The graphics have shown to look nice,but if it's just a beat em' up like every other superhero game it will probably be boring. Definitely may be worth the rent.


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Game Info
Developer:
Rocksteady Games
Publisher:
Eidos
Genre:

Release:

US August 25, 2009
Europe August 28, 2009

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