You Are The Dark Knight! Throwback Thursday: Batman: Arkham Asylum

It’s that day of the week again where we take a step back to revisit the past. Today I want to reminiscence about the game that stole the hearts of comic book fans everywhere. Batman: Arkham Asylum was somewhat of a masterpiece at the time. It was GOTY material to many but never won a physical award for it. But that doesn’t diminish the prowess and acclaim it draped over the gaming world.Batman: Arkham Asylum was everything you wanted a Batman game to be. It’s an action-adventure game with a third-person  perspective and you really get to feel like you are the dark knight himself. Speaking to plot of the game, it’s extremely well written with an all-star cast of actors, including Kevin Conroy and Marc Hamill. The game starts off with you, Batman, capturing The Joker and bringing him to Arkham Asylum for imprisonment. Batman has a feeling Joker got himself captured purposefully so he personally escorts him. That’s when hell breaks loose inside the Asylum with the aide of a corrupt guard and Batman is forced to fight alone as The Joker threatens the city with bombs if anyone dare enter. That’s pretty much the opening cut scene if any of you have played it and it’s a fantastic playthrough as you unfold the plot more. It almost goes without saying but if you’re unfamiliar with the setting of Arkham Asylum, it’s basically super jail for all the super villains. So let yourself get wrapped up in all the infamous foes that Batman has to deal with. As we all know, Batman is a superhero with many gadgets up his sleeve, as well as on his belt, but what really brings this game to life is the freedom to play any kind of Batman you want. What I mean by that is, they give you so many tools to deal with the villains and their goons. You have the option to be the stealthy, predator of the night or just dive-bomb in and kick some ass. You even have to liberty to play a mix of the two. When things get too hectic in an all out brawl, you can batclaw away to hide and finish some thugs off one by one before possibly brawling again. And I won’t neglect to mention how amazing this combat system is, easy to learn and fulfilling to master. It’s a simple combo system, called free flow combat, with directed attacks, dodges, counters, gadget combos, and finishers. You’re hardly pressing more than 2 buttons at a time. What keeps the gameplay unique, in a sense, is Batman’s detective mode, aka I can see through walls and highlight important factors in the immediate vicinity. Those of us who’ve played through any Assassin’s Creed game would recognize it as “Eagle Vision”. But our detective mode isn’t called that just for show, there are various events in the game that call for your detective and problem solving prowess. Many puzzles arrive in your adventure that call for gadgetry to help you complete them and progress forward. Many fans appreciate this aspect of the game bringing forth Batman’s brain power that has always shined through. You don’t have to be a fan of Batman, to play this game. I think as long as you’re a fan of video games, you can play this and love it. Batman: Arkham Asylum became the first of a great franchise that I will always love. It just feels good to be Batman and kick some ass. Having such a great plot behind fantastic gameplay like this was breathtaking at times. It was like a “Wow, dreams really do come true.” moment. If you’ve never indulged in this series before, I highly recommend it but only play the main three, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Knight.



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