Batman: Arkham Asylum is shaping up to be quite a game.
After checking out the freeflow combat system and predator modes at the Game Developers Conference earlier this year, I had a chance to see how the two systems would work in the flow of the game. Turns out they work quite well together.
"When we first started working on Batman we wanted to create the greatest Batman game ever," said Rocksteady Studios' Lead Narrative Designer Paul Crocker. "To create a core batman experience."
Instead of tying the game to one particular movie, or comic, the studio decided to call on the entire 70-year history of the caped crusader.
The team broke the game down into three distinct types of play: invisible predator mode, free fight mode and the detective mode.
In the story, the Joker escapes Arkham Asylum and proceed to take over the entire complex, freeing the lunatics.
The section of the game we saw shows Batman escaping the complex's intensive treatment building and emerging from a series of caves to see the Asylum in the distance.
In the gameplay, we saw Batman using his Bathook to get around, using his cape to hover down from a cliff and doing silent take downs of enemies.
When Batman took too many hits, the image on the screen doubled for a few seconds. When he took someone down a cluster of bats flew from his cape, flitting about until they disappeared.
After clearing a crowd of bad guys from around his locked Bat Mobile, Batman activated a forensic scan of the area, discovering Gordon's pipe lying on the ground and a trail of tobacco leading into the asylum. The detective mode also shows X-rays of hidden bad buys.
The demo also showed Batman using stealth to clear a room of bad guys with a wide variety of gadgets, moves and weapons.
Occasionally Batman has to go toe-to-toe with enemies, taking them down in combo-scoring freeflow combat. The meter continues to fill as you take out a bad guy. The record, we were told, were 120 combos strung together, something Crocker called crazy.
"We really worked hard to create a great game first and then a great Batman game," Crocker said.
Batman Arkham Asylum is due out Aug. 25.