Reader Review: Batman: Arkham Asylum

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Matt does, as he sprays foam onto suspicious-looking walls.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Matt Hutton. If you’ve played Batman: Arkham Asylum—and it certainly seems like many of you have, considering this is the second Batman reader review we've published—or just want to ask Matt more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Batman: Aykham Asylum (PS3, 360, PC)

Batman: Arkham Asylum is the definitive videogame version of the caped crusader. It’s a dark, gritty and occasionally funny (in a sinister kind of way) brawler.

Loved

Authenticity: Securing Paul Dini to write the game, along with Batman: The Animated Series alums Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill and Arleen Sorking to voice it, was perhaps the masterstroke of the whole development on this game. They all add a real sense of gravity to the game that other licensed games usually lack.

Violence: Arkham Asylum’s free-flowing combat isn’t particularly deep, but it is visceral and feels very violent. The visuals and sound design combine so that when you smack a fool in the face and his head bounces off the floor, it has a sense of weight and pain to it.

Riddler’s Challenges: The Riddler isn’t exactly the most thrilling of Batman’s many villains. But he’s put to great use here as he scatters riddles and trophies around the asylum for you to find. Each one grants you an unlockable, such as the biographies of Batman characters or, even better, taped interviews with Arkham inmates which really drive home their sick, depraved characters.

Hated

Boss Battles: While the game's straightforward combat style is fun for the most part, they really should have upped the ante in the boss battles. The ones that they put in are painfully simple and/or practically non-existent.

Not Enough!: While it may seem like cramming Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy into one game is overkill, I really wanted to see Rocksteady’s versions of classic foes Two-Face, Mr. Freeze or Ra’s Al Ghul.

But of course, a two million+ selling game will give us a sequel…

Reviewed by: Matt Hutton

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


Comments

    The only addition I'd add to the hated was the mount of time you need to spend in "Detective Mode" the game has such a dark gritty feel. Seems a shame to have the overlay over the top of that kinda making the world feel dull.

    Maybe it was just me but especially being on the look out for secrets, vents, grates, armed vs unarmed opponents, I spent a lot of time in Detective Mode.

    I was definitely interested in this game, until I looked at its Steam page just then. For the Steam version of the game, they've coupled it with securom DRM, so I'll be passing entirely. gg, eidos.

    For me, the Scarecrow boss "battles" (if you can even call them battles) got old very quickly. If there was just one of them, it would be fine. Even two of them would be acceptable. To me they were just annoyances as you were playing. I did like the theatrics Scarecrow brought out before the battle though.

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