Monday, August 31, 2009

Batman Arkham word....WOW!

Hello Citizens and Batfans Everywhere!

Well it looks as if they are finally getting it right. By “they” I mean the developers of video games when it comes to Comic Book characters. Earlier this year we were treated to X-Men Origins Wolverine a game that was not only offered a well written plot and challenging game play but gave us the feeling that we really were controlling Wolverine. The controls were easy and natural and the Wolverine Avatar moved the way we would expect the character to.

Now it looks like it is two in a row with the release of Batman – Arkham Asylum. I am a little over half way through the game after some marathon sessions and I have to say that this game is even MORE immersive than Wolverine. The player is transported into an interpretation of the world of Batman that is absolutely faithful to the DC Universe. The plot sets The Joker loose in Arkham where the Clown Prince Of Crime lets loose his unique brand of insanity on The Dark Knight. I have already had run ins with Scarecrow and Bane that played out just they way they would in the comics. It is a tough game to put down simply because the plot is so good. You are always wondering what is going to happen next.

However, the plot is not the only thing that makes this game so engaging. The gameplay and controls are intuitive and handling the Batman Avatar quickly becomes second nature. It is a real kick to shoot the grappling hook out and move above goons from perch to perch until you are ready to strike. Also, since The Batman relies as heavily on his detective skills as his martial arts abilities, you have to THINK like The Bat. This is aided by a smooth transition from normal mode into detective mode, in which hot spots are highlighted. The puzzles are challenging but not arbitrary and for the most part actually move the plot along.

The graphics are top notch as we have come to expect from this latest generation of game consoles. Even the dark environments in and around Arkham island are filled with detail and texture. It is a gorgeous game to look at.

I would be remiss if I did not mention a real stroke of genius on the part of the gang at Eidos in using Kevin Conroy (Batman), Mark Hamill (Joker), and the wonderful Arleen Sorkin (Harley) to reprise the roles they play regularly in the DC animated series and movies. This veteran group along with a strong supporting cast that includes Richard Moll and Ephram Zimbalst Jr. makes this game feel more like you are playing through a MOVIE than just a game.

Batman - Arkham Asylum is available for the PC, X-Box 360 and PS3.

In short, Batman – Arkham Asylum is a GREAT game. Go out and buy it…NOW. As for me I have to get back to playing! I’m coming for you Joker!!!

That’s 30 citizens!


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