Fans of Batman Begins,The Dark Knight and Batman in general will no doubt enjoy playing Batman: Arkham Asylum for PlayStation 3. However, there are a few combat techniques, detective learning curves and weapons drawbacks players should know about before attempting to complete Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Arkham Asylum enlists Batman to round up thugs after the Joker escapes from custody and releases Gotham’s most wanted from prison. After prisoners kidnap, bind, torment or kill Arkham Asylum personnel, Batman must use detective skills to locate enemies, rescue victims and search for clues to the Joker’s whereabouts. If Batman doesn’t succeed in time, the Joker and his cohorts will destroy Gotham. Sounds melodramatic, doesn’t it? But unlike his name implies, the Joker’s for real, and is armed with chemicals and scientific research to achieve his goals.
If there’s one big disappointment in Batman: Arkham Asylum, it’s that Batman never gets to shoot the cool guns the thugs use against him. Instead, Batman must rely on grappling hooks, Batclaw, Batarangs and hand-to-hand combat techniques to defeat enemies.
It’s not easy to kill enemies in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Once they’re down, they can get back up – several times. Batman must use a knockout technique and takedown moves, accomplished using a combination of triangle, square, circle and R2 buttons. As the game progresses, players can unlock more devastating combat combinations, but until progress is made, players are stuck trying and retrying death strikes after getting pawned.
Players can use Detective Mode to find breakable surfaces, fingerprints, blood trails and DNA samples. These are crucial to finding Joker victims and clues to the Joker’s plans. Detective Mode darkens the screen and makes overall viewing difficult, so turn up the brightness on the TV to see where you’re going if necessary.
There’s a documented glitch in the middle of Batman: Arkham Asylum users should be forewarned about. As Batman is running down a corridor, all of a sudden the game will lock up, turn funky colors, completely freak players out of their wits and then, all of a sudden, you’ll be playing in Joker mode. Just go with the flow, eventually the game will go back to normal. Whether this was Rocksteady Studios’ idea of a sick trick or an unintentional glitch, players can’t get around it – they must play through it.
During the course of the game, Batman will have to deal with armed thugs and signature villains. Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Croc, some poison-injected sidekicks, and of course, the Joker himself. Batman must attack these enemies using stealthy air to ground attacks, grappling from high areas in a mansion or treatment facility or by sneaking up behind them and choking them into death or an unconscious state.
Arkham Asylum island holds many facilities, including Intensive Treatment, Medical Facility, Batcave, a sewer system, Arkham Mansion, Penitentiary Mansion, the Botanical Gardens and Croc’s Lair. Batman will navigate back and forth between these areas for clues, enemies, victims and Riddler trophies. Players can use the “Select” button to bring up a map of each area. Note that once you’re inside a building, the map zooms to building navigation only. Once Batman’s outdoors, you can see a map of the entire island.
Batman must solve one objective at a time. Whether he needs to find and release Commissioner Gordon or track down Harley Quinn, the objective is placed on the game map and Batman must follow tunnels, ventilation systems and breakable entrances to achieve his goals. Once a goal is reached, Batman immediately receives a new one, which will also appear on the map.
My own player experience