“Batman: Arkham Asylum” was officially released in 2009 (same year Watchmen came out) on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It received positive reviews from critics, fans and gamers alike. A remastered edition of the game was released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. As a result of earning critical acclaim and selling millions of copies, two sequels known as “Batman: Arkham City” & “Batman: Arkham Knight” were released in 2011 and 2015. A prequel, “Batman: Arkham Origins” came out in 2013.
There’s a variety of reasons why I’m sharing my thoughts on Arkham Asylum. First, Michael Keaton will reprise his role as Batman in “The Flash” set in the DC Extended Universe or DCEU for short. Second, Bruce Timm & J.J. Abrams are working on an animated Batman series intended to stream on HBO Max. Third, Robert Pattinson’s Batman is getting a sequel. Fourth, Rocksteady is developing a spin-off titled, “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.” Fifth, another game, “Gotham Knights” will be released on October 25th, 2022. However, it’s not linked to the Arkham series.
This review contains no crucial SPOILERS.
Strong & Weak Qualities
Strong: Kevin Conroy & Mark Hamill reprise their roles as Batman & Joker. They did an excellent job for their respective voiceover performances.
Other Cast Members such as Steve Blum, Cree Summer & Tom Kane all did a great job for their respective voiceover performances.
Longtime DC writer Paul Dini wrote the script.
Graphics create the titular character and prison bringing core elements to life including character models, fluid movement and environmental locations. The Remastered Edition significantly improved every detail.
Jim Gordon and Barbara Gordon/The Oracle (Batgirl) help you on your journey.
Presented as a third-person action-adventure stealth game. You play as Batman navigating your way though Arkham using combat, gadgets and stealth tactics against inmates. Use gadgets to solve thought provoking puzzles. Detective Vision guides you on the aforementioned puzzles. It also highlights enemies if they’re armed with guns it means red, if not, it means blue.
Combat’s freeflow mechanic lets you pummel your foes using your fists, gadgets and special takedowns.
Stealth gives you various ways to knock out enemies like popping out of a grate, hang ‘em on a vantage point, use explosive gel on a wall taking one baddie out and silently incapacitate from behind. Cue Bane’s quote from “The Dark Knight Rises.” “You think darkness is your ally.”
You gain experience completing main missions, beating up inmates and solving puzzles. As you level up, you get new gadgets, health boosts and augments for your wonderful toys.
Besides hunting down Joker, Riddler sets up a grand total of 240 challenges filled with riddles, audios tapes on a certain villain and trophies. Think you can find every single one? Another quest is to find and scan secret tablets involving Amadeus Arkham. Luckily, I completed 100% on the main story, Riddler’s challenges and Amadeus’ tablets. Collecting trophies unlocks Challenge Maps and Character Models.
Challenge Mode is presented in combat and predatory. A selected one will determine your score. If you bought all DLC or the Return to Arkham edition, you get extra maps and Joker as a playable character.
My favorite gadget is the cryptographic sequencer.
The Tone alludes to Bruce Timm’s cartoon and Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Trilogy.”
The game is primarily influenced by “The Legend of Zelda” “Metroid” & “Bioshock.”
Other influences are Grant Morrison’s “Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth,” Bruce Timm’s cartoon and Christopher Nolan’s films.
Each villain from Batman’s rouge gallery has a unique boss battle. For example, under Scarecrow’s fear gas, you must avoid detection making your way towards the bat signal.
Joker’s grandmaster plan makes absolute sense.
The Ending subtly sets up a sequel. Three Years Later, it became the best (if not the best) Batman game.
Weak: I couldn’t find nothing wrong. I’m giving Rocksteady an Extra Point for making a flawless game as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
From my point of view, “Batman: Arkham Asylum” is a masterpiece as one of the best Batman related video games. My all-time favorite is arguably Arkham City. If you’re gearing up for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League or Gotham Knights, start with Arkham Asylum, then you can play Arkham City, Arkham Origins & Arkham Knight.