Batman: Arkham Asylum Review - Read Before You Buy

Batman: Arkham Asylum Review
This is the face he makes when someone says they've never played one Batman game, right before he lays them out.

Batman: Arkham Asylum Review – Read Before You Buy

Batman’s ready for a fight, are you?

What’s the best part about being a reviewer? For me, it is the fact that I get to closely examine a game, a movie, a book, or even a comic book that I have enjoyed playing or reading. However, let me assure you right now, that I strongly believe that everyone has the right to their own opinion about any subject and/or topic at hand. Therefore, you can expect that I will be just as objective in this review as the next reasonable critic.

When I play a video game, it is the graphic visuals, the gameplay, and the believability that draw me to that game. I know, the word believability sounds a bit odd coming from a game reviewer. In this case, however, I am referring to the ability to believe in the danger the characters are in so that I can be pulled far enough into the story, thereby, adding to the full experience of the overall gameplay.

About Batman: Arkham Asylum

Arkham Asylum is an action and adventure game that was released back in August 25, 2009. It was developed by a gaming company called Rocksteady over the course of 21 months, and it was highly praised by critics and gamers alike.

Almost 2 million copies of the game were sold within the first three weeks of its release and an addition 2.5 billion were sold by the end of September 2009. Ever since then, Arkham Asylum has held up very well with the general public, making room for several different releases of the game, most notably the Game of the Year Edition.

Batman Arkham Asylum – Story

He will face-off against his worst enemy.

Arkham Asylum includes an interactive story that finds Batman, ultimately, fighting for the fate of Gotham City while trapped inside of Arkham and facing off against some of his most dangerous foes. Batman’s archenemy, The Joker, has taken over Arkham, and is experimenting with the super-venom that he stole from Bane to create an army of super-soldiers that he can use to overthrow Gotham and take control for himself.

Batman Arkham Asylum – Review (Some spoilers ahead)

Arkham’s  craziest and most dangerous inmate, captured and restrained.

Batman Arkham Asylum Story

The one thing I appreciate about Arkham Asylum, right off the bat, is the fact that the story immediately pulls you into the game. Starting off with Batman in the batmobile transporting a captured Joker to Arkham was a stroke of genius for the design team. I still love the part where The Joker tries to pull a fast one when the power goes off, while everyone’s on the main elevator headed to take the former to his cell.

Now, I won’t say that story is slow moving, but it does have a steady enough pace that’ll give you enough time to get acquainted with your surroundings. Anyone who knows anything about Batman knows, after all, that finding your surroundings and knowing how many opponents your dealing with is always key before going into a fight. Try going into a fight head first, especially with this game, and you’re as good as dead. Then, you have to deal with the nuisance of The Joker, Poison Ivy, or some other villain mocking you for getting killed.

On a more personal note, I would have made an exception when it came to letting Batman escort The Joker all the way to his cell. However, I can understand why the guard wouldn’t allow it, procedures procedures, right? Still though, in this case I’m just a little surprised that they wouldn’t even let The Bat do his thing and escort Joker all the way, regardless of protocol, especially seeing as how we’re talking about The Clown Prince of Crime here. Anyway though, as a whole, the story works well enough for me.

Batman Arkham Asylum – Gameplay

Watch: Batman Arkham Asylum Gameplay

Something else I appreciate is that the game is very user-player friendly. The control commands are simple enough to get a feel for, as far as basic movement of the character, as well as gadget usage. The graphics include very clear, sharp imagery that really helps to pull me into the story and the basic gameplay as I progress.

Unlike sequels to this game, Arkham City for example, you ‘re limited to playing only one character in the main story for this game. Batman is your only choice of character play in this case, since he is the one who must stop The Joker from carrying out his ultimate plan to break out of Arkham Asylum and take over Gotham City using the enhancement venom he stole from Bane.

Something else to appreciate about this game is that there is at least one fan favorite, supporting character that is featured in the story. Barbara Gordon makes her presence known, as she is assisting Batman via ear-piece as he tracks down the various criminals he must face, while also keeping his primary target, The Joker, in mind.

Face your deepest, darkest fears.

There are some major boss fights in this game. The boss fights include face-offs between Batman and Bane, Batman and Scarecrow, Batman and Poison Ivy, and in the final boss fight, you get to face a venom enhanced Joker. Out of these boss fights, I would have to say that the throwdown with The Joker is my favorite, since for me, it is the most challenging out of three. Having to dodge all those Joker bombs, while fighting Joker’s henchmen and trying to take down the big man himself will really keep you on your toes and keep your adrenaline rush going.

They can’t see him, but he can see them just fine.

One thing to remember about this game is that you’re really going to want to make that detective mode feature your best friend. It’ll help you find those hard to see riddle challenges, as well as hidden weak spots on a wall, on the ceiling, or on the floor. Detective mode is basically Batman’s version of Superman’s x-ray vision, which is the main reason why I love this feature. I feel like it’s a good way of highlighting The Bat’s ability to compensate for his lack of superpowers.

The limitations in movement, specifically as far as getting from one place to another are kind of the point, I would say, since one of the main themes of Arkham Asylum is confinement. Batman is confined to Arkham, because The Joker has taken full control over the place and, at times, can only go where his archenemy wants him to go. Other players might find this to be a bit of a setback, but I feel like it adds to the challenge of the game. You have a limited number of places you can go and only so many ways of entering a building or a room. So, you really have to compensate and work with those limitations.

Take out the garbage, and round-up some Joker thugs.

I love the challenges in this game. The sneak challenges are all well and good, but I prefer the straight-out fighting challenges. I call them sneak challenges, because Batman has to make his way around, say the medical facility for example, without being detected. As Batman, you’re doing all this, while systematically taking down the thugs that have taken over the place.

The cool thing about these challenges is that you do get the opportunity to play as The Joker. Granted, your skills and your gadgets are more limited, compared to Batman’s, but that almost adds to the fun of it really. I will admit that I still have trouble beating The Joker challenges because of these limitations, but as they say, if you get knocked down, then, get back up and try again. I know that sounds cheesy, but hey, it gets my point across. Also, as always, Joker talks too much, so it’s almost comforting to see somebody finally shut him up, even if it does mean that I’ve lost the challenge. Sometimes, I’ll lose on purpose just to see Joker get his but kicked.

With the Batman challenges it’s different. Yes, you do start off with just basic armor and gadgets when you first start playing the challenges, but that’s only because you haven’t earned any upgrades in the actual game yet. As you go deeper into the story and progress, you get to upgrade your skills and your gadgets. You earn new gadgets to go with the ones you already have. God knows that line launcher and the batclaw really come in handy. The line launcher’s good for making your way across long distances more effectively than say gliding or jumping, while the batclaw allows you to pull down a thug or a weak point that might be over your head.

Arkham Asylum provides a very user-friendly environment for both beginning and more experienced gamers. If you love Batman or even if you don’t, either way you’ll still get a kick out of playing this game. This is a pretty basic one, but the difficulties in this game are very real and quite the adrenaline rush once you really get into the actual gameplay.

Batman Arkham Asylum Graphics

Now would be a good time to look up.

The graphics in this game look real enough for a top-notch video game. The voice acting for the main characters and even the disposable thugs is well on point, I would say. Granted, they could have the thugs say more original lines, but that’s more of an observation than a complaint on my part. Other than that, the graphics or very sharp and clear enough to be able to make everyone and everything out, and the game itself runs very smoothly from beginning to end.

Batman Arkham Asylum Developers

He’ll have you curled up and whimpering in a corner before the end of the night.

Batman: Arkham Asylum was developed by Rocksteady Studios and was published by Eidos Interactive and Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment. There are, absolutely, no faults or bugs in this game, as the developers did an excellent job in putting this one together and in making sure that there were no unexpected glitches.

Batman Arkham Asylum Price

I purchased this game online, some time ago, at the Feral Store. It is currently available for an immediate download at $19.99. In this case, you would be purchasing the Game of the Year edition.


+Highly engaging

+Good, progressive story

+Realistic graphics

+Believable voice acting


-Limited character playing options

I rate this game an overall score of 9/10. It’s almost perfect, accept for the fact that I wish there were more characters to choose from when it comes to the interactive, main story of the game. Beyond that, I never do get tired of playing this game from beginning to end, no matter how many times I’ve played it before, in the past.

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When it comes to fictional writing, I have some pretty sharp teeth, as anyone who knows me well enough will tell you, but don't worry, I don't bite.
Gamer Since: 2001
Currently Playing: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and Alien: Isolation
Top 3 Favorite Games:Batman: Arkham City, Alien: Isolation, Batman: Arkham Asylum