Game Review – Batman: Arkham Asylum & Batman: Arkham City

In celebration of the release of Batman: Arkham Origins, the new Batman: Arkham game, I decided to review the previous two Arkham games. Enjoy.



IGN Rating: 8.7 out of 10

Developed by: Rocksteady Studios

Published by: Eidos Interactive & Warner Bros. Entertainment

Totally not insane.

Totally not insane.

When Batman: Arkham Asylum first came out, it quickly became one of the most critically acclaimed video games in the last few years.

I only got around to playing it earlier this year, and I must say, it lives up to the hype. First impressions count, especially in a Batman game which means so much to fanatics like me, and my first impression of Arkham Asylum was one of pure wonder and respect as to how much detail, how much effort must have gone into making this game which has single handedly given Batman games one of the highest standards of any game series out there.

Man, that was a long sentence.

Arkham Asylum features some of the greatest detail I’ve seen in a game. It rivals the Grand Theft Auto series in terms of attention to the little things. Maps on the ground, texture of surfaces, building design. Only a few of the many things that Arkham Asylum boasts as truly first-class.

The gameplay gets a little repetitive, though. It seems like the whole ‘detective mode on the gargoyles’ thing got a little tiresome, towards the end of the game, at least. There’s only so many times you can hang an Arkham inmate from a gargoyle before you begin to want something different. And many of the Challenges have the same premace as this, too; purely gargoyle combat. The hand-to-hand combat is impeccably staged, though, and even on easier difficulties, it’s not exactly a walk in the park. Maybe that’s what I liked so much about the game: it really was a challenge.

Arkham Asylum boasts a killer script and plot. The Joker’s dialogue is impeccable; it stays so true to the character and some of the lines are the work of a mastermind in Paul Dini. The plot is one of the most intriguing Batman plots on any form of entertainment I’ve had the pleasure of indulging myself in.

But easily the best thing about Arkham Asylum is the unlockables, the riddles, and the teeth.

There are so many riddles to solve, so many teeth to destroy, and so many gadgets to upgrade. And you will undoubtedly spend hours trying to finish these off, even after you’ve finished Story Mode. I don’t know how they do it, but you feel totally obliged to finish it off. Not for you, but for Batman. After all, in a Batman suit, you can do anything. You’re the world’s greatest detective.

Arkham Asylum is an unforgettable gaming experience. It may just change how you feel about comics, about Batman, about gaming, because it’s so damn good. It may not be entirely replayable once you’ve unlocked all you can, finished all your Challenges, and solved all the riddles, but by god are you having a good time while it lasts.

MY RATING: 9 out of 10.



IGN Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Developed by: Rocksteady Studios

Published by: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

In the words of Jesse Pinkman: "Woah, yo."

In the words of Jesse Pinkman: “Woah, yo.”

And I thought the first one was good.

I’ll try to make this short and sweet, but there’s so much to like about Arkham City, I’m not sure how well I’ll fare.

Let’s start with the critiques:

Maybe it doesn’t have the level of replayability which some of the other great games do. Maybe.

Okay. Critiques over. Let’s get to the good stuff.

The script is just as good as Arkham Asylum’s. Maybe it’s better. Of course, it’s written by the same guy, Paul Dini, with help from Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill. Again, the plot is highly intriguing. It features the whole spectrum of Batman characters, more so than Arkham Asylum. I wish it had more to do with Scarecrow, though (he’s my favourite villain besides Joker). But I guess they were reaching for something different than what they did with the first game.

I love how the game makers incorporate The Riddler into this story. In Arkham Asylum, Edward Nigma is just as enigmatic as his name suggests, and we do not see him – only hear him. This time around, Nigma plays a huge role. It takes a little too long to go from one ‘hostage’ scene to another (when you get up to it, you’ll know what I’m on about), but his riddles are delightful, and that mystery is a never-ending worry.

The combat is really similar to Arkham Asylum (gargoyles, detective mode, etc.), but all the gadgets featured are upgraded versions of their originals, so that brings a level of freshness to the game, which is good. Going back to Arkham Asylum after you finish Arkham City, you’ll realise just how different the two games are. You may even appreciate one more than the other.

But Arkham City’s best feature is the world-building.

The Arkham City complex is so incredibly detailed. There are so many little gaps here and there, so many meticulous little spots to hide Riddler Trophies, so many places to go. The world of Arkham City is maybe the best piece of world building I’ve played in a game.

I don’t need to spell much more out for you; Arkham City is closer to perfection than any game I’ve played in a long time, perhaps even since 2001’s Halo: Combat Evolved. I don’t get to play a whole heap of games, which makes the experience – and trust me, it really is an experience – of Arkham City so much sweeter.

MY RATING: 9.5 out of 10.

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2 responses to “Game Review – Batman: Arkham Asylum & Batman: Arkham City

  1. I loved both of these and Arkham Origins should be quite interesting.

  2. They make really good batman games 😀

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