Saturday, November 28, 2009

Game Review: Batman-Arkham Asylum

All right, here goes nothing. My first game review. I have been an avid gamer throughout my life. My favorite categories are action, strategy and RPG. This time, let me start with one of the best games of 2009(if not the best)- Batman :Arkham Asylum.

I am quite sure that most of you have heard of Batman(come on, who hasn’t?). The legendary Caped Crusader or the Dark Knight, created by the late Bob Kane in the early part of the 20th century. Since then, the Batman franchise has grown exponentially. Initially from comics, to TV serials, to cartoons, to video games and finally Real movies. And who can forget the performance of Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger, in the last two Batman movies. Personally, ‘The Dark Knight’ has been one of my most favorite superhero movies of all times, and there was no way I was gonna miss a Batman game on the PC. So here is my review on it:

Graphics: 9.5/10

Go and see the screenshots/trailers for yourself(if you have not played the game). I don’t have words to describe the Graphics of BAA. Simply stupendous. It literally took my breath away. From the cape fluttering in the breeze, to the Batarangs whooshing past the goons, it’s all simply awesome. But of course, most games coming out recently have fantastic graphics too. Is BAA extra special? You bet it is. Am getting a bout of aphasia now. So you better check it out asap. Eidos has really outdone itself this time.

Storyline: 9/10

The main backbone of any game is its storyline. And BAA does not disappoint. With a fabulous plot, devoid of any complicated implications (save the Joker) BAA will keep all players on the edge of their seat. The Joker has ostensibly taken control of Arkham Asylum and has released most of the prisoners. He has also brought a gang of 100 plus goons to do his dirty bidding. And he unleashes his most abominable plan yet, to vanquish Gotham city. Now controlling the Batman, the player has to put an end to the Joker’s demonic plans. Along the way, you will have to deal with a host of puzzles, riddles(guess who?) and traps. And of course, Supervillains. Major amongst them are the Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy and Bane.

Gameplay: 9.5/10

This is yet another factor taken into consideration while rating games. The gameplay is equally superb. You have a host of gadgets at your disposal, ranging from the simple Batarangs, to the Bat-Hook, explosive sprays, Bat-lines, etc. You will need to use the Grapple-hook throughout the game. Plus you can also glide along long distances, which is almost equivalent to flying. The combat system is quite engrossing, with a wide range of combos and high-tech arsenal to choose from. You can start out with simply kicking and punching, and go on to perform special maneuvers like Silent Takedowns, Special Takedowns, Hanging villains upside down from Gargoyles, performing a flying Glide kick, etc. Trust me; you will never get bored of it. Plus as you defeat enemies, and solve riddles, you earn experience which can unlock newer items. But quite possibly, the biggest trait of BAA is the Detective Mode. In this mode, you can detect secret passages and hidden enemies. You can also follow the trails of different persons just in case you are stuck. In all, BAA makes a very satisfying playing experience.

Music: 8.5/10

The music is also great. Though it may not be anything superbly outstanding, it’s still quite pleasant and mellifluous. I am not music/sound expert, so I will refrain from further comments on this one. Personally I found the sound and technical affects great. But still, a tad below Excellent.

Overall: 9/10.

Buy it, rent it, steal it(okay just joking). Whatever you do, just get this game ASAP. Even if you are not a Batman fan, you will still love this game. (Its better than Prototype, Xmen Origins:Wolverine, and much better than Resident Evil 5- some of the games released in 2009, according to me). This(BAA) is 12-13 hours of pure fun. Blood and gore lovers, sorry to disappoint you, but this game does not contain any heavy violence or adult material (Stick to the dull FEAR 2 if you want such games).
Batman makes a mark, which you can be sure will remain indelible for a long time.

P.S.(SPOILER)- The game is probably gonna have a sequel as well. According to the ending, ie. But then again, maybe not. It all depends on the makers. After all, Max Payne 2 was supposed to have a sequel made. But it never did. Rather the developers made a mess out of Alan Wake(or some horror crap). Keep your fingers crossed!


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