Batman: Arkham Asylum
Play begins as Batman escorts the bound Joker into the depths of Arkham Asylum's Intensive Treatment ward
- Art direction, variety of stealth tactics, spectacular moments, addictive challenge maps, accessible controls, collectible riddles
- Rote melee combat, dull stock opponents, recycled bosses, some throwaway upgrades, precious few super-villains.
Finally, a Batman game worthy of the taking on the mantle. It's been a long time coming but they really hit one out of the park here. Stylish and wonderfully executed, Arkham Asylum is a visual marvel.
Price$ 119.00 (AUD)
While other superheroes merely catch the crooks and then parade around with smug smirks, Batman goes out of his way to get inside the criminal mind and twist it into submission; that alone makes him one of my favourite comic book characters. Similarly, Batman: Arkham Asylum crawls inside your head and rearranges the furniture. It?s a triumph of mood and psychological tension, and devoted fans will find a great deal to excite them. But they're also bound to be disappointed by its reliance on repetitive combat and a shortage of villains worth the big man's attention.
Welcome to the Madhouse
Play begins as Batman escorts the bound Joker into the depths of Arkham Asylum's Intensive Treatment ward. It seems that our hero has foiled another of the Joker's bizarre plans, but Batman's suspicious of the ease with which the cackling wing-nut allowed himself to be captured. Of course, Batman's hardly a paragon of sanity himself. Anyone who runs around the filthy streets of Gotham in the dead of night in a cape and mask has some deep issues to sort out, so the howling mad world of Arkham Asylum could easily pose a dire threat to the dark knight's remaining marbles.
These early moments make a remarkably strong first impression. Batman's imposingly broad physique certainly calls to mind the exaggerated features of the comics more than any matinee idol, Mark Hamill's voice-over work breathes the full spirit of insanity into the toothy green-haired mastermind, and I cheered openly the first time I planted a boot straight into a rampaging inmate's kisser in slow-motion. Oracle, Batman's disabled former partner, guides me through an introductory encounter with Victor Zsasz, and a little exploration earns me the first few of the Riddler's 240 simple puzzles and hidden collectibles. The stage is set, and my blood is pumping.
The Great Outdoors
I learn to shimmy along ledges and grapple up to hidden nooks, and battle my way through to the outside. It's here that the world of Arkham Asylum really opens up. Okay, so you're not going to find a free-roaming world with the scale of a Grand Theft Auto, but there is a solid amount of space to explore all the same. You'll seldom have a choice of objectives to pursue, but the outdoor grounds do nicely complement the more restricted interiors that make up the lion's share of the game.
The presence of the Botanical Gardens notwithstanding, the hospital setting and grim tone don't lend themselves to a great deal of visual variety, but Batman: Arkham Asylum still excels when it comes to mood and audiovisual flourishes. Whether you're stalking a deranged murderer in Arkham Mansion or piecing together the Joker's true purpose in the Medical Facility, the most memorable corners of the island feel lived-in, even haunted. An outstanding musical score helps keep the tension from flagging even when the corridors and ventilation ducts start to blend together, and I never saw any of the texture pop-in that's so often been an unfortunate calling card of the otherwise excellent Unreal Engine.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPBusiness AnalystACT
- CCPMO ManagerNSW
- CCWPF .NET EngineerNSW
- FTLevel 2 Technical Support OfficerQLD
- CCSolution Architect - Financial applicationsVIC
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- FTChange Manager - Large Transition ProjectNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- TPSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- TPSenior Network EngineerWA
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTFull stack Developer - Senior (Java or C# and AngularJS) x 3QLD
- FTL1 Application SupportWA
- FTFull Stack Web Developer .NET or JAVANSW
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- TPIT Project Officer - TMRQLD
- FTSenior Dot Net Backend Orientated DeveloperNSW
- FTDeveloper - XML & JavaVIC
- FTLinux Systems EngineerQLD
- TPSOE AdministratorQLD
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- TPProject Support OfficerQLD