Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Playing Batman: Akham Asylum

As a fan of Bob Kane's fictional hero Batman, I have always been wary of computer games featuring the Batman. Batman: Akham Asylum was a pleasant and enjoyable surprise for me. It was not as dark and frightening as the movie The Dark Knight especially with the new terrifying Joker. This game hearkens back to the golden age of Batman where good fights evil but with a delightful sense of make-believe comic book like feel. Even the Joker looks like the comic book character. I played the game on Xbox.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is an action-adventure stealth video game based on DC Comics' Batman for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. It was developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Eidos Interactive in conjunction with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Comics. The PS3 and Xbox versions of the game were released on August 25, 2009 in North America and August 28, 2009 in Europe., and the PC version was released on September 15th in North America and the September 18th in Europe.

Batman: Arkham Asylum, written by veteran Batman writer Paul Dini, is based on the long-running comic book mythos, as opposed to most other Batman games which are adaptations of the character in other media besides the source material. The Joker, Batman's archenemy, has instigated an elaborate plot from within Arkham Asylum where many of Batman's other villains have been incarcerated. Batman investigates and comes to learn that the Joker is trying to create an army of Bane-like creatures that threaten Gotham City, and is forced to put a stop to the Joker's plans. (Wiki)

The gameplay was easy with minimal training required. The storyline was also smooth and engaging. As in all Batman-Joker stories, there is good versus bad, good use of technology versus bad use of, virtues versus evil personality, and boils down to a mano-a-mano between two opposites of the same coin.

Until I played this, I did not realise how vulnerable Batman is. Even with his armour which one could upgrade during the gameplay, he is still vulnerable. This is more so in that he does not kill and he does not use a gun. Compared to other superheroes who can fly, have cosmic blasters and other weapons, Batman have to depend on his stealth and martial art skills. Sometimes during the gameplay, I wish he has something to shoot with.

The game received extremely high praise from critics, earning a 92% average on GameRankings, a game aggregator. This also earned it a spot in the Guinness World Records for "Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game". Sales were also high, selling over 2 million copies within its first two weeks of its console release. (Wiki)

This is a computer game with moderate amount of violence (but no gory scenes). I think I will play it again.

'nuff said!

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