Batman: Arkham Asylum


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peej
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So what's the skinny then? Good or crap?

(PS3 owners might've got this down a bit quicker than I did - but anyone else had a play yet?)

#1 at 10:20:51 - 07/08/2009
NewYork
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I was quite surprised they included the "BOOM!" "POW!" onomatopoeias. Kinda detracts from the dark tone.

And I'm pretty sure the real Batman doesn't dance with his resurrected enemies after each scene.
#2 at 11:18:06 - 07/08/2009
peej
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All I keep hearing about this is "stealth"

Which makes my anti-stealth gland go into spasm
#3 at 11:21:19 - 07/08/2009
evilashchris
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I really enjoyed it, the stealth is decent too, I usually hate the stuff.

I could be Batman blind though, I'm a big fan.
#4 at 12:47:20 - 07/08/2009
peej
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Rhythm says it's the kind of stealth where you don't end a level / die / lose a game if discovered, which is fine by me...

Really will get round to giving this a try but I'll have to download it on the 360 at some point.
#5 at 13:41:05 - 07/08/2009
Syrok
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You could download it for the PS3. It's 100MB smaller. ^.^
#6 at 13:55:08 - 07/08/2009
peej
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Yeah but downloads on the PS3 seem to take twice as long for some reason :(
#7 at 13:57:56 - 07/08/2009
Syrok
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Ah, I see. That's not very good.
#8 at 15:40:54 - 07/08/2009
peej
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I know. I might have to twink about with my PS3's settings in the DMZ and see if that makes any difference.
#9 at 15:45:45 - 07/08/2009
repairmanjack
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peej said:All I keep hearing about this is "stealth"

Which makes my anti-stealth gland go into spasm


You don't do "subtle" then, peej? Probably not a good one for you to review... :)

As for download speeds... it's taken me two whole fucking days to download the trial for XBLA Monkey Island, so demos will be a thing of the past. My PS3 can't even detect the BT Home Hub thing. :(
#10 at 15:58:08 - 07/08/2009
peej
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I definitely don't do subtle.

I'm in the middle of grabbing the PC demo (at work, because 2.2gb downloads in about 10 mins!) so I'll have a play later on.
#11 at 16:05:25 - 07/08/2009
Whizzo
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Played it on 360 and PC now, the demo being identical.

Graphically the 360 version is very nice, PC is better. As an ATI user I can't use AA (I'm sure that'll get hacked) nor the Physx (which does look pretty nice in the video that shows it off).

It's a lot of fun and I'll certainly be buying it, Bats really does kick some bottom indeed and the stealth that's in the demo is pretty easy and I doubt it's going to be that different in the main game.

I'm surprised it's so good, I think I'll wait for the PC version as it'll be a lot cheaper and maybe I'll pick up a cheap Physx card from HK if games start to really use it! :-)

It would be nice if Intel started pushing Havok rather more since they bought it.
#12 at 19:20:21 - 07/08/2009
Micro_Explosion
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It's definitely good; decent environments, AI that is good enough for the stealth stuff to not be annoying but actually good and acceptable combat.

Voice acting and what seems like a half decent plot (although little is revealed in the demo) is going to be what makes this anything more than 'good'. The Batman design doesn't really fit with Batman's voice but I can live with it when it's Conroy doing it.
#13 at 20:38:00 - 07/08/2009
NewYork
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I watched my brother play this and so far I'll say that the plot seems contrived, and while the gameplay looked interesting, it needs to expand.

Joker: I've always liked the fans idea of Joker, and the movie version was pretty good. On paper, he's awesome: he's just plain crazy, and he's the psychological complement to Batman, blah-de-blah. In practice, he never seems to meet the legend. He's not crazy: he's just flamboyant and makes jokes. You know why I prefer Marvel's Carnage better? He's really crazy. Joker set up an elaborate trap in Arkham Asylum and managed to spring it and arrange a takeover of the whole place? Joker has freakin' plans?!

I don't care if Harley Quinn helped him from the inside - they'd better come up with a way better explanation as to how the inmates took over such a freakin' fortress. I'm talking the owner of Arkham had better be in on it, for believability.

And again: contrived. Such a ridiculous set-up in order to present Batman with a structured environment full of enemies to progress through, with bosses conveniently popping up one-by-one. Why doesn't the whole asylum rush Batman and kill him? Because Joker wants to play games, of course! It's so lucky that comics have villains that care more about forcing an interesting set-up than advancing their own goals.

Joker (part 2): How could they have learned nothing from Ledger/Nolan's Joker? This dude's a fruitcake and a joke.

The game itself looks interesting, if currently over-reliant on set-pieces (though that may just be for tutorial purposes). I hope that there aren't gargoyles in every room, and that play isn't formulaic in a detective-grapple-glide-kick-grapple-repeat sense.

Don't know why the demo ended at the boss: it's not like I'm dying to fight the dude.

Overall, meh. Good for a franchise tie-in. And just a demo, to be fair.
#14 at 20:23:16 - 09/08/2009
Whizzo
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Talk about over-analysing a ten minute demo of a comic book based game, it also doesn't do anything but fleetingly mention what's happened to Blackgate Prison.
#15 at 20:30:51 - 09/08/2009
NewYork
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Yeah, I didn't realise I'd written so much :s

In short: from the moment Joker magically puts Arkham on lockdown and Batman's like "looks like I'll have to play by Joker's rules," I realised that Batman's as ridiculous as any other comic.

Shame there wasn't a Dark Knight game.
#16 at 20:35:41 - 09/08/2009
peej
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I don't think any developer would want to tackle a proper mature and deep Batman game.

I mean look at this. It's a beat 'em up with stealth overtones ffs.
#17 at 09:52:23 - 10/08/2009
DDevil
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At one point in the demo, there's a poster or something on one of the walls indicating AA has recently had a new warden arrive... Any one want to bet he's a bad man in league with the Joker? :-)
#18 at 10:56:51 - 10/08/2009
peej
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Naw, surely that would be a poorly scripted and trite way to treat the caped crusader's first serious gaming outing since...well since that speccy isometric game.

Actually a swift google indicates there have been an absolute fuckton of batman games and out of the collection I can only seriously remember playing the Mega CD one (great Batmobile chase sequence in that) and the Speccy one!
#19 at 12:06:47 - 10/08/2009
DDevil
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I remember Batman The Caped Crusader and Batman The Movie, both on Speccy and Amiga.

BTCC was shit, BTM was ace.
#20 at 12:18:37 - 10/08/2009
kentmonkey
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Batman The Movie was absolutely brillaint. Caped Crusader wasn't bad back in the day on the C64.
#21 at 21:05:10 - 10/08/2009
peej
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Finally got a shot at this last night after more pissarsing about with my machine (turns out that I had another two sticks of fuckarsedly crap RAM from Novatech, never ever ever buy cheap RAM)

I had pretty low expectations to be honest. I'm not the world's biggest bat-fan though I loved the Arkham Asylum comic, and definitely like the darker tone the films have been taking.

The game's amazingly presented. Decent voice work, superb art and character work.

On PC it virtually leaps off the screen at you, and though I'm still only running an 8800 GTX the game really does look bloody stunning.

Then I played it...and it felt instantly familiar and I couldn't quite put my finger on why until I'd got a bit further in. It feels very much like a bigger, bolder and better beat 'em up in the style of MadWorld on the Wii. Similar sort of bone-crunching combat, similar sort of targetting and ranged stuff.

Really didn't expect to like it at all but it's very good - not sure I'd splash the cash on it but I'll definitely play the demo a bit more.

(and nope, I haven't been "got at" by Eidos but I can see how one rumour mill can taint what would probably have been quite a high scoring game anyway, regardless of calls of "hype" from that RAMRaider blokey)
#22 at 09:58:59 - 11/08/2009
oneiros
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Tried the demo last night. It felt a bit like the most recent Prince of Persia to me, in the way that the control is slightly removed from your actions in order to allow the animations to be a bit more cinematic. Not a problem as such; I really enjoyed the last PoP and I'm a huge Batfan, but I imagine it will draw some criticism for that.

I also found that I seemed to be spending an awful lot of time in 'Detective' mode rather than the normal view; perhaps its use should be constrained somehow?
#23 at 10:13:56 - 11/08/2009
peej
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The "detective view" stuff did remind me what I utterly hated about the Ghostbusters game. I think you're right in that you can end up spending a lot of time scanning around in Detective Mode just like you ended up spending too much time gazing through the viewscope on the PK energy detector in GB. Thankfully Batman seems to have a little bit more action and some beautifully fluid animation to keep things interesting.

Loved the stealth "hang" bits.

It sort of feels like the combat is too stylised to allow for much freeform scrapping, and I found I just ended up using the same move again and again to drop opponents. Maybe that'll change in the full version and further combos will be unlocked. The counter system was nice though and I quite liked the fact that fights felt properly weighty and brutal.

The joker was awesome too and I like how the bios draw from the comics properly (Barbara Gordon being shot through the spine by The Joker in The Killing Joke got a nod, was quite surprised at that).

Dunno about a 9/10 but should score highly if there's any (bat) justice in the world.
#24 at 10:36:48 - 11/08/2009
oneiros
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peej said:
The joker was awesome too and I like how the bios draw from the comics properly (Barbara Gordon being shot through the spine by The Joker in The Killing Joke got a nod, was quite surprised at that).

Why? Barbara Gordon as Oracle has been part of the DCU ever since The Killing Joke, although this in itself is kind of odd as that book was (I believe) intended to not be considered part of the ongoing continuity.

Anyway, unless it gets a critical panning, AA is on my wishlist for the end of the month.
#25 at 13:58:05 - 11/08/2009
peej
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I must admit I'm not well read when it comes to Batman but I figured there was a reference to The Killing Joke in there (afaik it's the only comic where this incident is dealt with, right?)

Thought it was a nice touch to see the bios, and hopefully there'll be more stuff like that in the full game. It's nice to actually see a studio pour a lot of love into a project, and I'm pleasantly surprised that this is a hell of a lot better than any of the dreck EA pushed out under the Batman licence they have.
#26 at 14:18:08 - 11/08/2009
Dragul
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Gave it a go on the PS3, loved it.

For a game that wasn't on my radar (I usually hate super hero games - except marvel ultimate alliance for some reason...)I really liked everything on this demo.

For me the only problems are the terrible lipsync and the camera.

Also is it me or the cape just feels wrong on the shoulders? nice movement on the rest of the cape but it feels stiff on the shoulders... IMO of course.

#27 at 18:00:11 - 11/08/2009
Micro_Explosion
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peej said:It sort of feels like the combat is too stylised to allow for much freeform scrapping, and I found I just ended up using the same move again and again to drop opponents. Maybe that'll change in the full version and further combos will be unlocked. The counter system was nice though and I quite liked the fact that fights felt properly weighty and brutal.


I suspect you'll find that playing it on the harder difficulties (not available on the demo) will solve all those problems. This might be one of those rare games where I bother playing on anything above easy/medium (except Halo 3 but that was ridiculously easy on all difficulties).
#28 at 22:28:42 - 11/08/2009
peej
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I think you're probably right there. On normal levels it feels a lot like MadWorld - not that it's particularly a bad thing
#29 at 22:35:42 - 11/08/2009
Funkyd
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NewYork said:
Shame there wasn't a Dark Knight game.


The Batman Begins game was actually surprisingly decent - although I did go into it with zero expectations.
#30 at 09:59:40 - 12/08/2009

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