Monday, September 21

Game: Batman: Arkham Asylum (PC) Click for more info

I'll be honest with you: I don't play many games any more. Maybe I've grown out of them or perhaps they're just not as good any more? I actually believe it's more to do with them taking up too much of my precious time - I don't have 20 hours to spend on each game I'd like to play and as a result I play none.

But then a game like Batman: Arkham's Asylum comes along. A game where you don't need to spend hours reading dialogue or collecting coins or grinding your character in order to proceed with the all important story. A game which is complex and deep enough to provide some kind of challenge and sense of satisfaction but simple enough not to confound the player with multiple options and routes and choices.

Take combat for instance. You literally have only two buttons with which to fight the bad guys - attack and counter. Yet these two buttons brings about one of the most satisfying combat mechanics I've played with for a while - 50x+ combos are difficult enough but possible enough to pull off and it's always awesome when you do.

During the times when the bad guys have guns a different tactic has to be used, and this is when Batman's stealthy antics come into play. It goes a bit like this: lurk in the dark or from high on up, get a bad guy to wander off on his own and then bam: take him out without alerting any of the others. Both game styles are perfectly balanced; in other words I had to die two or three times before refining my strategy enough to get through them.

Apart from the combat you have other (admittedly scripted) game mechanics including clue following and door lock busting. Each are trivial enough not to annoy too since each progress the amazing story so much.

And the story is probably the game's biggest asset. This is Arkham, that is the Joker and you are Batman. Of this there is no doubt. And unlike other game in the genre you're not distracted by collectables (even though there are plenty of them); the game almost runs on rails as it's clear what your next objective is. For someone like me who has little time to wander around this alone makes the game a pleasure to play.

So yes, definitely one of my favourite games of this year. Totally recommended.

1 comment:

  1. I've been thinking about renting this....I hadnt rented this (or any really) type of game in ages, but I think your post has pushed me to give it a try.

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