Batman: Arkham Asylum
Content at a glance:
When I first popped this game into my Xbox 360 console, I was expecting a dark, sinister game that would try to equal the darkness in the movie peer, The Dark Knight. I was surprised to see that the game drew absolutely nothing from the movie: The characters were like they were in the old TV shows and comics… the classic ‘Batman’ crew was back. But, the game was still quite dark, but was greatly enjoyable.
The game begins with Batman driving to the Arkham Asylum with Joker tied up in the passenger seat. Things go downhill once Joker and Batman get inside the Asylum though… Joker had been planning going to the Asylum for a very long time, and Gotham is soon at risk once again.
GAMEPLAY: The gameplay in this game was astonishing. The game never got old, and kept me hooked from beginning to end. It’s a game that uses aspects of multiple different genres, and pushes those genres to near perfection.
There are multiple difficulties which cater from the most casual player to the most hardcore. The controls are not clumsy at all, and they are very easy to learn. The soundtrack of the game is epic to say the least, and the sound effects were top notch.
This is one of the few games where finding all the hidden things and figuring out the secrets was incredibly fun. Most games I don’t even worry about the side stuff, but this game had me hooked. The Riddler makes his appearance and gives you hordes of riddles to solve as a side quest. You can choose not to solve them all, but it proves to be as fun as completing that main storyline if you do.
That being said, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of what is keeping this game from being the perfect Batman game.
VIOLENCE: The violence in this game is hard to write about. In some cases, it is extremely violent, yet at the same time the violence is minimal. The violence is completely bloodless, yet it can be disturbing at times.
In normal combat Batman knocks his enemies unconscious (he never kills them), but occasionally he will break their arm or their leg as an ‘instant KO’. When he breaks a limb we hear the snap and the cry of pain from the inmate, which can be kind of disturbing. Batman can also hit enemies with his Batarangs, which just knocks the enemy/enemies to the floor.
Batman’s rivals, however, are not so kind. Joker leaves dead bodies strewn all across Arkham, and is some cases he does this in a very disturbing way. Joker strangles a guard with his handcuffs in the beginning. We see the body of a turncoat guard strapped to a gully with a green smile scrawled on his face. A few other less disturbing instances occur as well, but the ones mentioned are the worst.
Also worth mentioning, some inmates are injected with a drug that transforms them into Hulk-like monsters. This transformation is quite disgusting in some cases.
LANGUAGE: The language is this game was your usual Teen rated fare. ‘Oh my God’ is used multiple times, as well as b–ch, d–m, hell, and a–.
SEXUAL CONTENT: Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy wear cleavage bearing outfits, but Poison Ivy’s outfit goes even further than that. For her lower section she wears a tight green thong that leaves very little to the imagination. Also the Joker cracks lewd jokes from time to time.
DARK ENVIRONMENT: Let’s face it. There are a lot of games out these days that feature very dark and disturbing environments. Gears of War and Left 4 Dead are the main two that come to mind, and sadly, Batman: Arkham Asylum ranks right up there with those two dark and creepy titles.
As I said in the Violence section, Joker leaves corpse’s strewn all across Arkham. Lots of times he scrawls smiley faces on them, or does some other sinister deed to the dead bodies before he moves on to his next victim. It can be very disturbing.
At one point in the game, the more ‘insane’ inmates are let loose, and their actions can sometimes be disturbing as well. One such inmate is seen laughing and giggling while prodding a dead guard’s body. Other inmates are seen eating rats.
Probably the most disturbing part of the game, however, is the Scarecrow. When Batman is exposed to the Scarecrow’s gas, the world turns into a terrible, fearful place. Bugs that don’t exist crawl all over everything. Batman sees himself batting at things that aren’t there, and in one instance Batman sees himself eating a rat when he is under the influence of Scarecrow’s gas. Batman imagines himself talking to his dead parents, who are ghastly white-eyed ghouls in body bags, and in a few instances he has to fight skeletons.
CONCLUSION: This game is one of the few games that I will call ‘amazing’. The gameplay is great, it’s a fun, innovative game with a great storyline and plot, but there are the issues with the games content. If you are easily disturbed, or just plain don’t like anything dark or oppressive then this game is not for you. If you can handle the content, I highly recommend this game and I can almost guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.
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