Despite the booming popularity of his films, Batman has a spotty video game track record. The game based on fabulous franchise reboot Batman Begins landed with a thud, while the game based on the blockbuster sequel The Dark Knight didn't land at all, instead becoming the victim of poor timing and problematic design while costing EA around $100 million to not release. Call the Bat-broker and tell him to sell, sell, sell!
But like the denizens of Gotham he's sworn to protect, fans of the Caped Crusader have stood by their man, patiently waiting for a game maker to step up and embrace Batman as the perfect video game hero.
Looks like that patience finally paid off. Big time.
Currently averaging a smashing 92% on review aggregation site Gamerankings, the brand new Batman: Arkham Asylum for the Xbox 360 and PS3 is already among the year's best reviewed titles. Created by developer Rocksteady and Tomb Raider publisher Eidos, it's a thinking man's action game set in the horrific halls of Arkham Asylum, which the Joker has turned into his personal playground filled with villains, traps, and puzzles. It's dark, scary, gorgeous and fun.
And according to the reviews, it's quite possibly the best superhero video game ever made. So what makes this particular Dark Knight such a bright outing?
Plenty. Top print mag Game Informer gave the bat a whopping 9.5/10, noting that it "dishes out water cooler moments like they are going out of style." IGN certainly agrees, doling out a major-league 9.3/10 while praising it left and right. "This is an adult Dark Knight story that is well-told, packs some truly fun gameplay elements, has topnotch voice talent, and feel like it's part of Batman canon." But can it cut through this tin can?
Gamedaily seems to think so. "Batman's known for having equal parts brawn and brains, and the game experience reflects that by deftly combining action sequences with exploration -- not an easy balance to strike." Need more specifics? Take it away, Gamespot.
"Everything about this game--the impressive visuals, stirring soundtrack, superb voice acting, fiendish puzzles, hard-hitting combat--feels like it has been lovingly crafted by a development team that's both knowledgeable and passionate about the source material." Is it any surprise they gave it a 9/10?
Of course, every superhero needs a few flaws to stay human, and Batman: Arkham Asylum is certainly no exception. Despite a stirring A-, review site 1UP knocks the game's climactic end fight to be "totally out of character," a concern echoed by Game Informer, who calls the final confrontation "a major letdown." And while Ars Technica was thoroughly blown away, they also thought "the aspects of the game where you track your prey in detective mode are lame."
Still, nearly every review considers the game a must-have, with numerous sites already bandying about 'Game of the Year' talk. IGN takes it a step further, calling it "the greatest comic book videogame of all time." Looks like the concerned gamers of Gotham can finally rest easy.
Official site: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/Story: http://videogames.yahoo.com/events/plugged-in/no-joke-batman-arkham-asylum-could-be-best-superhero-game-ever/1348174