I don’t have as much time for video games as I used to, but over the weekend I finished the story mode of one of the few must have games for me in years: Batman: Arkham Asylum. For the uninitiated, Arkham Asylum is the ‘prison’ where the vast majority of Batman’s arch-enemies end up (since for the most part they’re all considered criminally insane). The conceit of the game is the Joker ‘traps’ Batman on the island that is Arkham Asylum, leaving the Caped Crusader with no choice but to fight the numerous villains he’s put there over the years…all in one night.
Playing through the game, I have no problem saying (as a Batman fan) that it should take its place with Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Killing Joke, and The Long Halloween in terms of being a great adaptation of the character. At different points of the game you need to take on different aspects of the character: ‘The World’s Greatest Detective’ to solve some of the clues and riddles planted into the story, ‘The Dark Knight’ when you’re locked in a room with 10 armed felons and can’t escape until you’ve beaten all ten, ‘The Caped Crusader’ when you have to make a choice between catching the criminal mastermind or saving the hostages.
I’ve had discussions with friends about how the natural interactive nature of video games makes it a platform that’s perfectly suited for the next generation of (home) entertainment. Games like Batman: Arkham Asylum are a perfect example of that. Even if you only know the character and his Rogue’s Gallery in a casual way, there’s more than enough story and suspense here to make this game a worthwhile purchase.