Batman: Arkham Asylum Collectors Edition PlayStation 3
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Released on 28/08/2009
Based on the core Batman license, in Batman: Arkham Asylum, the Dark Knight takes on his greatest challenge yet when he becomes trapped with all of his most dangerous villains inside the insane asylum of Gotham City . . . Arkham Asylum!
Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum –Gotham’s psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City’s most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum. Using a wide range of Batman’s gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker’s demented scheme. Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner, Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.
With amazing graphics and a moody, immersive setting, Batman: Arkham Asylum offers diverse gameplay options that push the envelope for all action, adventure and superhero games.
Batman: Arkham Asylum on PS3 Features:
- Unique FreeFlow combat system. Utilise the unique FreeFlow™ combat system to chain together unlimited combos seamlessly and battle with huge groups of The Joker’s henchmen in brutal melee brawls.
- Investigate as Batman, the world's greatest detective, by solving intricate puzzles with the help of cutting edge forensic tools including x-ray scanning, fingerprint scans, ‘Amido Black’ spray and a pheromone tracker.
- Face off against Gotham’s greatest villains including The Joker, Harley Quinn, Victor Zsasz and Killer Croc.
- Become the Invisible Predator with Batman’s fear takedowns and unique vantage point system to move without being seen and hunt enemies.
- Choose multiple takedown methods, including swooping from the sky and smashing through walls, and use the predator camera get a closer look at the action.
- Explore every inch of Arkham Asylum and roam freely on the infamous island, presented for the first time ever in its gritty and realistic entirety.
- Experience what it’s like to be Batman using Batarangs, explosive gel aerosol, The Batclaw, sonar resonator and the line launcher.
- Hidden challenges. Unlock more secrets by completing hidden challenges in the world and develop and customize equipment by earning experience points.
- Enjoy complete superhero freedom in the environment with the use of Batman’s grapple to get to any place you can see, jump from any height and glide in any direction.
The Collector’s Edition of Batman: Arkham Asylum, features a full array of iconic collector’s items, including:
• 14" Batarang with stand
- Matches the Batarang’s in-game design
• Arkham Doctor’s Journal
- 48 pages of notes on Arkham’s inmates
• 2 Sleeve Digi-pack, including:
- Game disc
- Behind-the-scenes DVD
• Code for downloadable Challenge Map
- Exclusive “Crime Alley” map, available immediately
• Full-color Manual
Here's what GamesMaster magazine thinks about Batman: Arkham Asylum:
“The greatest game of 2009 so far”
“…one of the most gripping videogames ever created.”
“…rivals Bioshock’s Rapture as one of the finest gaming worlds ever made.”
Riddle me this...
Why has no one ever made a decent Batman game? LEGO Batman is just about the only passable tie-in with DC Comic's darkest of avengers. And that was hardly what you'd call a dark, gritty realisation.
Batman: Arkham Asylum is going to change all of that. After playing the entire first chapter, we're pretty damn sure that this will do for Batman games what Christian Bale's caped crusader did for ol' Bats at the box office.
The campaign kicks off with the Batmobile careering through the streets of Gotham towards the infamous Arkham Asylum. Batman has captured the recently escaped Joker, whose goons have also been transferred to the asylum from a nearby jail facility. Sensing something isn't right, he tags along as guards wheel the strapped-down supervillain through the industrial corridors or prisoner processing.
Our initial impression is of a more fluid Dead Space with smooth melee combat. You can even pull the L trigger to ready the Batarang, firing it with the R trigger.
Then, just as they tell our hero he can go no further, Joker escapes and all hell breaks loose, leaving the Dark Knight and Commissioner Gordon trapped in a place full of criminals they helped put away. Talk about a bad day at the office...
For us however this proved rather handy, giving us our first taste of Batman: Arkham Asylum's free-flowing combat system. Movement is on the left stick, the camera on the right, and attacks sit on the fascia buttons: X for strike, Y for counters, B to stun with Batman's cape, and A sending your into a dodge-roll; or sprinting if held down.
Coupled with the chunky character models our initial impression is of a more fluid Dead Space – albeit with smooth, hassle-free melee combat. You can even pull the L trigger to ready the Batarang, firing it with the R trigger. Put it all together and you have a system that lets you batter a horde of prison thugs with satisfying, brutal efficiency.
The next challenge however requires a far more subtle approach; one of the prisoners, a psychopath named Zsasz, had captured a guard and strapped him into an electric chair. Here, the game guides us through Batman's acrobatic abilities; entering Detective Mode with LB to highlight grapple points; grappling high onto stone gargoyles with the right bumper, manoeuvring behind Zsas from above, and glide-kicking his lights out with a X. More than a nod to Ninja title Tenchu there, then.
I warden't if I were you...
With that, a cutscene plays – the Joker's dominatrix-wannabe sidekick Harley Quinn has Arkham's Warden hostage, and she's locked down the doors to prevent our progress. Appearances are deceptive, though; we've soon prised a grill away from the wall and crawled through to the next challenge – rescuing guards and inmates alike from a noxious cloud of the Joker's poisonous gas. Holding A we soar between platforms, pull people up, quick-grappling out with RB when we fall, and eventually activate the extraction fan with a well-placed Batarang throw.
All of our hard work pays off in the next scene – we've finally caught up with The Joker! Alas, before Bats can snag him, he unleashes a deformed henchman and we're forced to roll-dodge away from him until he charges into an electrical fence, opening him up for a swift melee combo.
Really badass stuff that perfectly captures the fear and ferocity that everyone loved in The Dark Knight movie.
By that time, Joker's escaped – but he's now the least of our worries. CCTV footage shows Prison guard Bodes turn bad and cart off Commissioner Gordon! Again though, Batman has a solution; guided by the voice of Commissioner Gordon's daughter Oracle via the intercom, we return to the scene of the abduction and enter the Metroid Prime inspired Investigation Mode – scanning the air for traces of Bodes' bourbon breath, and following the traces all the way back through the corridors to...
An encounter with Harley Quinn! The Joker's psychotic sidekick isn't happy about Batman's progress, and blows out the hydraulics on the elevator she's stood upon, sending our hero scurrying for safety. Naturally though that isn't going to deter us – and what follows is a quite ingeniously designed piece of grappling, jumping, crawling, ledge-shimmying and climbing the maze-like shaft in order to get to what turns out to be the last area in the opening chapter.
In the fashion of the rest of the level, this introduces a few new skills, as well as asking us to call upon those we'd learned throughout the playtest so far. Cue us grappling over and behind gun-toting inmates; silently stealth killing them by shuffling forwards holding crouch (R trigger) and pressing Y up close – then entering a large multi-tiered area packed with buildings, in which we're given the chance to take a set of thugs out however we wish. Grappling into the shadows, stealth-killing, glide kicking and employing bruising combos, this proved some really badass stuff that perfectly captured the fear and ferocity that everyone loved in The Dark Knight movie.
Stealthy, brutal, dark and intelligent, Arkham Asylum is more than your run of the mill action-adventure. In fact, it's also one of the most faithful superhero games around. The team have gone to enormous lengths to pack this with authentic Batman elements, from the collectable statues, puzzles and challenges courtesy of The Riddler to the 20 upgrade slots for Batman's attacks, abilities and gadgets; a whole back-story to the asylum dotted about the world in scannable symbols; and the unlockable bios for each important character, there's far more content here than anyone could hope to cover in just one 12-hour playthrough.
For us, 90 minutes was enough to know that this will be hands-down the best Batman game ever, and quite possibly the standout game of the whole summer. August's final Friday can't come soon enough.
Can't read my Joker face...
It's not purely linear. Just in case you got that impression from the Preview. Sure, that first chapter may be straightforward, but shortly after leaving Intensive Treatment the whole gameworld opens up before you. At that point you begin to get a sense of what a special game Batman: Arkham Asylum really is.
In fact, the aforementioned preview called it 'arguably the best game of the whole summer'. Now we've finished Arkham Asylum, we'd go back on that. There's no argument at all, really.
Assault and bat-ery
And yet, no one single thing sets Arkham Asylum apart from everything else we've played recently. Instead, it's the combination of gamestyles that makes it such a well-rounded action adventure.
Take stealth, for instance. Anyone who's seen Batman Begins will know the caped crusader is something of a hi-tech ninja, and Eidos have done a stellar job of rendering that with versatile, yet immediate control. Grapple to the rafters wherever you see an RB icon and Batman will swiftly zipline up, from where you can glide kick (X), hang (B), perform an Inverted Takedown (Y) – swooping down and picking up enemies, then hanging them upside down from their ankles – or just float silently behind them (hold A) and sneak up (R Trigger) for a one-hit stealth takedown (Y).
Anyone who's seen Batman Begins will know Batman is a hi-tech ninja, and Eidos have rendered that with versatile, yet immediate control.
Fancy yourself as more of an up-close-and-personal superhero? No probs. Arkham Asylum's slick combat lets you attack, block, stun and dodge around the Joker's clown-faced goons, countering their attacks by simply pressing the Y when an icon appears above their heads.
Then there's forensics. Batman is billed as the World's Greatest Detective, and lives up to that in Arkham Asylum with a whole host of gizmos that give him the edge over Arkham's criminal masterminds. Hit LB and you'll go into Detective Mode, which gives you two distinct advantages. The first is that it gives you an x-ray vision view of the world, letting you track guard's movements through walls. The second is that it helps highlight objects of interest; be they a grate to prise off a wall or a fingerprint trail to scan and follow to your next objective.
And the more you progress through Arkham Asylum, the more gadgets you get to play with. You start with just the Batarang, but before long you're able to spray explosive gel, pull objects (and enemies) with the Batclaw, scale distances with the Line Launcher, and overload fuse boxes with the Cryptographic Sequencer – plus there's unlockables like a remote-controlled Batarang, proximity-detonated gel, enhanced combo moves and upgraded armour, purchased with Experience Points earned from doing well in the game.
The pleasing thing is that all of these additions come together in a way that's almost Zelda-like in design; each new inventory addition feels like a reward for your hard work, and straight away opens up new ways to take out enemies, and a whole new set of possibilities for getting around the gameworld.
You'll want to devote a significant amount of time to doing that away from the main story arc, because the amount of secrets to discover is just insane. From inmate interviews lending the game an element of backstory and menace, to the hundreds of riddles, Riddler trophies and other challenges dotted around (you'll never look at windup teeth the same way again), there's an enormous amount of replay value – even before you've factored in the Challenge Rooms, with high score tables to top on Xbox Live.
It's all delightfully – and sometimes disturbingly – diverse, and almost always flawlessly executed.
Of course, it goes without saying what a good-looking game Batman: Arkham Asylum is. What's less apparent is how imaginative and polished it proves. The Joker and Harley Quinn are so well-acted (in that camp, maniacal kind of way) that they steal pretty much every scene they're in, and boss battles against the likes of Killer Croc and Poison Ivy aren't just your run-of-the-mill exercise in finding a weak spot, either. The appearance of Scarecrow, meanwhile, turns an accomplished action adventure at times into a surreal Survival Horror game, or a challenging side-scrolling platformer. It's all delightfully – and sometimes disturbingly – diverse, and almost always flawlessly executed.
Bad points? Not many. A few times you'll run into a fence, press the context-sensitive A button expecting to climb, and find yourself rolling instead, which can be suicidal if you're running away from a fight. Likewise, having RT as the button to spray explosive gel, and RB as the button to detonate, is a bit counter-intuitive. We kept mixing them up and pulling the trigger again, spraying a second lot of gel. Irritating.
Game of the Year?
Oh, and you don't actually get to use any of Batman's vehicles, despite them putting in an appearance in cutscenes. As negatives go though, that's pretty much your lot.
What we have here then is nothing short of the best Batman game ever. But we knew that after the first chapter. In truth, Batman: Arkham Asylum is much better than even that. It's not only the best superhero game going, and the best licensed game in years – it's genuine Game of the Year material. Miss it, and the joke's on you.
- A superb blend of stealth, action, exploration and detective work.
- Tons of unlockables, collectibles and challenges for extra longevity.
- Looks amazing, sounds superb.
- Ending up dead because you pressed A and rolled, instead of climbed.
- No Batman vehicle sections.
- Multiplayer and/or co-op would be nice in the sequel.
Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Asylum is possibly the best superhero game ever made - at least until the sequel comes out. According to the latest issue of Game Informer magazine, the follow up to last year's stealth classic is called Batman: Arkham City, and will be released in autumn 2011 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
The Game Informer cover suggests Catwoman's going to have a pivotal role to play on this outing too - the main illustration shows her standing back to back with the Dark Knight, while a smaller picture shows her chained and hanging upside down.
Warner Bros, the game's publisher, has just released a press release offering a few more details, too. "Batman: Arkham City builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of Batman: Arkham Asylum, sending players soaring into Arkham City, the new maximum security 'home' for all of Gotham City's thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds.
"Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight."
Warner dates Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Batfans! Publishing giant Warner Bros has announced a release date for the Wii and DS game Batman: The Brave and the Bold. You'll be able to give Gotham City's supervillains a righteous kicking on 24th September in the UK. Can't wait.
Taking a brightly coloured cartoony look, The Brave and the Bold is a Batman game everyone in the family will be able to enjoy. With voice work by the cast of the brilliant animated series, the game focuses on co-op play as the Dark Knight is joined by Robin, the Green Lantern and Blue Beetle. If you really know your comics, you'll be pleased to hear that the quirky alien Bat-Mite will be unlockable if you link the Wii and DS versions together. He's a pretty obscure cast member, suggesting that the developers know their stuff inside out.
The game's being made by WayForward Technologies, who are a frankly brilliant developer with games like A Boy and His Blob for the Wii on the CV. If you're a fan of Batman, then, and you're looking for something a bit different to play alongside Rocksteady's fabulous Batman: Arkham Asylum, this could be the game for you.
With the news dominated by the PSP2 today, only Batman: Arkham City is exciting enough to make us think about anything other than Sony's amazing new handheld. Well done, Bats: you sure know how to get our attention.
What's the story? How about a mysterious new trailer that shows Batman teaming up with... The Joker in the new game?
If the new trailer is to be believed - and it can't be right, can it? - Arkham City's much rumoured co-op mode will see Batman and his arch enemy working together to take out enemies. Eurogamer for one was so surprised by the video, leaked by French site Jeux Video, that it's contacted Warner Bros just to make sure the whole thing isn't a hoax - we'll bring you news of that tomorrow, if that's the case.
Co-op's been the subject of speculation for some time with this game, but the assumption has been it will be Batman and Catwoman taking on Arkham City's thugs together. This twist - unless maybe it shows standard multiplayer? - would be unexpected, to say the least.
Whoever Batman eventually teams up with, Arkham City is due for release on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 later this year and we really, really want it.
If you were hoping Batman: Arkham City would be a nice long adventure to keep you glued to your console or PC for a good while, we have great news: Rocksteady, the game developer, has announced that the campaign will take at least eight hours to complete and it could turn out to be a good deal longer.
"It's very difficult to put a number on it," said Rocksteady Dax Ginn in an interview with CVG. "I can tell you that our QA [testing] guys, who are ninjas and obviously know everything in the game, can do just the core story missions, nothing else, in about eight hours, just straight-lining. And they know exactly where to go and what to do - the most efficient way of doing it. So, someone who has no idea what to do and wants to complete everything it's going to be significantly more than that."
We can wait for the new Batman game, no matter the length of the campaign. The follow up to 2009 smash Arkham Asylum, Arkham City promises lots more real-estate and plenty of new baddies to mess up. It hitting the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on 21st October.
Get excited, Bat fans: Warner Bros has just slapped a street date for Batman: Arkham City, and UK audiences can expect to get their hands on the game on 21st October.
We've seen the game, and we can't wait. A direct sequel to 2009's comic book classic Arkham Asylum, Arkham City ups the ante considerably by letting Batman loose in a section of Gotham itself - an area five times the size of the first game's island.
We already know you'll be facing off against the Joker and Two-Face, and you can expect to run up against Catwoman and Calendar Man, too. Batman will have new gadgets to play with and an expanded arsenal of moves.
The most important change is that you'll be covering a much larger area - an urban sprawl where you're free to pick your way between buildings and tackle roving gangs of thugs as you see fit. The first game was brilliant, but we're expecting this to be the most authentic comic book experience we've ever played.
Batman: Arkham City will be available for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. We're so excited, we half want to try and get to bed early so we can sleep until October.
Batman: Arkham City is 40 hours of pure gaming genius
Bats is back, and bigger than ever. According to the developers behind Batman: Arkham City, the new game offers around 40 hours of superhero carnage for you to enjoy.
Speaking to The Guardian and reported by CVG game director Sefton Hill spilled the beans on what we can expect. "It takes over 25 hours to complete the main stories in Batman: Arkham City,he said. o keep players engaged for this length of time, not only do the characters and the story need to progress, but the core mechanics of the game they are playing need to change and adapt as well."
On top of that, you can expect around 15 hours of side-quests, which you can take on as and when you please. "It's completely down to the player when and how they want to tackle this,said Hill. here's no right or wrong time. There's no other medium that can offer this kind of flexible experience where the viewer gets to tailor the experience they want themselves."
Hill also added that the narrative of Arkham City has more in common with TV shows than movies. "In terms of narrative structure, I think games are much more analogous to an episodic TV series than a film,he explained. ou have, say, 15 hourly episodes to fill, each requiring its own narrative arc but each plugging into an overarching storyline. It requires a lot of planning to make sure that every single hour is consistent with each other, is feeding and driving towards a compelling crescendo, while remaining implicitly self-explanatory so players can pick up and play at any time and know what they are doing."
This week sees the release of Prototype 2, where the Alex Mercer, hero from the first game seems to have become the new bad guy to beat. So, in celebration of all things vile and villainous, the digital team has once again been gently prodded to share with you our favourite evil-doers. These are the people, who, in the style of Bugsy Malone, are "the very best at being bad"
Glenn - Mad Mod
Diablo is the Lord of Terror and a Prime Evil of Hell. That's a job title that alone warrants a spot on our best bad guys list.
He manipulates his opponents using their innermost fears and then obliterates them with his Demonic strength and incredibly powerful Spells. The strongest Demon in Hell, named after the Devil himself, and seemingly indestructible (Read - he's been destroyed a number of times, even with the Arch Angels helping and he's still keeps ticking, like a malevolent Duracell bunny), devious and able to possess his enemies, Diablo is the Ultimate Bad Guy. And he's back in Diablo 3!
Marc - Analyst to the Stars
The little girl from F.E.A.R. - Alma Wade.
She was scary. Honest. Like the girl from the Ring (Japanese version, obviously). The first corridor experience with her and the ceiling of blood is one of the scariest scenes ever in a game.
The Music and Sound was eerie too. It was just all far too scary and Alma was the cause of it all.
Carl - Design Doodler
Shao Kahn from Mortal Kombat. Because he's massive and I can't kill him!
Ali - Queen of the Internet
My favourite video game villain is Revolver Ocelot. He started life in Metal Gear Solid as a random gunslinger who you could kill if you (as Solid Snake) waited for him to need to reload his revolver - he really should have named himself something with more than 6 bullets!
After cutting off his arm you assume that's the end of him, but he's more maniacal than you realise as he replaces his arm with that of your dead clone brother Liquid Snake. In a strange twist of surgery his arm takes over his mind so you have to beat him again in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Finally the epic family feud of a lifetime is over, but with Metal Gear nothing ever seems to stay dead. Roll on Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance!
James - Captain Category
G-Man from Half-Life - not really a villain but still very creepy
Nick - Colonel Category
Wesker from Resident Evil.
How many times did he
die escapeget retconned? Nigh on unkillable (until the muddle that was Resident Evil 5), the variety of his super powers (whatever the situation demanded, basically) and his smartass one-liners made him the man (ish?) well all loved to hate.
Plus, sunglasses in those dark places, yes, THAT's how hard he was!
Louis - Merchandising Meddler
Wesker be top of my favourite picks, too. From his humble beginnings in a dual life as a scientist/Umbrella genius/STARS Leader, he goes about sacrificing his entire team in the name of science... and obtaining reliable combat data.
After he is foiled by Chris and Jill, Wesker fakes his own death, escapes, and, not content with the destruction of Raccoon City, tries to continue his research away from the tenacious and meddling Redfield...
But, Wesker is a bad guy and is therefore doomed to fail. After failing twice, mutating his body beyond belief and moving to Africa, he becomes nothing short of annoying and impossible to kill. The only way he is stopped is by being tackled by Chris and Eva and hundreds of bullets later, is engulfed in a pool of lava.
Truly special, I'll always remember him for his rubbish sunglasses (worn at all times) and even worse Matrix-esque coat (RE 5). It was also really weird the way his accent changed too. He went from camp American to indignant English... I guess that cemented the transformation from mildly devious to completely evil!
My second pick would be The Shredder (many Turtles games, but in particular, the 1989 TMNT Arcade Game). Not content with burning down April's apartment building, he kidnaps her too - forcing the Turtles into action and on a mission to end all missions. To a degree, menacing, but generally just annoying and incessant ; )
Finally, I'd say my third pick would be Dr. Robotnik from Sonic. Generally, he's also just annoying, but also very devious and innovative. From trying to run Sonic down with a drill machine, to smashing Sonic with a giant wrecking ball, to trying to drown Sonic, to pitting Sonic against Metal Sonic in a race to save Amy Rose. Robotnik never gives up... You gotta love a good villain!
Robyn - In-Yer-Face Interfacer
Baron von Blubba. You know, the whale in Bubble Bobble! When time runs out it goes ape and super fast... Waaaaaah!!!! (o_o)
Damien - Good Word Writing Man
Does 'Dragonforce - Through the Fire and Flames' from Guitar Hero: World Tour count? Talk about an unbeatable enemy... No? Well then there's always the Joker in Arkham Asylum and City - played with delicious glee by Mark Hamill. He won an award for it and everything.
Batman: Arkham Asylum Chapter 1 Preview (14/08/2009)
Batman: Arkham Asylum Chapter 1 Preview…
Batman: Arkham Asylum Review (02/09/2009)
Can't read my Joker face...
It's not purely linear. Just in case you got that impression from the Prev…
Batman: Arkham City will be out next autumn…
Warner dates Batman: The Brave and the Bold…
If a new trailer is to be believed, Arkham City much rumoured co-op mode will see Batman and his arch enemy The Joker working together to take out enemies.…
If you were hoping Batman: Arkham City would be a nice long adventure to keep you glued to your console or PC for a good while, we have great news: Rocksteady, the game developer, has announced that t…
Get excited, Bat fans: Warner Bros has just slapped a street date for Batman: Arkham City, and UK audiences can expect to get their hands on the game on 21st October.…
Bats is back, and bigger than ever. According to the developers behind Batman: Arkham City, the new game offers around 40 hours of superhero carnage for you to enjoy.…Bring On The Bad Guys! (22/04/2012)
In celebration of all things vile and villainous, the digital team has once again been gently prodded to share with you our favourite evil-doers. These are the people, who, in the style of Bugsy Malon…
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