My Year of Gaming: Batman: Arkham Asylum
I got a Playstation 4 a little bit over a year ago and it is the first time I have had a console since Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword came out on the Wii. Naturally, I have a lot of catching up to do and my backlog is incredibly massive. During the course of a year, I played my way through 23 games, and I figured I would take the time to share a little bit about each game. Perhaps you’ve played them and want to hear another opinion, or maybe you’ve been holding off on investing in a particular game. Either way, it’s never a bad time to spread your love of gaming.
First up on my romp through gaming is Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009), the first in a trilogy that takes you deep into Batman lore. Asylum finds Batman escorting the Joker into the bowls of Arkham Asylum and getting trapped. The Dark Knight squares off against some of the most notorious Bat-villains as he tries to stop the Joker’s master plan.
Batman is my all-time favorite superhero and I have been dying to play these games. I even had a calendar of the second game, Arkham City, because it just looked so good (this was like 2011-2012). The game did not disappoint. From the fighting system to the story, it was all brilliantly done. The game is more than just button mashing and beating up thugs. There’s an aspect of problem solving rolled in that makes it more engaging. As the game progresses and gets more difficult, you definitely have to be more thoughtful about how you clear a room.
Asylum featured heavy-hitting and well-known villains like Joker, Bane, Scarecrow, and Poison Ivy, but it also focused on some villains who aren’t normally at the head of Batman stories outside the comics like Killer Croc and Victor Zsasz. One of my favorite things is just how terrifying the game made Scarecrow, something that carries into the other games. Each villain is given their chance to shine and show why they are such formidable opponents for Batman. There are even some interview tapes littered around the asylum for Batman to pick up and listen to, providing more insight into their characters.
Overall, this game, along with Arkham City and Arkham Knight, is a must-play for fans of Batman and superheroes in general. The trilogy has been called the best superhero games of all-time and I agree. My verdict for which of the three is my favorite is still up in the air. I can’t decide because they’re all amazing for different reasons. In the end, they’re the perfect Batman story.
Batman: Arkham Asylum can be purchased along with Arkham City in the PS4 release of Batman: Return to Arkham.