Superheroes have so much potential in the video game world. Superman for example would make a great video game if it was done right. However, it never seems to be done right. Every superhero game always seems to have some attribute that makes it inferior to most games. This is probably because the makers are depending on the fame of the superhero for success. Batman: Arkham Asylum, is the first game that I have played that stands alone. It is not just another superhero game.
Batman has finally captured the Joker. As he hauls the villain back with him to Arkham Asylum, he suspects that not everything is right. Once the Joker has been taken in at the Asylum he is set free along with the rest of the inmates on the island. Mass mayhem ensues and it is up to Batman to put everything right. But to do so he must go up against some of the most dangerous villains at Arkham, including Harley, Venom, Scarecrow, Bane, Killer Croc, and the Joker himself.
The story for this game is very good. This is probably because it is not based on any other story, such as the recent films. Instead the story was developed independently. The story manages to pit Batman against a large variety of classic villains without making it seem like the writers are stretching themselves be throwing every one of Batman’s enemies at him all at once.
The gameplay is extremely satisfying. It is primarily based on out-witting your enemy. Much of the game is spent using stealth and detective work, though outright physical confrontation is occasionally called for. Nothing, however, is more satisfying than swooping in from the roof and instantly taking a thug out. The boss fights are challenging though not impossible. Another good quality about the gameplay is the constant progression. Things rarely get repetitive due to the fact that you frequently receive a new item or upgrade, allowing you switch things up.
The detective vision is particularly useful, allowing you to see through walls as well as other things that might not be visible on first glance. The usefulness of this feature, however, makes it tempting to leave it on all the time. This takes away from the game, causing enemies to appear as translucent skeletons rather than people.
Overall, Batman: Arkham Asylum is definitely a great game on its own, regardless of being a superhero game. It is certainly one of the best superhero games ever to be released.