Monday, June 8, 2009

Batman: Arkham Asylum - hands on

Like the polar opposite of a magnet, we go from the disappointment of White Knight to the sudden excitement of the Dark Knight! (Eh? Eh? Didja see what I did there, with the "knight" thing? And the whte and black,, moving on.)

Comic videogames are as volatile as videogame movies, and usually get overlooked by my gaming radar. So my lack of interest never waned, even with the promise of a huge limited-edition batarang. With low expectations, I began playing the demo. What I experienced blew me away.

It wasn't the murky graphics or the original story that I marvelled (er, "DC'ed." Pure gold.)...but the fighting that I enjoyed the most. Every punch and kick was seamlessly chained together so well, you can't even tell when one punch ends and the other begins.

Lemme give you a memorable example. I was punching one guy in the face, with two other enemies behind me. In a natural fluid motion, I perform a roll motion over the second guy, which transitioned immediately to a creasant kick to the third guy's face!

There are even movie style attacks, like Batman's no-looking-behind-backhanded-fist counterattack, or his cape-spreading aerial glide kick from above. They've even included his trademark grapple-from-above taketowns, which purposely position the camera to give you an optimal view of the enemy being wisked away into the unknown abyss above.

Add to this the random slow-motion of final blows, and you have the makings of almost cinema-like battle sequences sure to qwell the doubts any gamer has to this Batman game.

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