Batman Preview: Not A Bat-Toosie In Sight

I got a chance to finally get around the showroom floor and play some games today. Fortunately for me, the first one I got to play was Batman: Arkham Asylum.

What Is It?

It's a Batman game that doesn't suck. It's a little bit Splinter Cell, it's a little bit Batman punching men in the face really, really hard.

What We Saw

I was able to play through the game's first level, in which the Joker is dragged into Arkham, then escapes, captures the warden, and locks Batman in. There was a brief tutorial, then some punching, some kicking, then some bataranging, then some sneaking.

How Far Along Is It?

Game was originally "finished" a few months back, then delayed. It's due out in August. It looks 100% done.

What Needs Improvement?

Swingy-Swingy: You can use a grapple hook to swing from the rafters. But it's implemented a little too simply for my liking, as it's done entirely on autopilot.

What Should Stay The Same?

Fatman: Batman is a big, strong man, and that's how he controls in the game. He's heavy, has a real sense of weight and power to him, and both combat and movement are perfect for the character.

Punch in the Face: the game's obviously heavy on combat, and the combat feels great. It's simple, with only a few moves and counters, but feels really well implemented, as Batman responds to changes in direction quickly and both the standard and "finishing" moves are brutally satisfying.

Animated: You a fan of the old animated series? Many of the voice actors are reprising their roles, with the characters appearance and behaviour similar to their animated predecessors as well. If you enjoyed the cartoon as a kid, this is the cartoon after it's grown up alongside you.

Final Thoughts

From what I played of it, Batman felt like an accomplished brawler, with copious amounts of Batman fanboy service layered atop it, like icing on top of a dark, mysterious cake.