LIGHT BATMAN ARKHAM SERIES SPOILERS
As a quick warning before you start this post, if you played or heard criticism about Arkham Asylum back when it came out a lot of this might sound a bit old hat but if you want to see my growing rage that makes me want to throw the disc out the window like a frisbee then please read on!
Just over a year ago I discovered the wonderful game Batman: Arkham Knight. I had never played a Batman game before and while I had heard of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City I didn’t realise until I was hooked that Knight was the final game in the trilogy. I want to write about how amazing Arkham Knight was, I would happily play it all over again but unfortunately I had borrowed the game from a friend and had to give it back. The story was so engaging, there were plot twists, interesting villains, the batmobile, eye candy (Nightwing, I’m looking at you, you sort of emo looking, baton twirling vigilante), captivating puzzles from Riddler, the fighting was fun, and the end!!! (Joker end that is) How awesome was that?????… I could go on for hours.
Imagine my delight when I heard Batman: Return to Arkham was in the Playstation 10 year anniversary sale. Return to Arkham includes Asylum and City, neither of which I had played but having adored Knight I was hopeful. Oh dear, was I in for a shock.
I haven’t played City yet, I’m about halfway through Asylum and it has got to the point now where it feels like a chore to play. I’m determined to finish it because I spent money on it and I want a bit of story leading into City which I have heard isn’t as bad but… Eurgh. There are so many things that annoy me about this game, I’ve written them down it in angry list format rather than in paragraphs, otherwise we would be here all day:
- Mark Hamill, you are great as Joker but damn, Joker will not SHUT UP and he seems to only have about 3 lines of dialogue per area which gets boring very quickly
- Why does the asylum have loads of TV screens everywhere? Literally everywhere, places that would never usually need a screen. “Frank, why are you installing these screens everywhere?” “Well you never know, the asylum might get taken over by the Joker one day and what would he broadcast his repetitive banter on?” “You got me there mate, as you were.”
- I am pretty sure that I have actually solved a lot of the Riddler puzzles but the camera just won’t recognise the subject a lot of the time, it has to be PERFECTLY placed
- I DROWN THE BATMOBILE???? ARE YOU REALLY TELLING ME THE BATMOBILE CAN’T TURN INTO A BOAT???
- I DON’T GET TO DRIVE THE BATMOBILE?????
- Harley fucking Quinn (“Oh my gawd Bats, I bring nothing to this game whatsoever other than my sick costume which I bet you wish you were rocking instead”) – side note here: I like Harley Quinn I’m not hating on her, just her in this game. I am gearing myself up for a separate Harley rant
- Repetitive bosses
- “Why yes Oracle, I built a batcave on this heavily guarded island without anyone noticing” “didn’t anyone hear any building going on? You had to install all these platforms and-” “Don’t question my Batlogic, I’m Batman”
- *Gas comes out of the vents* Me: “well there must be another way” Batman: “We’re going this way” Me: “But the gas… Just find one of the conveniently placed vents and get through that way” Batman: “This way is the Batway… oh no! Scarecrow’s fear toxin!”
- Why are there vents and grates that have no purpose other than providing a way in somewhere? “You again Frank? Why are you placing a large grate in the side of that guard’s office?” “When Joker takes over the asylum Batman will come to stop him and will need to get into these places to collect trophies and collectibles.” “Don’t know what you’re talking about but yeah, you keep doing what you’re doing.” (I’m starting to build a profile of Frank the harmless ex-builder turned Arkham Asylum patient when he became obsessed with useless architecture. The guards quite like him and let him indulge in his mostly harmless renovating of the Asylum. Hopefully I can high five him at the end of the game and he’ll be declared not crazy)
- I am really struggling to do the fighting combos I unlock. I don’t know if this is just me being a bit useless at the fighting system, or if it’s the game, but I don’t remember having this issue in Knight
There is more but let’s stop there and focus on the positives of this game. The few positives.
The best thing so far is that the Scarecrow scenes, despite being a bit repetitive, are very cool. They are so creepy and surreal. When I am lured into a dull sense of familiarity with the game suddenly I’ll be snapped out of it by being thrown into a dark Alice in Wonderland style scenario. Scarecrow himself creeps me out as well.
The game is very cool and pretty looking. There’s a lot of detail and if it was easier to get around the place (you know, like with my Batmobile… oh wait, IT’S DEAD) I would like to explore it a lot more.
This isn’t really a strong positive, more a nice quirk, and it’s also not unique to Asylum. I like that Batman sprays the explosive spray in a bat symbol. I like to imagine he’s thinking “Well, my current situation sucks but enjoy the little things right? Lol temporary Batgraffiti, I am so awesome.”
I will continue through this game slowly until I either give up or finish it, judging by the completion percentage on the main menu, and that I am not searching for the Riddler trophies any more unless they are super obvious or I literally walk into them, it shouldn’t take too long.