Pretty much every Batman game has sucked. It’s a shame, ’cause Batman rocks. Every element of Batman seems to imply that he’d make a great video game character, but whenever someone makes a game based on the series, it ends up being a phoned-in piece of crap. Batman: Arkham Asylum does not look like a phoned-in piece of crap. Not at all.
The Premise and Classic Voice Actors
The Joker’s been arrested, again, and Batman is escorting him into Arkham Asylum. The first 10 minutes of the game are actually a very cool interactive cutscene where you’re walking behind the Joker’s Hannibal Lecter-esque gurney as he’s wheeled into the depths of the prison. It closely mimics the opening scene in Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, but with way more detail and awesome Batman nods. At one point, a massive, chained, Killer Croc, shambles his way out of an elevator, roaring his displeasure.
Speaking of Batman nods, the developers of the game are clearly huge fans of the classic animated series from the mid-90s, and they’ve nabbed Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill to play Batman and the Joker respectively. All due respect to Christian Bale (’cause I’m afraid he’ll punch me), but Conroy’s understated Batman knocks Bale’s rasp out of the park. And Hamill, well, he’s right up there with Heath as classic portrayals of the psycho clown. They’ve also got Paul Dini writing the script for the game, who has about as much experience writing for Batman as anyone out there.
Anyway, The Joker’s still being taken into the depths of Arkham when something goes wrong. Freeing himself from his handcuffs and using an inside source to deactivate the security fields (his long-time GF, Harley Quinn), the Joker steels off into the heart of Arkham, leaving Batman to fight off a handful of thugs.
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