Thursday, August 13, 2009

Batman: Arkham Asylum (Demo)

First off, thanks for sticking with me through four days of Star Wars ranting, which probably ran about four days longer than it should.

Now on to the Arkham Asylum Demo...

The demo lasts about twenty minutes, but that was enough time to impress me. Immediately after finishing the demo, I went to my computer and pre-ordered it on Amazon, instead of hoping that Gamefly would promptly send me a virgin or near-virgin copy after its release.

The demo isn't extraordinary, but it's solid and competent. That may sound like I'm damning it with faint praise - but a comic tie-in game with solid controls, that is actually, you know, fun, is a rare beast. And I can't say enough good things about the person who made sure to get the voice talent from Batman: The Animated Series.

The controls are simple, intuitive. Batman's attack combos look awesome, though it can feel like the game is doing most of the fighting for you. Of course, this is the game's tutorial level, and not a good measure for how the fighting system will handle as the game gets going. And someone finally got the grappling hook right, and combined with effective stealth tactics, the game creates a truly authentic Batman experience.

Not a big fan of the game's art design, though. The characters look like they were designed by a fourteen year-old. OK...a very talented fourteen year-old, but still a kid who could listen to Pretty Hate Machine all day long while designing Batman-themed cosplay outfits for his friends that could successfully pull double duty at a rave later that night. Harley Quinn doesn't look scary, but I find the notion that someone thought all those ridiculous leather straps looked cool very troubling, indeed.

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