Batman: Arkham Asylum


George W.

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Surprised no one caught this.

August 13, 2008 - Eidos and Warner Bros. have sent out the announcement that a new Batman game is in the works. Arkham Asylum is under development at Rocksteady Studios for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC and is slated for a release in 2009.

Hailed as a "haunting action detective game," Arkham Asylum puts the player in the role of Batman while he delivers The Joker to the titular loony bin. Of course, there's a trap set by the villains, and that is where the game unfolds. Arkham Asylum's script is written by Batman writer Paul Dini.

"In Batman: Arkham Asylum Eidos and Warner Bros. are building a true action adventure game experience worthy of gamers and fans," said Phil Rogers, CEO of Eidos Interactive. "Players become Batman, like he has never been seen before in a video game, as he fights through intense circumstances in Arkham Asylum utilizing his intuitive detective skills and aggressive melee attacks."

Edit: Forgot the source.

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There was a huge article (like 8 pages) about it in the latest Game Informer magazine. It looks intriguing to say the least and I'll probably pick it up when it comes out next year.

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Guest DCAUFan1051
Teaser is up.

The voices of Batman and The Joker will be provided by Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill.

hell yeah

this might be the the Best Batman game ever

Which wouldn't be saying all that much.

Regardless, I'm stoked for this game.

well Batman: Vengence was OK hell I still remember how bad the first NES batman game was from squaresoft

my only complaint so far is I wish they'd have used the DCAU character models for the game. As far as the look of the joker and bats

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Guest DCAUFan1051
The voices on here are Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill does that mean its in the DCAU continuity?

as Preston said no it's not, however I think it's great that they are recognizing and using familiar voices that we've heard before as these characters. :D

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Preview:

Christian Bale makes a pretty cool Batman. And I also think that Michael Keaton and even Adam West have their own special seats at the Guys Who've Played Batman Reunion (though, no invites for either George Clooney or Val Kilmer); yet, there's one actor who I, and pretty much any Batman fan whose childhood is rooted either the 80s or 90s, consider the one and true Batman.

Of course, I'm talking about Kevin Conroy, who's voiced the caped crusader over the course of multiple cartoons for the past 16 years (starting with Batman: The Animated Series back in 1992). So when I saw Batman: Arkham Asylum during a recent press tour, that is what stood out for me. Sure, the game has other features like investigation, stealth, and combat, which are all aimed at making this the definitive Batman game (which shouldn't be too hard, considering his games portfolio isn't particularly impressive). But whenever digital Batman starts moving his lips and Conroy's voice rolls out as a result, I just grin and feel like I'm 12 years old again.

Besides the obscenely perfect voice casting, Batman: Arkham Asylum has a pretty good shot at its goal. The plot isn't a rehash of the trippy (and great, though most likely not very game adaptation friendly) Grand Morrison graphic novel Arkham Asylum; it's a simple story of Batman having a pretty terrible night. It starts with Batman hauling in the Joker (another piece of perfect voice casting featuring Mark "I was in both Star Wars and Wing Commander III" Hamill) into Arkham Asylum. This typical "let's have some build-up combined with exposition" sequence also displays the participation of yet another Batman: The Animated Series alum: writer Paul Dini, who wrote the first Charlie-centric episode of Lost way back in Season One, in addition to being involved in numerous cartoons, Batman-related and otherwise. Again, the aesthetics, tone, and dialogue of even this early game sequence all cement that "Batman feel." After Joker gets carted around like Hannibal Lecter for a while, the actual game properly begins when he engineers his escape, and the player can finally do more than just walk Batman around.

At its core, Arkham Asylum is a third-person brawler with some ancillary features to round out the Batman experience. Developer Rocksteady's trademarked FreeFlow combat system means that Batman should be able to effortlessly transition between multiple opponents during combat -- meaning he should be able to pop a guy in a face, turn to kick some other fool, grab yet another fool, and then finally deliver the business on the first guy. With the developer playing for our demonstration, combat did look pretty fluid, without the janky "you're locked into finishing the combat animation you started" occurrences that tend to come up in other brawlers. It's also worth noting that experience points pop up after putting down enemies, and you can spend said points on a variety of skills and upgrades to make Batman a better, er, batman.

Since Batman is considered the World's Greatest Detective, the developers are implementing that conceit in a few ways. Primarily, it's depicted via a vision mode (there seems to be a variety of these, so I'll hold off on calling it "Detecto-Vision") that highlights puzzles, points of interest (handy ventilation ducts, or protrusions to use the Batclaw on), enemies, and so forth. You can use this vision to scout around for enemies and plan your attack (if you prefer being a sneaky-ninja-Batman instead of a kickpunch-with-reckless-abandon-Batman), or, if you're stuck on a puzzle, as a pretty big "here's a hint, buddy" system. One vision mode sequence involves the serial killer Zsasz, who's holding a guard hostage on an electric chair. Zsasz will zap the guard if he spots Batman, so the player can use the detective mode to look for the best way to ambush Zsasz unseen. Another detective-plus-quick-moving hero moment comes when Batman encounters a room full of Joker toxin in which he has to quickly zip around and rescue hapless guards (and even a thug) from turning into victims of humoricide (yeah, I just totally coined that term, but if there's an existing one for "death by laughter", PM me and I will change this post-haste).

That sequence, plus another where Batman slinks around a sort of warehouse full of bad dudes, highlights the "Invisible Predator" mode. It's essentially a stealth mode where proper use of the environment, combined with Batman's awesome ninja-esque skills, results in silent (and satisfying) takedowns. Remember that moment in Batman Begins, where you're not watching a superhero movie, but a horror movie where the bad guys are the hapless teenagers and Batman is the methodical antagonist dispatching said bad guys one-by-one? That's what Invisible Predator is aiming for. Rather than straight-up punches, takedowns with Invisible Predator involve things like silently descending from a high perch, or quickly ducking down into a duct below and then popping up from down-under (and behind) to suddenly take out the guard that swears he saw something moving a moment ago.

Again, a lot of elements are being put together to try to make this the definitive Batman game. The combat looks solid, the detective puzzles look intriguing, and combining it all could go a long way to making the player feel totally badass like Batman. It's also cool to see HD-generation versions of classic villains (check out that redesigned, and roided-out, Killer Croc screen!), and Rocksteady plans to cram a whole lot of cameos and references for comic nerds (I'm hoping for either a Black Mask or, heck, a Calendar Man shout-out). But really, what has me super-excited about finally getting my hands-on with Batman: Arkham Asylum is just listening to Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill trade barbs on-screen, just like they did back on weekday afternoons during the 90s.

http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3172551

There is a video with some short gameplay stuff also.

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Guest DCAUFan1051

looks cool I agree they need to fix the batman killing part..... is it just me or does Hamil's Joker sound different? I'm not complaining I'm glad they're using him, but it sounded a little off to me.

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New trailer.

It looks like a stealth game. My only problem with it is that he's dropping people from high places that they obviously won't survive. Batman doesn't kill.

Well...tough shit. Batman will take down a threat anyway he needs to. Weather killing them or not depends on the version of the character. Clearly this is the kind of batman who will use very leathal force. If you like your batman not killing...Then this isnt the game for you.

PS: I love the armor detailing of the suit. And hamil doesnt sound off to me.

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New trailer.

It looks like a stealth game. My only problem with it is that he's dropping people from high places that they obviously won't survive. Batman doesn't kill.

Well...tough shit. Batman will take down a threat anyway he needs to. Weather killing them or not depends on the version of the character. Clearly this is the kind of batman who will use very leathal force. If you like your batman not killing...Then this isnt the game for you.

PS: I love the armor detailing of the suit. And hamil doesnt sound off to me.

The whole point of the Batman character is that he doesn't want to become what he fights. If he kills, then he is just as bad as the people who killed his parents. Any version of Batman that kills by yanking people off a ledge without a care is made by people who don't know the character.

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Guy only fell like twelve feet. He might not die?

They may be taking that from the dark knight, although Batman won't kill, it won't stop him kicking the utter shit out of someone.

It looks nice, but it makes me think they saw Splinter cell and just decided to copy that a bit much.

It looks nice though. I'll be getting it, but I don't think it will be that great now.

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A couple of new trailers are up highlighting some of the villains. Bane and Harley Quinn are currently up. Arleen Sorkin is the voice of Harley (yes!) and has a new costume. It's kinda hot but also bothers me since it plays like fan service. I hate to see what Ivy will look like if she's in the game. Then again, if Ivy is in the game, Harley and Ivy team fight. Still, as a Harley fan boy, I am so fraking excited for this.

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