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E3 2009 First Impression Review: BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM

by Joey Paur

bathead

One of the new video games I have been most looking forward to playing is 'Batman: Arkham Asylum'. I was impressed by everything I saw before hitting up the E3 convention. There I got the opportunity to pick up a control and play that bad boy.

The game starts off with Batman capturing the Joker after his latest diabolical plan. Batman escorts him to Arkham Asylum for imprisonment, and due to the Joker's recent shannigans on Gotham's Blackgate prison, a large number of sane convicts have been transferred. Once in, The Joker and Harley Quinn let all the inmates loose, and lock down the asylum with Batman and Commissioner Gordon inside, threatening to detonate bombs all around Gotham if someone tries to enter the building. Batman must uncover the full extent of the Joker's plan, while contending with the horrors of Arkham.

The game looks fantastic. The graphics, character and setting designs are all very good. I love the atmosphere that they created for the game! The sound and voice work was great as well. Most of the voices in the game are the same actors that gave their voices to the animated TV show 'Batman: The Animated Series', including Mark Hamill as the Joker.

The best part of the game was the fighting. The way Batman devastates the villains in this game is a work of art. The fighting moves are very smooth, and the way the characters move are very fluid. It has some awesome Zack Snyder-style slow motion movement when you take a bad guy out. It doesn't happen all the time, but there are moments where you are glad you saw that take down in slow motion. The defensive attacks are amazing, and it really comes in handy when you are fighting multiple thugs. If you get to know your three button controls which include: Attack, Stun, and Takedown, none of those bad guys can touch you. Batman is just that good! The combat in the game is very free flow. It's really cool to see Batman in action in the game.

Unfortunately, you do have your limits on where you can go. The game has a closed atmosphere, and you are led through the game one fight after another. I was only able to play with the Batman character, but with the final product, you will be able to play as other villains like The Joker, which will be pretty damn awesome.

I had a blast playing the game. It might just be the best comic book video game on the market right now. If you liked what you saw in the trailers, and are excited for the game, then you wont be disappointed in what you get in August.

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