Monday, August 17, 2009

Digital Kid and The Dark Knight

Both this PS3 browser and my phone are swallowing up my posts. This is out of my control.

No more empty promises until I've got something concrete.

Though I will say this in passing, and damnit if I haven't typed this into the window and watched it get sucked into the abyss three times--

Batman: Arkham Asylum is amazing, not in that "Hey this is pretty good" comic book game sense, but as the most fully realized, authentic, nailed-to-a-tee Batman experience I've seen in a very long time, and yes, that is including the last two films, both of which were fantastic.

The setup is simple - The Joker finally gets captured (and it's a term I use lightly) by Batman and dragged to Arkham Island, no sooner than he is a few steps into the prison, the guards are down, the Joker's loose inside and taking over, and it's up to Batman to contend with every single loon he's locked up in that place.

The visuals are top notch and exude creativity, the voice acting is superb (What is it with the Joker ALWAYS stealing the show? Thank you Mark Hamill), the controls are fluid and intuitive, and most of all, it's FUN. What we have coming up is a Stealth/Action hybrid that not only manages to capture the essence of the world of The Dark Knight, but it looks like it's shaping up to be a damn fine game as well.

The best thing about the game is that it truly lets you FEEL like Batman.

Utility belt and all. It's almost like a Batman refresher course in case you've forgotten his abilities.

A superb multidirectional fighting system reminds you just how adept he is at hand-to-hand-combat, complete with impressively segued counter animations, should the need arise.

The grappling hook, batarang, prehensile cape are there to remind you what a great inventor he is. When was the last time you used a weapon or accessory in a game that felt less like a appliance, and more like a natural extension of the character?

Being able to scan an entire area with his "Detective vision" (with detailed, per-enemy information down to their moods) reminds you of his above average perception and situational awareness. You know, pretty much the answer to just how he takes advantage of all those shadows and vantage points you wouldn't have thought of.

A particularly fond memory of these realizations adding up to a cohesive whole:

I was faced with a room full of enemies. 5 to be precise. All milling about, minding themselves. A flick of my detective vision from the vent revealed 5 enemies, all aware, all armed. I set forward, crept behind the first one too dumb to check his 6, and knocked him unconscious. I'm wide in the open though, another flick of my DV reveals several stone gargoyles near ceiling high. I notice one right near two enemies making their rounds. Perfect. I grapple towards them and bide my time.

They're running a tight ship, heading in the same direction. I have to separate them. I wait until they've gotten closer to my vantage point and make my move. Quickly whipping out a batarang, I knock the first one unconscious. This startles the second one, leading him to panic and try to revive his partner. He got it the worst, making the mistake of running underneath the very same gargoyle I'd made my new home. A flick of the Y button, and he was yanked upward into the shadows, strung up like a defenseless pinata. I drop down silently and pacify the still unconscious thug from before.

3 down.

I'd apparently made too much noise, as one of them noticed and started making his way towards the site of my handiwork. A quick tap of RB ziplines me back into the shadows, prime for my next move. These next two are much too far apart for me to be effective. As soon as one's back is turned, I leap off the gargoyle with my trademark glide kick, and nail one right in the back, this makes enough noise to startle the other, so much so that I don't even have time to finish my target, I have to retreat. But they're both worried. My detective vision tells me this much. Hanging from yet another gargoyle, I yank his terrified friend skyward just to spook the hell out of the last thug, and it works. He is literally so flustered, he's taken to firing up at the ceiling. I know I have him.

Right in the middle of his best Rambo impression, I drop behind him without a sound, punch him in the neck and put him in a sleeper hold.

The Joker laments my victory with taunts and chagrin for the hired help.

I am Batman.

Great game. I can't wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment