“Always defending the weak and the helpless. That’s what I like about you. You’re predictable. And that’s why we’re gonna win. We know your move before you do. We know how you think!” This quote comes from the Arkam Knight, a new villain being introduced in the next Batman game, Arkham Knight (June 2, 2015). For fun, I thought about discussing the previous three Arkham games and offering my reflections and reactions to when I played them.
When, I first heard about Arkham Asylum, it was in the fall of 2009. I had no idea what to expect from the game and I remember earlier Batman games being terrible or just ok, so before deciding to buy the game, I watched some gameplay videos on YouTube. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was a really good game and I enjoyed watching how people played it. I knew right there, I needed an Xbox 360 or PS3. Sadly, there was a little delay in getting the console for about a year, but nonetheless, I was able to get one and play Arkham Asylum for myself.
Arkham Asylum, I must took a little time to adjust because my neurological condition would act up at times and it would affect my gameplay style. Once, I got used to playing, Arkham Asylum became fun and it’s the only game I ever beaten on easy, normal, and hard. Believe me, I was stoked when I finally defeated the Joker on hard mode! It was a relief! Story wise, I think Arkham Asylum is the best in the series. I like the creepy undertones and the Scarecrow missions were my favorite parts of the game. Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy, Arleen Sorkin, Wally Wingert, and Steve Blum were incredible in this game. The only flaw I found in Arkham Asylum was the lack of distinction among the thugs and the tedious backtracking you had to do at times, but overall, Arkham Asylum was a great Batman game.
While, Arkham Aslyum was a great Batman game, Arkham City was even better. Dare, I say, the best Batman game to date! You bet! Arkham City had a larger environment, more thugs to battle, more Riddler trophies to collect, and you got to play as Catwoman! I had a lot of fun with this game and I’ve played through it the most out of all the Arkham games. I love the fact that most of Batman’s rogues appear in Arkam City, even Ra’s al Ghul! Mark Hamill kills it as the Joker and Kevin Conroy is still the definitive voice of Batman to me. Sadly, Arleen Sorkin did not return as Harley Quinn, but Tara Strong stepped in and did a good job as Harley. Nolan North as the Penguin was cool too and Troy Baker playing Two-Face and Robin was also a nice touch.
I must admit, like Arkham Asylum, I watched gameplay of Arkham City, so when I got the game for Christmas, I knew what happened to the Joker. It was a sad moment for me because Mark Hamill had announced he was retiring as the Joker and with the ending of Arkham City, it made it even more bitter sweet. Overall, Arkham City was a near perfect game for me, the only flaw is how painstakingly long it is to do the Riddler Challenges. They can be tricky. And, don’t get me started on the Riddler rooms! They are annoying!
Now that we talked about the best Batman game, let’s turn to Arkham Origins. Arkham Origins was not a bad game, in fact, I loved the boss battles and the enhanced Detective Vision, the only problem with it was the glitches that popped up when the game first launched. Some of the glitches were minor and little annoying, but nothing too major. One glitch, made me crack up because I was fighting Bane and he hit me as Batman through a window and Batman fell out the window and kept falling until I fell through the game into a black void. The sheer stupidity of it was laughable.
Story wise, Arkham Origins is kind of rushed and I felt they tried to pack too much into one game. Character wise, Arkham Origins was good. I found the Alfred as a father figure to Bruce to be very compelling and powerful. It was told really well in my mind. Batman’s meeting with the Joker in this game was another aspect I like, though it was disappointing how it was revealed. But, Roger Craig Smith (playing a younger more angry Batman) and Troy Baker (taking over for Mark Hamill as the Joker) were great in their respective roles. Kelly Hu, playing as Lady Shiva, was interesting and Crispin Freeman as Firefly was just awesome.
Gameplay wise, Arkham Origins was my favorite of the Arkham series because the boss battles were improved and the enhanced Detective Vision gave us a better glimpse into how Batman’s mind works. The Deathstroke and Bane battles were the toughest in the game. I’ve died to Bane a lot. My favorite boss battle was with Firefly. I loved how explosive it was, pardon the pun. The Remote Claw and Shock Gloves were very fun items to use in the game. In a way, they made Batman even more powered up, especially in fights with lots of thugs. In the end, Arkham Origins was a good game with some technical glitches and a rushed story.
As Arkham Knight’s release date gets closer, I know I’ll be excited to play it. I really hope it is a good game. From, the visuals I’ve seen, it looks amazing and may be the definitive Batman game, but only time will tell. Playing the Arkham series has been a blast and if you have the time to play, I highly recommend it.