Arkham Asylum was created with the Batman comics in mind, and all art direction and final character creation sticks closely to what the Batman comics have been portraying for many years. As a character, Batman is made to be the hero people expect to see in his best game ever, he has muscles to spare and is dripping with bleeding-edge technology, allowing him to find and fight criminals with no problems.
The setting for Batman Arkham Asylum is Arkham Asylum itself. The entire prison is opened up for Batman to explore through as the Joker puts his most deviant plan yet into place, releasing every inmate in the prison. As the game progresses, players explore more of Arkham Island, discovering secrets left behind by the original founders and secret areas full of Easter eggs based on various enemies. The prison is brought to life in all its glory by the developers, meaning players can swoop down from high rooftops and hide on gargoyles within certain parts of the building to scare enemies before finishing them.
The combat in the game is incredibly satisfying. Players can beat up criminals with relatively easy controls, with all combat being mapped to one button. As they advance and take down more enemies they gain experience points to spend on upgrades for Batman such as armour and new gadgets. The impressive range of gadgets available are all taken directly from the comic books, meaning fans of Batman won’t have to put up with a Batman from the future.
The enemies in Batman Arkham Asylum are also taken straight from the Batman comics. In films such as Batman Begins they have been adapted to the modern day, but the game brings their true forms to life. Killer Croc is a giant mutated crocodile-man, the Joker is skinny and insane, and Clayface transforms into many things. The important thing to remember with these enemies is that they weren’t all the most popular in the Batman comics. Zasz for example is relatively unheard of, but plays a major role in the game as the distraction Joker needs to release other criminals.
The story of Batman Arkham Asylum is fairly simple, Joker plans for Batman to take him to the prison and releases all the inmates. He then plans to use Venom, the substance which gives Bane his strength, to transform all criminals on the island into hulking monsters. Players go through a long and arduous journey to finally defeat the Joker and stop his plans, and any fan of the dark knight will find a lot they can appreciate in the game.