I don’t know how or why, but I had it stuck in my head that Batman: Arkham Asylum was going to be a dog. Just finished the demo, and I have to say, the last time a demo made me want to run right out and get the game now was… well, it was inFamous, not to put too fine a point on it. But before that? Um… BioShock?
If the whole game experience manages to sustain half the quality of the demo, this is a game that will be well worth it. The thing that put me over the top was the so-called “invisible predator” gameplay. In some fights, you’re just hammering a bunch of guys all at once, which is entertaining enough. (If you played the Watchmen demo, this part of the game feels much like a highly polished version of that.) But then there are sections where there are large numbers of bad guys with guns. If you leap straight into the fray, they’re going to perforate you. So you do… exactly what Batman should do: climb up high and out of sight with your grappling gun, or hide under floor panels, or a myriad of other stealthy tricks, and pick them off one by one. Highly entertaining. And that’s just scratching the surface of the gameplay, from the looks of things. Detective mode is the coolest. All in all, it plays like a Splinter Cell game, if Sam Fisher was… well, the Batman.
Alas, it won’t be in stores until the 25th. Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!