The Batman Arkham franchise is often considered the best gaming adaptation of comic books. With a fleshed-out narrative and satisfying combat, Rocksteady Studios embarked on an incredible journey with Batman Arkham Asylum 14 years ago.
Rocksteady Studios raised the standard for superhero games, and it remains an exceptional release for Batman fans to this day.
Why it matters: Batman Arkham Asylum was arguably the most important game in the series as it was the first major rendition of Batman in gaming that captured all elements of the character.
From the beginning, Batman Arkham Asylum establishes a dark and serious tone.
The game begins with Batman capturing the Joker and bringing him to Arkham. However, things quickly take a turn for the worse as the Joker escapes and gains control of the facility.
This is where the game allows players to experiment with Batman’s combat. Rocksteady Studios developed an exceptional counter-based combat system for the game, which would go on to inspire several titles from other franchises.
While the combat is fairly basic, each strike has an incredible amount of weight and feels appropriate for a powerful character like Batman. The game also incorporates gadgets like batarangs for variety in combat.
Later games continued to add more options, expanding this combat system, but this success was largely due to the impressive foundation laid by Batman Arkham Asylum.
Elsewhere, the game caters to Batman’s stealthier side. The character can use his surroundings to blend in as he hunts foes from gargoyles, using his wits to outsmart his enemies.
Eventually, Batman Arkham Asylum opens up, allowing players to explore the outskirts of the asylum. It offers a much smaller world than its successors, but this compact experience allowed Rocksteady Studios to focus on intricate and detailed level design.
Batman’s traversal system is able to shine once the game opens up, allowing the character to use his grapple gun and gliding mechanic to explore the environments. Like other aspects, traversal also saw major improvements in the sequels.
All of these qualities ensured that Batman Arkham Asylum earned the title of the definitive Batman game, one it would only lose to its sequels.
Following a remaster in 2016, Batman Arkham Asylum is available on nearly every modern console and PC, and it can be found for a cheap price on sale. The game is also headed to the Nintendo Switch on October 13.
Currently, Rocksteady Studios is busy working on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, which is expected to be released in 2024 after multiple delays.
Unfortunately, this game will mark Kevin Conroy’s last performance as Batman after his passing, with the voice actor previously lending his voice to the Batman Arkham games and various animated shows.
Avinash is currently pursuing a Business degree in Australia. For more than three years, he has been working as a gaming journalist, utilizing his writing skills and love for gaming to report on the latest updates in the industry. Avinash loves to play action games like Devil May Cry and has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as IGN, GamesRadar, GameRant, Dualshockers, CBR, and Gamespot.