What other superhero games can learn from Batman: Arkham Asylum

The Bat’s latest adventure is amazing. Don’t believe us? Then read our Super Review. It’s guaranteed to have 93% more Columbo than any other Arkham critique on the webs. But what exactly makes Mr. Wayne’s new game so great and what can other superhero titles learn from it? Below you’ll find our five favourite things about Batman: AA and how these elements could reinvigorate the likes of Spidey’s and Superman’s future games.

What every game with a spandex-clad
hero should learn from Arkham Asylum

1. Build the game around the character, rather than changing the character to fit the game

Developer Rocksteady never force the Dark Knight into situations that would be out of kilter with his stoic heroism. So you won’t find Bats suddenly shooting inmates in the face with a 12 gauge just to crowbar in some shooting sections.

2. Don’t pump your game out to coincide with some shitty summer blockbuster

Arkham’s not directly tied into any one interpretation – i.e. a cynical celluloid vehicle designed to sell Batman burgers to sprogs. This means it has the freedom to paint a broader, more fully realised view of the universe than if it was constrained by a single licensed property.

3. Don’t stick to any single gameplay convention

Bat’s latest isn’t a beat ‘em up. And it’s not a stealth game. Rather, Rocksteady’s title is more like ambitious open world fare that flirts with both gameplay elements without getting entrenched in either.

4. Be respectful to the source material, but don’t kiss its ass

Arkham is reminiscent of both the movies (the heart-pumping music is like the intense scores from the Nolan flicks) and comics (with certain character designs). But it creates its own unique identity, none more so than the Joker transformation at the end.

5. Stuff your game full of ‘Hells yes!’ moments

We could stroke our facial hair (eh, if we had any), put on our reviewer’s hat and monocle and wax lyrical about Arkham’s thematic success or impressive rendering. But, ultimately, this is a game that lives on these kinds of moments...

Up next...

The Dark Knight tutors Spider-Man, Wolverine and others, teaching them how to fix their games.


  • AntistasBoneShield - September 4, 2009 1:15 a.m.

    Batman has always been my favorite character of all time. This game has reinvigorated my love for him.
  • TheWebSwinger - September 3, 2009 11:09 p.m.

    One lesson Batman can learn from Spider-Man? How to have a personality.
  • theHeadCase - September 3, 2009 10:17 p.m.

    I think the Joker's transformation in the game was based off of an episode of The Batman when Joker got a hold of Bane's Venom. In that episode Joker had a ponytail instead of a mohawk.
  • RC5052 - September 3, 2009 9:25 p.m.

    First time posting! I don't have this game yet, but I'm glad that the first REALLY good comic game is of Batman cause he has always been my favorite (Wolverine 2nd) And I love how a guy with no powers is "teaching" a bunch of superheroes how to better their games lol. By far, this is the best article ever!
  • Corsair89 - September 3, 2009 4:15 p.m.

    lol'd at "no more rescuing helium in peril"
  • Conman93 - September 3, 2009 3:49 p.m.

    I can't read most of the articles this week without spoiling this game!!! I loved the demo.I have to get it!!!
  • Pr0fesserCha0s - September 3, 2009 2:31 p.m.

    You guys should do a Bat Week or Batman Week anyone this is one awesome article
  • Seabread - September 3, 2009 12:24 p.m.

    It hsould be a stipulation that no more games are to be made as a movie tie-in. they're always terrible. B:AA is the best superhero game, ever and all due to the fact it didn't try to mimick anything before it. it took the fundamentals of what made Batman Batman and built upon that with good characters, good story and, most importantly, great gameplay. More of the same soon please Rocksteady.
  • WankyShitDemon - September 18, 2009 6:21 p.m.

    I think alternavtive costumes and cheats should come back. If you could make batmans cape bright blue like adam west, or have heath ledgers joker in AA that would be amazing. And like a code (thats right, "hold L2+R2 and press OOXX square) to get you to fly or something? or to make batman have boobs, who would like to see the come-back of real cheats?
  • MattressGiant - September 9, 2009 3:21 a.m.

    Great article. It mentions lots of good tips, but I keep getting distracted by the main image at the very top. It looks like Batman's embracing Spider-man and kissing him on the cheek.
  • petaboil - September 6, 2009 3:48 p.m.

    mary kate and ashleys nascar tycoon?
  • ChuckB - September 6, 2009 7:13 a.m.

    I guess they never thought of the DMC part and minus Crackdown, GR seems to be able to predict the future.
  • Counternub - September 4, 2009 11:08 a.m.

    Best game ive played in ages, the combat is fluent and fast, the sneaking elements of the game are so much fun, such as hanging them from ledges and the cieling, and silent takedowns, everything just feels right, and you can have lots of fun with his gadgets :D well worth every single penny. B:AA has been given lots of love and attention, maybe enough to get a week to its self on this site maybe? lets hope more things like this come out. kudos to the creators.
  • gmilf71 - September 4, 2009 6:20 a.m.

    YES! It's so true. I kinda wanna get Arkam asylum now. It sounds awsome.
  • FoxDieAlive - September 4, 2009 4:10 a.m.

    My fav ccomic book game is still Spider-Man 2 even with the gay ballon wrangling. This game was good, but the boss battles were way too easy and I was disappointed with the Joker fight. They had a badass idea of Joker being a Incrediable Hulkish guy and you spend the whole time fighting his cronies. One lesson Bats could learn from Spidey = More Combat Upgrades! Maybe like a human sheild or being able to hog-tie someone cowboy style.
  • Lazydidwhat - September 4, 2009 1:20 a.m.

    so is the game worth buying? If it sounds rude i'm very sorry
  • mertor3190 - September 3, 2009 11:33 p.m.

    Man this game seems awesome. Great article, very true. Maybe superhero games will actually start shaping up
  • LedMonk - September 3, 2009 11:05 p.m.

    Batman: AA is definitely a game that got it. One of the things that I loved most was how open it was, and yet still kept a good and focused linear plot. If Iron man could do something like that, that game would be amazing!
  • gutlessVADER - September 3, 2009 10:49 p.m.

    totally. learn it.
  • JeanBaptisteEmanuelZorg - September 3, 2009 9:39 p.m.

    great game, was more than I could have ever hoped for from a batman game. I just hope comic book games like Arkham become the norm instead of the exception to the rule. developers take note: this is how you make a comic book game, no longer can you hide behind a legacy of crap as an excuse for mediocrity.

Showing 1-20 of 27 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000