In much the same way as the Dark Night set a new standard for comic book movies Batman: Arkham Asylum raises the bar for all superhero games to follow. The creators have faithfully reproduced the brooding atmosphere associated with the caped crusader fully immersing the player in the world they have created. Most importantly however the game allows full access to all of Batman's abilities right from the outset, thankfully avoiding the common video game trick of having them slowly unlocked during play.
Much of the game is played in one of two ways. Firstly there are the out and out brawls that find Batman surrounded by groups of enemies. The controls are simple but very effective allowing for a brilliant flow of attacks and counter attacks that really makes the player feel like they are in control of a superhero. In between these brawls, usually when meeting enemies armed with guns, the player is able to make use of a greater variety of tricks. These 'stealth' sections require the player to stalk their enemies before unleashing a lightning fast attack and returning to the shadows without being spotted and are every bit as enjoyable as the regular combat.
Aside from the disappointingly generic final battle with the Joker the boss fights are also fairly imaginative helping to provide some variety to proceedings making for a truly fantastic video game.