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Batman Arkham Asylum was the first game in the now-legendary trilogy of Rocksteady's version of Batman's adventures. It was a surprise hit to all who never expected a good, let alone great game based on a license.
The secret to the game's success lies in the fact that the developers didn't try to cash in on the Batman movies that were all the rage at the time, but instead did their own thing. Their design choices in terms of visuals and aesthetics felt more like the cult 1992 animated series rather than Christopher Nolan movies. And the gameplay was mind-blowing. Simple, yet visceral and engaging combat based on two buttons for blocking hits and hitting back with tons of animations for variety has since become the staple of the action genre. The exploration of the large territories of Arkham Asylum felt both refreshing as an open world and authentic as something the world's greatest detective would do naturally. Interacting with the famous rouges gallery of Batman only added to the feel of a real Batman adventure.
Of course, there were some flaws like several annoying bugs, temporal instability and missing textures at times. But those were so few and far between that the game felt almost perfect: long, interesting, made with tremendous attention to detail. Even now, after two sequels, Arkham Asylum is one of the greatest games of the last two decades.
- Great combat system
- Amazing quests and available side activities
- Interesting story and atmosphere
- A couple of bugs