Somehow the Batman combat system in Arkham Asylum managed to be one of the greatest gaming has ever created, but if you look backward from August 24th, 2009, you will find a long list of bad Batman games in your rearview mirror. A series long-applauded in comics, TV, and movies was mired in mediocrity when it came to video games. Batman on Genesis was fine. Batman: The Rise of Sin Tzu looked pretty good for its time but offered little else. And let’s not even talk about Batman: Dark Tomorrow. Fun fact: we gave that game a 2.2 and it’s still not IGN’s worst-rated Batman game. There were a few gems here and there, but a lot of it was… not great.
Batman deserved better. Batman fans deserved better. And on August 25th, 2009, we didn’t just get a good Batman game. We got one of the greatest comic book games ever created up to that point. And some would say that even now. With great stealth mechanics, a grimy, well-realized world, and even most of the voice cast reprising their roles from the eminent animated series, Batman had finally arrived to the gaming space in a manner befitting the Dark Knight: seemingly out of nowhere. But the real standout in a game full of already fantastic high points was its combat systems and we’re going to talk about how the devs at Rocksteady Studios created one of gaming’s all-time great combat systems.
Sure, one of the major triumphs of Arkham Asylum was the return of the voice cast like Mark Hamill (Joker) and Bruce Timm (Batman/Bruce Wayne) from Batman: The Animated Series. But the combat system in Batman Arkham Asylum was such a large contributing factor to the success of the game that it was expanded upon but never replaced in future titles like Arkham City, Arkham Origins, and Arkham Knight.
Check out IGN’s original Batman Arkham Asylum review here:
And for everything else Batman, stay tuned to IGN.