Thursday, August 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Batman: Arkham Asylum turns 5 Years

As the world acknowledges 75 years of Batman this year, 2014 also marks many micro celebrations that fall within the Caped Crusader's long decorated history throughout comics and all forms of media. In fact, this week honors the 5th anniversary of arguably the first video game to depict The Dark Knight and his world flawlessly, and open doors to an array of sequels and follow-ups that would expand the gameplay and storyline in more ways than one.

That game is Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, DC Entertainment, Eidos Interactive, and Rocksteady Studios' "Batman: Arkham Asylum".

Released in August 25, 2009 for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and later for the Max OSX, Arkham Asylum is based on the Batman mythos as depicted in comic book continuity, but spiraling into its own universe beginning with this chapter. Written by veteran Batman writer Paul Dini, the game sees The Caped Crusader successfully capturing his longtime nemesis and adversary The Joker, and then driving him all the way straight to Arkham Asylum to put him behind bars. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a well orchestrated plan by the Clown Prince of Crime, as he breaks free with the help of his trusty assistant and love Harley Quinn and decides to lockdown Arkham and trap The Dark Knight within. With the inmates unleashed and a twisted diabolical plan that threatens all of Gotham City, Batman must put a stop to The Joker's plans... Whatever it takes.

Batman Arkham Asylum Trailer

Not since the Sunsoft NES Batman game has a game faithfully depicted Batman as he was intended to be, but Arkham Asylum beautifully made that concept a reality, and literally made players "BATMAN" as they used his fighting prowess, excellent detective skills, and useful array of gadgets to thwart The Joker's schemes and defeat all the crazy baddies going in a rampage inside the institution. Rocksteady literally created a template with their first attempt, combining all iterations of Batman seen through the years and successfully installed a realistic world that saw The Dark Knight come to life, using the Unreal Engine 3 with satisfying visuals and results. Additionally, Batman: The Animated Series voice actors Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Arleen Sorkin reprised their famous roles as Batman, The Joker, and Harley Quinn for this game, giving it a much needed boost in familiarity for fans of the franchise and the DC Animated Universe.

Truly, Arkham Asylum is one for the Batbooks, and finds itself etched as one of the definitive experiences in Batman history. Gameplay was just as easily addictive, and as it opened doors for an inevitable sequel in Batman: Arkham City in 2011, a prequel in Batman: Arkham Origins in 2013 (which was developed by Warner Bros. Games Montreal), and the upcoming next-generation title with Batman: Arkham Knight - which will be the final installment in the Batman: Arkham Series coming in 2015.

If you haven't played Batman: Arkham Asylum, there's no better time than now to experience it.

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