Getting closer to the end of my "must-plays" of 2009, I just wrapped up Batman: Arkham Asylum on the PS3 a few minutes ago. I've got to say, this is one of those extremely rare times when I felt that all of the praise and accolades given to the game were well and truly deserved.
Rocksteady Studios did a fantastic job on this project, no two ways about it.
I think one of the things that I admired the most was that everything in the game was created in service to the overall experience. What I mean by that is, there were no design choices or mechanics that did not serve the greater function of carrying the player along on a fast-paced adventure portraying Batman as no other game has. Every aspect supported the central vision. I don't detect anything that feels out of place, or that was left in despite not quite fitting with the rest. For a developer to show such restraint is practically unheard of.
Not only was the design incredibly tight, Arkham Asylum is without a doubt the best Batman game ever made, and it's better than practically all of the films. It's not going to be my game of the year, but this was most certainly one of the top games released in '09 and will make it to my own personal top ten without breaking a sweat. I absolutely can't wait to see what Rocksteady does next.
My friend Chris Vandergaag has come up with a few more (hilarious) commentary pieces that I think readers of this blog might appreciate. The first is on the mainstream press, and the second is about the Modern Warfare 2 launch. Check them out if you're so inclined.
Read more on the Drinking Coffeecola blog.