|Batman: Arkham Asylum|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Release Date||August 25, 2009|
|Platforms||Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OSX, Microsoft Windows|
|Playstation 3||★★★★☆ (4.5/5)|
|Xbox 360||★★★★☆ (4.5/5)|
Batman: Arkham Asylum is a video game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows, and is based on DC Comics' Batman. It is developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Eidos Interactive in conjunction with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Comics. It is based on the long-running comic book mythos, as opposed to most other Batman games which are adaptations of the character in other media besides the source material. It is also the first game of the Batman: Arkham franchise.
Intensive Treatment Center
The situation at City Hall took place at the exact same time as a 'mysterious fire' at Blackgate Prison, causing many of the prisoners to be sent to Arkham, among them a great number of Joker's own gang. When the two arrive at Arkham, Batman and several helmeted security guards strap the Joker to an upright stretcher and wheel him down into the Intensive Treatment Center. Batman accompanies the security personnel and the Joker to the Holding Cells, where the Arkham staff refuse to let Batman go any further. As the Joker is being registered into the Cell Block by Commissioner Gordon, he breaks free from a guard and escapes from Batman with the help of Harley Quinn. Batman, who is locked out of the area, breaks into the Holding Cells through a glass window. Once Batman is inside the Holding Cells area the Joker springs his first trap, unlocking the cells and allowing Blackgate convicts to flood out to attack Batman. After another brief confrontation with more convicts, the Joker deactivates a security gate, allowing Batman to follow after him despite Commissioner Gordon's observation that it was most likely a trap. Batman moves up a ramp in the direction of the Joker's escape, leaving the Holding Cells and entering the Processing Corridor, finding the hallway littered with fallen security guards the Joker left in his wake. He found one guard that had survived named Eddie Burlow, who points him to the Lower Corridor. Batman reaches the Patient Pacification Chamber, where two security guards inform him that escaped inmate Victor Zsasz has taken another guard, Mike, hostage and will kill him if he sees Batman get close to him. Batman subsequently subdues Zsasz after swooping down from a gargoyle. All of a sudden, Batman receives a message from Harley Quinn, who has taken Quincy Sharp, the warden, hostage. Although Quinn is convinced Batman is trapped in Patient Pacification, Batman escapes back to the Processing Corridor, moving into the Decontamination area, where several Arkham personnel and inmates were trapped in a room filling with Joker Toxin.
After clearing the room of toxins, Batman proceeds from the Decontamination area and follows several green arrows along the floor of the Transfer Loop that lead to the Secure Treatment Transfer room, where he is attacked by a mutated Blackgate prisoner. After a short battle the prisoner dies. The Joker escapes on top of a mobile security cell and broadcasts a message to Batman from a nearby guard station telling him that Frank Boles, a member of the security team assigned to escort Joker to his cell, is actually on his side and has captured Gordon. The Joker also warns that if Batman is caught following him, then Gordon will die.
Using a scanner in his cowl, Batman follows an alcoholic vapor trail left by Boles's bourbon through the Transfer Loop. As he nears the elevator to the upper level with security guard Henry Smith, Harley Quinn appears and blows up the elevator cable, hoping to trap Batman on the lower level, but he manages to scale the surrounding support structures. After a brief encounter with several pipe-wielding convicts, Batman approaches the Cell Block Transfer section, where he encounters the first goons carrying firearms, who have overwhelmed the security guards and taken control. He circumvents these armed henchmen and takes them down by stealth, before moving on to the entrance hall, where several armed convicts are patrolling the Intensive Treatment Lobby, armed with riot guns. After defeating them, he proceeds to the far side of the room and up the ladder to the raised hallway, at the end of which the Dark Knight finds Frank Boles dead, strapped to a stretcher near the exit of Intensive Treatment, having been double-crossed by the Joker, thus ending the trail Batman followed.
After solving the first of the Riddler's puzzles, Batman is approached by William North, an Arkham guard, who unlocks the door to the Utility Corridor for him.
Arkham East & Following Gordon's Trail
Batman leaves Intensive Treatment, finding his way to Arkham East, where he discovers that the Batmobile is being attacked by Harley Quinn's henchmen. Fearing Gordon might be hurt, Batman instructs Oracle to deactivate the automatic defenses and decides to head for the northern part of the island, where it is parked. In the heavily guarded Arkham East Batman finds that many of the asylum's security guards had been lured to the area by a blind. Batman moves to a small connecting tunnel in between Arkham East and North. As Batman enters the smaller area he discovers a wrecked ambulance and a security guard taking cover behind it. The guard informs Batman of the armed Blackgate Convicts on the other side and Batman defeats the thugs, after which he rushes to where the Batmobile is parked and Harley Quinn's thugs are thrashing it. He quickly defeats the henchmen and follows a trail of pipe tobacco, left for him by Gordon, to the western section of the island, where Joker's men have also managed to take control.
After defeating two of the Joker's men attempting to make renovations to the Visitor Center to better suit the villain's taste, Batman finds a nervous guard attempting to hide in a watchtower, who informs him that the escaped convicts have seized the Medical Facility as well.
Entering the Medical Facility, he encounters Harley and Gordon but cannot reach them due to one of the security fields, forcing him to find a different point of entry through the Maintenance Access on the roof. He then uses the ventilation system to gain access to the Sanatorium. Batman then defeats five gun-wielding Blackgate prisoners who are holding Dr. Sarah Cassidy and three other doctors hostage. On his way through the facility Batman rescues several more doctors and staff, including Dr. Penelope Young, in whom the Joker's henchmen showed a particular interest. In the Patient Observation area Batman encounters security guard Aaron Cash and Doctor Kellerman, who are trapped by a trio of Blackgate convicts in a control room filling with toxic gas. After filtering the gas out of the room via ventilation fans, Batman heads to the Surgery Area, where he rescues Doctor Chen from a large number of the Joker's thugs. He proceeds back to the Sanatorium, pausing only briefly to halt a violent inmate armed with knives. Back at the Sanatorium Dr. Young insists on securing her research notes and is escorted back to the Arkham Mansion by Cash while Batman follows Gordon's abductors down to the Morgue level in an elevator.
Upon entering the lower level Batman catches a glimpse of the Scarecrow and several unfortunate victims of his fear gas trapped in an operating room. Soon he is affected by the gas himself, first subtly, then in increasingly surreal ways. He finds Gordon's dead body in an empty hallway and has a chilling encounter in the morgue with the reanimated corpses of his parents. The Dark Knight finds himself in a nightmarish dreamscape set in the crumbling ruins of Arkham Asylum, controlled by a gigantic, monstrous Scarecrow, whose fiery gaze he must evade until he can defeat him with a symbolic bat-signal.
Shaking off the effects of the fear gas, Batman awakes inside the Morgue. Batman leaves the Morgue and finds Scarecrow's gas had him believe something that wasn't real, finding a fallen security guard where he had seemingly found Gordon's corpse earlier. Batman realizes that Gordon is still alive and follows a trail left for him by the Joker to the scene of a vicious little game set up for him. Harley is guarding Gordon and Joker challenges Batman to make it undetected past four of his henchmen patrolling the room; if he is spotted Harley will execute Gordon instantly. Once Batman succeeds the Joker directs his attention to a surprise left for him in a previously locked chamber in the middle of the room.
Inside, he finds Bane, strung up in restraints and hooked up to a pump that's draining his Venom. He is the mysterious "Patient X" mentioned in the PR videos about Dr. Young's "Titan" project which were playing on some monitors in the Upper Corridor of the Medical Facility. The Joker triggers the pump, replacing Bane's Venom with Titan, which enables him to break free and attack Batman, hurling him through a wall and into the Medical Facility's Boiler Room. After a fierce battle Batman flees the Boiler Room by means of his grappling gun as the ceiling, weakened by the fight, collapses on Bane and buries him under a pile of rubble. Bane rises, however, from the debris to face Batman again, only to have the Dark Knight summon the Batmobile to the scene, ramming it directly into Bane and knocking him into the murky waters of the Gotham Bay.
Batman takes Commissioner Gordon to the docks in Arkham West, where an emergency launch is waiting to take the police commissioner back to the mainland. Gordon and a security guard get on the boat, leaving Batman standing alone on the docks.
To the Batcave
After heading through a locked-up cave outside, Batman glides down to a secret Arkham-based sector of the Batcave which he installed beneath the island's surface years ago. Using the computer there he learns that Young has been researching the Venom drug fueling Bane and has managed to develop Titan, a similar, yet more powerful drug based on Bane's Venom, ostensibly intended to help inmates withstand the more... strenuous therapies. Realizing that Joker plans to use Titan for something sinister, Batman heads over to Arkham Mansion to reach Young's notes before the Joker gets there first.
Through the Main Sewer Junction
With the help of the Batclaw, a gadget similar to the grappling gun that Batman assembled in the Arkham Batcave, Batman reaches the Old Sewer through the Arkham caves. He discovers the Joker has seized the tunnels of the Old Sewer and has posted several Blackgate convicts there to prevent him from proceeding. After defeating them Batman enters the Main Sewer Junction, which is a massive, crumbling, chamber with a maze of decrepit columns, archways, and platforms. He emerges from the Main Sewer Junction in the Surface Access area, which contains an unused exit to Arkham North. Here Batman finds that the Joker's men have gotten their hands on sniper rifles stolen from the guard armory. After being forced to deal with several of the armed convicts, Batman enters Arkham East only to find that the Joker had taken over this part of the island as well. Armed prisoners now guard the watch towers after having shot the security guards.
Finding Dr. Young
After being forced to contend with more gun-wielding thugs, Batman enters the Arkham Mansion through the air ventilation system. After defeating three of the Joker's men in the Entrance Hall, he fights his way through the Main Hall and enters the West Wing Corridor, where he rescues Arkham staff member Kevin Liew and an asylum guard. He notices 'Suicide Collars' worn by some of the Joker's henchmen, electronic devices that sound an alarm when they detect sudden heartbeat changes in the inmates. Batman then rescues Aaron Cash and another Arkham guard being held captive by a group of armed Blackgate convicts in the Records Room.
Batman eventually makes his way through the Mansion to Dr. Young's office, only to find that she has already retrieved the notes. He tracks a trail of her fingerprints to the mansion's library, where she hid the notes from the Joker. Briefly pausing to deal with several of the Joker's thugs and rescue Bill, a security guard, and an orderly being held captive, he destroys the notes. Unfortunately Joker had Zsasz kidnap Dr. Young herself and intends to have him torture the Titan formula out of her.
While venturing through the Mansion to rescue Dr. Young, Batman is drugged by Scarecrow again, this time being forced to relive his parents' death, and having to battle past another giant Scarecrow. After emerging from the gas unharmed once more, he finds Zsasz holding Young hostage in Warden Sharp's office with a knife. He uses his Batarang to defeat Zsasz and rescue Young.
The shaken and harrowed Dr. Young reveals that Joker now has the Venom and her Titan formula. She talks of a laboratory inside the Botanical Gardens, but when she goes over to Sharp's safe to retrieve the security codes, she finds that the Joker had gotten there first and has rigged the safe with explosives. The blast kills Young, and Harley taunts a barely-conscious Batman with Warden Sharp, whom she is still holding hostage. After waking up completely and taking out the thugs Harley left behind, Batman tracks Harley to the Penitentiary.
Batman chases Harley through the building. He finds Sharp in the control room, frees him, and takes Sharp's security codes, enabling him to disable the electric barriers blocking his way with his Cryptographic Sequencer. At the same time, Harley releases Poison Ivy, whose cell Batman had passed earlier while she pleaded for his help, from captivity. To make matters worse, the Joker frees the rest of the crazed Arkham inmates. Batman follows Harley to a large room with an electrified floor, which she uses to try to kill him. When she fails, she sends her thugs after him, whom fail too. The Joker, furious at her failure, crosses her off his 'party list' for some kind of celebration he is holding later that night. Harley tries to attack Batman herself, but is subdued in seconds and locked into a cell. Through a slip of the tongue from Harley, Batman learns that the Joker has a secret Titan production facility inside the Botanical Gardens.
Now in possession of the knowledge that Joker plans to build an army of Titan-fueled mutants (effectively an enormous group of Banes), Batman heads over to the Gardens and reaches the hidden laboratory. After battling two of the Joker's henchmen drugged with a now complete Titan serum, he destroys the facility and begins to search for an antidote to Titan. Since Titan is produced by genetically engineered plants (hence the location of the secret lab), Batman believes Poison Ivy could help him find a cure. Ivy refuses to help Batman (declaring that she'd rather watch him squirm) until he threatens to make every plant on Arkham suffer unless she cooperates. She informs him that the only way to create an antidote is to use some rare spores which can only be found in the sewers - directly inside the lair of Killer Croc.
Back to Intensive Treatment
As Batman leaves the Botanical Gardens, Joker announces that he has supplied the angered Ivy with some of the Titan serum. This causes her plants to grow to gigantic proportions, slowly covering the island and entangling its buildings while large, bulbous flowers appear everywhere that exude deadly spores.
After battling past Ivy's plants while heading back into Arkham Mansion, Batman learns from Aaron Cash that the only way to access Croc's lair is through a pathway in Intensive Treatment. After dealing with several of the Joker's "security guards" (inmate impostors wearing stolen guard jackets), Batman backtracks through the facility, but is drugged by the Scarecrow once more on his way through. Scarecrow injects an immense amount of toxins into him (enough to drive ten men insane), but when Batman still emerges triumphant, Scarecrow is shocked and flees into Croc's lair.
Killer Croc's Lair
Scarecrow dangles his toxins over the river in the pipeline, threatening to drop them in if Batman comes closer, which would affect the entire city of Gotham. As Scarecrow stands on the edge, Croc jumps out of the water and grabs him. Croc is about to eat Scarecrow, but Batman hits his shock collar with a Batarang, forcing him to recoil and drag Scarecrow into the water with him. Batman ventures into the sewers and, despite frequent attacks by Croc, gathers all of the required spores. As he prepares to exit the lair, Croc suddenly charges at him through a tunnel, but Batman destroys a weak part of the floor using his Explosive Gel just as Croc runs over it, sending him plummeting down into the river below.
Caves Pumping Stations
Inside the Batcave, he uses the spores to create an antidote, and sets out to stop Ivy from taking over Arkham. While ascending back to the surface, Batman learns that Joker intends to contaminate Gotham's water supply with runoff from his Titan production. He foils this plan by disabling three pumping stations guarded by Joker's henchmen.
He travels back to the Botanical Gardens, where Ivy states that while she originally thought that Titan was hurting her plants, it has actually made them much stronger. With that she summons a colossal Titan plant through the floor and bonds with it to fight Batman. She also sends waves of security guards infected by her mind-controlling plant spores out to fight Batman, including Eddie Burlow and William North. However, he manages to defeat her and the zombified guards, and Ivy and the plants sink back into the undergrowth.
Let the Party Begin
Upon emerging from the Gardens, Batman learns that the Joker's party is about to begin. He heads over to the Visitor Center, which has been recreated to match the Joker's style. The Blackgate prisoners announce Batman as the Joker's special guest and allow him entry.
Inside the Center, Batman is weakened when the Joker detonates a bomb on the other side of a thin glass window. He awakens to find Joker sitting on a throne of mannequins with Scarface sitting on his knee. The Joker sends some of his men along with two Titan-fueled policemen to attack Batman, and when they fail, he reveals Gordon tied up with some rope. Joker whips out a gun filled with Titan darts and takes a shot at Gordon, but Batman dives in the way and begins to mutate. When Batman resists the change, Joker declares that he is ruining his party, and, declaring he has nothing to live for, shoots himself through the lower jaw with the Titan gun.
The game flashes forwards to about 10 minutes later. News choppers are flying all around Arkham, cameras fixed on the roof of the Center. A horribly mutated Joker climbs up from inside the building, gripping Batman in his hands. Unlike all other Titan victims, Joker has kept his mind and is still taunting Batman to give in to the change. He tells him that he does not have long left. In retaliation, Batman injects himself with the antidote in order to prevent the Titan from taking control of him. Joker jumps up onto a high point and sends his men to attack Batman, but while he poses and shows off to the choppers, Batman yanks him down with the Batclaw and he crashes through the floorboards into an electrical circuit. He still climbs out, barely harmed at all, but as he brags about how he is victorious, Batman sprays Explosive Gel over his heavily armored knuckles. Stating that he will never let Joker win, he punches him in the face, detonating the Gel just as he does so, launching Joker backwards and knocking him unconscious.
A Hero's Work Is Never Done
Outside the Visitor Center, Gordon tells Batman that the effects of Titan are starting to wear off the Joker and his men, and that they are being taken back to their cells. The Medical Facility is being used as a makeshift hospital for the injured Arkham staff. At that moment, Batman is informed that Two-Face is raiding a bank in Gotham, and flies away into the night in the Batwing.
After the credits roll, a crate marked 'Titan' is seen floating through the sea outside Arkham. A randomized appearance of either Bane, Scarecrow, or Killer Croc grabs the crate, as the three villains are still at large.
The game has a more closed gameplay atmosphere, similar to Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. Paul Dini's story is a style reminiscent of the depth and twists of Bioshock using many gadgets such as the Batarang, Batclaw, Explosive Gel, and Line Launcher. Gameplay places just as much focus on Batman's role as a detective as his combat prowess. Most of the game is played with an over-the-shoulder, third person perspective, similar to that of Resident Evil 4. It was hinted that certain villains might be playable at some point in the game, although in reality only the Joker is playable during a very short segment in one of Scarecrow's hallucinations and in the challenge mode of the PS3/Mac OSX version. Arkham was chosen as a location because of its limitations including the fact that it's located on an island. Arkham is a persistent location through which the player can freely roam, including an area that serves as Batman's secret on-site Batcave.
Conflicts between Batman and opponents take place in two different styles, depending on the situation: either straight combat or the stealthy "Predator" style.
The unique combat system does not feature specific moves tied to specific buttons on the controller, but focuses instead on keeping up a perfect rhythm of blocks and attacks, which Batman automatically executes in whichever style is appropriate for the situation. As a string of blocks and attacks is kept up, a "Combo Counter" keeps track of the length of the current string, increasing both the strength of Batman's attacks and the XP earned. The only controls necessary for combat are "Attack", "Block", "Evade", and "Cape Stun". As the game progresses, additional special moves - such as an unblockable throw maneuver - can be bought with XP, which can be executed once the Combo Counter reaches a certain level (initially 8, can later be reduced to 5).
Two of Batman's gadgets can also be used in combat, namely the Batarang and the Batclaw (once it has been collected). These have special buttons to deploy them quickly in combat rather than the usual way.
Certain opponents wield knives or stun batons and cannot be attacked directly or blocked. Their attacks must be evaded instead, and they can be attacked only when stunned (knife wielders) or from behind (shock baton wielders). Enemies armed with lead pipes can block attacks, but their own weapons can be taken from them and used against them.
Opponents enhanced with the Titan drug require special tactics. Their attacks must be evaded and they can only be safely attacked when stunned. When they execute their charging maneuver, a quick Batarang will cause them to stampede blindly into walls, stunning them and leaving them open to attack. When a series of attacks has brought a Titan temporarily down to his knees, Batman can jump on his back and steer the stumbling, flailing Titan into hitting other opponents in the area until he is shaken off. Conflicts with groups of gun-wielding goons require the stealthy "Predator" approach, where Batman silently takes out goons one by one without being detected. It is advisable to play these encounters in "Detective Mode", which allows Batman to see the position and status of all opponents, even when they are hidden by walls. Special moves such as "Silent Takedown", "Ledge Pull", "Glide Kick", "Corner Cover" and "Inverted Takedown" (must be bought with XP first) are best employed in this style of combat.
Conflicts of this type usually take place in high-ceilinged rooms featuring many gargoyle statues that allow Batman to strike from above and fly back up into the shadows when spotted.
Certain gadgets and their buyable upgrades are well suited to the Predator style. The "Sonic Batarang" can interact with the alarm collars of goons to either attract or disable them. The Explosive Gel can be used to set traps that are detonated either by remote control or (with an upgrade) an enemy's proximity.
Batman will collect a series of gadgets at specific points during the plot.
- The standard Batarang is available from the start.
- When Batman defeats the goons attacking the Batmobile, he collects a dispenser for Explosive Gel from the trunk. Explosive Gel can be detonated by remote control, and used to break down weak walls (revealed in Detective Mode) or to set traps for opponents.
- When he enters the Batcave for the first time, he collects the Batclaw, which can grab on to objects (especially ventilation grilles) and allows them to be pulled.
- After rescuing Warden Sharp in the Penitentiary, he gives Batman a security code for use in his Cryptographic Sequencer that allows him to disable the electric security fields.
- After the battle with the two Titan-enhanced goons in the Botanical Gardens, the Batwing delivers a Line Launcher, which allows Batman to travel between two pieces of ground on the same level, across chasms or other similar obstacles.
- When Batman enters the Batcave for the second time, he upgrades the Batclaw to fire three lines simultaneously, the "Ultra-Batclaw", which allows weak walls that were previously out of reach to be grabbed and pulled down.
Upgrades to some of the gadgets can be bought with XP:
- Auto-detonating Explosive Gel - Explodes when an enemy gets near.
- Selective detonation of Explosive Gel - Zoom in on a specific Gel patch to detonate only that specific one.
- Double Batarang - Can target two enemies at once.
- Triple Batarang - Can target three enemies at once.
- Sonic Batarang - Attracts a nearby enemy.
- Sonic Shock Batarang - Attracts and disables a nearby enemy. Can only be used once per encounter, and creates interference in the area so that future Sonic Batarangs will not function there.
- Remote Control Batarang - Can be steered through complex flights, taking out several enemies at once.
- Range enhancement for the Cryptographic Sequencer - Allows security boxes to be disabled at a greater distance - e.g. ones that are protected behind the security fields they control.
- Power enhancement for the Cryptographic Sequencer - Increases the ease with which the Sequencer disables security boxes.
The developers have come up with a CSI style for forensic puzzles because Batman is the "World's Greatest Detective". Detective Mode is the centerpiece in Batman's arsenal. His cowl can highlight certain points of interest and, much like the Metroid Prime games, will scan items into your database. One of Batman's new tools is Explosive Gel that you can apply to weak walls, highlighted in Detective Mode, so that they crash down, making a way for you to escape or knocking out the person on the other side.
Each unique set of locations in the game (e.g. one building or one of the island sections) has a number of associated Riddler Challenges, which can be solved to earn XP and unlock bonuses such as character profiles, character trophies, and challenge mini-games. There are several distinct types of challenges:
- Riddler Trophies: These green question-mark statues are scattered all over, sometimes out in the open, sometimes hidden in difficult-to-access areas.
- Riddles: More or less cryptic clues describing specific locations or objects. To solve the riddle, the described object must be visible on-screen and must be "scanned".
- Joker Teeth: The Joker has scattered a lot of "chattering teeth" toys, often in groups of two or three. To fulfill the challenge, a certain number of teeth (5, 10, 20) must be destroyed.
- Perspective Riddles: Two halves of a question mark have been painted on the scenery (only visible in Detective Mode). When viewed from the right perspective they line up to form a whole question mark, which can be scanned to solve the riddle.
- Interview Tapes: Audio tape reels containing patient interviews and doctor's notes can be found in many locations, giving insight into some of the major characters in the game.
- Spirit of Arkham Messages: All over the asylum there are scribbled messages on decorative stones, in the same spiraling style that Amadeus Arkham once used. Scan these messages to decode them.
- Riddler Maps: Each location contains one map which reveals the approximate placement of all the other challenge items by placing floating question marks on the in-game map.
Some of the items are initially inaccessible and can only be accessed after Batman has collected a specific gadget. Since this requires revisiting locations when the actual plot of the game does not require it, the game allows the player to continue exploring the island, even after the reaching the end, in order to achieve 100% completion.
As Batman continues to solve his riddles and collect the items, Riddler initially taunts him with the "slowness" of his progress, but becomes increasingly agitated as the number of solved riddles rises. He accuses Batman of cheating, possibly by looking up the riddles on the internet (a brief moment of a broken fourth wall since you can indeed look the answers up on the internet). Once enough riddles have been solved, Batman manages to deduce Riddler's current location and transmits it to the Gotham Police.
Another group of items Batman may find or unlock are patient reports and bios for the characters.
- Bruce Wayne/Batman (voiced by Kevin Conroy) - Batman is the main protagonist of the game. He takes the Joker back to Arkham Asylum only to have him break out and cause havoc. Batman puts it upon himself to stop the Joker's evil schemes.
- The Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill) - The Joker is the main antagonist of the game. He is captured by Batman and taken to Arkham Asylum where he escapes and takes over the asylum.
- Harley Quinn (voiced by Arleen Sorkin) - Harley Quinn is the secondary antagonist of the game. She appears in the game already loose in the asylum. She helps Joker break free and cause mayhem on the island.
- Commissioner James Gordon (voiced by Tom Kane) - Commissioner Gordon is present at Arkham when the Joker breaks free. He is taken captive by Harley Quinn.
- Barbara Gordon/Oracle (voiced by Kimberly Brooks) - Oracle is Batman's radio contact throughout the game.
- Waylon Jones/Killer Croc (voiced by Steve Blum) - Killer Croc is present in the Asylum when the Joker takes over. He attacks Batman when he enters Croc's lair.
- Edward Nigma (Formerly Eddie Nashton)/The Riddler (voiced by Wally Wingert) - The Riddler contacts Batman via radio and gives him the task of completing 240 Riddler Challenges across Arkham Island.
- Bane (voiced by Fred Tatasciore) - Bane apppears locked up in the depths of Arkham, being experimented on by Dr. Penelope Young.
- Victor Zsasz (voiced by Danny Jacobs) - Zsasz is one of the escaped inmates when the Joker takes over Arkham. He takes several staff members hostage with Batman having to rescue them.
- Pamela Lillian Isley/Poison Ivy (voiced by Tasia Valenza) - Ivy appears in the game locked up in the penitentiary. She convinces Harley to set her free and slowly takes over the island with her plants.
- Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow (voiced by Dino Andrade) - Scarecrow runs free throughout the Island after the Joker's breakout and attacks Batman several times with his fear gas, which induces elaborate hallucinations.
- Aaron Cash (voiced by Duane R. Shepard Sr.) - Cash is one of the security guards in Arkham. He survives the Joker's attack and assists Batman a few times.
- Warden Quincy Sharp (voiced by Tom Kane) - Sharp has been the warden of Arkham for the last three years. He is captured by Harley Quinn early on in the game, forcing Batman to rescue him.
- Dr. Penelope Young (voiced by Cree Summer) - Dr. Young is one of the chief psychiatrists at Arkham. She is also working on Arkham's newly developed Titan project. She is killed by a trap the Joker set in the warden's office.
- Frank Boles (voiced by Danny Jacobs) - Boles is a chief member of Arkham's security staff. He aids the Joker in his takeover of Arkham Asylum.
- Jack Ryder (voiced by James Horan) - Jack Ryder is heard several times on radio news broadcast, detailing the events of the Joker's takeover of Arkham to the public.
- The Spirit of Arkham (voiced by Tom Kane) - The spirit of Amadeus Arkham, retelling his tale through a series of hidden messages in Arkham.
- Gretchen Whistler (voiced by Adrienne Barbeau) - A doctor at Arkham Asylum.
- Eddie Burlow (voiced by Chris Cox) - A security guard at Arkham Asylum.
- Zach Franklin (voiced by Chris Gardner) - A security guard at Arkham Asylum.
- Henry Smith (voiced by Chris Gardner) - A security guard at Arkham Asylum.
- Thomas Armbruster - A security guard at Arkham Asylum. Identified as "Trainee 4607".
- Sarah Cassidy (voiced by Kimberly Brooks) - A doctor at Arkham Asylum.
- Louie Green (voiced by Tom Kane) - A security guard at Arkham Asylum.
- Kevin Liew - An orderly at Arkham Asylum.
- 113 - A security guard at Arkham Asylum.
- Clayface - A shape-shifting villain whose true form resembles a large mud-like creature.
- Thomas and Martha Wayne (voiced by Kevin Conroy and Tasia Valenza) - Bruce's parents.
- Joe Chill - Murdered Bruce Wayne's parents in Crime Alley
- Scarface (voiced by Mark Hamill) - The Ventriloquist's dummy.
- Maria Andrade - A security guard at Arkham Asylum. Identified as "Trainee 618".
- Carl Todd (voiced by Fred Tatasciore) - A janitor at Arkham Asylum.
- Adrian Chen (voiced by Wally Wingert) - A doctor at Arkham Asylum.
- Jordan Fraser (voiced by Steve Blum) - A janitor at Arkham Asylum.
- Robert Stirling (voiced by Danny Jacobs) - An orderly at Arkham Asylum.
- Ian Kennedy (voiced by Steve Blum) - A doctor at Arkham Asylum.
- Mike - An orderly at Arkham Asylum.
- William North (voiced by Roger Rose) - A security guard at Arkham Asylum.
- Bob Johnson (voiced by Wally Wingert) -
- Stephen Kellerman (voiced by Keith Ferguson) - A doctor at Arkham Asylum.
- Luke Curtis (voiced by Wally Wingert) - A janitor at Arkham Asylum.
- Mike (voiced by Steve Blum) - A security guard at Arkham.
- Bill (voiced by Danny Jacobs) - A security guard at Arkham.
- Razor - One of Joker's henchmen.
- Steve - A security guard at Arkham.
- Nate - A security guard at Arkham.
- Jackson - A security guard at Arkham. Shot and killed while evacuating to Arkham East.
- Jerry - A security guard at Arkham.
- Guard 38 - A security guard at Arkham. Identifies himself only as 'Guard 38'.
- Hego - One of the Joker's High Security Henchmen.
- Mickey - One of Joker's Henchmen, eaten by Killer Croc
- Ra's al Ghul - In a bodybag in the morgue. His body mysteriously disappears when Batman revisits it.
- Lucius Fox - Mentioned after receiving the message to destroy the Titan production facility.
- Robin (Dick Grayson) - Mentioned in Clayface's bio and in a Joker visitor session.
- Robin (Jason Todd) - Mentioned before Bane boss battle.
- Injustice Gang - Mentioned in the same newspaper that you scan for Firefly's bio.
The following characters appear through a series of unlockable character bios only and are not seen or heard throughout the game.
- Alfred Pennyworth
- The Penguin
- Mr. Freeze
- Mad Hatter
- The Great White Shark
- Black Mask
- Maxie Zeus
- Hugo Strange
- Killer Moth
- The Ratcatcher
- Tweedledum and Tweedledee
- Humpty Dumpty
- Ventriloquist and Scarface
- Calendar Man
The story is written by Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series, Detective Comics) while Wildstorm has crafted the appearances of the characters. Game Informer teases that Arkham Asylum will be the ultimate Batman experience and the voice cast will reflect that with Kevin Conroy voicing Batman, Mark Hamill as The Joker, and Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn from Batman: The Animated Series.
The game is based on the 70-year-old Batman series as a whole rather than being tied to any particular adaptation. It runs on Epic Games Unreal Engine 3.
Game of the Year Edition
On May 11, 2010, a Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition was released. The game featured 4 DLC Challenge Maps, and a full copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum. It also featured the ability for the game to be played in 3D with the use of 3D pink and green lense glasses.
Sequels and Prequels
- Main article: Batman: Arkham City
A sequel was revealed to be in production at the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards, with a trailer featuring a "beaten-up" Joker being nursed by Harley Quinn, whilst the relocated Arkham Asylum descends into chaos. Game Informer published the first full reveal of the game and its title, Arkham City, in August 2010. The sequel has been confirmed to include other Batman characters in speaking roles such as Catwoman, The Penguin, Alfred Pennyworth, Victor Zsasz, Hugo Strange, Two-Face, and the Riddler.
Arkham City was later released on October 21, 2011 for the PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Batman Arkham City uses the same overall game design as Batman: Arkham Asylum, though Arkham City is a noticeably larger area, and uses the sandbox game design. Batman Arkham City, for the first time ever, features side quests which involve hunting down the last of the Titan containers with Bane, saving hostages from the deadly grip of Victor Zsasz, and even saving certain prisoners from gang fights in the depths of Arkham City.
Multiple game trailers were released for Arkham City before its release. Gameplay trailers of the game were shown at E3 2011 a chance was given for people to try out the game before its release. Batman Arkham City has recieved positive reviews among the general public and has been regarded as a gaming success, as was the legendary Batman: Arkham Asylum.
- Main article: Batman: Arkham Origins
After Arkham City's success a prequel called Arkham Origins was released on October 2013. It received positive reviews, however, while critics have stated that it was still a good game in it's own right, it wasn't as successful as Asylum and City.
- Main article: Batman: Arkham Knight
In 2015, Rocksteady finished the main trilogy with Arkham Knight. The game received critical acclaim, being the most sold game in June 23rd, 2015. However some critics have criticised the game's constant use of the Batmobile mechanic.
The game's Special Edition includes:
- 14" Batarang with stand - Matches the Batarang’s in-game design
- Doctor Penelope Young’s Journal - 48 pages of notes on Arkham’s inmates, embossed leather dust jacket
- 2 Sleeve Digi-pack, including: Game disc, Behind-the-scenes DVD
- Code for downloadable Challenge Map - Exclusive “Crime Alley” map, available immediately
- Full-color Manual
- Able to play as The Joker in eight challenge map remakes which will be released as downloadable content on August 25 on the PlayStation Network. This DLC will be free.
- There will be a "Batman Arkham Asylum Batcave Outpost Apartment". Apparently, this will be only for PlayStation Home. It will contain items such as the Batsuit, Batmobile, and Batwing, along with various Bat-gadgets. This content on PlayStation Home will be free.
- The comic book "The Road to Arkham" will be given to PSP owners via download on the PlayStation Network. This comic will be free but will most likely NOT be able to be read by your PS3.
- The PlayStation 3 version of Batman: Arkham Asylum will use some elements of SIXAXIS Motion Control.
- The game is not meant to take place in any established Batman continuity; it is an original plot. Despite this, the game features references to plots from the comics.
- The game's plot is loosely based on the 1989 graphic novel Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. It features a similar plot of Batman being trapped in the asylum and surrounded by his enemies, among other references:
- Quincy Sharp considers himself to be the the reincarnation of Amadeus Arkham, and makes frequent reference to the history outlined in the comic.
- The asylum founder Amadeus Arkham's spirit haunts the mansion (however it turns out to be Sharp who believes Amadeus's spirit chose him to continue his work in cleansing the city), with the cell in which he inscribed his name in the floor also present.
- At one point in the game, Quincy Sharp calls the Joker a "filthy degenerate", just as Batman does in the graphic novel.
- Joker taunts Batman by saying "You are going to need a new sidekick..." which is reference to the story of Jason Todd, the second Robin. In his Robin arc, he is kidnapped by Joker, brought to the Asylum, tortured, unknowingly faked his death, escapes and becomes Red Hood.
- Additionally, at the beginning of the game the Joker says to Batman that he is "always welcome" in Arkham.
- On top of everything, the shorter title given to the graphic novel is Batman: Arkham Asylum.
- The game adapts a post-Killing Joke timeline: Barbara Gordon is confined to a wheelchair as Oracle. Other notable references to the story are:
- The Joker's makeshift throne made of mannequins at the end of the game is almost identical to the one in the graphic novel.
- During the game it is revealed that the Joker had been using e-mail under the alias "Jack White," which Batman identifies as "one of Joker's oldest aliases."
- The Joker makes a knowing reference to the story: "There were these two guys in a lunatic asylum ... Oh hell, you've heard that one before, haven't you?"
- The game's plot is loosely based on the 1989 graphic novel Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. It features a similar plot of Batman being trapped in the asylum and surrounded by his enemies, among other references:
- Arkham Origins Blackgate's plot is similar to that of Arkham Asylum's plot.
- This is the only game where Batman never takes off the batsuit nor his mask.
- Due to Joker's taunts to his henchmen, its possible that around this time in the Arkhamverse, many people wrongly concluded that Batman could be a vampire, since he was never seen at day time.
- The events of the game possibly happen in June/July/August. Joker was cremated 9 months prior to the events of Arkham Knight, which happen in October 31, which means that Joker was cremated on January. Assuming that he was cremated less than a month after his death, this would mean that Joker died around New years eve. If Joker was infected for 18 months, he got the disease in the summer of the previous year. According to this, the events of the Arkham games (excluding Origins) happen on the span of 27 months, or 2 years and 3 months.
- It should be noted however, that the time between Asylum and City is uncertain, as multiple sources mention different timings, ranging from 6 months to around 1 year. According to Arkham City, the time between the events was 18 months.
- Certain Character Bios (notably Hush's and Hugo Strange's) create small plot holes on the series, as Batman has them despite not meeting the villains until later on the Arkham Timeline. This is because the game was not planned to have a sequel, and thus the character backstories were lifted directly from the comics.