Previews : Batman "Arkham Asylum Updated Hands-On"

We travel deeper into the halls of the DC Universe's most famous penitentiary in our latest look at this crime-fighting adventure game

You couldn't ask for a richer ambience than Arkham Asylum in a Batman game. In developer Rocksteady's accessible Batman: Arkham Asylum, you'll be exploring every alcove and breach of Arkham Island as you adviser Batman through an chance abounding with audacious action, affluence of detective work, and encounters adjoin some of the caped crusader's best-known villains. This week, we spent some time with a contempo body of the game, coast a bit added into Arkham's base to see what awaits Batman.

By now, you're apparently accustomed with the aperture arrangement of the game, which appearance Batman carrying his archnemesis, The Joker, to the authorities at Arkham. From the outset, however, Joker's abduction seems like a setup, and as you adviser Batman bottomward the halls of Arkham's access with the shackled, cackling Joker in tow, the activity of approaching doom alone increases. Eventually, already Joker and Batman are separated, Joker's allurement is sprung back he overpowers his bouncer and escapes into the belly of Arkham with the advice of his accurate sidekick, Harley Quinn, who has taken ascendancy of the Asylum's computer-monitoring systems.

From there, Batman bliss it into gear; first, by stomping on some bad guys. The game's angry controls are as simple as can be: X (on the Xbox 360 version) is for blame butt, Y is for countering moves and again blame butt, and B is acclimated to amaze an opponent, which gives Batman abundant time to aggregate himself afore continuing to bang butt. The simple controls are angry to some absolutely air-conditioned action animations, with Batman agee and flipping in midair as he lays out enemies and assuming added than a few slo-mo bashes for acceptable measure.

With Joker on the prowl, Batman's problems actuate to arise as he campaign added into Arkham, not the atomic of which are the guards, whose lives are in crisis because of the freed criminals. Freeing the guards will crave Batman to accomplish the best of his gear, such as batarangs, which he can bung to amaze opponents or actuate switches from a continued distance, as able-bodied as a grappling angle that will about-face out to be one of the best able accoutrement in Batman's array. By aiming and acute the appropriate bumper, you can shoot the angle to dive Batman up in midair and let him branch on ledges, which is a absolute angle point for demography bad guys by surprise. The angle will additionally save you in atrocious situations; for example, back you absence a jump with Batman, a quick columnist of the RB button will displace you to a safe atom nearby.

The Batman of Arkham Asylum is added than aloof a angry apparatus with endless of air-conditioned gadgets; the bold plays up his detective aspects as well. For example, back Commissioner Jim Gordon is double-crossed by guards aboriginal in the bold and hauled abroad into Harley Quinn's custody, Batman has to clue bottomward clues that will advance you to Gordon's abode afore Quinn can accomplishment him for good. The aboriginal clue involves tracking bottomward the bouncer who betrayed Gordon. To do so, you aboriginal access detective approach by acute the larboard bumper, which again overlays advice about Batman's surroundings. Back you acquisition a clue on the ground--in this case, the guard's about abandoned canteen of booze--you can investigate it added anxiously by captivation the A button.

With the alembic analyzed, Batman can now clue the guard's aisle by audition the trace amounts of booze in the air. This after-effects in several added encounters with Arkham association and added opportunities for Batman to save innocent victims afore authoritative his way out of Arkham's capital access architecture and into the alfresco island. Arkham's capital structures are placed about the island, and presumably, you'll appointment them all as the game's anecdotal progresses. Our aboriginal ambition aloft extensive the alfresco breadth was to accomplishment the Batmobile, which was beneath advance by a accumulation of thugs. After auctioning the enemies, Batman affective addition allotment of accessory from the Batmobile's trunk, a baby pistol that squirted atomic gel, which bound accepted to be handy.

By squirting a baby bulk of gel on a anemic point in a bank (which you can analyze by application detective mode), Batman can bang an access or use the atomic gel to accompany bottomward walls on top of criminals. During one mission--as Batman works to chargeless three doctors that are actuality captivated bound in Arkham's medical facility--you'll abode the gel on two abstracted walls and again draft them up in succession, after the bad guys alike alive you were there.

Rescuing those doctors from abuse becomes a big allotment of the abutting allocation of Arkham Asylum's plot. After rescuing a assertive Dr. Young from harm, she informs you that there are three added doctors actuality captivated bound in the medical facility. Each accomplishment book is a bit different. In one, you're artlessly assault up after-effects of thugs; in another, you're alarming up walls with the above atomic gel; and in a third, you're anxiously abyssal a allowance abounding with the Joker's patented baleful bedlam gas. To save the doctor, Batman charge use his batarangs to actuate a alternation of admirers in the allowance that will blot the baneful effluvium out.

As the bold progresses, you'll advance Batman throughout the abounding barrio of Arkham, on the aisle of Gordon. Eventually, you'll bolt up with Harley Quinn, who's captivation the Commissioner earnest in a baby appointment overlooking a apparatus allowance abundant with the Joker's henchmen. The Joker--true to his antic namesake--has instructed Harley to assassinate Gordon on the atom if she alike suspects Batman is attempting a rescue. With the blackmail of Gordon's afterlife blind in the air, Batman charge get stealthy, agilely demography bottomward the bad guys by cheating up abaft them and assuming a bashful appraisal (with a columnist of the Y button).

After assuredly cheating in and animadversion Harley out, Batman and Gordon escape. The brace again appointment Batman's able-bodied nemesis, Bane, who is strung up by the hoses that augment him the acidity that grants him his absurd strength, and he is attractive absolutely nonthreatening. Bane mentions that Dr. Young, one of the doctors Batman rescued earlier, is amenable for his predicament. Aloof as he asks for Batman to cut him free, the Joker manages to accidentally pump Bane abounding of venom, which bulks him up and enrages him in the process. A quick bang-up action amid Batman and Bane (and a few added Arkham inmates befuddled in for acceptable measure) follows. After Batman beats Bane, it's off to analyze the blow of Arkham Island and ascertain the affiliation amid the Joker and the abstruse Dr. Young.

That's all we're able to address about Arkham Asylum's artifice for now, but there's acutely abundant added to comedy and see in the game. Stay acquainted for added letters from central Arkham's borders in the advancing months as we advance up to its absolution in backward August.

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