Batman: Arkham Asylum is a video game released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows and the Mac OS X, and is based on DC Comics' Batman. It was developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Eidos Interactive in conjunction with DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Games. The Mac version was developed and published by Feral Interactive and was released on 3 November 2011.
It is based on the long-running comic book mythos, Arkham Asylum, as opposed to most other Batman games which are adaptations of the character in other media besides the source material.
A sequel was released in 2011 titled Batman: Arkham City. A prequel titled Batman: Arkham Origins was released on October 25, 2013 worldwide. Another sequel, Batman: Arkham Knight was released on June 23, 2015.
The Joker, Batman's arch enemy, has instigated an elaborate plot from within Arkham Asylum, where many of Batman's other foes have been incarcerated. Batman investigates and comes to learn that the Joker is trying to create an army of Bane-like creatures to threaten Gotham City, and is forced to put a stop to the Joker's plans. Throughout the night, Batman is forced to deal with the temporarily admitted sane prisoners from Blackgate prison, Scarecrow, Zsasz, Poison Ivy, Bane, Killer Croc and Harley Quinn. By the night's end, all the villains, save Bane, Croc and Crane, are recaptured and placed back in their cells and what remains of the staff try putting the Asylum back in order. Though it is thanks to Batman that the criminally insane are brought back under control, administrator of Arkham, mayoral candidate Quincy Sharp, soon takes advantage and claims the credit himself for bringing the Arkham institution back under control.
Intensive Treatment Center
The situation at city hall took place at exactly the same time as a 'mysterious fire' broke out at Blackgate Penitentiary, 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 up-right stretcher and wheel him down into the Intensive Treatment Center. Sensing something is wrong because Joker seemed to give up easier than usual, 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 holding 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 in his direction, 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 anyone get close to him. Batman subsequently subdues Zsasz after swooping down from a gargoyle behind the psychotic killer
All of a sudden, Batman receives a message from Harley Quinn, who has taken Quincy Sharp, the warden, hostage. Batman offers a single chance to surrender peacefully, but Harley refuses it and activates the security locks. Although Quinn is convinced Batman is trapped in Patient Pacification, Batman escapes back to the Processing Corridor via an air duct, heading 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, following the Joker to the Secure Treatment Transfer room
Batman is attacked by a mutated Blackgate prisoner. After a short battle, the prisoner collapses from heart failure. Feeling generous, Joker offers Batman a free shot to knock him into the abyss below the mobile security cell to stop his madness. Batman preps a batarang, but decides against it. Laughing at Batman, Joker escapes on top of a mobile security cell to Extreme Isolation; he broadcasts a message to Batman from a nearby guard station telling him that Frank Boles, a member of the security team assigned with escorting 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' 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 (who may have simply done it for amusement/out of boredom or for the hell of it), 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.
Walking through the guards' locker room, Batman overhears Jack Rhyder's broadcast announcing that Joker has threatened to set off bombs across Gotham if any law enforcement is seen approaching Arkham Asylum. However, knowing Joker well, Batman suspects that the bombs are nothing but empty threats to keep the city busy. He contacts Oracle, instructing her to investigate the bombs while he tries to subdue Joker and the other inmates.
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 trashing 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. He also arms himself with Explosive Gel kept in the Batmobile's trunk.
After defeating two of the Joker's men attempting to make renovations to the Visitor's 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, thus 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 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 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, 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. Bane says the "Bruja" drained his Venom. Since Bane is talking too much about his plans, Joker triggers the pump, replacing Bane's venom, which enables him to break free and attack Batman, hurling him through a wall and into the 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, burying him under a pile of rubble. Batman meets with Gordon, but before they can speak, Bane breaks through the wall and grabs Batman. Though Bane says he'll break Batman, the Dark Knight corrects him, "No, Bane. This time, I break you!" The Batmobile is remotely summoned to the scene, ramming 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. Before Gordon leaves, he asks Batman about what Bane called Dr. Young, "Bruja". Batman answers that it's Spanish for "Witch".
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. Batman radios Oracle, explaining that Bane seemed to be much stronger than he usually is. 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, which could be "an army of 1000 Banes", Batman heads over to the Arkham Mansion to destroy Young's notes before Joker gets them.
Through the Main Sewer Junction
With the help of the Batclaw, a gadget similar to the grappling gun Batman had 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, a massive, crumbling, chamber, a maze of decrepit columns, archways, and platforms. Oracle radios, explaining that she went through Dr. Young's e-mails, finding that a Jack White had been supplying her with funding for her Titan research; Batman realises Joker was the one who was funding the project as it's one of his oldest aliases. Young eventually found out who was paying her, and put a block on her account. Joker sent threatening emails to Young, who was prepared to resign from Arkham to get away from the high probability of seeing him again. He emerges from the Main Sewer Junction in the Surface Access area, which provides an unused exit to Arkham North. Here, Batman finds that the Joker's men had 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 it detects 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, but Joker has kidnapped Dr. Young herself and intends to 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 got 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 again, Batman tracks Harley to the Penitentiary.
Batman chases Harley to the cells, finding nothing but true lunatics inside it. He reaches the "Green Mile", where Poison Ivy's special cell is. Ivy begs Batman to save her plants as she senses they're in pain. Batman tells Ivy that he has more important things to do than worry about plants and leaves for the next room, there Clayface tries tricking Batman into releasing him by posing as Cash, Sharp and Gordon, but is unsuccessful. Upon finding Sharp in the security tower, Batman finds that Harley has locked them in. On the monitor, Harley passes Ivy's cell, where she again begs to be released. Harley says that Ivy looks like crap and that she might smuggle some shampoo in for her. Despite not being on Joker's party list, Harley cuts Ivy a break and lets her out. Ivy sighs in relief of being out of her cell and blows Harley a kiss as she leaves. Joker contacts Batman and laughs about the friendship between the two of them before saying that he's setting up something to keep him busy until the party is prepared; he frees the rest of the crazed Arkham inmates. Getting Sharp's pass key, Batman scans it into his sequencer, enabling him to disable the electric barriers blocking his way. Batman follows Harley to a large room with an electrified floor, which she uses to try to kill him. When she fails, the Joker refuses to get her out of there and crosses her off his 'party list' for some kind of celebration he is holding later that night. Out of anger, Harley attacks Batman, but he successfully apprehends her and locks her in 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, but is temporarily stopped by an electrified pond in his path, forcing him to cut the power to the building. Once he reaches the facility, Batman finds the Joker fleeing with cases of Titan, while leaving two of his henchmen behind, drugged with a now complete Titan serum. Batman destroys the facility and begins to search for an antidote to stop the rest of the Titans. Since the Titan venom is produced by genetically engineered plants (hence the location of the secret lab), Batman believes Poison Ivy should help him to find a cure. At first, Ivy refuses to help Batman (declaring that she'd rather watch him squirm), until he warns her that every plant on Arkham will 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. He warns her to go back to her cell, or she's next. Ivy tells him she'll be waiting.
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, which he injects into her, causing a pained, yet pleasured scream. This causes a large vine to block the door and force Batman to use the vents to navigate his way out. Joker is shocked nothing has happened, rhetorically asking if he should give her another injection. He does so and then comments Ivy doesn't get her name for nothing; he wanted her to turn into a "40 foot plant monster", but was unsuccessful. While Ivy laughs maniacally, rumbling comes all around Batman and once outside, he sees that Titan is having a different effect on her. She causes mutated plants to grow rapidly and 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 breaking into the building, and dealing with several of the Joker's "security guards" (Inmate impostors wearing stolen guard jackets), Batman backtracks through the facility, but starts hearing a voice and coughing again; Scarecrow is returning. He then has a hallucination where, the beginning of the game is seen again, but this time, Joker is taking him to Arkham. There, he shoots him dead after Scarecrow taunts him. Batman then awakens in a shattered nightmare world again created by Scarecrow and defeats him again by sheer will. Seeing that Batman is used to his fear gas, Crane injects even more toxin into him, causing Batman to see Joker's henchmen as skeletons attacking him. However, Batman once again breaks free of the illusion and is clutching Scarecrow himself. Amazed at Batman's will power, Scarecrow gives another injection, asking Batman what he is as the amount of toxic is enough to drive ten men insane. He flees to the elevator, planning to drop his fear toxin into the Gotham water supply. Batman pursues him directly 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, while frequently being attacked and pursued by Croc, whom he fends off by constantly activating his shock collar with batarangs, 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. However, he is unable to make anymore of it because Ivy's plants break into the cave and crush the computer. Forced to improvise a way out, Batman uses a new gadget to open a new path and enters it. 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. Furious, Joker sends a Titan henchman to kill Batman, which fails.
He travels back to the surface and the Botanical Gardens, where Ivy states that while she originally thought that Titan was hurting her plants, it has actually made them much stronger, just as it has made her stronger. With that, she says that they will now grow together and summons a colossal Titan plant through the floor, and bonds with it to fight Batman. She also sends out waves of security guards infected by her mind-controlling plant spores out to fight Batman, including Eddie Burlow and William North, now under her control. However, he manages to defeat her and the possessed guards, and Ivy and the plants sink back into the undergrowth. However, she is later found and returned to her cell after Joker is stopped.
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 greeted by a mannequin of the Joker with a TV in place of its head. Surprisingly, it is revealed to be the Joker; the television was a sort of "hat". He tells Batman the party will start with a bang, as the television begins counting down. Batman is weakened by the bomb exploding on the other side of a thin glass window. He awakens and enters through the broken glass 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 pellets 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 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 Centre. 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's 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 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.
Besides Batman, who fulfills the role of the titular protagonist of Batman: Arkham Asylum, there are a number of antagonists and secondary characters, including:
- The Joker, the primary antagonist of Batman: Arkham Asylum. He orchestrates a massive breakout which results in the massacre of Arkham's staff and most of the destruction to the facility.
- Harley Quinn, the Joker's moll, who has already infiltrated Arkham prior to his arrival. She holds Quincy Sharp, the asylum administrator, hostage and uses his security codes to gain access over Arkham's security systems.
- The Riddler remains unseen throughout the game's storyline, having escaped Arkham Island, but constantly taunts Batman by radio, urging him to solve over two hundred challenges on the asylum grounds. These range from locating hidden objects to solving riddles.
- Killer Croc is one of the deadliest patients housed in Arkham when the Joker begins causing mayhem. He is considered such a high security risk that he is the only inmate to be held beneath the asylum, in a subterranean "lair", as opposed to a normal cell. Batman is later tasked with infiltrating Croc's lair to harvest some rare spores.
- The Scarecrow is liberated when the Joker seizes control of the asylum. He continually torments Batman with a series of toxin-induced hallucinations pumped through Arkham's ventilation systems.
- Bane, also known as Patient X, is being experimented on by the Arkham head of research, Penelope Young. The Venom extracted from his blood samples proved instrumental in the creation of Titan.
- Poison Ivy persuades Harley Quinn to release her, and slowly begins destroying Arkham Island with her mutated plants after the Joker infects her with the Titan compound. Ivy later assumes control over the minds of much of the surviving security staff, using pheromones secreted from the plants.
- Victor Zsasz, a deranged serial killer who embarks on an orgy of murder in the asylum. When confronted by Batman, he resorts to taking hostages, forcing the Dark Knight to free them.
- James Gordon, commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department. Gordon, who initially visits Arkham to oversee the Joker's return, is captured by the supervillain twice during the game and held hostage.
- Barbara Gordon, alias Oracle, Commissioner Gordon's daughter and Batman's chief information broker. Oracle provides invaluable intelligence on the layout of the Arkham grounds and keeps Batman updated on the news in Gotham City. She is understandably concerned for the welfare of her father.
A number of recurring characters from the Batman mythos make cameo appearances in Batman: Arkham Asylum, such as Clayface and Ra's al Ghul. Journalist Jack Ryder broadcasts news reports on the unfolding siege which may be heard on shortwave radios inside the institution.
Some Arkham staff members who survive the initial mayhem of the Joker's escape also assist Batman, including guards, orderlies, and psychiatrists. Nevertheless, a number of the staff are depicted as openly immoral or corrupt; for example, Penelope Young and security officer Frank Boles were both in the employ of the Joker, although Young later has a change of heart. Chief administrator Quincy Sharp is slowly going insane, believing himself to be possessed by the spirit of Arkham's original founder, Amadeus Arkham.
Main article: Arkham Asylum (Batman: Arkham Asylum)
Batman: Arkham Asylum is set wholly on the grounds of the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, better known as Arkham Asylum. The asylum is located on a remote island in the Gotham Bay, a strategic necessity given its reputation for housing violent, incurable psychotics. This depiction of Arkham portrays the facility as a sprawling, multi-faceted campus with both new and old structures, including a medical building for low-risk patients, surgical procedures, and pharmaceutical purposes, a penitentiary cell block for the general inmate population, a large factory re-purposed into an intensive care unit for high-risk patients, a series of indoor botanical gardens, and a vast subterranean network. The iconic Victorian mansion normally associated with Arkham in Batman comic books also makes an appearance as the main administration block.
Prior to the events of the game, Wayne Enterprises had invested heavily in the asylum's security systems and contributed some of its most sophisticated surveillance equipment towards the revitalization of the existing facilities. This backfires on Batman when Harley Quinn and corrupt guard Frank Boles are able to take control of the security systems and use them to help orchestrate the Joker's escape.
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 the BioShock series, 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 through 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 version. Arkham was chosen as a location because of its limitations including the fact that it's located on an island. Arkham will be a persistent location that the player will be able to 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 of the controller, but focuses instead on keeping up a perfect rhythm of blocks and attacks, which Batman executes in whichever style is appropriate for the situation, making his fighting style very realistic and extremely fluid, adapting to whichever situation presents around him. 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 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, 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 interior gargoyles 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 automatically.
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 apply to weak walls highlighted by detective vision so they crash down making ways for you to escape and sneak in or even knock out the person on the other side.
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 garden, 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.
- Remote Control Batarang - Can be steered through complex flights, taking out several enemies at once.
- 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.
- 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.
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 set 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 amount 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.
The game received critical acclaim — particularly for its narrative — and won several awards, including Best Action Adventure game, Best Game, and Game of the Year from different media outlets. It held the Guinness World Record for "Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever."
|2009||Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences||Adventure Game of the Year||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Outstanding Achievement in Adapted Story||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Outstanding Achievement in Animation||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Outstanding Achievement in Character Performance||Mark Hamill for Joker||
|Outstanding Achievement in Game Design||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Overall Game of the Year||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Spike Video Game Awards||Best Action Adventure Game||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Best Graphics||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Best Voice||Arleen Sorkin for Harley Quinn||
|Mark Hamill for Joker||
|Best Xbox 360 Game||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Game of the Year||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Studio of the Year||Rocksteady Studios||
|2010||BAFTA Video Games Awards||Action||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Artistic Achievement||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Best Game||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|GAME Award of 2009||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Gameplay||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Original Score||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Story||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Use of Audio||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Game Developers Choice Awards||Best Game Design||Batman: Arkham Asylum, Sefton Hill and Ian Ball||
|Best Writing||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Game of the Year||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
|Golden Reel Awards||Best Sound Editing: Computer Entertainment||Batman: Arkham Asylum||
- Kevin Conroy - Batman, Thomas Wayne
- Mark Hamill - The Joker, Gotham Cop
- Arleen Sorkin - Harley Quinn
- Dino Andrade - Scarecrow, Lunatic #1
- Adrienne Barbeau - The Spirit of Arkham, Dr. Gretchen Whistler
- Steve Blum - Killer Croc, Ian Kennedy, Jordan Fraser, Masked Guard #2
- Kimberly Brooks - Oracle, Young Bruce Wayne, Sara Cassidy
- Chris Cox - Eddie Burlow, Masked Guard #3, Masked Orderly #2
- Keith Ferguson - Dr. Stephen Kellerman, TV Voice, Lunatic #2
- Chris Gardner - Henry Smith, Zach Franklin, Henchman #4
- James Horan - Jack Ryder, Masked Orderly #3, Henchman #3
- Danny Jacobs - Victor Zsasz, Frank Boles, Robert Sterling, Masked Guard #1
- Tom Kane - Commissioner Gordon, Quincy Sharp, The Spirit of Amadeus Arkham, Louie Green
- Roger Rose - William North, Masked Guard #4, Masked Orderly #1
- Fred Tatasciore - Bane, Carl Todd, Henchman #2
- Tasia Valenza - Poison Ivy, Martha Wayne
- Duane R. Shepard Sr. - Aaron Cash, Henchman #6
- Cree Summer - Dr. Penelope Young
- Rick D. Wasserman - Gotham Cop, Henchman #1
- Wally Wingert - The Riddler, Bob Johnson, Henchman #5, Dr. Adrian Chen, Luke Curtis, Gotham Cop, Masked Guard #5
- Collette Sunderman - Casting and Voice Director
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.
The Collector's Edition Batarang Box Set was released by GameStop and Wal-Mart. The package features a 14-inch (36 cm) Batarang, a 50-page character journal, a bonus disc that includes interviews with the voice actors, and the Crime Alley challenge map. The Wal-Mart regular and Collector's Edition's of the game came with a code for an armored Batsuit for use only in the challenge maps. Additionally, a pre-order challenge map from GameStop was announced called Scarecrow Nightmare. It places Batman under the influence of Scarecrow's fear toxin, causing him to hallucinate and all the enemies to be seen as skeletons. Both codes are included in their respective editions. A Game of the Year Edition was released on March 26, 2010 in Europe, Australia and Japan and in North America on May 11, 2010. The updated edition features all of the original game, the extra challenge maps Totally Insane, Nocturnal Hunter, Crime Alley, Scarecrow Nightmare, and the ability to play the game in 3D on any regular 2D television using TriOviz stereoscopy glasses.
- Collector's Edition
- Game of the Year Edition
The Batman: Arkham Asylum – Original Video Game Score was released on December 28, 2009, by WaterTower Music. The album features 34 songs written for the game. Ron Fish and Nick Arundel, composers for Batman: Arkham Asylum, also returned to write music for Arkham City.
- Main Theme
- The Dark Knight
- Escorting Joker
- The Choke's on You
- Invisible Predator
- Double Trouble
- Harley Quinn
- Arkham Asylum
- Baneful Payback Part I
- Baneful Payback Part II
- Visitor Centre
- World's Greatest Detective
- Whiskey Trail
- Malpractice Needs More Practice
- And at the End of Fear...Oblivion!
- Tick, Tock, Feed the Croc
- Poisoned Ivy
- Play You Like a Violin, Then Cut Your Strings
- Prison Cells & Lunatics
- He's Out There
- Surprise Attack
- Just What The Doctors Ordered
- The Caped Crusader
- Throne Room - Joker Fight - Breaking News
- The Aftermath
- 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 includes other Batman characters that weren't in Arkham Asylum as well as some of the same characters in speaking roles such as Catwoman, The Penguin, Alfred Pennyworth, Victor Zsasz, Hugo Strange, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, the Riddler, Mad Hatter, Deadshot, Hush, Bane, Oracle, Jack Ryder, Solomon Grundy, Killer Croc, Clayface, and Azrael.
- ↑ "Batman: Arkham Asylum Released on Mac 3rd November"
- ↑ "Batman: Arkham Asylum official minisite from Feral Interactive"
- ↑ 'Uncharted 2: Among Thieves' Breaks Away and Flees with 10 Awards During the 13th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards
- ↑ 2010 Interactive Achievement Awards
- ↑ Uncharted 2 Wins Spike's Game Of The Year 2009, Rocksteady Best Studio
- ↑ Spike Video Game Awards Nominees Announced
- ↑ Batman: Arkham Asylum Wins BAFTA Game Of The Year
- ↑ Uncharted 2, Flower, Assassin's Creed II Lead Finalists for the Tenth Annual Game Developers Choice Awards
- ↑ 10th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards
- ↑ Golden Reel Award nominees announced
|Arkham Origins: Batman: Arkham Origins • Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate|
|Arkham Asylum: The Road to Arkham • Batman: Arkham Asylum|
|Arkham City: Arkham City (comic) • Batman: Arkham City • Batman: Arkham Unhinged|