Batman Arkham Asylum is one of my top 10 games ever. With the next installment being released in 2023 (we hope) this is the order you should play to get the most enjoyment out of the series.
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For most media series you tend to consume it in the order it was released even if you were to consume it many years after it ends. But Batman Arkham Origins bucks that trend. So why is this?
In Origins, Batman has only been operating for a short amount of time. But his catalog of enemies is ready to hunt him down and take him out. In response to a very large bounty.
The voice acting in this installment is different for the two main characters, Batman and the Joker. Kevin Conroy allows Roger Craig Smith to take the infamous cowl. While Mark Hamill passes the jokes over to Troy Baker. This would not have worked if this was a sequel, but for a prequel, it works perfectly and both of them provide the amazing talent.
Batman is brutal and not refined as he is in the later games. He isn’t trusted by the GCPD or Gordon. It’s also the first time in his career that he faces enemies that are superior to him in one way or the other in such quick succession.
The area that would become Arkham city is the playground. Just like Arkham City however, some of the buildings are repeated due to the limitation of the hardware.
Batman Arkham Asylum takes place many years after the events of Origins. Batman is now a grizzled vet crimefighter in Gotham. Respected by GCPD and revered by the criminal underworld. The game begins with Batman speeding towards Arkham Asylum with Joker in cuffs. Within minutes of arriving. Arkham Asylum is turned upside down by the Joker and comes under his and his henchmen’s control.
This is the game that started it all, and it is beautifully put together. Rocksteady limited the game to just the grounds of Arkham Asylum. This means each building, each location was uniquely designed. It also means the gameplay is more focused on the main story rather than a million and one side stories. If you can only play one title in this series, this is the one you need to play.
Batman faces many of his super villain foes, such as Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Bane, and much much more. WIth their backstory and show pieces clearly reflecting the comic book material, it all comes from. It reignited my love for Batman and all his history. It even got me to start purchasing comics.
Batman Arkham City is Rocksteady’s first foray into the open-world genre. Just like other games, it suffers from its size. But even so, it is a great open-world game with lots to do and explore. Though I would have been just as happy if not more so if they limited the size of the world.
Every aspect is improved, however. Such as the combat and even the inclusion of Cat Woman who you can play during the main storyline. This adds much-needed variety to the game and a lot more movement options. She isn’t simply a reskin of Batman, she has her own moves and gadgets to compliment her fighting style.
Even though the overworld is a bit mundane, the individual levels are well put together and reflect each villain’s ego. With the Penguin stationed at a frozen casino. Mister Freeze uses the GCPD as a frozen base. And the Joker and Harley reside in a Joker wonderland.
Batman Arkham Knight was the first and only installment to be released on Xbox One and PS4. The new processing power of the new machines greatly expanded the landmass and the visuals of the title. It even brought with it the Batmobile finally.
Even so, I only completed this title once when it came out. Since then I have dabbled in it, but the other installments are far more interesting. The Batmobile though it is awesome is overpowered being able to take down enemies while you sit inside safely. Even when facing other tanks it makes mincemeat out of almost anything.
But the storyline certainly holds up compared to the others. This time a mysterious figure called the Arkham Knight is going around killing criminals which is clearly against the Bat’s code. If you are familiar with the comics, you can probably guess who it is. There is also a returning character from the previous game who died. Who I would argue really makes for a great experience.
Suicide Squad was scheduled to be released in 2022, being the latest installment in the Batman Arkham series. Once I heard of it, I rushed out to buy the most powerful graphics card I could afford. Unfortunately for me, this was during the height of the GPU crisis so wasn’t able to get the latest and greatest. Then the game was delayed to 2023.
It is set after the events of Arkham Knight. With the Suicide Squad going after the Justice League. The Justice League definitely looks like the bad guys in this game, even though we are looking in from the Squad’s perspective. The Squad is full of Supervillains tasked by the government to complete suicidal missions. Which this certainly is.
Until we know more, we have to wait with bated breath.
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