Batman: Arkham Asylum
(Warner Bros., Eidos Interactive; US: 25 Aug 2009)
While perhaps the most competent comic book crime fighter of the past 70 years, the Dark Knight’s forays into the video game medium have generally been marked by less than competent results. With the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum, Rocksteady Studios has proven that Batman can be as successfully presented in an interactive medium as he has been in print and moving pictures. Featuring a darkly realistic vision of Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum, the game focuses on breathing life into the experience by getting all the little details right. Emphasizing detection and observation as primary elements of gameplay, the player enters a living, breathing world where dark knights face off against psychotic clowns. Rocksteady has wisely chosen not to focus its attention on merely presenting the character of the Batman to us but on offering an experience that engages the player in being the Batman.