Batman Arkham Asylum still on its way!

If one accepts that a cat always lands on its feet, and a piece of toast always lands jam side down, then strapping a piece of toast jam side up to a cat’s back, and dropping it from a height, would seem to be the best way to create perpetual motion – the evasive ideal of physics and engineering.

(Bear with me…)

The only way to create a more impressive self-perpetuating spin is to take a much beloved and awesome entertainment franchise, and base a video game on it that is revealed in pre-release, through drip-fed graphics and video, to look like it might actually be quite good. A fan of that franchise, and of video games, will go into headspin – geek anticipation will take hold at first, before the memory of other video game licenses kicks in and cynicism turns the head. But it looks cool – it will probably suck – but SO AWESOME – just remember the past…

So I present for your consideration some screengrabs from the developer diary posted by Eidos for their new game “Batman – Arkham Asylum”.

BatmanBatman Docks

I’ve always preferred a sleeker Batman, but I don’t mind this heavier muscled version that they’ve gone with in the game, because it looks so pretty.

I’m also kind of loving the “Robot Chicken” style Joker, who is probably the only character we’ve seen video of so far not working in realistic proportions or movements – it makes him pretty terrifying.

Paul Dini has written what sounds like a pretty intense adventure for the Bat, and the one sentiment that keeps being repeated in the developer diary is darkness – dark, dark and gritty darkitude. As far as Batman games go, it’s about time – though the films have decided to take us down the route of grim realism, I don’t think video games have really taken this stance with the character before – not in anger, anyway.

The story isn’t really relevant, though – this is Batman, trapped and under attack in Arkham Asylum, after all, and those of us who read the comics have seen this scenario acted out a dozen times. What matters is visual direction and gameplay.

Poison IvyHarley Quinn

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I think they’ve nailed the look of it. The cinematics show some pretty gorgeous – and pretty grim and fetishised – design work, slickly animated.

But at the moment, it’s hard to see what the gameplay is going to be like from the video – the reason it isn’t posted here is that there’s a lot of flicker and ghosting going on in the fight sequences that make up the gameplay scenes – one gets a sense of a heavy-duty fighting/action game, and in the end how successful that is will always come down to what the control system and finish on the game is like.

But look: Bane (I think!) trussed up like something in Bioshock! I am spinning with uncertainty!


Note: Shortly after completing this post, this reporter discovered that while he has been pondering the scientific benefits of cat cruelty and toast physics, playable portions of this game, showcasing the combat mechanics, have been doing the rounds at some conventions, including the recent MCM Expo, where one of his fellow reporters got to give it a whirl.
In the interest of fair representation of all viewpoints, he has decided to post it with all vaguely out of date comments intact, so that Geek Syndicate readers can get an insight into the minds of the persistently confused. Your welcome.

GS Reporter: Nick!

Source: Eidos

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