EIDOS INTERACTIVE AND WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCE BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM
A Haunting, Action Detective Game For the Xbox 360® Video Game and Entertainment System from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 Computer Entertainment System and Games for Windows
London, UK – August 13, 2008 -- Eidos Interactive and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on behalf of DC Comics announce Batman: Arkham Asylum a dark, action packed videogame adventure for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Games for Windows in 2009.
In Batman: Arkham Asylum, developed by Rocksteady Studios, the player assumes the role of Batman as he delivers The Joker to Arkham Asylum. There, the imprisoned super-villains have set a trap and an immersive combat gaming experience unfolds. With an original script penned by Emmy Award-winning Batman writer Paul Dini, the game brings the universe of DC Comics’ detective to life with stunning graphics.
“In Batman: Arkham Asylum Eidos and Warner Bros. are building a true action adventure game experience worthy of gamers and fans,” said Phil Rogers, CEO of Eidos Interactive. “Players become Batman, like he has never been seen before in a video game, as he fights through intense circumstances in Arkham Asylum utilizing his intuitive detective skills and aggressive melee attacks.”
“Batman: Arkham Asylum offers players the chance to battle Gotham’s worst villains with Batman’s physical and psychological strength in a graphically distinct and story-driven game,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “We look forward to working with Eidos on expanding DC Comics’ world-renowned character Batman in the game space with a noticeably different feature set in an incredibly dark interactive environment.”
Eidos Interactive and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will co-publish Batman: Arkham Asylum in North America, Eidos Interactive will publish the game in all other territories.
Batman Begins for Xbox was a guilty pleasure, you could make a perfect Batman game if you did what they did and steal lots of bits from other games. Splinter Cell style hiding in the shadows (not necessarily stealth) Batman's not really the building scaling type but when I was climbing High Reach Points in Assassins Creed I thought it would be great to the same kind of thing/run across rooftops as Batman in Gotham City Been playing Stuntman:Ignition as well and the Night Avenger bits are good fun. Racing through Gotham, Burnout style in the Batmobile. It's not that hard to make something half decent.
Batman Returns on the Mega CD was friggin' awesome. I loved the driving sections.
Just looked up Rocksteady on Wikipedia and realised the game has its own page already. Here's some more info (presumably taken from a GameInformer article that's mentioned):
Clever choice of location moves the game away from an open world Spider-Man clone and more into the dark and gritty realm of The Chronicles of Riddick.
Packed with Batman's most dangerous archenemies Arkham Asylum boasts a brand new story reminiscent of the depth and twists of Bioshock
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 perspective
You're going to see and get to fight against all the big super villains including The Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Zsasz, The Penguin, Riddler, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and Mr. Freeze.
Allies revealed so far are Commissioner Gordon who plays a big role and Barbara Gordon (aka Oracle) who is your radio contact in the game.
Game opens with the Joker surrendering himself and subsequently taking over Arkham because of some secret the facility holds
Arkham was chosen as a location because of its limitations including the fact that it's an island prison. It's a persistent location so you can visit any location at anytime including Batman's secret on site Bat Cave etc. Don't think that just because this is an island prison there will only be small hallways. The developers have taken into account all the construction/destruction of the facility over the years so locals will vary.
Boss Battles won't necessarily be a series of straight pugilistic fights. Each enemy represents a different side of Batman and not all of them can match his wide skill set. Some battles are focused on combat others will focus on gadgets some are similar to giant Zelda style bosses.
Combat description in the magazine talks about Batman perched on a high ledge in a wide open room as he watches some of the Joker's thugs rifle through drawers. Batman switches to investigation mode using a blue tinted visor that among other things lets Batman see his enemies through walls and identifies things like guns and knives. One thug is carrying a machine gun so Batman jumps of the ledge, spreads his cape and kicks him in the face. He then swipes his cape in a large arc to stun his other enemies and then goes to work on them with a stylish blend of punches, kicks, a knee to the face here a behind the back elbow there. Combat has a gymnastic flourish and is accomplished using only three buttons. Attack, Stun and Throw.
Combat is only one element of the game so the developers didn't want a bunch of button combos that you'd forget because you'll be doing other things besides fighting.
During battle a combo multiplier at the top of the screen will increase with every strike. Once the combo expires a colony of bats will swirl around Batman and then contribute to an experience bar on the left side of the screen. In an RPG like skill tree system players will be able to distribute points where they prefer. Think Combat moves, faster takedowns, or gadget upgrades like the ability to throw multiple batarangs at the same time.
Gadgets are revealed by collecting items in secret rooms. You'll need gadgets to survive as there are very tough enemies in the game that you can't just go head to head with (Think Killer Croc, he's 10 feet tall in the game and super tough)
There are sections that involve sneaking but the developers call them Predatory gameplay sections as stealth tends to imply weakness, they prefer to think of it as picking off the weak people or people you wouldn't last too long in direct fight with from strong positions. The example they give in the article is Batman creating distractions with bodies and victim's yells and then stalking the guards as they go to inspect.
Developers have come up with a very "sexy" CSI style for forensic puzzles because Batman will always have the very latest gadgets.
Investigative mode is the centerpiece in Batman's arsenal. The visor can highlight points of interest and much like the Metroid Prime games will scan items into your database.
Story is written by Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series, Detective Comics)
Wildstorm is crafting the authentic yet distinct new look for all the key characters
Magazine teases that this game will be the ultimate Batman experience so the voice cast will reflect that (Think Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill).
Game isn't being rushed to tie in with any TV/Film marketing cycles.
Game runs on Unreal Engine 3
Eidos' Batman license includes all 70 years of comic book fiction so they're pulling from all of that.
I think the fact that this is the first Bats game (apart from Lego Batman) to not tie-in with everything gives the developer a lot more freedom and the game itself far more potential.
The presentation side of things has never been EA's week point.
Can't disagree with that. Personally, I think most of their tie-in games are pretty solid and a lot of the flack they get is unnecessary. True, they're never genre-defining but they've kept me entertained in the past.