You may have noticed that we recently ran a whole bunch of polls to try and decide which was the best game of 2009 and when it came down to the last ten there were three that really stood out. Two of them (Modern Warfare 2 and Uncharted 2) were sequels, and were somewhat predictably excellent. But the other took us by surprise, coming out of nowhere to show the gaming world that superheroes and video games could in fact live together in glorious gaming harmony.
I am, of course, talking about the brilliant Batman: Arkham Asylum and you might be pleased to know that you can now pick up the Collector's Edition of the game for under thirty pounds. Game is currently offering this neat little pack for just £27.99, which is a whopping £9 less than the nearest competitor (Gamestation - £36.98).
Arkham Asylum is fantastic. It's moody, atmospheric, beautiful to look at and wonderful to play. As Bruce Wayne's alter-ego, you find yourself trapped inside the walls of the asylum just as the Joker's taken control of the place, and freed all of his criminally insane mates.
The action is bone-crunchingly satisfying, with melee combat proving to be a simple rhythm and timing based affair that works incredibly well. The stealth play is superb, as you pluck goons off of their feet from the shadows, bumping your adversaries off one by one and watching unseen as their fear spreads and heightens. This is a game that succeeds in all of the little details from the character designs to the superb voice acting to the effect your actions have on your enemies. The result is one of the most immersive gaming experiences of the past twelve months.
The Collectors Edition isn't great to be honest, but it's better than some. There's the usual crap no one really cares about like a behind the scenes DVD that you can probably piece together on the web if you look hard enough, a map or two, and a supplemental journal. But the big draw is a massive 14" Batarang replica, which trips all of my geek nodes. I can't explain why I want it, only that it is incredibly cool. There's a space on my shelf which has been there for some time and I never knew what is was missing....until now.
Thanks to nicks99 at HUKD