The dark Knight is ready for the end of August

The dark Knight is ready for the end of August

Surprisingly, the Arkham Asylum demo hit PSN before Xbox Live and I eagerly started the the 1.5 GB file as soon as I got home. 360 owners will get to play it tomorrow. Another surprise was the speed that it downloaded – Sony’s downloads usually take forever.

The first thing that strikes you when you fire it up is how good it looks and sounds. The in-engine cut scene begins with The Joker being taken to Arkham Asylum, but I guess you know that if you’ve been following the game. The character models of Batman and The Joker are brilliant and Mark Hammill is as good as fans of the Batman: The Animated Series will remember.

Once The Joker has escaped and Batman has given chase the demo begins proper and the tutorial begins in ernest. Your first task is to learn combat using the punch and counter buttons to smash goons. You then get to take out one of the minor Batman villains – Zsasz. This introduces you to using the batarang to grapple to the rafters and use this as cover to sneak up behind your quarry. One glide kick later and that’s the end for Zsasz.

You then have to find your way into the next area which introduces Batman’s special vision, which gives you clues and even shows you the position of enemies as if you have x-ray vision.

After some air-con duct crawling and some further sneaking and thumping it all comes to an end with another cut scene featuring the Joker.

As demos go it showed me just enough to make me want more. The combat is simple but looks great and the feeling of being in the Batman universe just feels perfect. Whether there’s enough on offer for a full 8-10 hours of play will depend on whether the villains stay interesting and whether the story still engages.

Now I just need to decide whether to buy it on PS3 or 360. Achievements or a Joker Challenge room.