Even for the many definitions of fun. For example, there is a new game “Batman: Arkham Asylum”. I was really hesitant to download the demo. And then, I was hesitant to install it. Why? Because the trailer gave me the impression “another super hero beat ’em up”.
Okay, the in game cut scenes look great. Clothes have texture and the outline of the characters doesn’t reveal the 17-poly mesh. During the demo, it quickly becomes evident that a lot of resources went into the combat scenes where Batman does move pretty smart. You select a general direction and the type of attack and the Bat will do some serious damage. It feels like you actually control someone who spent years training martial arts, not some stuffed puppet. Using the grappling hook works like charm, even without much aiming. It’s enough to be close one of the gargoyles and it’ll work like a charm. Well … gargoyles in the building? Anyway.
That changes when you start walking around the compound. Here, the stuffed puppet is back. You can run which makes things better but the walk cycle looks really unbelievable. Did you know that Batman can’t jump? Maybe it’s because of the heavy belt? Or the muscles are all part of the suit’s armor? No climbing either. If you don’t have something where your grappling hook can attach to, you can’t even climb on a chair.
But what I was most afraid of: “The world’s greatest detective.” Remember? After taking the first round of inmates down, I almost gave up on the game. Only it does get better. There is something called “detective mode” which highlights interesting features around you (like enemies, things you can use your grappling hook on, etc). So after the short scene with Victor, the game turns into something that resembles Metal Gear Solid. Not bad. While you can try to take down everyone with a gun, you probably shouldn’t. Just as in reality, when you beat up one out of five people, four will start shooting you in the back.
There is still hope.