Batman: Arkham Asylum

Common Sense Media says

Dark yet thrilling action game based on the Caped Crusader.

Age(i)

2
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The villains depicted in the game are pretty deranged, showing little to no disregard for the people they hurt. However, players control a hero with strong values. In one scene, for example, Joker gives Batman the opportunity to kill him, which he refuses. Also, instead of killing enemies, Batman renders them unconscious following attacks.

Positive role models

Players control Batman, who must restore order to a psychiatric hospital filled with supervillains. Batman never kills an enemy, instead opting to render them unconscious.

Ease of play

The game employs the FreeFlow combat system, where attacks are handled through two buttons: an attack and counter. Lightning bolts flash above an enemy's head, signalling the opportunity to counter an attack. Prompts appear throughout the game, showing players how to execute specific moves in various scenarios.  

Violence

Batman uses mostly his hands and feet to pummel enemies. Occassionally, he will counter an attack by grabbing an object from an enemy, such as a metal pipe, and hit him with it. Batman also uses Batarangs to hurl at foes. Blood is shown on environments, but isn't visible during combat.

Sex

The two female villains dress rather provocatively, showing lots of cleavage. A portion of one character's buttocks is also visible.

Language

Some cuss words are used, such as "bastard" and "damn."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

During two sections where Batman must search for a person of interest, he tracks smoke from tobacco and the scent of whiskey. Neither item is shown.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this action/adventure game depicts a dark tale based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. Players engage in combat with a variety of supervillains and common inmates. Batman uses his hands and feet for most attacks, but will occcassionly use an enemy's own weapon against him. The game also features mild language and female villains wearing very little clothing.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM, the Caped Crusader transports his nemesis, The Joker, to Arkham Asylum, a psychiatric hospital in Gotham City. However, Joker's detainment was part of a grand scheme to unite Gotham's worst criminals, including Bane, Poison Ivy, and Scarecrow, to take over Arkham. Batman must delve into the depths of the hospital to restore order and stop the Joker.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Arkham Asylum is perhaps the best game representation of the comic book character. While most games prefer to focus on Batman as a fighter, this game examines the complete persona of the character. Players will see his sharp detective skills, his love of gadgets, and how he remains haunted by the deaths of his parents in an armed robbery.

During any point, players can enter Detective Mode to search for clues, spot hidden enemies, or find weak spots in the environment with which to take advantage. Batman's typical arsenal of gadgets sits at his disposal, including Batarangs, explosive gel, and the Batclaw. Combat feels very simple, yet can become complex when attacks are chained together properly. However, stealth play is where Batman shines.  Players can use strategy and the shadows to assess a situation and plan the best method of attack. Developers extend the adventure through Challenge Rooms, a series of combat and stealth tests. Scores and times are later posted on online leaderboards. Arkham Asylum is a must-have for Batman fans, and a game most action fans will enjoy.

Online interaction: Online is limited to leaderboards that players can visit to view their scores and times in the Challenge Rooms.

Families can talk about...

  • How does this game compare to other games based on comic book superheroes?

  • What makes Batman so fascinating to control in a video game?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Eidos Interactive
Release date:August 25, 2009
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Superheroes
ESRB rating:T for Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Batman: Arkham Asylum was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old Written byFezesAreCool March 19, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Dark themes and some violence, mild language, 12+

I like this game and anyone who likes Batman will. However it is more dark and grim than other Batman games. Mild language like b**ch, b***ard, d*mn, h*ll and a*s. Bloodless violence but Batman never kills anyone. Harley Quinn talks in a slightly suggestive way to Batman but nothing sexually innapropriate. Batman is a good role model. The Joker is crazy and references some violent stuff. Good for 12+ nothing over the top.

What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byJoe smo February 28, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

BEst Game EVERRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

Teen, 13 years old Written bytommy18 January 16, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Good, But scary scenes for young kids.

Don't be fooled by that its batman, OH MY 8 YEAR OLD WILL LOVE THIS, He won't sleep for weeks. You have scary villians and you go round beating the holy crap out of people. The sexual bits are only suggestive really and wearing skimpy costumes doesn't make it bad. Scary? Yes Violent? No Sexual? Ish

Language is not much of a problem really, I hear worse at school every day.

Enjoy this game. Almost GOTY 2009.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models

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