Batman: Arkham Asylum Invisible Predator Hands-On

We scored an exclusive first play of the PS3-exclusive Invisible Predator challenge rooms as the Joker in Batman: Arkham Asylum.

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Not only is Batman: Arkham Asylum one of our most anticipated games for 2009, but it somehow manages to become even more enticing every time we see it. Perhaps it's because Eidos still has plenty to reveal about the game--from the few visits we've made to developer Rocksteady Studios, we'd say there are at least a couple of major characters in the game that have yet to be announced. One character that has been revealed is the Joker, who is a playable character in the PlayStation 3 version of the game and has eight specific challenge-room levels to boot. We were lucky enough to be the first people in the world to play these levels as the Clown Prince of Crime, and we found him to be a completely different proposition to the Dark Knight himself.

It's clear from our playtime that the Joker isn't just Batman in a different skin--he's a completely different character with his own strengths and weaknesses. The key difference is that the Joker isn't clad in body armour, nor does he have an arsenal of gadgets. But what he lacks in strength and tech, he makes up for with pure anarchic destruction. He can unleash a pair of mechanical chattering teeth holding a stick of dynamite, which he can remote-control and detonate next to enemies. He also runs amok performing stealth kills with his signature Joker twists--kicking enemies square in the groin, jumping on their shoulders and smashing them in the head, or spraying toxic gas in their face before dancing manically over the fallen body.

These skills mean that the Invisible Predator mode is a completely different experience when played as Batman or the Joker. The Invisible Predator mode contains a set of unlockable levels, which are opened up by collecting items in the main game, and the aim is to take out all the enemies as quickly as possible. Whereas Batman can swing from pillar to pillar taking out inmates from up high, the Joker has to use each level's interconnected vents and drains to hide from enemies. And while Batman's body armour can withstand some indirect gunfire, the Joker can be taken down with a single shot.

The Joker isn't completely helpless, however. Like Batman, he has a form of X-ray vision that he can use to see the skeletal outline of his enemies through walls. The Joker's take on the technology is slightly more comical, though--he wears large spiral specs that make a hypnotic whirring noise when he wears them. He's also limited to using them when he's standing, so you can't hide in the vents while studying enemy patrol patterns, which obviously leaves you vulnerable to attack. Finally, the Joker also has access to a gun, albeit with only one bullet. That said, it's a useful weapon not only for killing people but also for creating noise. Fire it off, and the other enemies will investigate both the dead body and the area where the shot came from.

With the Joker's relatively simple tools, you have the building blocks for an incredibly addictive stealth experience. It took us a few attempts to stay alive at first, but after we successfully took down all six guards in four minutes, it took only a few more goes to get it down to one minute and five seconds. We started the level by holding R2 to sneak up on the first guard, before pressing the triangle button to silently gas him from behind. We then ran up a ramp to the first floor and fired off our single gunshot to take out the next guard. If the noise didn't startle the guards, then his rag-doll body falling over the walkway certainly did, and it wasn't long before the four remaining guards started investigating. Running into the nearest vent, we watched them gather around the body, at which point we unleashed our chattering teeth. The blast took out three of them in one go, and the remaining guard was so startled that we could jump out and beat him up without facing a fight.

Pretty proud of our performance, we talked to the Eidos reps watching on to see how our time stacked up. While it was respectable, we quickly discovered that a skillful player could easily knock another 15 seconds off our time, and if they practiced enough and got a perfect run, a further 10-second savings wouldn't be out of the question. When the leaderboards launch alongside the game later this summer, we can expect some pretty amazing times to be posted online. It's just a shame that players won't be able to record their runs and post videos to the Internet from within the game. We also broached the subject of the Joker's PS3 exclusivity: Is Batman's greatest supervillain really a Sony fanboy, or could he eventually make an appearance on the Xbox 360 via downloadable content? "All we've announced so far is that he's exclusive to PS3," was the answer from our Eidos man. Take from that what you will.

Tonight you're all gonna be part of a social experiment...

We were left thoroughly impressed with our first play of the new Invisible Predator rooms, and Rocksteady has really delivered on its promise to make Batman and the Joker two distinct characters. The level we played, Paging Dr. Joker, was the easiest of these levels, and Eidos promises that the later rooms will ramp up the difficulty with more enemies and fewer hiding spots. It's difficult not to mimic the Joker's crazed laughter as he tears up Arkham. We even discovered a new move in the combat rooms where he can jump on enemies before kicking them in the face to finish them off. The full game is set for release at the end of summer, and we get the feeling that Eidos has plenty more to reveal about the game between now and then.

Discussion

285 comments
Testament
Testament

they both play and look identical so sorry X-ppl PS3 is just the better have right now. If you disagree than take it up with Eidos and ask them why they felt not to give X-box a secret character

kotsosant
kotsosant

Joker gameplay rules!!! Thank God i have a ps3... Awesome game by the way.

Symbiote_Spidey
Symbiote_Spidey

LISTEN...Xbox has the better graphics and color. who cares about the joker ....how often will we play with the joker? is the joker worth the crappy graphics? do u want 1080p or 720p?...in the end we all know its about the bat and not the joker.

pigswell
pigswell

I guess this has been said before in these comments…….but a hands on review of PS3 exclusive content being posted on the Xbox 360 section of the website is just not cool Gamespot!!!

kamizuka
kamizuka

thats why i bought the Ps3 for the Blue-ray. i knew that they will do games that are on both Ps3 and 360 but still have more things on the Ps3, man this game well open doors for the Ps3 PS: i am a PS3 fanboy:) but I still love the Xbox

tyber78
tyber78

Waw im lucky that i have a ps3

pod81
pod81

Yay! good thing I have a ps3. looks great

Madcows
Madcows

Its great they have Hamill, he does a great voice of the Joker. Too bad I don't have a PS3, I want to kick people in the nuts LOL!

Yossi1007
Yossi1007

just one prob eith the demo is that breaking physx floor is lagging without u brake it but other physx r smooth bout the wii... u cant make such a game on an overclocked ps2 it would suck with lower graphics and physics and the un conventional controller its waaay tooo loooong i haate the WII. they should just forget about its stupid sensore the PS3 MOTION AND THE NATAL will crash the wii btw the ps3 sensors r going to rock in fps

ROGUEBEASTLY
ROGUEBEASTLY

This game is going to be awesome I got the Collectors edition pre-ordered. It comes with a lot of stuff so it's gonna be beast. I beat the demo like 12 times so I know the games gonna be good.

VisceriousZERO
VisceriousZERO

"All we've annouced SO FAR is that he's exclusive to PS3" (emphasis mine) X360 DLC pleeeease :D

batmanboy11
batmanboy11

I know it says exclusive to PS3 (which doesn't bother me since I own all three major consoles) but, I wonder if at some point in the future the Joker challange maps will be released as DLC for the 360.

Balistica
Balistica

Hope this will not just stick to the comic genre. I mean I like to bash the living day lights out of those baddies. Not just screw around in the dark.... Well looking forward to it , hope it's surpass expectation cause I both 3 games (Dead Space, Scroll of the Oblivion and Ninja Gaiden Sigma) and those suck really.

jsutton0010
jsutton0010

Well I've just bought a PS3 off my friend so I'll get this for my birthday.

mikey1611
mikey1611

This is gonna be a great game but I don't know it's gonna have an impact (well from where I'm from) like GTA4 and their exclusive expansions for the X360 (and I know different genres but you know what I mean... mostly, hopefully). But I hope it does because when I get this game and I feel like randomly beating up people and I'd look over GTA4 and Batman:AA, I'm gonna be picking up Batman. This exclusive character just gotta be just for the PS3, so doubt they're gonna be anything more for PC and X360. And for Wii, well they attract "those" types of gamers. This is batman, not lego batman. This is professional gaming and I don't think the Wii is up to it, with your mario Kart and cartoonish stuff. (read Shia LeBeouf's interview for Wii, hahahahah). Anyways, I hope you get to play the Joker in more than just challenge rooms because from the hands-on video he said "One character that has been revealed is the Joker, who is NOT ONLY a playable character in the PlayStation 3 version of the game BUT has eight specific challenge-room levels to boot." So... is the Joker playable in the main game and not just in his challenge rooms? Btw, look at the comics that is how the joker is mostly looks like. Just because of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger being a bit beaf-ier than the game's joker.

mikey1611
mikey1611

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mrcookie44
mrcookie44

Maybe theres a character exclusive to X360 then. Robin anyone ? :D

Molezzi
Molezzi

Blue Ray (^_^) hahaha

MisterHodam
MisterHodam

@ MAC_MOONEYS I guess the xbox version didn't have enough room on the DVD to play as the joker...

Siren2
Siren2

I have a PS3 so I am very excited and can't wait to play as joker.

MAC_MOONEYS
MAC_MOONEYS

"One character that has been revealed is the Joker, who is a playable character in the PlayStation 3 version of the game" Wait... so xbox 360 users can't play as the joker! I'm no longer going to buy this game. Eidos messed up.

jsutton0010
jsutton0010

A wii version of Arkham Asylum should be made. It's unfair that Eidos Interactive doesn't bother with a wii version they'd sell very well.

Deathstalker83
Deathstalker83

I have a PS3, Xbox360 & Wii , I like all the systems and I'm looking forward to playing this game !

don04735
don04735

Batman is all about joker. If they succeed in making joker interesting it;s a hit. btw can't wait

famguyfan2685
famguyfan2685

This game is going to rule! Already reserved for PS3 ..

XxSTR8SAVAGExX
XxSTR8SAVAGExX

This game looks sick, I can't wait to get it. From what I've seen of it, It looks like they really thought about the character and what they would actually do and how they'd move, react, fight etc... and really tried bringing the characters to life.And the graphics look great too

sub-raid
sub-raid

I'm more exited to play with the joker.

jscapo
jscapo

This game looks amazing, very dark and sparks my interest.

AltairJohnson
AltairJohnson

Nice.. Saw the video preview and it looks awesome. Definite buy for the Xbox 360.

blazin640
blazin640

who said they were gonna give the joker to XBL either, it could be just for PSN, who knows. Dont assume things.

blazin640
blazin640

quit complaining about the joker being on PS3, its just one extra mode, (though I own a PS3 and reserved this game). P.S. best game ever.

gedbyz
gedbyz

The Dark Night was awesome and Heath Ledgers performance was one of the best acting jobs of the year by far. In defence of all the heath Ledger fanboys out there I think they want the joker to be more like Heath as a sign of respect cause he was a lesser known but still great actor.

nickythenewt21
nickythenewt21

I love the subtitle for the last picture. Reminds me of how amazing The Dark Knight was. Also, I can't wait for this game! :D

jmartinez1983
jmartinez1983

Gamefly, don't let me down. I want this game on the first push!

paystation
paystation

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cu_be_cie
cu_be_cie

Do you get to play as the Joker? That would be sweet.

BigBoss2014
BigBoss2014

to all xbots out there that say we got fallout 3 exclusives by a few months know this, bethesda brought out dlcs on 360 because they knew xbox was used to have to buy more stuff, so they gave it to you because u were used to being screwed over by a 9gb disc, so suck on that fanboys

PSgamer99
PSgamer99

lol, fanboy arguments are inevitable in these articles. anyway, its too bad this game got pushed back, this looks really cool

xtremeflem2day
xtremeflem2day

@ awesomeanimal: I agree with you. I have an xbox 360 and no ps3, but im no fanboy, and i hate fanboys from both systems. Really, both systems have their ups and downs, and the fanboys tend to just go trolling because they can't get both, and just want to act like theirs is better. I would trade my Wii for a ps3 and killzone 2 anyday, KZ2 really seems like my kind of game, but hey, xbox 360 has its good exclusives too, and in the end, everbody (PS3 and xbox 360 gamers) is happy.

UFO2012
UFO2012

It's the same stuff as with Soul Calibur IV, XBOX had Yoda, PS3 had Vader and all the fanboys cried and cried. Now it's the same again, PS3 gets the Joker and the XBOX probably some other villain like The Riddler and in the end we can all download them for our favorite console, so stop acting like little kids.

JamiesonBelmont
JamiesonBelmont

To awesomeanimal about 360 fanboys and heath ledger fanboys: Thank you. It's about time someone said that. That is all.

awesomeanimal
awesomeanimal

and i am no ps3 fanboy. i just think its bs how people love or hate exclusives depending on which console its on. u guys are getting the game too. so just stop complaining, play the game, and let us enjoy the joker while u guys get a billion other exclusive dlc

awesomeanimal
awesomeanimal

this is possibly the most annoying comment section that i've seen on gamespot. there are so many damn fanboys for both 360 and heath ledger. to heath ledger fanboys: stfu about how the joker is in this game. we all know that heath played a great joker in the movie. but he is not THE JOKER.if u guys wanna see the joker in his best nature then read the books, watch the show, google him, do anything to understand the character. dont just see one movie and assume that u know best about how the character should be.theyre not gonna scrap over 60 years of developing an extremely popular character over one movie. in my opinion this is the best joker they could have put in a game. to 360 fanboys: u guys r such damn hypocrites. u guys have so many fallout expansions that do great things, u have a "multiplatform" company (valve) which refuses to even try making something for the ps3, and u got a whole damn campaign for gta4 with new multiplayer modes. ps3 users get ONE playable character for ONLY EIGHT CHALLENGE ROOMS, and all of a sudden u guys cant take it. when u guys got exclusives all u said was "that's your problem. exclusives are great because they make good competition" now we get the joker and u guys say "exclusives are bs. joker shud be multiplat" do u have any idea how selfish and whiny u guys r sounding?

lukedadukeToKeR
lukedadukeToKeR

for anyone wondering the joker is supposed to be a free download available on day 1 from the psn. not sure if they are planing to take this extra time to put it on the disc though(i think that would be a better idea)

growkin
growkin

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