Arkham Batman series sucked?

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Warm_Gun

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#1  Edited By Warm_Gun
Member since 2021 • 2478 Posts

Context sensitive mess in exploration/stealth (Hope you don't accidentally use Robin's only smoke grenade when trying to get away on a Predator map. Same type of thing with vent covers, if I remember correctly.) and, combat-wise, sticky animations and automation that never thrills or makes you feel truly in control. Hero zig-zags around the combat arena like The Flash. Mostly you press two buttons in combat and the hero automatically turns towards any foes for you. Lame.

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Warm_Gun

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#2  Edited By Warm_Gun
Member since 2021 • 2478 Posts

The games and animated movies had to copy the Hans Zimmer style. I don't know how to describe it.

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Hans Zimmer was never that talented. Even back in the day with movies like Rainman he composed moods rather than memorable melodies. I have no idea why the film got him the Academy Award nomination. Nikita by Eric Serra sounds far cooler than Zimmer's Point of No Return. Anyway, modern Batman scores, including the games, are such a far cry from the MELODIES in Danny Elfman's Batman and Batman Returns and the work Shirley Walker supervised and sometimes composed herself in the animated series.

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Warm_Gun

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#3 Warm_Gun
Member since 2021 • 2478 Posts

Horrible character designs. Seems like the artist was just told, "Make it edgy."

Prostitute. The tats complete the trashy look. Certainly giant decline from the original jester look. Also, you can't give both Catwoman and Harley chokers.

Bizarre chin, considering how all the other regular humans look. Yet everything else about him, structurally, is realistic.

Too angular. Too much detail. Looks like a big toy.

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Warm_Gun

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#4  Edited By Warm_Gun
Member since 2021 • 2478 Posts

Bane, Clayface, Killer Croc and Solomon Grundy.

Some in the animated series were more charming than others, but here they just chose exceedingly grotesque for all of 'em. You don't even feel sympathy for any of them anymore because there's no humanity left. They're just over-designed monsters. Solomon Grundy is the only one you can make an excuse for. Would still prefer a lighter glow for his eyes, though. Actually, he's too roided out and big, even looking at some of the versions in other media. Bane's hoses look stupid. His head is too low or his upper back is too high or both. Almost looks like the back of his head comes out of the neck. Like his brain goes into his neck.

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Warm_Gun

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#5  Edited By Warm_Gun
Member since 2021 • 2478 Posts

I don't understand what they were going for. If the layer with the hexagonal patterns beneath is a bodysuit, then why the flat layers that are split all over on top? I guess it's all sewn together, with the top layer acting as stronger protection, but the straps resembling garters over her butt make it confusing. The way the top layer of the back of the legs makes those flat angles as it runs down makes no sense from a utility perspective, nor does it look sexy.

The zipper goes too low. If you go that low, you might as well continue over the whole pelvis, and then it will just look fetish. How low she has the puller and how the artists relied on rigid graphics to keep the open part of her suit always standing up like that bothers me too.

The high collar doesn't work for me either, because of how open the chest already is. If they wanted a prominent collar, then they should have started the zipper and collar at her cleavage, similar to this:

Forgive me if that Harley show sucks. Haven't watched it, only using part of the design as an example.

If the suit has to be made of two layers, I would prefer a rear that didn't look so thong-like. She looks like a whore.

The patterns and angles, how they're so intricately sewn together, imply that she has the same resources as Batman, that she can order expensive military/police grade equipment in sectionals (in bulk to reduce suspicion) and then finish putting them together herself, like in Batman Begins.

If you look at her neck, you will notice that the mask and choker are, idiotically, a single piece separated by two straps. Either have the mask cover her whole neck or separate the choker. This way it just looks needlessly complicated.

Definitely over-designed.

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Archangel3371

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#6 Archangel3371
Member since 2004 • 44415 Posts

Thoroughly enjoyed the games myself. Don’t recall having much difficulty with the gameplay and really liked the character designs.

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BassMan

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#7 BassMan
Member since 2002 • 17868 Posts

I love Batman Arkham and I love Hans Zimmer.

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Warm_Gun

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#8 Warm_Gun
Member since 2021 • 2478 Posts

@Archangel3371 said:

Don’t recall having much difficulty with the gameplay

That's the problem!

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Archangel3371

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#9 Archangel3371
Member since 2004 • 44415 Posts

@warm_gun: Not a problem for me. 🤷‍♂️

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adsparky

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#10 adsparky
Member since 2006 • 2593 Posts

I love Arkham Asylum and liked Arkham City, after that my interest went downhill, and by the looks of it, the quality of the games too.

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hardwenzen

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#11 hardwenzen
Member since 2005 • 39602 Posts

Not for me, but i wouldn't call that a bad series. What was real shit tho is their combat system. No idea how one can enjoy this kind of qte spam from the very beginning until the very end.

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nepu7supastar7

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#12 nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 6773 Posts

@warm_gun: There's a lot of opinions loaded in there. lol
I genuinely enjoyed EVERY minute of the Arkham Batman games, myself! The combat was always a blast and only got better as the games progressed, and I loved the puzzle solving and Metroid-esque level desigin along with Kevin Konroy's voice work. As a fan of the animated series, I just have nothing but love and adoration for these games. I bought Arkham City and Asylum, like, what? Three times? And I never get bored of them! Honestly, I didn't see any of those things as issues in the slightest. The story might have been cheesy and predictable but what superhero story isn't? That's kind of the charm!

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Warm_Gun

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#13 Warm_Gun
Member since 2021 • 2478 Posts

@BassMan said:

I love Batman Arkham and I love Hans Zimmer.

Did you know he uses ghostwriters?

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uninspiredcup

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#14 uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 59238 Posts

Somewhat overrated gameplay wise, but terrible or bad is hyperbole.

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Icrackurnuts

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#15 Icrackurnuts
Member since 2024 • 75 Posts

Origins sucked but I thought the rest were good

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BassMan

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#16  Edited By BassMan
Member since 2002 • 17868 Posts
@warm_gun said:
@BassMan said:

I love Batman Arkham and I love Hans Zimmer.

Did you know he uses ghostwriters?

It doesn't matter. He runs his own production company with many composers. He is a great collaborator and gets the job done when called upon.

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uninspiredcup

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#17 uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 59238 Posts

Hans Zimmer is fantastic in Gladiator but his Batman soundtracks are ass compared to Danny Elfman.

BOMBOBKBMBMBMBMFNGNBNBNBBNBNBNBNBBNBNBNBNB!

Enough.

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dimebag667

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#18  Edited By dimebag667
Member since 2003 • 3100 Posts

What is the point of this? Is this some kind of Suicide Squad defense, or are you seriously trying to say those games were never good?

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GirlUSoCrazy

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#19 GirlUSoCrazy
Member since 2015 • 1164 Posts

Only issue I had was detective mode hiding nice graphics

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TheEroica

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#20 TheEroica  Moderator
Member since 2009 • 22864 Posts

I recently went back through asylum because I remember LOVING it when it came out. It wasn't as good on the second pass, but mostly because so much time has passed and it felt a little dated compared to the later games that have the gameplay more fleshed out.

The I played through Origins for the first time and thought it was quite wonderful.

I have no qualms with the arkham games. I do think the later stage batmobile levels in AK are totally wack.... The car inclusion is cool, but the missions with it can be a chore.

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Naylord

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#21 Naylord
Member since 2006 • 1128 Posts

Some good arguments from OP. I recall liking Asylum quite a bit and then thinking City was a touch of a slog. Knight was really when I got bored and that probably wasn't worth the time it took to beat. Having said that, I don't think I would revisit even Asylum, you articulate good points on why it isn't worth revisiting.

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mrbojangles25

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#22 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 58452 Posts

Great games. They had their pros and cons, as all games do, but I'd say the only really bad thing was the addition of the Batmobile in AK, and frankly it wasn't that bad...just totally unnecessary.

A lot of franchise-to-game adaptations are bad, some are mediocre, very few are good, in my opinion...be they book to game, movie to game, comic to game, etc. The occasional great adaptations just capture and distil the essence of the medium they're transposing to the video game format, so when you play them, you think "Wow. This is _. They really nailed". I felt that way with Star Wars Jedi Survivor from the start, thinking "Wow, this is Star Wars. Thank you" and I felt that way about each of the Batman: Arkham games as well.

Very few games really get you that satisfying dopamine hit where your expectations of what should be done with the material are met, and yet the developers were able to make something of their own out of it.

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Ghosts4ever

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#23 Ghosts4ever
Member since 2015 • 25009 Posts

One of the best third person action game franchise.

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Warm_Gun

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#24  Edited By Warm_Gun
Member since 2021 • 2478 Posts

The man himself.

Horrible. Just so badly balanced. They put so much muscle on him that he looks, weirdly, small from some angles. Hate how metallic and heavy/bulky the gloves and boots are.

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Warm_Gun

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#25  Edited By Warm_Gun
Member since 2021 • 2478 Posts
@girlusocrazy said:

Only issue I had was detective mode hiding nice graphics

Detective vision sucks because it lets you see through walls in predator situations, and predator situations suck because they never flow into action like in Metal Gear Solid or any decent stealth-action game. You HAVE to beat this section sneakily or they will likely kill you. One person sees you and they all know telepathically. A good Batman game would let you transition from stealth to action back to stealth. Why are they so much more lethal when you're a predator? Yet the action is too easy, so flowing from action to stealth and back wouldn't work anyway. A Batman game that's also about the stealth should not have combat in which you can beat up fifteen people at the same time, endlessly. Also, why do the shadows of Splinter Cell not play a role in a Batman game?

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Ghosts4ever

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#26 Ghosts4ever
Member since 2015 • 25009 Posts

@warm_gun: come on zeke or warmie. why criticizing 15 year old franchise today. its 2024.

and yes Arkham games are best action games that doesnot involve any guns. by far.

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Warm_Gun

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#27 Warm_Gun
Member since 2021 • 2478 Posts

@ghosts4ever said:

@warm_gun: come on zeke or warmie. why criticizing 15 year old franchise today. its 2024.

and yes Arkham games are best action games that doesnot involve any guns. by far.

We all know that you barely play any action games without guns.

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#28 Litchie
Member since 2003 • 34724 Posts

@adsparky said:

I love Arkham Asylum and liked Arkham City, after that my interest went downhill, and by the looks of it, the quality of the games too.

This.

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Macutchi

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#29  Edited By Macutchi
Member since 2007 • 10517 Posts

my biggest problem with the series fifteen years on is the first two games are not b/c on the series x. ive got them all on steam too but was a bit annoyed when i discovered that.

@ghosts4ever said:

@warm_gun: why criticizing 15 year old franchise today. its 2024.

good question.

one short paragraph on the gameplay, and there's four games to cover, and the rest is several posts pulling apart the aesthetic. every game apart from knight is 90+ on mc, this thread doesnt do anything to suggest those scores are unwarranted

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above_average

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#30 above_average
Member since 2021 • 1588 Posts

Agreed.

Never understood the praise for the series. The gameplay was hot donkey balls.

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Warm_Gun

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#31  Edited By Warm_Gun
Member since 2021 • 2478 Posts

@Macutchi: Check what I added a few posts above yours. Or how about the fact that there are gargoyles and other useless ledges to hang enemies from in every building because the games are designed to be enjoyed by idiots? I can keep going.

Doesn't matter which one we're talking about. They all essentially play the same.

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Macutchi

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#32 Macutchi
Member since 2007 • 10517 Posts
@warm_gun said:

@Macutchi: Check what I added a few posts above yours. Or how about the fact that there are gargoyles and other useless ledges to hang enemies from in every building because the games are designed to be enjoyed by idiots? I can keep going.

Doesn't matter which one we're talking about. They all essentially play the same.

80% of your initial posts were all about the aesthetic not how they play. that was the focus of your argument on why the series sucked.

and when you do talk about gameplay you say things like its a fact there are ledges and gargoyles because the games are designed for idiots. if that's the quality of argument you've got, don't keep going

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GNS

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#33 GNS
Member since 2015 • 923 Posts

The only game in the Arkham series that sucked for me was Knight. Did not even finish it.

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nepu7supastar7

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#34 nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 6773 Posts

@warm_gun said:
@girlusocrazy said:

Only issue I had was detective mode hiding nice graphics

Detective vision sucks because it lets you see through walls in predator situations, and predator situations suck because they never flow into action like in Metal Gear Solid or any decent stealth-action game. You HAVE to beat this section sneakily or they will likely kill you. One person sees you and they all know telepathically. A good Batman game would let you transition from stealth to action back to stealth. Why are they so much more lethal when you're a predator? Yet the action is too easy, so flowing from action to stealth and back wouldn't work anyway. A Batman game that's also about the stealth should not have combat in which you can beat up fifteen people at the same time, endlessly. Also, why do the shadows of Splinter Cell not play a role in a Batman game?

That's the best part. The games let you handle any situation differently and make use of the environments. You can knock out thugs by blowing up walls, using gadgets, magnetizing guns away, ventilation ducks, burst through wooden walls, disarm guns, or even stun the last group and beat them up. That's actually very in line with Batman's style of combat. Fights don't have to be a mash fest either, it's all a matter of how you utilize everything Batman has at his arsenal. The games offer a good range of different attacks and gadgets to let you get as creative as you want.

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#35  Edited By pelvist
Member since 2010 • 9001 Posts

I somewhat enjoyed the first two games. I got bored of the formula in the third game though and never finished it or played any more.

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GirlUSoCrazy

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#36 GirlUSoCrazy
Member since 2015 • 1164 Posts

@nepu7supastar7: I like the variety, I like the idea of detective mode. I don't like the presentation of detective mode because it covers the screen with more boring graphics. I wished they had come up with a better way of doing it without hiding the usual look of the game.

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nepu7supastar7

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#37 nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 6773 Posts

@girlusocrazy said:

@nepu7supastar7: I like the variety, I like the idea of detective mode. I don't like the presentation of detective mode because it covers the screen with more boring graphics. I wished they had come up with a better way of doing it without hiding the usual look of the game.

Yeah, that excessive dark blue hue and highlighted skeletons walking around was pretty painful. That's something I'm surprised Warmie didn't mention as much because it was something I really can't defend. I actually got used to playing without it.

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dabear

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#38  Edited By dabear
Member since 2002 • 8887 Posts

@warm_gun: You and... no one else thinks that.

The Arkham series is one of the best super hero video game series of all time.

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#39 Mozelleple112
Member since 2011 • 11293 Posts

What an outrageous take.


Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are two of the best games ever made. Arkham City was the real GOTY of 2011. I'd say Asylum runner up in 2009 after UC2.

Arkham Knight, while an obvious step down was still a masterpiece.

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Heil68

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#40 Heil68
Member since 2004 • 60721 Posts

I just finished Arkham Knight and it was fantastic.

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Warm_Gun

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#41  Edited By Warm_Gun
Member since 2021 • 2478 Posts

Streets of Rage series doesn't have a complex control scheme either, just three buttons that can be combined for two more actions and the directional pad, but what a difference the focus on positions relative to the enemies makes. Any martial artist/fighter will tell you how important foot movement and positioning is. So to not have that in a Batman game is gigantically compromising. All those different items that are on the number row of the keyboard mean nothing if Batman is already so overpowered by the automation. You barely interact with the analog stick, if at all. It's the wrong approach for Batman anyway. He is as much about the objects in his environment as he is about his utility belt, maybe more so. Yet you can't throw furniture or bash people into sinks. All you can interact with are the weapons that the enemies themselves bring, like bottles and pipes. You have a limited supply for some items in stealth, even though there is plenty that he should use in his environment.

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#42 Maroxad
Member since 2007 • 23974 Posts

They nailed the atmosphere, the villains were compelling too.

But the combat was atrocious. I did like the stealth sections though. But not enough to carry my interest through 2 games.

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#43  Edited By osan0
Member since 2004 • 17857 Posts

The mark of a good superhero game, imho, is does it make you feel like you are playing as that hero? If yes then job done.

I was playing Arkham City late last year and i think it still holds up well. The combat is simplistic but it also does the job of making you feel like a trained ninja. It's also generally over quick anyway.

The sneaking is not that complex but, then again, batman is one of the most elite trained assasins (in terms of skill set rather than behaviour) in the world. Common thugs shouldn't pose a problem.

Aesthetics are a matter of taste I suppose but it was very much of it's time. Visually i think it still holds up quite well. 4K with some MSAA and it's still pleasant on the eyes.

Some of cat womans animations are a bit rediculous but that's about it that i can remember in terms of complaints visually.

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#44 IMAHAPYHIPPO
Member since 2004 • 4198 Posts

Sounds like you're describing a 15 year old game series.

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#45 PCGamerLaszlo
Member since 2023 • 515 Posts

They where good games for the time they released. I think that all the gameplay has been replicated so much since it released that it's taken away from what was considered groundbreaking at the time. The combat was an awesome variation of Batman style Assasin's Creed combat back in the day, but now that we've had 3 Spiderman games, 2 shadow of mordor games, ghost of Tsushima, and more Assasin's creed games with similar combat, it doesn't wow people playing it like it did back in the day.

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#46 nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 6773 Posts

@warm_gun said:

Streets of Rage series doesn't have a complex control scheme either, just three buttons that can be combined for two more actions and the directional pad, but what a difference the focus on positions relative to the enemies makes. Any martial artist/fighter will tell you how important foot movement and positioning is. So to not have that in a Batman game is gigantically compromising. All those different items that are on the number row of the keyboard mean nothing if Batman is already so overpowered by the automation. You barely interact with the analog stick, if at all. It's the wrong approach for Batman anyway. He is as much about the objects in his environment as he is about his utility belt, maybe more so. Yet you can't throw furniture or bash people into sinks. All you can interact with are the weapons that the enemies themselves bring, like bottles and pipes. You have a limited supply for some items in stealth, even though there is plenty that he should use in his environment.

Foot movement and positioning have a huge impact on Arkham combat! Did you even play through all of them or are you just judging it on Asylum?? Because Batman actually DOES use the environment and bash thugs into corners and railings depending on where you're standing and he also can throw furniture at thugs -- especially in the later games like Arkham City and Knight. There are YouTube videos of some of the craziest combos you can pull off in those games. If that was your take then you just weren't trying when you played it! The same argument could be made on a fighting game like Tekken by someone who spams the same attack or juggles opponents in the air. Just because that's how *you* played it, doesn't mean that's all there is to the game.

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#47  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 59238 Posts

Batman is very much like the Legend onward Tomb Raider games where it's more concerned about "visually looking cool doing stuff" than mechanically rewarding.

It's good for kids and game journalists.

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#48 nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 6773 Posts
Loading Video...

@warm_gun:

You don't have to watch all of it, just pay attention to things you can do in the beginning. This is from a record with everything unlocked too so keep that in mind when things look overpowered.

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#49 Macutchi
Member since 2007 • 10517 Posts

it's hard to add much to a discussion when it's so long since you last played the games, but i did enjoy arkham asylum, and thought its linear style best suited the batman concept.

one thing i really hoped would carry over into future stealth games was the reactive ai in stealth sections i.e. enemies that are aware their fellow gang members are silently disappearing one by one and their behaviour changes accordingly.

even though it was forced stealth and you were limited to a constrained environment, it was still conceptually cool and satisfying. too many games today still don't have that kind of ai, they go on alert for a limited time and then normal service is resumed, blissfully unaware their buddies are rapidly vanishing.

would love dishonored 3 i.e. a marquee stealth game, to feature ai like that. if you leave body parts around, or silently remove enemies they react differently, when they get down to low numbers they group up, change strategy etc. would work wonders for the atmosphere, complement the rewards-creativity gameplay and bring so much additional satisfaction to successful ghosting, be it violent or merciful.

beyond asylum, didn't care too much for the open world of city, origins was one and done but pretty good from what i remember and knight was spoiled by the unnecessary over-shoehorning in of the batmobile

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lamprey263

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#50 lamprey263
Member since 2006 • 44643 Posts

I liked it and overall people seemed to. I dunno though, I get feeling people will reflect differently given WB's DC game releases of late.