The Dark Knight goes toe to toe with Arkham Aslyum's inmates in this first look at just one element of the game's bonus content: the Challenge Rooms.
Batman fans are in for a dark, stormy and dangerous stay at Gotham City's most notorious institution, Arkham Asylum come August 2009 when the Caped Crusader arrives on PlayStation 3.
Batman Arkham Asylum takes its inspiration from the 60 plus years of lore laid down by creator Bob Kane and a myriad of other writers in the world of comic books including Frank Miller, Grant Morrison and Paul Dini, a five-time Emmy award winner whose credits include Lost season one, Batman: The Animated Series.
Enter the asylum
The game exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham. You will have to move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst your enemies and confront not only the maniacal Joker but a slew of Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum including Bane, Killer Croc and Poison Ivy.
Aside from the gripping story that takes place inside, outside and underneath Arkham developer Rocksteady Studios is incorporating a wealth of additional unlockable content into the game including Challenge Rooms, which act like mini arcade games where Batman is thrust into an enclosed space and must complete a series of tasks such as duelling with swarms of enemies.
The first of these Challenge rooms is called Intensive Treatment wherein The Joker calls in waves of hulking Arkham inmates to try and take you down. It's here that players can really learn to master Batman's highly responsive and fluid combat system. Using the Left stick to control Batman's movement in a fight, you attack using the Square button and counter with the Triangle button.
Countering is a timed movement signalled by a flickering of light over an enemy's head, which, if performed correctly, sees Batman knock an enemy hard and fast to the ground. You can also stun foes with your cape by pressing the Circle button or throw Batarangs with the L1 and R1 buttons.
The ultimate challenge
Once you have completed a certain amount of attacks in a row you can then press the Triangle and Circle button together to perform a takedown. The more moves you chain together, the more points you garner, which in turn are added to the scoreboards at the end of the challenge.
While the first Challenge Room features small number of enemies, the second one ups the ante with deadlier ones including inmates who try to unlock cabinets containing guns and others who wield dual blades. Here Batman has to move fast, constantly keeping a close eye on enemies trying to make a move for the pistols, which, if fired at him, can take him down in just a few shots, while at the same time dodging attacks from knife carriers.
It takes practice to master these rooms, but the rewards are great as you polish your skills and then take them out into the single player campaign to use on the hordes of lunatics The Joker has lined up for you. Plus, PlayStation 3 owners are in for an exclusive treat as The Joker will be available to download as a playable character in the Challenge Rooms when the game is released.
This year, it's going to be a Dark Knight for the villains of Gotham City.