Review: Batman: Arkham Trilogy

   So- you’re stuck in your house for the foreseeable future. While some exclusively see this as a bad thing, there’s a silver lining- there’s a lot of time to play video games. 

   One particularly captivating series, the Batman: Arkham trilogy (not including Arkham Origins), is currently being sold at a discount on most online marketplaces, just in time for shelter in place. 

   The trilogy, developed by Rocksteady games, is widely regarded as one of, if not the best collection of superhero/comic book video games of all time.

   The first installment, Arkham Asylum, sees Batman taking the Joker to Arkham Asylum, only to find out the Clown Prince of Crime has taken over the prison, freeing the inhabitants and pitting them against Batman. 

   Using a wide array of gadgets, the player zips and swings around the map, taking out thugs and supervillains along the way, leading to a final confrontation with the Joker, ending in his defeat. 

   Arkham Asylum features the return of iconic Batman: The Animated Series voice actors, Mark Hamill as the Joker, and Kevin Conroy as Batman, as well as various boss battles, ranging from Poison Ivy to Bane. 

   Batman: Arkham Asylum is a fun but ultimately condensed experience, as the player can only explore one location. With that said, Arkham Island is beautifully fleshed and full of extra content for players willing to go the extra mile. 

   The second installment, Batman: Arkham City, expands on concepts introduced in Arkham Asylum, offering a substantially larger, more open-world experience. 

   Players are free to glide and swing from rooftop to rooftop as Batman AND Catwoman, who are caught in the middle of a violent gang war between Two-Face, the Penguin, and the Joker. 

   Arkham City successfully combines a compelling story complete with free-roam side missions with improved combat and flight mechanics to produce a nearly perfect Batman experience. 

   The third and final chapter in the trilogy, Batman: Arkham Knight, veers away slightly from the traditional Arkham experience by allowing players to control the Batmobile, which brings a whole new level of gameplay to the series. 

   From loads of DLC and a massive free-roam setting to the added element of the Batmobile, Arkham Knight offers the most complete Batman experience to date .

   However, the gameplay can get a bit repetitive- while the Batmobile is fun to drive, destroying waves of drones can get boring, especially when it’s required in so many main story missions. The combat controls are slightly different compared to previous installments as well, and the learning curve for past players can be frustrating. 

   For all of its flash, Arkham Knight fails to capture the charm of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, choosing to become more of an action-adventure RPG rather than a story-driven experience. 

   Players can buy all three in a bundle, titled Batman: Arkham Collection or buy each individually on the Xbox, PlayStation, and Steam marketplaces.