Whilst glancing over my reader account the other day, I noticed a recommended site, Game Career Guide. Some of the articles they do are quite useful, as they have a weekly o monthly (I don’t know) game-play analysis and narrative reviews. As I am investigating the narrative side of game concept I think these will be useful to improve my knowledge. So, I found a game-play analysis of Batman: Arkham Asylum, which I recently got out of the library to play over Easter break.
I thoroughly enjoyed the game overall and I’m glad that I have had the chance to play it. It is a very thorough addition to the Batman franchise and it encompasses the very essence of what is The Batman. From reading the article, that is written by Filip Coulianos, a level designer, I found out that the game was produced within less than two years and only had five level designers working on the title (according to the credits).
In terms of he level design aspect of the game, it follows a very linear path tat has a few thrown in aspects of choice, as you n cruise around the buildings that inhabit Arkham Island. The buildings have been designed to serve as ‘chapters’. I think this method of chaptering the storyline works well within this game because you continually try to complete the main mission, defeat the Joker, but you are presented by obstacles along the way. This inevitably makes the player unsure how far or close they are to defeating the Joker, as they have to overcome little tasks.
One thing that will always be memorable in my mind is the gadgets that are used in the story. Each acquisition is perfectly placed within the story. You get used to the idea that as soon as you acquire a new toy, you will most definitely need to use it to proceed any further. The article also highlights this aspect o the level design, and sums up that this level of planning must have been considered within the first parts of pre-production. (Again with the pre-planning in games!) He then goes on to say how the variation within the game play allows players to not become bored even after 8 hours. This is probably what makes this game so good. You technically are doing repetitive actions but they are mixed up so you feel like everything is new.