Batman: Arkham Asylum is an original adventure with fast action and large-scale combat sequences, played from a close third-person perspective in a dark, survival horror-styled setting. The game begins as Batman delivers the Joker to Arkham Asylum, Gotham City's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. The villain springs a trap and takes over the institution, with an army of thugs and a host of dangerous inmates to back him up. The twisted plot plays out in a freely explored re-creation of the asylum and surrounding island. In addition to prowling the corridors of Arkham, Batman can explore the outdoor areas, using his equipment to reach high spots and glide safely back down.
Specially suited for the game's one-against-many melee style, the three-button combat control scheme is intended for free-flowing moves and strings of combo attacks on multiple opponents. Batman also has a belt full of useful gadgets to help even the odds, with x-ray scanners and chemical tracers that let him see through walls and follow invisible tracks. Stealthy prowling gives advantages of positioning and surprise, rewarding the hero's caution and patience with one-hit takedowns. Experience earned through combat, exploration, and experimentation allow Batman to create better equipment, more finely tuned to the given tasks.
In addition to the Joker and his brilliant aide in evil, Harley Quinn, Batman faces other super-powered asylum patients, including Bane, Killer Croc, and Zsasz. As usual, brains as well as brawn are required to unravel Joker's insanely inspired scheme. The story for Batman: Arkham Asylum was written by Paul Dini, writer and producer for Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond. Cartoon series regulars Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Arleen Sorkin perform voice acting. The game was developed by Rocksteady Studios, creator of Eidos' 2006 first-person shooter Urban Chaos: Riot Response.
Along with the full game and all features of the original release, the Game of the Year Edition of Arkam Asylum supports three-dimensional effects using the TriOviz-brand stereoscopic technology, and ships with two pair of special glasses for use with the game. The 3D technology can be used on any conventional television set or monitor and does not require any additional equipment. The GOTY re-release also ships with four extra Challenge Maps not included in the original editions of the game.