Brucie Bonus: Free DLC for Batman Arkham Asylum

By Alec Meer on September 10th, 2009 at 4:59 pm.

I’ll be Wotting My Thinks all over Rocksteady’s much-ballyhooed Batman adventure next week (we’d hoped for sooner, but I’ve been fruitlessly chasing review code for weeks now. Apparently the fancy PhysX effects have held it up), but until then let’s bask in the warm glow of promised free stuff. No idea what the free DLC will be, but it’s due on the 17th – a mere two days after the PC release – and will hit all three of the game’s platforms. Lovely to not be left in the dust of the console folks for once. Hopefully we’ll enjoy the PS3’s Play As The Joker mode at some point too.

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40 Comments »

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  1. Optimaximal says:

    Joystiq says there’ll be not one, but two free packs coming for all formats. – http://www.joystiq.com/2009/09/10/two-batman-arkham-asylum-dlc-packs-releasing-over-two-weeks/

    The first will be called ‘Insane Night’ (due on the 17th) and the second ‘Prey in the Darkness’ (due sometime during the week after).

    Basically, it sounds like some nice extra challenge maps, which every says extends the main game nicely because you keep wanting to beat your high score.

  2. Jim Rossignol says:

    BIFF! POW! Etc.

  3. Turin Turambar says:

    7.5/10.

    Next!

    ok, ok, i still have not finished it. Good game, i am liking it, but not loving it.

  4. Heliocentric says:

    Argh dlc released close the game! Signanigans! I’ll boycott there is no way i’m paying free-…

    Oh. Back to the L4D2 thread for me.

  5. funnyM0ney says:

    I know this is off topic, but hey, Braid’s going for 5 bucks on Steam!

  6. Andy says:

    I’m a bit confused as to how you release DLC 2 days after a games release. Isn’t this what we used to call a “patch”? I imagine it’s just stuff that they were too late to put into the game in time for shipping, and have been working on this while the retail discs were being copied and put on shelves.

  7. linfosoma says:

    I really liked the demo, but my priority list is set on NFS:Shift and RE5 so it’ll have to wait.

  8. Dean says:

    And a way to encourage pirates to actually go and buy the game.

  9. AndrewC says:

    Linfosoma: Here’s the advice of a Random Internet Guy – get Batman instead of RE5.

  10. Heliocentric says:

    Coop adds ~25% more points to any games score to me. Is Batman really that much better?

  11. subedii says:

    It’s doubtful the Joker levels are going to be hitting the PC, I’m pretty certain that’s a PS3 exclusive, even the 360 isn’t getting them.

    Alright exclusivity doesn’t mean what it used to, but in general I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.

  12. AndrewC says:

    RE5 is, I don’t think, a particularly good iteration of the RE franchise, so even a fan of the series would be dissappointed. It’s turned into a generic third person shooter with horrible controls, even if you felt (as i did) that the ideosyncratic control scheme added to the tension of previous installments.

    Batman does the story based third person stuff so much better. It even achieves a few good chills, which RE5 singularly fails to achieve.

  13. Funky Badger says:

    I think B:AA’s better than RE5, but I’ve probably played RE5 a lot more – co-op adds a ton of replayability

  14. Funky Badger says:

    subedii: in console land “exclusive” has so far meant a console, plus PC…

  15. Heliocentric says:

    Actually, i bloody hate tank controls in re4. But only because first person shooters have made me think being unable to move, turn, shoot, bunny hop and climb a ladder at the same time is unreasonable.

    I’ll get better, but in the mean time

  16. Dracko says:

    Funky Badger: Being better than RE5 isn’t exactly a feat.

    Likely just going to be more challenge maps. That’s no bad thing, really: They’re the only reason to revisit the game.

  17. AndrewC says:

    As a counterpoint:

    There’s a very well balanced Hard mode (rare), there’s collecting all of Riddler’s Secrets in order to unlock more of the challenge rooms (which is a fun activity, which is even rarer), and there’s the overall design that is so good there’s almost no annoying bits to upset a second play through.

    Ivy’s fight and Croc’s lair – those are the only lame bits.

    I’ve been greatly enjoying revisiting it. But that is just me.

  18. LewieP says:

    More like “Please don’t trade in our pretty damn good, but very short, game straight after completion. We are going to give you some ‘free’ content we held back for just this purpose.”

    We have already paid for this, they are just making us wait to get it so that they can reduce the trend for games to get traded in shortly after release, which has a direct impact on their profits.

  19. AndrewC says:

    Or it’s simple PR to keep it in the headlines nearly a month after release.

  20. LewieP says:

    Considering how they managed the launch of the game, I can’t really give them the benefit of the doubt here. Exclusive content for different formats/retailers, and despite the obvious quality of the game, there is still something up with Ram Raiders claims of the 9/10 embargo thing.

  21. AndrewC says:

    I certainly can’t speak for any backroom chicanery as I have no access to it. I was really reacting to the rhetorical approach of ‘this is already ours and they are holding it back from us’.

    I don’t like the assumption of conspiracy behind any such DLC announcement. There’s too much ugly entitlement and irrational persecution complex in these fanboy debates about things like LFD2 and I get jumpy when there’s even a hint of it.

  22. AndrewC says:

    Hrrm. I tried to make that not personal about you, LewieP, but about the general use of that type of argument.

    I apologise if that post got your back up. I hope it didn’t.

  23. Hoernchen says:

    I like it, except for the scarecrow parts, which are just frustrating and pointless. One ? ok. Two ? Well, if you absolute have to… but three times ?!

  24. We Fly Spitfires says:

    Arkham Asylum is a great game and I enjoy it on the PS3 although I can’t imagine playing it with a keyboard and mouse on the PC.

  25. LewieP says:

    Oh not at all, I just don’t honestly believe that this is an example of them having made something extra and decided to give it use for free. This situation is massively different to the L4D2 thing.

  26. Meat Circus says:

    Just finished B:AS last night, and it thoroughly deserves all the tumescent praise that’s being spurted upon it. The game has FLOW.

    And free DLC is yet more woo.

  27. Jonas says:

    Ooooh free DLC! That’ll be great… if I ever manage to beat the final goddamn boss fight! MAN that is one annoying-as-hell fight! I don’t want to fight those bloody stun stick guys, especially not three of them at once, I just want to stalk around in the predator sequences and scare the living hell out of the silly henchmen, is that really so much to ask!?

  28. Meat Circus says:

    @LewieP:

    You think Arkham Asylum is short? Cos I found it the right sort of length for a stealth/action game. Maybe an hour too long at best.

  29. Meat Circus says:

    @Hoernchen:

    The Scarecrow sequences were my favourite bits of the game. I’d barely call them frustrating. This game even gets 2.5d platforming right!

  30. Schadenfreude says:

    Thought the Scarecrow bits were brilliant. Part 3 shit me right up (though sadly it’s real life counterpart appears to have occured). Played through the game twice in a week and keep dipping back into the challenge rooms too, been a long time since I got hooked on a game that way.

  31. LewieP says:

    @Meat Circus
    I dunno, I blasted through it fairly quickly. I suppose it depends on how much time you want to spend getting the secret stuff, and how often you died. It did feel a little on the short side, and there was a little bit too much pointless backtracking, and the repetition of boss fights certainly annoyed me.

    Don’t get me wrong, it is a great game, and a great Batman Simulator too, I just resent that this stuff which was obviously finished before the game came out is being kept from me so I have the option of either A) Lose out on the full resale value of the game, or B) Miss out on some decent content that I have paid for the creation of.

  32. suibhne says:

    The DLC is just Challenge Rooms, folks. It’s not like the Mass Effect DLC that added sidequests which you were supposed to finish before the game itself, and which was promised at launch and then delivered 5 months later. The Challenge Rooms, by their very nature, are designed for some minor post-narrative longevity, so extra Challenge Rooms within the first month of release fits pretty much perfectly.

    Anyway, I would figure that we PC gamers would be thrilled about this. Delivering the DLC only once the PC version has dropped…well, that gives a nice message about platform equality. And the larger import of free DLC on an AAA release that isn’t by Valve – that’s great beyond words, considering the general direction of the rest of the market.

  33. LewieP says:

    This is from Eidos remember.

    The same publisher that cut a bunch of stuff from Tomb Raider Underworld so that they could sell it as DLC.
    http://kotaku.com/5129215/tomb-raider-underword-dlc-was-meant-to-be-in-original-game

  34. DeepSleeper says:

    LewieP:

    Can you -read-? That link you gave says exactly the OPPOSITE of what you claim it says.

  35. Railick says:

    LewieP – I just resent that this stuff which was obviously finished before the game came out is being kept from me so I have the option of either A) Lose out on the full resale value of the game, or B) Miss out on some decent content that I have paid for the creation of.

    LewieP are you complaining about free DLC ? Just because it was finished before the game came out doesn’t mean it was finished because the CD were printed (Hence a final version of the game that would go out for sale) They may have finished these levels after the full game was already sent off to the factory to be pressed. Still, it’s freakign free why are you complaining about (or ARE you complaining? :P )

  36. Gorgeras says:

    I demand DLC that gives Batman throat cancer and the Joker a wet mouth.

  37. Simon says:

    Two thumbs up here, I thoroughly enjoyed all of it (and I thought the Scarecrow levels were phenomenal.)

    I even liked Croc’s lair and Ivy’s boss fight!

    The thing I liked the most was the flow of the game was just fantastic – JUST as 10 more minutes of the same thing would’ve gotten boring they throw something new at you.

    They must’ve really playtested this game hard.. I haven’t had as much fun with a console game all year.

  38. Starky says:

    This is a trend (and not a bad one at that) that is here to stay I think. There are just too many plus points for devs to ignore.

    1: It allows half-finished content to be finished after RTM, rather than getting chucked in the bin. I wish to god Obsidian had been allowed this luxury with KotoR2 – Lucas Arts could have had their christmas release, and we’d have gotten a “DLC” that gave us the game as they intended it to be, not the cut short half-game it was.

    2: It allows a nice stream of steady media interest weeks/months after release, compared to the old months of hype then forgotten about by the media after release date. Master-class by Valve and TF2, probably had the most press after release than any non-mmo game in the history of gaming. I think Valve are the only company (again excluding mmo’s) ever to have successfully managed to generate genuine (capital H) Hype after release.

    3: It tempts players to keep their copies of the games rather than sell them back to the retailer after they’ve finished the game once (console problem mainly).

    4: It creates good will amongst most (sane) gamers – everyone likes free stuff. Even if you argue it should have been in the game to start with, deadlines are deadlines and budgets are budgets. Isn’t it better for us gamers to get it after release than never at all?

    5: It ties into paid for DLC excellently (though few, if any games have really exploited this) – I’d wager that it Bethesda had given away snippets of their DLC for free they’d have sold more copies (of the core game and the DLC) – or maybe even unique bits linked too it. Say like everyone getting free DLC that adds UFO sightings, or rare encounters in the open world. Though that only really applies to the 360, given user generated content (aka mods) did that for us PC fans, gave us all the content we could ever need to keep interested in the game.

    6: It hides a “this fixes broken stuff” patch into a “free stuff for YOU” patch. Good PR, good marketing, smart business.

    All of which combine to give games excellent running legs, loads of games have a sales drop off rate after the first week steeper than Eve onlines learning curve, and companies (the smarter ones anyway) are starting to realize that the game isn’t finished production when it goes gold, not if they want to sell new copies 6 months down the line.

    As a PC customer there is no downside for me, I could never sell back my games once finished anyway – the only downside I can see in all this for a consumer is for console users who like to buy a game and then trade it in a week later.
    They can still do that of course but they’ll only end up having played half the game.

  39. toni says:

    it’s an ok game with dated mechanics (like dead space: you have to clear the whole room to progress) and the games emphasises fighting and charging large groups of enemies head on instead of stealth and avoiding combat at all. all the xp you get you get for punching everybody down. that’s not the batman I knew. apart from that they reuse the levels more than 3 times and repeat some fights over and over again. but it’s entertaining still, just don’t expect too much. MINI NINJAS on the other hand is a true marvel of enjoyment and cuteness. this is much more GOTY contender for me than lukewarm raging bull-batman.

  40. Kadayi says:

    I must admit I was fairly indifferent to this, however having heard a few people raving about it on various podcasts I thought I’d give the demo a look see and I must admit I was fairly impressed, and added it to my highly likely to purchase list. Good stuff. Free DLC is a nice bonus as well.