Scarecrow’s First Appearance in Arkham Asylum Is Perfect Halloween Horror


If I have been to say to you ‘gothic Metroidvania action-horror game,’ then the very first thing that may spring to your thoughts would most likely be “Resident Evil”. It’s honest sufficient that you simply most likely would not make the bounce to Batman. Granted, varied incarnations of Batman have had their justifiable share of intensely harrowing adventures – The Killing Joke and A Death within the Family as an illustration – however he has by no means been a personality related to horror.

So it is time to repair that picture, simply in time for spooky season.

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What was it that I discovered so terrifying? Killer Croc actually has his moments, notably when it’s important to enterprise into his lair within the sewers the place he can pop up from nearly anyplace and kill you in some fairly grisly methods. It was tense, positive, however the large inexperienced brute cannot maintain a candle to the fear-mongering of Johnathan Crane, AKA Scarecrow.

Scarecrow is considered one of Batman’s best-known villains, and he brings his A-game to Arkham Asylum. Using hallucinogenic concern fuel, he is ready to manipulate Batman’s actuality and critically mess together with his head in a number of the most creatively nightmarish sequences in gaming. The first and to my thoughts most memorable time this occurs is shortly earlier than Batman reaches the Asylum’s morgue.

After a quick spherical of taunting from Mark Hamill’s Joker, Batman steps out right into a hall and is confronted by a gaggle of docs and inmates trapped inside a small surgical bay. There’s blood all around the partitions, and Batman can watch in horror as the lads writhe round in terror, begging to be launched, clearly, they’ll see one thing you’ll be able to’t. The cherry on high is the sudden look of an enormous looming Scarecrow-shaped shadow within the background.

I fondly keep in mind this second taking me utterly off guard, and issues solely received creepier from there. Pursuing Scarecrow, Batman witnesses what he thinks is a terrified Jim Gordon being pulled right into a vent. There’s a path of blood to comply with, however Batman is simply too late, Gordon is lifeless.

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This is Scarecrow we’re speaking about (who cracked the highest 5 in our run down of the most effective Arkham sequence villains), so I most likely ought to have guessed that this was all in Batman’s head, however I used to be so blindsided that it hadn’t occurred to me that I’m certainly hallucinating (which, in life as in video games, is normally a surefire signal that you simply’re tripping very onerous). I hadn’t anticipated issues to get this spooky. I’d signed as much as punch folks within the face, not confront Batman’s interior demons.

Speaking of interior demons, what occurs subsequent is a superb deep dive into the darkest reaches of the caped crusader’s psyche. As comedian followers will know, the loss of life of Bruce Wayne’s dad and mom is the explanation Batman exists. Witnessing their loss of life by the hands of Joe Chill was the inciting incident that led the younger Bruce down the trail of vigilante justice. Thomas and Martha Wayne are central to Batman’s id, so naturally, Scarecrow makes use of them in opposition to him. Once you attain the morgue correct, three physique baggage seem earlier than you.

Open the primary one, and the desiccated corpse of Thomas Wayne will blame you for his loss of life, accusing you of not standing as much as the mugger who shot him. The second bag incorporates the equally grim physique of Martha Wayne who begs you (with a level of futility) to not let her die. The third bag incorporates Scarecrow himself, who leaps out at you, inflicting Batman to fall to the ground, earlier than disappearing utterly.

Scarecrow goes on to make quite a few appearances all through the game, however his first is by far probably the most chilling. I used to be so shocked that I did not know what day of the week it was, and spent the remainder of the game questioning the fact of occasions round me, ready for that actuality to break down at any second – which in fact it did, a number of occasions.

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I like this Arkham-verse model of horror. Rocksteady could not have completed a greater job of it. They managed to do one thing undeniably scary whereas tying all of it again to the established Batman canon. They noticed there was fertile floor for one thing actually creepy each in Batman’s previous and within the idea of Scarecrow, and so they delivered some memorable gaming horror sequences. It’s genuinely twisted – Halloween horror at its very best.

Arkham Asylum critically freaked me out and but I adore it. It’s a big a part of why I nonetheless price Asylum as the most effective of the Rocksteady Studios Batman video games. Arkham City could have been the large hit, promoting 12.5 million copies, however I’m a resolute Asylum man. The villains, the setting, and the story all come collectively superbly.

Next: Gotham Knights Review


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