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Batman: Arkham Asylum is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game.
The player controls Batman as the masked vigilante makes his way around the island and structures of Arkham Asylum. In addition to running, jumping and crouching, Batman is also able to glide from heights using his cape, and use his grapple gun to ascend short heights or escape and hide from foes on gargoyle statues. In order to track Joker and other enemies, the player can switch in and out of "detective mode" which activates special visors in Batman's Cowl. In this mode, most of the game world is rendered in darker colors, but objects of interest and people are highlighted, including limited x-ray ability to detect the location of people. Special objects that Batman can interact either directly or with a number of gadgets that are gained over the course of the game are also highlighted. The detective mode can automatically be switched to special scanning modes to track the presence of compounds, fingerprints, and other unique data, which are used to direct the player to the next location to explore.
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