PlayStation VR is here, my friends, and boy is it something. One of the first games I pre-ordered for VR was none other than the Batman: Arkham VR game that Rocksteady was working on. I didn’t know what to expect when I went into it as it was the first game I tried in virtual reality, but I’m still thinking about it.
Does this game show off the new PlayStation VR headset and make you feel like Batman, or is this just a quick cash in on the new tech? Time to find out!
A Story For Arkham Fans and Batman Fans Alike
The length of Batman: Arkham VR may be a negative point for some. You can finish an initial playthrough in about an hour, give or take a few minutes. That sounds ludicrous by normal game standards, but a lot happens in this mini-story. Don’t worry, no spoilers here, but suffice to say it will be a treat for fans of Rocksteady’s Arkham series.
The price also reflects the length. The whole experience can be yours for $20 on a physical disc or digitally. It’s not bad at all for what you’re getting. The experience puts you through several locations as you search for the answers to a mystery unfolding before you.
Once you’ve finished your initial playthrough, you unlock Riddler challenges that appear as puzzles throughout the adventure, which easily encourages another playthrough. Hanging out in the Bat Cave also yields some fun attractions and even a 3D model viewer unlike anything you’ve ever used before in other games.
The story here is simple, but it has some nice moments and a few nods to the series Rocksteady did for Batman. It also ties nicely into the third game in the series for those who want to fill in the gaps. The variety of locations also keeps things interesting throughout. Overall, it’s a solid Batman tale, but it’s the gameplay here that truly shines.
Virtual Reality Comes to Life
Batman: Arkham VR was my first experience with virtual reality, and it was nothing short of incredible. This game requires that you use two PlayStation Move motion controllers, so make sure you have them charged and handy.
You can play standing or sitting, but I found the game to be much more accurate and enjoyable while standing. The sense of scale is apparent from the moment you boot it up. The incredible depth of 3D with virtual reality makes even the main menu something to behold.
As you stand on the roof of the GCPD building, overlooking the Gotham skyline, you can step forward and look over the edge. Vertigo will most certainly take hold as you look down to the streets below.
Turn around and you see the iconic spotlight behind you, as big as massive you imagined it would be. You feel like you’re there, and that’s just the main menu. The game has you prepare yourself and enter the batcave in a sequence that I will never forget as a gamer and Batman fan.
Standing in the cave, looking around, you can see the jagged rock walls in the distance and the various devices before you. To combat the motion sickness that people have been feeling, Batman: Arkham VR has you point and click to teleport around areas. You can look around, reach out, and interact with your motion controllers, but you’ll never walk around traditionally.
You do have access to some of Batman’s tools and gadgets as well. You can look down and see your utility belt beneath you. Reaching down allows you to grab your scanner, grappling hook, and batarangs with ease.
Every time you reach out to interact with something, you’ll see Batman’s hands floating in front of you. It’s a surreal feeling, but it adds to the incredible immersion. You’ll be able to pick up items, flip switches, and interact with various objects.
There’s no combat in the game per se, but there are several intense encounters. It’s difficult to describe the thrill you get from turning around and seeing the game all around you. It’s truly hard to describe.
While not as action-packed as other Batman games, Batman: Arkham VR does an incredible job of making you feel like the world’s greatest detective, and the Dark Knight. It will wow you, scare you, and make you grin from ear-to-ear.
Beautiful Style and Substance
The graphics of Batman: Arkham VR are among the best I’ve seen so far with the PSVR headset. Yes, the resolution isn’t a full 1080p in each eye, but the textures and detail are spot on. Standing in front of characters like Alfred and Robin gives you an incredible sense that they are truly in front of you.
The environments are highly interactive and the level of detail is simply incredible. Overall, Batman: Arkham VR is one of the finest examples of what PlayStation VR can do. It has a great story, strong gameplay, and pitch-perfect presentation with zero glitches or drops in frame rate.
My only complaint is that there’s not more of it. I want a full game like this, and I know I’m not the only one. Batman fans, VR owners, and everyone in between: buy this now.
Final Score: 9.0/10
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date - 10/17/16