The Batman video game series has never been anything to write home about, as it could easily be the worst super hero video game franchise out there. For some reason, our black caped friend has never been able to get over the hump and make for a great super hero game. Well now the series has been taken over by EA, who is having its first attempt at Batman himself with this re-creation of the recently released Batman Begins movie for the Xbox. So will the game follow the movie’s success in resurrecting the franchise and finally do justice to the Dark Knight name? Read our full review to find out!
For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past few months, just a few weeks ago we saw the release of the movie Batman Begins, which from what I have seen, has got really high marks from the critics, including myself. So will the game get the same sort of praises as the movie?
Well to start with, Batman Begins follows the same story as the movie, which places you as Bruce Wayne, who having witnessed the murder of his two very wealthy parents as a child, decides to dedicate his life to rid Gotham City of all criminals. Basically the game starts with Bruce’s training up in the Himalayas, where he learns all the skills he needs to know to later on become Batman. The game doesn’t go all that indepth on the story, most likely to still get people to see the movie, but if you haven’t seen the movie your probably going to want to understand everything this game has to offer.
So what is Batman Begins the game all about? What can you expect to do in the game? Well Batman Begins is probably easiest to compare with Splinter Cell, in that Batman Begins uses a lot of stealth to get from place to place. The game requires you to do lot of sneaking around and knocking out of your opponents. And unlike Splinter Cell though, you never do kill your enemies but you do fight an awful lot compared to Splinter Cell as well. The game has a pretty basic beat em up style combo system that never really gets you all that enthused, as it is pretty basic.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, it would probably be a worthwhile time to mention that playing on the fear of enemies is a big part of what Batman Begins is all about. The same concept is prevalent in the game as well, as there are many times you will get to areas in the game swarming with too many enemies to handle by using just brute force. So instead you have to use your mind to figure out ways to scare the enemy in order to gain an edge over them and ultimately and defeat them.
I know in a lot of reviews I talk about games trying to do too much, and this game is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Batman Begins tries to be so much more then it really needed to. It tries to take every element from the movie and turn it into an essential part of the game, and this just makes everything in the game seem rather lackluster. The game moves at a decent pace, and it does keep you rather motivated to want to keep playing. But for the most part, the gameplay just can’t get over that average barrier.
Another problem that Batman Begins faces is that it is overly linear to the fact that the game kind of takes the fun out of trying to figure things out. The game really just guides you throughout leaving any sort of puzzle solving to a minimum.
Batman Begins is not a bad game, but is a game that tries to do so much and really ends up making everything more average then great like it could have been. The gameplay is definitely an improvement over the previous Batman games, but it still just can’t do enough to really make for a great super hero game.
One thing is for certain and that is the visuals for Batman Begins are some of the best I have seen for any super hero game out there. First off, the look of Batman on the Xbox is actually just as good as it was on the silver screen. Batman is so well detailed, and just the work that went into his design is truly a remarkable and something to be admired.
The environments I can’t say are as impressive as Batman himself, as they don’t consist of the same amount of detail and color that the game possessed with Batman himself. With that being said Batman is still a great looking game that has some minor camera problems but overall just has a solid graphical design that really is quite impressive.
The thing about Batman Begins that I discussed earlier - that is that the game is very linear and that it tries to be much more than it is. Batman to me has its moments when the story gets good and the action gets better, but those moments are few and far between. Batman Begins has its upsides but unfortunately the game is not overly long and does get repetitive after a while, which doesn’t make for all that fun of an experience.
Batman Begins is a good game but nothing more then that. It has its fair share of problems that should have been taken care of in during development. If they do make another Batman game, I really hope they just go for a more simple open environment approach rather then this linear approach that we are given in this game. Overall if you are a fan of Batman you’re probably going to enjoy this game and if you’re not a fan you’re probably going to dislike it quite a bit.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.