Be the dark knight
Rocksteady Studios presents the first adventure for virtual reality of the Dark Knight, which on this occasion will park the action and combat to focus on some detective work that will take him to tour the city of Gotham, which the user will travel in a spectacularly immersive way in an experience as short as it is intense developed for PlayStation VR.
Batman fans have a mandatory date with this new adventure of the superhero who, on this occasion, will abandon the most common proposals to enter a virtual reality experience in which the player can experience what it feels like to be inside the Dark Knight’s suit. This is the Batman: Arkham franchise’s first foray into virtual reality that the guys at Rocksteady Studios have designed for Sony’s newly released VR headset.
In Batman: Arkham VR we will not live, however, a typical action adventure in which the hero of Gotham can display his combat skills, but an investigative story with detective overtones in which the superhero must follow clues and investigate some of the most famous locations in the city. Without further ado, we offer you our impressions of the exclusive PlayStation VR title that, despite its brevity, has been one of the most satisfying virtual reality experiences so far.
This Batman adventure for virtual reality proposes us to enter the universe of the superhero from an unusual perspective in his previous adaptations to the video game. On this occasion, the action is left on the sidelines for most of the plot to focus on the investigation, some gifts that the Dark Knight must display, incarnated in the first person by the player thanks to the virtual reality glasses of Sony.
It is a unique occasion to live a story that until now had not been able to be experienced from the inside and that will start, as so often, with that mythical sequence of little Bruce Wayne with his parents in a dark Gotham alley. After waking up from that memory, it will be time to start a mission in which the user will have to find Robin, disappeared without a trace, locating Nightwing first.
To do this, the guys from RockSteady will take us through different scenarios, which the player will be able to go through in a static way through different points of view that will allow us to observe the scene from various perspectives. It should be noted, therefore, that the movement of the character will be reduced to that of the tools that he can make use of but without the possibility of visually walking to another position.
In this way, Batman will have at his disposal his batarang, which he can launch wherever he needs to, and the batclaw, which will allow him to move around the stage, actually teleporting from one predefined place to another, or interacting with various elements placed for it. In addition, it will have a handheld scanner with which, for example, you can inspect the crime scene for evidence or analyze a body in search of the final clue.
Using these objects, users will visit Gotham City and some of its most popular locations, such as Wayne mansion and other places that we are not going to reveal so as not to ruin the experience, unfortunately too short. It will only take us approximately an hour to complete the adventure, a remarkably reduced duration even in a proposal for virtual reality of these characteristics, which could have been extended several more hours without major problem.
Immersion, in fact, is not a problem in Batman: Arkham VR, which allows you to enjoy a first-person experience without causing any feeling of discomfort even in very long sessions in which the user can finish the plot in one sitting. Gameplay, designed to observe the environment from a static position and interact with it via PlayStation Move devices, is likely to play a role.
Its control, in fact, is as intuitive as it is satisfying. Using each controller as a handheld in the game, the player will be able to perform very precise actions involving the previously selected tools. While the batarang will be on our chest, the bat claw will be on the right side and the scanner on the left. Picking it up will be as easy as moving the controller to where you are on your body.
This accuracy in the movements made will become one of the key aspects of the title, thus favoring an almost detective investigation process in which the superhero, and therefore the player, must participate in different processes in which the possibilities of virtual reality and, above all, of the aforementioned PlayStation Move without having to move around the stage as in so many other proposals.
The technical section, one of the most outstanding of how many virtual reality titles we have analyzed, is another of the strengths of this original Batman adventure. Graphically, always comparing it with other options for VR, it looks imposing and with a careful level of detail in all its locations. In addition, as we have pointed out, the feeling of immersion is exceptional at all times, which is, after all, what the user is looking for in a video game like this.
The soundtrack, also outstanding, is very present in the most powerful moments and becomes another narrative element both in the development and in the conclusion of the story. We cannot say the same about the dubbing, which does not exist in Spanish, unlike in the Batman: Arkham saga. On this occasion, the player must opt for the subtitles, an option that does not always work optimally and that, obviously, is not the right one to experience virtual reality.
In order to compensate for the brevity of the plot, the developers have also introduced some puzzles that Enigma will place in various locations once the adventure is completed. In this way, it is about motivating the replay of a title that will also offer the possibility of unlocking collectible vehicles and characters in the following games.
GAMEPLAY: This is one of the most satisfying proposals for PlayStation VR in terms of gameplay. The mechanics are simple in execution and very precise thanks to the PlayStation Move controllers, with which any action can be carried out without the need for the Dualshock 4.
GRAPHICS: The technical section is one of the most prominent in Sony’s current catalog for virtual reality. The scenarios present, unlike other games of these characteristics, a level of detail high enough to achieve the immersion of the player in the most satisfactory way.
SOUND: The soundtrack is spectacular in several sections of the adventure, in which the musical presence becomes one of the most relevant narrative elements. Unfortunately, we cannot ignore the lack of dubbing into Spanish with the consequent introduction of subtitles, unlike in the rest of the saga.
DURATION: Surely the most objectionable aspect of the adventure is its length, barely one hour long. The most striking thing is that it obeys a creative decision beyond any technical limitation, so the plot could have lasted several more hours if the developers had decided so. The replay possibilities, beyond puzzles and collectibles, are minimal.
STORY: The plot is interesting enough to keep the interest of a player who will want to continue advancing until reaching the end and knowing all the plot details. In addition, it is accessible to any type of player, even those outside the Batman universe.
CONCLUSION: The Batman: Arkham saga turns to virtual reality with a proposal as brief as it is intense. This time it is the player who embodies the Dark Knight from a position that will allow him to interact with the environment in a unique way while using the main superhero tools. We are not, however, before a classic action game but rather a totally immersive title oriented to detective investigation that will please both Batman fans and those in love with point and click.
If you like, play …
It may interest you…