So today I bring to you our first PSVR review. There will be more coming this week as I play through a pile of PSVR games. But thus far, Batman Arkham VR is the first game I have completed on the PSVR, and man was it a treat!
This was Rocksteady’s first foray into the the world of VR, but not their first Batman outing, with a few games in the Arkham series under their belt, they can safely be called the definitive authority on Batman games at the moment, and it really shows here.
Moving away from the traditional style they created, whereby Batman was more of an action game, Arkham VR sheds its action roots and goes into full on detective mode.
Now some may say that BAVR is no more than a glorified tech demo, and that cannot be further from the truth.
Sure the main game clocks in at about 2 hours, but to achieve full 100% completion will take you closer to 4-5 hours. Now that may seem short to some, when you compare it to games like Uncharted 1 or Heavenly Sword, the value here is way higher considering the price tag is only 29.99 cdn (or 24.99 with Amazon Prime 20% discount. In my eyes that is a heck of a deal for what you get.
The game itself spans 10 “levels” that will take you from the fateful night that a young Bruce Wayne watched his parents die, to a bizarre twist ending that kinda leaves you wondering.
The game takes place after the events of Arkham City, but before Arkham Knight. It is meant as a bit of a back story to events that unfold in the later game.
The game has zero combat in it, and it instead focuses on environmental puzzles that work very well in the VR interface.
In one particular scene you will rewind and playback a murder scene to piece together events of the crime. You will scan for clues, read hidden text from the Riddler, and hang out in the Batcave with your favorite manservant Alfred.
Once the core story is complete, you will unlock the riddler puzzles, where in each level there is hidden 3+ Riddle item, be it a puzzle cube, or hidden text that will lead you to an item to scan, or the classic riddler ? that will need to be uncovered and viewed at the right angle.
Now by no means is BA VR a hard game, it is all about the experience, and there is no method of failing at all, no game over screen to be found. But that is not to say it is not fun.
My one and only gripe is with the vehicle mechanic. When going between areas your screen goes black, and you can hear yourself get into the Batwing or Batmobile and fly or drive off, only to magically be teleported to the start of the next area.
I think Rosksteady really missed the boat here by not allowing you to be seated in the cockpit of the iconic Bat Vehicles looking around the cockpit while the game autopilots to the next area.
This would have made the experience infinitely cooler than it was.
You can view your vehicle arsenal (which unlocks as you solve Riddles) and do a full 360 x 360 rotation of your vehicle to check it out up close. This does a fantastic job of giving you a sense of scale we have never had before. Looking over the Tumbler and seeing just how massive the tires are is a sight to behold even if you aren’t a Batman fan.
The second main unlockable is the character profiles. These go beyond the traditional 2s flat images of the characters and give you a life size 3d character that you can rotate and pose (via 3 cassettes), getting to see Joke or Killer Croc up close and personal is pretty damn cool. Not to mention the very well modeled Harley Quinn.
All in all this was an amazing game, definitely recommended to anyone who picked up the PSVR, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
The sad part though is that this is a mere taste of what could be a much more robust game. Lets hope it sells well enough for Rocksteady to consider making an entire full Batman game set in VR, or if nothing else, maybe a VR mode for the existing Batman trilogy.
A solid 10/10