Reviewed: November 19, 2002
Released: September 24, 2002
Ubisoft has created yet another game that is highly addictive as well as cleverly constructed. Batman Vengeance joins the league of games that many superheroes have joined including even a few other Batman games. Batman Vengeance has an artistic style that is constructed to mirror the animation style found in the Cartoon Networks Dark Knight series and it works very well.
This game’s premise is that you are the Dark Knight constantly on the outlook for any crime being performed in Gotham city. One night the peace of Gotham city is breached when Batman finds a woman bound and gagged with a bomb tied to her. The woman you rescue is Mary Flynn whose son, Toby, has been taken for ransom by the clown prince of crime…the notorious Joker.
However, the truth of the story Mary Flynn tells is far more insidious than anyone can imagine. The Joker’s plan will leave Gotham city a ruin with no survivors. It is up to you, Batman, to save the city and end the crime spree that Gotham city has fallen under. This, in my opinion, is one of the most intriguing and challenging plots found in a Batman game.
Be prepared to spend many hours playing this game in your quest to save Gotham city’s fate from The Joker. You can either use your keyboard or a game pad to control the caped crusader. I found the game pad to be much more effective while playing this game vs. the keyboard controls which at times were a bit confusing.
There are three types of controls that you use to control Batman. These are:
This game definitely will provide many hours of fun. It was a great idea to have this blend of enemies as they all influence the dark side of Gotham city and it makes your quest as Batman all the more exciting.
The only function that was a bit annoying was the lack of being able to manually save the game. Also, it should be noted that if you run other programs while the game is auto-saving the saved data will probably get corrupted. You’ve been warned!
When I first started this game I had to double check to make sure that I had not inserted a Batman cartoon DVD into my computer – the opening movie looked “that good”, and when the game started up the graphics matched that movie with uncanny accuracy. I had heard that this game’s graphics were based on the cartoon and boy do I believe it - they did an excellent job!
When comparing this game to others in the genre such as Spiderman I wholeheartedly recommend Batman Vengeance over any other cartoon/comic game spin-offs primarily due to the quality of graphics and animation it offers. This game also supports a variety of video modes including some very high resolutions. I must stress this game looked mighty fine on my LCD monitor.
Once you complete an area you are presented with a professionally created cutscene that further progresses the plot and gives you additional knowledge of your enemies. Since movies are created using the game engine graphics it is a seamless transition between movie and game.
The game is in true 3D yet maintains a distinct 2D animated feature quality with excellent details and special effects. Shadowing was very detailed, especially when viewed while you are leaping or gliding with your cape. The only items graphically I found disappointing were the quality of the generic thugs Batman must defeat all the time. These thugs were very crude in their polygon construction and detracted from the rest of the game. The only other area that was weak was when Batman was climbing ladders. It felt like Batman was constantly getting ready to fall off the side of the ladder.
Turn those speakers up while playing this game. I was really surprised with the quality of the game’s sounds and excellent background music, which was taken right from the series. This music helped to set the action pace as well as simply providing great music to listen to.
All the vocalizations seemed very well integrated. Be sure to listen to the spoken words as sometimes they seem to help you find items you would not usually find. Ubisoft actually had at least nine actors participate in this games dialogue in addition to the actors who did the voices for the thugs. Andrea Romano, the voice director for the series also directed the game’s dialog so you can expect a very professional narrative. Alfred was extremely convincing, voiced by the same actor who does the TV show and don’t overlook Mark Hammil’s reprising his role as the evil Joker.
Another area of sound design that impressed me was the sound effects such as footsteps, gunshots, explosions, and even ambient noises such as the beeping computers in the bat cave.
This game’s length is well above what I expected. I have been playing this game for over ten hours and have yet to finish it. Be prepared to give up many hours of your time as you assume the role of Batman and attempt to defeat the evil Joker. This game’s replay value is minimal due to the fact the storyline is the type that is progressive from point A to B to C, etc. And with no multiplayer option available for this game, there is no reason to replay it once you have saved Gotham the first time.
Batman Vengeance was definitely much more than I expected due to the high production quality found within the game. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed actually participating in a living cartoon in the form of an animated game that so closely resembled the show on which it was based.
Overall this game will provide many hours of enjoyment. I am looking forward to finishing Batman’s quest to save Gotham city and I am certain you will also. I highly recommend this game for anyone who enjoys great action, adventure, superheroes, and especially Batman!