BATMAN: ARKHAM VR Review AUTHOR: Ryan Hoss (Follow @SMB_RYAN)
DATE: January 1, 2017
The high price point, niche technology, and lack of fanfare might lead you to believe that BATMAN: ARKHAM VR is a game strictly for the most die-hard fans or virtual reality enthusiasts, but you’d be wrong. In my opinion, it is something that every Batman fan must experience.
The game (set firmly within a crucial point in the ARKHAM storyline) allows you to visit Gotham City and “Be the Batman” in a completely new and unprecedented way. Whereas the rest of the mainline games in the series have a heavy emphasis on action, combat, and spectacle, the developers at Rocksteady have created a more visceral, story-driven adventure with ARKHAM VR. There’s a heavy emphasis on detective work in the game, and it does a great job of making you feel like you’re Batman without holding your hand too much.
Without spoiling the story, I’ll just entice you with some details about the experience itself. Ever wanted to “be” Batman? Put on the suit? The cowl? Ever wanted to use the Bat Grapple or Batarangs? Descend from Wayne Manor down to the Batcave? Examine all of your Bat-vehicles? Be on the rooftop of the GCPD or other areas of Gotham? Scare the crap out of villains (and a famous Bat-villain at that) and interrogate them? Be a detective and solve a mystery as The Dark Knight? If the answer is “yes,” then ARKHAM VR is the game for you.
By the time the game is over, it feels like you’ve discovered this amazing blend between a video game, a film, and a graphic novel. VR is a very new space for game developers right now; for the next few years we’ll continue to see experiments like this where they try to discover the best way to use the medium. Yes, the game is short (it can be completed in under two hours), but it’s something you’ll want to play again, and there are a decent amount of unlockables to get via Riddler challenges after completing the game for the first time.
To play ARKHAM VR, you’ll need a Playstation 4 and a PSVR Headset (with the Playstation Camera and Two Playstation Move controllers for the best experience) in addition to the game. So as I said earlier, it’s quite the investment to get it going. However, as someone who’s been a lifelong Batman fan, what this game allows you to do is nothing short of incredible, and it’s one of the best Batman “things” I’ve ever encountered. - Ryan Hoss
Ryan Hoss began contributing to BOF in 2006 and is
One of the "BOF Roudtablers" on the BOF PODCAST.
Ryan's love of writing for BOF has expanded over the years to support his
mission to highlight Batman's malleability as a character. His articles, reviews, and op-eds cover
a wide range of topics from comics, movies, and television shows to video games...and even cereal!