Batman: Vengeance
Game Info
Platform(s)
PS2, GC, Xbox
Publisher
Ubi Soft
Developer
Ubi Soft Montreal
Genre
Action
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Really nails the Batman cartoon feel
• Good story and voice acting
• Variety of gameplay

The Bad

• Gadgets are useless outside of required scenes
• Too many different styles of gameplay to be good an any of them
• Some areas lack any detail or are just too dark

 
Grade
C+

Batman: Vengeance is one of the few games based on cartoon/comics that have successfully pulled off the ambiance and style of the original (Spiderman in 1999 being the other). For the most part, these games have missed the mark, in both style and quality of gameplay. Batman: Vengeance is told much like a series of episodes from the cartoon, broken up into parts that carry along a story line in which Batman must fight not only the Joker, but Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze.

Graphics:
Batman: Vengeance
succeeds at bringing across the feeling of the show. If it weren't for that, gamers might complain about the lack of polygonal detail and textures. Environments are decently detailed, even if not overly so. Lighting effects are well done and aid in creating a firm atmosphere. The characters are shaped as they would be in the television show. The CG cutscenes are excellently done. My only real gripe is that certain areas seem to lack any detail at all, while others are just too dark to see anything. These areas, though, are few and far between.

Audio:
On the sound front, the voice-overs are excellently done, and the soundtrack is pretty good when it's present. Most of the time, though, the only thing you will hear is Batman's footsteps and sounds from the enemies. I would have hoped for more music to be available during the game, especially considering how much time I spent re-playing certain sections to complete them.

Gameplay:
The gameplay in Batman: Vengeance is so varied that it actually doesn't really get detailed enough at any one point to let the player get comfortable. There are a number of times where the player is set in a platformer/action scenario. Here, the player can either take part in simple combat with henchmen or go into first-person mode to use a variety of Batman's tools to disarm the enemies or climb to higher platforms. Also, there are missions in which you either drive the Batmobile or fly the Batplane to chase down an enemy. There are also moments where you'll use stealth to sneak past the enemies.

The Bad:
Let's be honest, with so much going on, everything seems watered down. The platforming elements often don't let you know where to go to and often you'll fall pray to a number of cheap deaths before you're through. Combat, while simple, seems to take too much effort. I would have thought that the Dark Knight could cakewalk through most henchmen, instead of trading blows and hoping to outlast each and every thug. Batman's devices, while adding a little more to the gameplay, are never really useful or available outside of the times in the game you need to use them. Both the Batmobile and Batplane scenarios are thrust upon the player and never really feel like more than add-ons.

Enjoy this game for what it is: an interactive episode with a range of things to do. The graphics aren't overly detailed but suffice for what it's trying to represent. There will be times where you'll be frustrated with the scenarios that are thrust upon you or how certain elements are only sparing utilized (like the Batgrapple, which is only useful when the game wants you to use it). If you're interested in this title, by all means, give it a rent. It's not strong enough to pay full-price for, but fairly enjoyable for a few bucks and a few days.

- - Vane

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