Although as Batman the player is given a few gadgets to fiddle with, none are used in a fashion that pays respect to the action sequences the Arkham series is known for.
Instead players use gadgets to solve kindergarten level puzzles as you try to solve a murder in Gotham. This type of gameplay is acceptable when used as a tool to show off the power of VR to your casual gamer friends and family but hopefully Rocksteady has used this technical experiment to lay the foundation for a proper action oriented Batman game in the future.
The story plays out like part 1 of a television mini-series and has a ridiculous plot twist at the end to further strengthen that comparison.
I was very engaged with the story, but since it only takes about an hour to complete it I was left feeling cheated as there’s no clear indication a sequel for Arkham VR will happen, or that there will ever be a payoff to the questions left unanswered once you remove your cowl for the final time.
The visual presentation in Batman: Arkham VR is incredible. Complete with an in-game setting for changing pixel density, Arkham is easily one of the most beautiful games available on the Oculus Rift.
Character models are extremely lifelike, and the developers put a lot of detail into environments and objects in the player’s view that really help cement the idea that you’re Batman and inside Gotham. NPCs magically keep eye contact with you as you move through areas and there’s an early scene in the experience that plays out a common event from the Batman mythos and seeing it from a VR perspective only added to the emotional impact.
As I mentioned previously, the presentation of Arkham VR should be a standard for studios to try and achieve for AAA VR games and that’s partly because of the incredible voice acting and sound design.
There’s some VR magic at play here using the touch controllers and sound that accurately simulate the sensation of flying in the Batwing or traveling down an elevator shaft to the Batcave.
At $20 I couldn’t justify this as a game as there’s little replayability and only an hour or so of content, but this is a must have title if you enjoy showing off VR to friends and family, they will be amazed.