Review by BClarke

Reviewed: 12/30/01 | Updated: 12/30/01

An okay game with great artwork but awkward control.

Pros: Great graphics in the style of the TV cartoon, good sound.
Cons: Awkward control input, must restart a level from beginning when 'killed off'.

Batman Vengeance is less a video game and more an interactive 'episode' of the recent Batman TV cartoon series. Ubisoft, the game developers, have gone to a lot of trouble to make a game that seamlessly merges full motion video 'cut scenes' with interactive game play.

You control the character of Batman as he tries to solve a mystery involving his old enemy, the Joker. You use a variety of items from your Bat utility belt, such as grappling hook and batarangs, to climb buildings, knock out bad guys, etc.

The game's graphics are fantastic, with smooth animation and an artwork style that is nearly identical with the television series. The flow between game and cut scenes is very fluid and smooth. The music and sound effects are integrated and provide great atmosphere, helping to almost create an illusion of being immersed in an episode of the cartoon.

However, there are some problems with Batman: Vengeance. The control for manoeuvring Batman and his tools seems awkward. You often have to repeatedly manoeuvre around obstacles to see your objectives (targets being aimed at, etc.) I also found that the switch to first person view to aim the grappling hook to be awkward.

Perhaps the biggest annoyance is that when you 'die off' even once in a level (for example, if you mess up a leap from one building to another) you must start at the very beginning of that level and repeat all the tasks you have already done. Considering that it can take several minutes to work through some levels, this can be extremely frustrating. This is probably my biggest complaint with the game - I often would work my way through a level, leaping between buildings, punching out bad guys, scaling walls, etc. only to screw up near the end and then have to start all over again. Arrgh!

Conclusion: I think Batman: Vengeance is a merely average ''story line adventure'' game with superb, polished graphics. Unless you're a big fan of the cartoon, this is probably more of a weekend rental than a 'must buy'. It's worth the cost of a rental or two, but I don't think
I'd recommend spending $50 on this game unless you are a huge fan of Batman. Ultimately Batman: Vengeance is merely an okay game with great artwork but awkward control. I rate it a 7 out of 10.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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