Feeling like the Caped Crusader

Most of the gameplay in Batman Arkham VR will be focused on the Caped Crusader's detective skills, and will be more cerebral than combative.
Most of the gameplay in Batman Arkham VR will be focused on the Caped Crusader's detective skills, and will be more cerebral than combative.PHOTO: SONY INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT

Batman Arkham VR is one of the most hotly anticipated PlayStation VR titles, and it will be available on Oct 13 with the launch of the PS VR headset.

It was created by Rocksteady Studios, the same folks behind the well received Arkham trilogy. It has the same gritty, dark aesthetic as the studio's previous titles, and without spoiling anything - a very dark story.

Batman's task as the world's greatest detective is to unravel this mystery, by using a special scanner to pick up clues at the crime scene.

The demo that I tried started me off in Wayne Manor, with butler Alfred handing me a key to the Batcave. First, I put on the Batsuit piece-by-piece, putting my "arms" into gloves and donning the pointy-eared cowl.

Slowly getting into the Batsuit went a long way into making me feel like the Dark Knight, and when I eventually stood in front of a mirror fully suited up, I felt a fizz of delight at one of my childhood dreams coming true.

Descending into the Batcave felt even better, as my ears filled with the sound of roaring water, and I hurled a Batarang at the T. Rex sculpture to my left.

However, while stepping into Batman's shoes is undoubtedly a thrill, players will not be able to zip around Gotham or drive the Batmobile like in previous games.

Due to VR's restrictions - it can be difficult to move around a lot without getting nauseated - the gameplay will be mainly focused on Batman's detective skills, and will be more cerebral than combative.

According to Mr Dax Ginn, the brand marketing producer at Rocksteady Studios, the game contains about 60min of core narrative, and 90min of additional content.

While that may be a lot shorter than a usual Arkham game, which can run for more than 10hr, Batman Arkham VR is probably the closest that anyone will ever get to feeling like the Caped Crusader.

Lisabel Ting

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2016, with the headline 'Feeling like the Caped Crusader'. Print Edition | Subscribe