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Oct. 5, 2001

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page


Batman: Vengeance

Ubi Soft

Ubi Soft



Is this another lame superhero game or have we turned a corner and can actually expect good games of men in tights?

Update: Nov. 1, 2001

Holy preview Batman! New Bat-screens are showing up! Quick! To the Batmobile!

Dark, mysterious, a shadow of the night. Who is this strange man known as Batman? This fall the mask will be uncovered, and Batman: Vengeance will be revealed!

Summoned by a call of despair, Batman rescues a young woman named Mary from the Joker, who is holding Mary's son for ransom. Of course, Batman attempts to rescue the boy, but too late does he realize that Mary was actually Harley Quinn in disguise. Of course, Joker's plan backfires, and in the ensuing scuffle, thrown from the Gotham City Bridge (howling with laughter).

This may sound like the plot for the entire game, but this merely serves as the warm up to the whole story of the game. After the Joker's death, crime spreads throughout Gotham. Connections develop between crimes that not even the criminals are aware of, and Batman must uncover the mystery hidden in the shadows, and ultimately, bring these villains to justice.

The game takes place in (you guessed it) Gotham City; featuring 5 game episodes set over 19 different Maps. The game is set up to play out much like the animated series, with various episodes providing various pieces of the puzzle. You (as Batman) will be sneaking, jumping, gliding, and battling throughout the game trying to fit those pieces together. Of course, you won't be alone. You'll meet a wide cast of characters, including: Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Batgirl, and of course, Commissioner Gordon

The game itself has a gothic atmosphere, with neoclassical architecture, scorched Gotham skies, real time shadows, all combined with mature voice acting and a twisted plot. Batman: Vengeance features vocal talent taken straight from the show, including Mark Hammil's Joker, Kevin Conroy's Batman, and Tara Strong's Batgirl. People who watch the show will undoubtedly recognize the game's voices, as well as the visuals.

Even with the large presentation to the story, the game shows to have a good, solid gameplay. Batman: Vengeance includes elements of puzzles, exploration, bosses, hand-to-hand and weapon based combat. You even have the opportunity to drive some of Batman's vehicles, including the batmobile and the batplane. The gameplay does, however, take place mostly on the rooftops of Gotham, it's alleyways, and buildings. Batman himself can glide across the level with his cape, move around covertly, and use his belt full of gadgets. When encountering a battle, your camera shifts to a 2D plane like in fighting games. You can even learn combos and gain power-ups for your character.

With the entire range of complex moves Batman pulls off, animations remain smooth. Batman himself has over 500 animations, and every character's face in the game is individually animated and displays facial emotion. The cape has its own morph targets, and it can react to wind effects and any of the other forces that Batman encounters. The development team has taken care to not blunder their way through the bat-challenge, and seem to offer up what is certainly looking like a full scale Batman experience.

In the works for 2 years, it seems that development on Batman: Vengeance is finally coming to a close. The team is obviously concerned with getting the feel of Gotham City right in the game, with visuals, musical scores, voice acting, animations, and approximately 10-12 hours of gameplay. Ubi Soft hopes to follow the precedent set forth by Spiderman by creating a mature superhero videogame. With all these elements applied, Batman: Vengeance may prove to be up to the challenge.

Scott "VeX" Kuss
Goats are cool.

Batman: Vengeance Screenshots

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