Batman Begins PS2 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.0
Graphics 9.0
Sound 9.2
Value 8.5
Distributor: EA
Classification:
M15+
Review Date:
June 2005
Reviewer:
Andrew B

8.6

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Batman Begins

"Step into the shadows of Gotham City’s perilous criminal underworld as DC Comics’ legendary Dark Knight in the Batman Begins video game."

Movie based games are generally very poorly received by the gaming community because they often swap gameplay for storyline in order to keep with the movie franchise. Fortunately, Electronic Arts is one of those few companies that not only manages to successfully keep the spirit of the movie but also add "true" gameplay to the title as seen with their recent hit, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

In Batman Beings, gamers take the role of Bruce Wayne whose parents were murdered over 15 years ago that now fuels his motivation for justice. In Batman Begins, this passion takes darker overtones and Batman must constantly balance his internal rage with his sense of justice. The game starts off in the Himalayas, where you learn the dark arts of being a ninja from a mysterious sect that is run my by the madman, Ras al Ghul. Your mentor is a man named Ducard, voiced brilliantly in the game by Liam Neeson who adds an interesting twist to the game. As you reach the end of your training under Ducard and his odd band of ninjas, you're confronted with a moral dilemma that involves justice or cleansing. 

The gameplay of Batman begins features two predominant forms of gameplay that include stealth and combat. As with Splinter Cell, Batman must also use the shadows to his full advantage while the gamer uses the radar to see the mission objectives and also the enemies in the game. From time to time you'll also see a picture-in-picture screen pop up, which can show you nearby conversations between enemies or a security-camera view. Unfortunately the picture-in-picture screen causes some extremely arduous slowdown on the PlayStation that almost makes certain sections unplayable.

The fighting system of Batman Begins allows you to punch, kick and do a variety of  combination moves that is ideal for fending off multiple attackers. Although the combat element of the game is the most enjoyable aspect of the title, Batman must also use "Fear" to his advantage that allows you to scare unsuspecting criminals. Batman also has access to a variety of items that go hand-in-hand with the gameplay of the title, especially the batarang that can be used to cause "chaos" in the game.

Graphically, Batman is a visual treat on the PlayStation 2 that also contains a plethora of well defined gaming areas such as the Himalayas and Gotham City with its dark undertones. Probably the most impressive feature of the game are the character models that actually look like the actors themselves and when you see Bale or Neeson, you actually get the feeling that you are almost watching the Batman movie. All the characters move with a human like grace but unfortunately in certain areas where the background detail is high, the game does suffer from some horrible frame rate issues. I believe the framerate problem is only evident in the PlayStation 2 version with the XBox and GameCube not suffering this problem. Apart from the awesome graphics, Batman also contains actual footage from the movie that flows flawlessly with the ingame graphics engine.

The musical score in the game features a very dynamic soundtrack  that helps immerse the player into the Batman universe and although not as memorable as the original Batman movie, it does help for some great background ambience. The sound is probably the best aspect of the game, with fantastic voice acting from Bale as Bruce Wayne and Batman and from Michael Caine as Alfred. The Sound effects are also sharp and well rendered, between the thumps and thuds of hand-to-hand combat and the believable impact of explosions and gunfire

In conclusion, Batman Begins is a decent game that features some extremely playable gameplay and a beautiful graphics engine with an interesting storyline. The only downside to the game is that it suffers from framerate problems that will peeve the perfectionists  in the world. Apart from that, if you loved the movie, then you might want to check out this title. It's DYNAMITE!






 
 



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