Batman Arkham VR hands on

We might’ve missed checking out Batman Arkham VR during E3 2016 a few weeks back, but we certainly got the chance to experience it at a recent Sony Holiday Showcase event that was held in New York City. For anyone familiar with the series, a longtime fan favorite, this is the next evolutionary step that leaps straight into the VR world using Sony’s upcoming Playstation VR system. Although it was brief, the demo provides us with just a tease of what to expect with this new experience.

See also – Best Playstation VR games

Through the years, the Batman Arkham series delivered a solid package to gamers by providing them with the ultimate Batman games. Traditionally speaking, the action-adventure series was set in a third person view, where players controlled the Dark Knight through the sprawling world of Gotham. In Batman Arkham VR, things change up quite a bit because you’re literally put into the shoes (and cowl) of the Batman – and boy is it a tease!

VR experience

Jumping straight into the demo, the first thing we’re told before strapping on the headset and wielding the Playstation Move controllers is to stand within this area marked by a piece of blue tape on the floor. From there, we’re instantly thrown into the game’s first person view of Bruce Wayne inside his manor – where the Playstation Move controllers act as our disembodied hands. Press on the triggers on the controllers, they allow us to grasp or point at certain objects within our vicinity. From the picture frame of the family on top of the grand piano, to playing a tune on the piano, the controls are pretty reactive to what we’re interacting with in the environment.

After a certain point, Alfred comes in to talk to us – where we proceed to play that tune on the piano and enter the elevator going down into the batcave. Up until this point, we were feeling pretty stable with the VR experience, but the movement of the elevator going down in the VR space did make us feel a bit wobbly on our feet. It was brief thankfully, and we didn’t encounter it again. That’s a relief for sure, but now we’re curious about some of the gameplay’s mechanics, especially given this is a first-person perspective VR game.

Putting on the suit

Once we reached the bottom of the elevator, we’re literally suiting up to become the Batman. From the gloves, to the utility belt, and eventually the cowl, we’re required to reach out and put on each piece of gear. However, when we look down to inspect our body, our body and suit isn’t necessarily visualized, but rather, it’s only the belt and gloves that we see from our view. Yes, it’s a bit odd, but given that this is just merely a demo expected to tease us, it’s totally understandable.

BAVR_KeyArt_PortraitThe weapons

Teasing us even more, the game transitioned to getting acquainted with the Dark Knight’s arsenal. First up, the grappling hook, which obviously shoots out a grapple to latch onto something. In this demo, it was used to simply do just that – so who knows if and how it’ll be used to swing across vast distances in Gotham. Secondly, there’s the environmental scanner that simply scan objects. And finally, the Batarangs were arguably the coolest piece of weaponry we got the chance to check out.

Having an unlimited supply of them, of which were access via the front section of our utility belt, we’re able to throw them to hit targets. Needless to say, we had some fun by proceeding to fling them directly from our belt, as opposed to the overthrowing motion you’re probably supposed to do – so yeah, it looked like were flinging cards at a rapid rate on a poker table or something.

Final thoughts

The demo ended at this point, so it leaves us wondering how the game is going to proceed with the VR experience. Generally, we were isolated to a certain area during the demo, but given that the series is known for players to move around the dangerous streets of Gotham, it’ll be interesting to see how they figure out the mechanics. Who knows if melee actions are going to be done strictly using actual punching movements with the Move controllers, considering that the series is known for its heavy button smashing to perform fighting actions.

Ultimately, though, we’re left with just a tease. Gamers will undeniably adapt to this new change with the series, but we’re confident that the developer will invest the time in making a quality game that’ll live up to the series’ reputation and success.

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