Batman Arkham VR Review: The hero your lounge room deserves

Adam Mathew 18 October 2016

Batman_Arkham_VR_Taking_the_Suit

Bat's entertainment.

With a be-gauntleted virtual hand, I reach out, snatch up the Dark Knight's cowl, and put it on. The batcomputer blinks into life, offers me a perfect 1:1 mirror image of myself as The Dark Knight, and says it's “calibrating”. Never knew Bruce Wayne had such a dad-joke sense of humour.

Getting into the spirit of that, I spend the next hour throwing household items and bat gadgets alike at Alfred the butler. Then I solve serious crimes with a level of oafishness not seen since The Pink Panther's Inspector Clouseau.

It's the most fun I've had in a video game in years.



Swing into Batman: Arkham VR with the ludicrously high hopes of somebody wanting Batman: Arkham Knight 2, and you can expect to be disappointed. What you've grappled onto is only really a companion piece to Rocksteady's Dark Knight franchise; a tech demo that shows what a true AAA studio can achieve with Sony's wonderful new VR toy. It's also pure, unadulterated wish-fulfilment.

After a brief stint as Bruce Wayne, the action becomes centred upon you: the hero your lounge room deserves. You're effectively rooted to the spot with only the objects / levers / dials available in front of you to interact with, or you can look down and dip into your utility belt (there's a crime scene scanner, an endless supply of batarangs, and a grapple gun). The latter is used in conjunction with hotspots around the environment to teleport you to new areas, and in some instances you can tap the Move button to change crime scene perspectives to better get your snoop on.

Batman_Arkham_VR_Crime_Scene

Sounds kinda boring when you boil it down to these essentials, but the reality is Rocksteady has created a cool as hell point 'n' click adventure that's oozing with atmosphere and their typical high production values. This is, without a doubt, the best game of the launch titles currently available (short of PlayStation VR Worlds) to win over VR-less mates and loved ones. It mesmerises people in seconds.

Unfortunately, we can't spoil too much more of what you'll be doing in it, because... well, the runtime is shorter than The Penguin. Suffice to say there's only a splash of action here and there as this is primarily a cerebral challenge. That said, even the world's crappiest detective could solve Batman: Arkham VR in roughly an hour. One could feasibly stretch this out by a half an hour if they loved poring over intel and 3D models, players can also go sniffing around for trophies and a bunch of Riddler collectible puzzles. Personally, we discovered a timed batarang target challenge, and lost a lot of time playing swap-the-PSVR score war with mates. The only replayability outside of this: hassling Alfred with the type of actions that'd result in Mr Wayne replacing his batsuit for a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Batman_Arkham_VR_Alfred

Aside from the disappointing absence of driving and/or flying mini-games, Batman: Arkham VR ticks off all of the coolest PSVR motions and moments. Full first-person movement has been shunned in favour of teleporting about the place (gentle fade-to-black moments which shouldn't affect nausea sufferers). Having two bat-gloved hands to rummage through a world bristling with interactive doodads makes for a lot of fun, too. Flipping switches and messing about with Bats' holographic iPads is a blast, as is piecing together 3D Riddler puzzles back into their original shapes.



Combat-wise, things aren't nearly as 1:1 and impressive. Thrown batarangs are heavily guided to your targets, rather than any real hand-eye prowess on your behalf. Twipping your grapple line at things also comes with a lot of programmer-provided aim assistance.

The absolute best moments are the emergent fun you make for yourself, like trying to cram the wrong objects in a delicate and expensive centrifuge, or bashing out tunes on Bruce Wayne's grand piano with the batphone receiver. All told, Batman: Arkham VR provides solid evidence that the “PSVR + double Move controller” paradigm is a solid and accurate partnership.


PSVR is currently available at $549.95


bats-review (1)

Latest gaming deals on finder

$379.05: Xbox One + Free Game
$379.05: Xbox One + Free Game

Score an Xbox One and your choice of one free game for $379.05.

More info...
20% off PureVPN
20% off PureVPN

Take 20% off your first year of PureVPN and get your second year free.

More info...
Norton Security Premium 5 Devices $89.99
Norton Security Premium 5 Devices $89.99

Protect your laptop, PC & mobile from viruses with Norton for $89.99.

More info...
Compare iPhone plans
Compare iPhone plans

Compare iPhone plans on Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin and more.

More info...

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback