What's it like to be Batman? That's what Rocksteady Studios' want players to find out for themselves in the latest addition to their massively successful "Batman: Arkham" series, Batman: Arkham VR. To prove just how immersive the experience is, the studio has released a video of the title's first 12 minutes of gameplay to give gamers the best glimpse yet of what to expect from Batman's VR adventure.
As with most games, the opening of "Batman VR" is all about atmosphere and orienting the player – guiding them into the narrative and showing them how to interact with the in-game environment. There is a brief recap of Bruce recalling his parents murder before the action heads to the Batcave, where you suit up and start learning how to use all the Bat-equipment. Players then learn that Robin has gone missing and Nightwing cannot be contacted. The footage ends with Batman about to head out to find his friends.
Judging from what we see in the video, the controls seem a bit clunky, especially when compared to Rocksteady's previous non-VR "Batman: Arkham" titles – the over-reliance on the grappling hook to get around the Batcave is particularly striking.
The video also shows a fair bit of fumbling with objects, which is to be expected of players learning a new control system, but it does stretch believability a bit that Batman can survive on the mean streets of Gotham when he is so clumsy at home.
What the video can't really capture is the sense of wonder and total immersion that is at the core of the VR experience; for that we will have to wait until the game, and the PlayStation VR headset, are finally released.
Both “Batman: Arkham VR” and PlayStation VR are scheduled for release in October 2016.