Review Roundup: Batman: Arkham VR is a demo, but an awesome one worth the cost

It's worth the money!

Prior to Batman: Arkham VR review embargo having lifted a ton of gameplay videos of the game leaked, then got removed before anyone could get good glimpse of the game. Now, with the review embargo having lifted, we can finally hear what people are thinking of the incredibly short game.

Most reviews have a tough time calling Arkham VR a full-fledged game. Most of the reviews call refer to Arkham VR as a demo, but not something as light as a tech demo. It appears hard to define exactly what Arkham VR is, but that's not the main focus.

What Arkham VR is, doesn't really matter. What matters is that a majority of reviews call it great and worth $20 for Batman fans.

Batman: Arkham VR is a PlayStation VR launch title and will be release October 11.


The game is also dark, even by Arkham or general Batman standards. It's a head trip worth taking even if it feels like a cop out in some ways — a point I won't explore further as it would delve into spoiler territory. After your hour is done, the credits kind of just close out, and the Riddler taunts you with roughly another hour of clue-finding. That's all you're going to get for your 20 bucks.

If Rocksteady is prepping me for what's to come with Batman: Arkham VR, I'm sold already. A massive amount of time was spent on this project, and anyone who calls it a mere tech demo is doing it a disservice



The game is gorgeous, and seeing Batman’s world from his viewpoint is cool (I can't stress this enough). The game can be completed in one session, and offers little in terms of challenge, which is a bummer because you can see how these gameplay trappings could be used for enemy encounters or more elaborate sequences. The puzzles are fairly simple, but are interesting in design, taking players to the morgue, a rooftop, the sewers, and even a location that Rocksteady can’t seem to get enough of. Rocksteady does a nice job of changing up the gameplay designs in each of these areas, but again, you only have a few tasks to complete in each of them. There isn’t much meat on this gameplay bone. If you eat up this experience, you can jump right back in to New Game Plus to search for hidden Riddler trophies.

Yes, Batman: Arkham VR smacks of a proof-of-concept demo for VR, but even so, it’s a nice treat for Batman fans, and one of those experiences that you’ll want more of.



Being Batman in Arkham VR is a great way to more intimately experience Rocksteady's universe and to search for clues in this brief mystery. However, the world and characters around you are largely rigid and unresponsive to your actions, which leaves a lot on the table for a game about a character known as much for his brawn as he is for his brains.



Whether you’re feeling like a Batarang master as you throw them at targets in the firing range section – yes, of course there’s scores to beat – or appreciating tuning into the GCPD’s police scanner under the giant dinosaur of the Batcave, you’ll be happy to just spend hours in this universe you’ve watched at a distance for so long. Everything is here to be touched and pressed. There are phones to be lifted to ears, blood to test, drawers to open, puzzles to rebuild in physical space in mid air. It might be Batman’s world but this lets you live in it, and you’re never going to want to take that headset off. Welcome to the Knight.



Batman: Arkham VR is barely a game. Of all the launch titles for PlayStation VR, it's likely to be the least mechanically driven, but that doesn't mean it has no value. While playing it, I was totally enveloped in the world, and in those moments the shallow mechanics didn't matter to me. I appreciate that this is a very subjective emotional response based on my lifelong obsession with the character, but it's also a glimpse into one of the greatest promises of VR: Its ability to transport us into alien worlds and blur the lines between what is real and what isn't. To give us the opportunity to sideline our real selves and absolutely inhabit characters we've dreamed of being since childhood.