LOS ANGELES — Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Gotham, Warner Bros. Entertainment and RockSteady Games roll out Batman Arkham VR. Slated as a launch title for the upcoming PlayStation VR, gamers can don the cowl and cape and live out their fantasies of being a dark crusader for vengeance without the hassle of getting hurt or breaking the law.
As I learned during my demo at the publisher's booth, Arkham VR isn't about cracking heads and leaving criminals in an unconscious heap like previous titles. Instead, you'll be using the bat's skills as the world's greatest detective to solve what may be one of the caped crusader's most harrowing cases.
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The demo begins in Wayne Manor with Alfred admonishing Bruce Wayne for his late-night activities. I happen to glance down at my hands and notice that they're bloody and bruised from dishing out justice-flavored beatings the during the night. From there, the faithful butler informs me that he has an urgent matter to discuss with me downstairs. Then he hands me a small key. Using the key to unlock the grand piano in front of me, I play a few notes on the instrument to reveal an elevator that lowers me into the Batcave.
Since it's a long way down, I take the time to admire the 360-degree view of Batman's cavernous lair. The prerequisite bats line the cave, waiting to take to the night sky. A quick glance behind me reveals the giant penny and mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex, staples of Batman's trophy collection. Looking downward, reveals the strip of road the Batmobile rides upon.
Once I've reached the destination, it's time to suit up. The Batcomputer walks me through the setup, allowing me to test out the Dark Knight's grappling hook, Batarangs and forensic scanner. After attaining my gear, I'm ready to get down to business and solve the case that has Alfred so worried — a close ally of the Bat is missing and it's up to me to find them.
I won't reveal the rest of the mission, but I will say that fans of the series might get a major case of the sads. Not because the game is bad mind you, it's fun and really makes you feel like you're Batman. But a certain course of events will leave you feeling shocked. What I will say is that although I clearly heard his voice, I didn't see hide nor hair of the Joker, which leads me to think that there's plenty more to come from this unexpected VR series and I can't wait to play.