One of the major announcement during the recent Sony PlayStation E3 2016 Press Briefing was the brand new Batman: Arkham VR which is currently being developed by the same people behind the critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham series, Rocksteady Studios. To be available exclusively on PlayStation VR later this October, I was given the opportunity to see how Rocksteady attempts to put gamers in the middle of the action from the eyes of The Dark Knight himself.
Arkham VR’s E3 2016 demo is generally divided into two sections. The first scenario took place in the Wayne Manor and starts with you being approached by Batman’s loyal butler, Alfred. You will then receive a key which would unlock a nearby piano that eventually allows you to activate the elevator to Batcave.
Once inside the cave, you will then be suited up and equipped with gears for the utility belt which include grappling hook, forensic scanner, and Batarang. To use them, you need to grab them first by using the PlayStation Move controller that you would have in your hands. After being geared up, the scenario then continues with you being able to test all three items on your utility belt.
Once that done, you would then descend deeper into the Batcave which provides yet another view into The Dark Knight’s lair. That’s pretty much how the first scenarios within Arkham VR goes which is rather simple but provide a good look into how Rocksteady still maintain the feel and design of its Arkham universe in the upcoming game.
The second scenario in Akrham VR demo put you into detective mode which is not surprising since this particular section is actually called World’s Greatest Detective. However, the case involves the murder of Nightwing which is also known to Batman fans as Dick Grayson or the first Robin.
Using the forensic scanner that is available on the utility belt, you will then have to analyst several main injuries that led to Nightwing’s death in the game. This involves going through a reconstructed playback of the crime with the Move controller on your left hand act as the playback controller and once you managed to pinpoint the very moment that Nightwing received his respective injuries (which were pretty brutal, I must say), you then pause the scene and activate the forensic scanner.
Throughout the process, you can actually walk around to see the reconstructed playback from any angle which made the experience rather immersive. Once that done, you will then discover that someone might have witness the murder which turns out to be someone from Penguin’s camp as revealed by forensic scanner in your utility belt.
After that, you would then jet off from the scene using the grappling hook which then signifies the end of the scenario. In general, I feel that this particular scenario is much more interactive compared to the Wayne Manor/Batcave setup but as a whole though, the Arkham VR E3 2016’s demo felt more like a tech demo to me rather than a representation of the actual game.
Nevertheless, it is still an interesting early look at the game which I predict could be one of the major titles that will help bring PlayStation VR into gamers’ hands. So, expect to hear more from Rocksteady as we get closer to the release of both Batman: Arkham VR and PlayStation VR this October.
Note: I was not allowed to take any image of the gameplay on the screen during my time with the demo at E3 2016. Hence, the lack of actual game screenshots in this hands on.