Batman Begins

This is the Xbox box art for Batman Begins.

Batman Begins is a game released in 2005 to coincide with the movie of the same name, and it adheres to the plot very closely. This game does not involve the Joker, but rather involves Ra's Al Ghul who, in this context, trained Batman in the ways of stealth and the shadows. Batman was under the impression that his mentor had died in the Himalayas, but he then returns to seek revenge on Bruce and Gotham City as a whole.

Sources actually describe this game as being similar to the gameplay in the Splinter Cell series, in that it is very stealth-intensive and requires much manipulation of the environment. I really am not usually into that kind of game, but this one I really enjoyed, mainly because it had Batman in it, despite the fact that he was represented rather poorly.

In fact, that's really the biggest problem I have with this game. It's between the average representation of Batman, and the God awful representation in The Dark Knight. Some of you may think this is ridiculous, and then feel that everything you know is a lie, but Batman is not all about terror and intimidation. The whole idea of Batman is that he is resourceful, intelligent, and an all-around dynamo when it comes to fighting crime. This title, as well as all movies and things after it, represent Batman as being a cold, calculating, and terrifying figure. However, that is not what he is in reality, and that kind of upsets me.

The real question remains, however, does the representation of the characters affect the gameplay? No, it doesn't. Bear in mind that this game can get really creepy and dark at times, given that newer Batman titles are going for exactly that. However, this game is a real deviation from the norm in that it focuses not on smacking down enemies as much as it does manipulating the environment carefully to strike fear into enemies and then bring them down. Again, this is not really a Batman-type thing, but it does make for interesting gameplay. Not only that, but the puzzles are also interesting. Often times you'd have to figure out how to move on in an area, and it would require a lot of problem-solving skills at times, but not so much that you'd get very stuck.

This isn't even to say that there's no combat in the game, because there is. If you have few enough opponents, you can fight it out kung-fu style, which is just so awesome.

There's another big point for this game: it is faithful to the movie almost completely. Not only does it stick to the movie plot up until the very end, but it is also voice acted with the exact same people who were in the movies. I like this touch a lot, because it means that the makers of this game were careful to bring the same experience from the movie into the game, which shows a good sense of fan service.

Now for the final verdict. This game is fantastic for some people and terrible for others. Those people who are fans of the classic Batman shows or cartoons like Batman: The Brave and the Bold will more than likely not enjoy this game nearly as much, because he is represented in a completely different way that not even I enjoy very much. However, some people do enjoy Splinter Cell and other stealth games, and many people also enjoy freaking out unsuspecting enemies like the Shadow and then taking them down hardcore.

Thusly, if you're one of those people who enjoys stealth-and-fear gameplay like that, absolutely buy this game, because you will love it like nothing else. On the other hand, if you're someone who's a fan of the previously mentioned Batman shows, you'll most likely be unimpressed by this game.