Batman Begins swoops into stores

EA ships the new stealth actioner--inspired by the superhero blockbuster--for the GBA, PS2, Xbox, and GameCube.

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Today, the would-be summer blockbuster Batman Begins debuts on more than 3,400 screens nationwide in the wake of mostly positive reviews. At the same time, Electronic Arts has shipped the console game inspired by the film, which is rated T for Teen and costs $39.99, for the Xbox, GameCube, and PlayStation 2. An E-for-Everyone-rated Game Boy Advance version is also available for $29.99, and an unrated and undated PSP edition is in development.

Developed by Eurocom Entertainment Software (Predator: Concrete Jungle) and copublished by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (The Matrix Online), Batman Begins follows the titular superhero as he fights lawlessness in the blighted metropolis of Gotham City. The game features the voices and likenesses of the film's lead actors, including Christian Bale (Swing Kids) as Batman, Michael Caine (Jaws: The Revenge) as Alfred Pennyworth, Liam Neeson (Krull) as Ducard, Katie Holmes (Muppets From Space) as Rachel Dawes, Cillian Murphy (Disco Pigs) as Dr. Jonathan Crane, Tom Wilkinson (Rush Hour) as Carmine Falcone, and the always-impeccable Morgan Freeman (The Electric Company's Easy Reader) as gadget-master Lucius Fox.

Besides a repertoire of hand-to-hand combat moves, Batman Begins gives players several other options to nab criminals. As one would expect, Batman's utility belt contains various gadgets, including a minicomputer for hacking into computer systems. The game also sports a stealth mode that lets the Caped Crusader sneak up on opponents to deliver Splinter Cell-esque stealth kills. Batman can also strike panic into the hearts of his enemies with a new fear mechanic, making them easier to defeat.

The full review of Batman Begins will be up soon. In the meantime, however, peruse GameSpot's previous coverage.

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