"Could've been a contender"

User Rating: 3.5 | Batman Begins XBOX
This game looked like it was going to be great when the preview articles came out. When I first played Splinter Cell I thought that a great Batman game could be made with the same engine with some tweaking for better h-t-h combat. This looked like that game with the great addition of the fear element. It is NOT that game. It might've been, the basic ideas where there early in developement. The idea to use fear and intimidation was a great concept. I can hear the meeting that ruined it; "Batman Begins is going to be a HUGE movie. We need a game that anyone can play, I want people that have NEVER played a videogame to be able to pick this up and play it through. I need controls that a monkey can master. Make sure that there aren't so many options that a player doesn't get lost in fact I need environments that are linear so that noone gets confused about what to do next." Everything is linear, you can only use Batman's weapons in specific pre-determined places. You can only fight in specific places, you can only climb a box if you HAVE to do it to get to the next area, it will also be the ONLY way to get to the next area. The fear factor is just stupid. Instead of being able to take out lights with a batarang or spook the villians with a shadow you only go to a specific spot, usually one in each area and press one button. Then you watch a short cut-scene. Wow, how interactive! The worst thing is how this COULD have been a great game if not for the linear paths and SO simplified controls. The game is so basic that not only do you get messages telling you which button to press to inititate a manuever during the tutorial but you get the SAME messages throughout the ENTIRE game. It tells you what to do every step of the way, press X here, press Y there and watch the cut-scene. Even the combat moves are just tiny cut-scenes. The voice cast from the movie is all there and the game sounds great. The graphics are even good. It as if the game was made only to present on web sites and magazine articles. It all looks great until you actually play it. If you've never played a videogame or if you are a monkey then this might be a good game for you. If you have endured the string of lousy Batman games and hope that this time they "got it" then go see the movie. The filmakers finally "got it", the gamemakers most definately did NOT.