Veterans of Gameloft’s Splinter Cell series will find a lot to like in Batman Begins. That’s because within the first few minutes of playing Batman Begins, you’ll soon realize that this Batman game is a combination of platform action and stealth. It’s never a bad thing to emulate the success of another franchise and Batman is able to pull off a few moves that Sam Fisher could never dream of doing.
Unlike Joel Schumacher Batman movies, Batman Begins on wireless paints a portrait of a kinder gentler Batman. This Batman does not raise fiery mayhem nor does he (interestingly enough) really kill anyone in the game. Batman’s basic melee attack disables enemies. Afterwards, you have the option to crouch and press the 8 key to tie them up. This becomes mandatory as it secures areas you’ve cleared in case you need to backtrack.
Luckily, the game is well designed. Although there are only a handful of stages, the game is structured so that there aren’t really any objectives or layouts where you’ll go “Huh?” Generally, if you make your way towards the end of the level, you’re bound to come across all the objectives you need to accomplish. In fact some levels only consist of making it to the end.
That said Batman Begins throws in a few features unique to the comic book franchise. In addition to the usual (flash) grenades, you also have the ability to use a grappling hook to get to ledges that you can’t normally reach. Again, good design comes into play. Your grappling hook button will flash when you enter a place where you need to use it. This is a great idea, and minimized any of the “What do I have to do now?” type questions that normally accompany platform titles.
The other unique tool that Batman has at his disposal is his trusty cape. This lets him glide from side of the level to another. If you position yourself right, you can also literally drop and disable enemies by landing on top of them just like in the movies.
It’s unfortunate that you won’t get to use these features too much because the primary shortcoming in Batman Begins is its length. You can probably finish the game in one or two short sittings. Sound effects and music are almost non-existent. And while the graphics are good, they aren’t going to garner any particular attention. I have to add, despite its lack of complexity in the audio-visual side, the game slowed down considerably in certain areas on my phone; caveat emptor if you have an older phone and wish to play the game.
Seeing as how the Batmobile played such a big role in promoting the movie, I was surprised to see its relative insignificance in the movie, and even more so in the games. This title will appeal most to fans of the Splinter Cell franchise. It may not have all the techno wizardry of Sam Fisher, but Batman has some unique tricks up his sleeve that is worth checking out.