Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Discord button  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | PC | PS4 | PS5 | SWITCH | VITA | XB1 | XSX | All

Batman: Vengeance (PlayStation 2) artwork

Batman: Vengeance (PlayStation 2) review

"Thatís how Batman operates: Intelligence. Youíre required to think, conserve and take account of what youíre given to work with, what you need to survive against Gothamís criminal element. "

He suits up.

Cape. Cowl. Body-armor, strong enough to stop speeding bullets. Belt, strapped with devices for every situation. Radio transmissions in his ear, the hum and whine of a Gotham, a city in desperate need of the selfless service he provides.

I made a promise on the grave of my parents to rid this city of the evil that took their lives. By day, I am Bruce Wayne, billionaire philanthropist. At night, criminals, a superstitious and cowardly lot, call meÖ

I like Batman for his mythos. Superman instills so much honor that some villains surrender at the mere sight of him. Spider-Man makes with the jokes and gets a laugh. But Batmanís the only superhero who actually leaves me in awe. He has no powers, but itís hard to tell that sometimes. He appears of the darkness. Stalks his enemies. Circles. You see a shadow in the corner, you turn to lookÖnothing there. You turn back around and heís staring you in the face, eye-to-white, blank eye. He can fight, yes, one of the best, if not the best martial artist in the world. But he does his best work in the shadows. Sneaking. Watching. Observing. Learning. Then making his move.

Batman Vengeance captures that feel. Thatís why it works.

Late night. Gotham Industrial has been frozen over; ice covers the insides and outsides, courtesy of Mr. Freeze. You could go in with fists swinging and batarangs flying, smack around his ice-pistol packing snow bunny goons with relative ease. Maybe take a few hits. Take them out with any of the devastating and stylish combos available. A straight brawl.

But that wouldnít be prudent, that wouldnít be wise, that wouldnít be Batman. What you need to do is distract them, lead them away from each other, descend from above and strike from behind, disarming them, cuffing them so they donít get back up, saving your energy so that when you finally do make it to Mr. Freeze, when you finish navigating through the frozen labyrinth and reach the heart of the complex, you fight him with full-health. Youíll need every drop of it.

Heís strong, strong enough to break you with a mere swat. Punches have no effect. Batarangs bounce off. He brings out his Freeze Ray the moment you gain some distance, holding you still long enough for a crushing blow. Fighting him seems to be a long proposition, until you notice the glass tubes dangling from the ceiling and take advantage of his position, sending each one crashing down on Mr. Freeze as he passes underneath, wearing him down until he collapses. Beaten, broken, frozen in his own suit by his own weapon.

Thatís how Batman operates: Intelligence. Youíre required to think, conserve and take account of what youíre given to work with, what you need to survive against Gothamís criminal element. Poison Ivyís lair abounds with flora, lethal vines cover every passageway, and thereís no telling when one of them might reach out and crush you in its leathery grip. The Jokerís old hideout is a tribute to the Clown Princeís macabre sense of humor; random, pointless passageways, rooms with nothing but machine gun toting Jack-in-the-Boxes, killing you with a smile. The darkness, the sinister overtones, the feeling every new room and every corner turned could leap to a new fightÖitís almost like playing an episode. It immerses you.

But this immersion doesnít stay; it leaves the moment you take the streets in the Batmobile or take the skies in the Batjet. The vehicle segments just lag.

Theyíre slow. It feels like youíre driving at 45 MPH, and when your car is equipped with a flaming jet engine, thatís just pathetic. Itís no better in the sky; the shooting segments are set on a rail, and itís a sluggish rail at that.

Theyíre tedious. Despite being made from the finest stuff that a billionaire philanthropistís money can buy, a few scraps and youíre going down. Get too much distance from the target, and you lose, no chance for catching up. Small margin for error.

On top of it all, theyíre nowhere near as good as they should be. Some of Batmanís greatest moments have been behind the wheel, blazing through the streets, leaving a trail of property damage in his wake. The vehicle bits should be the gameís highlight, not itís flaw.

And thatís why Iím glad they donít last that long. Once these rough patches are out of the way, you can get back to taking in Batman Vengeanceís faithful experience, watch as Batman solves a mystery worthy of the Worldís Greatest Detective, watch as the Joker and Poison Ivy and Alfred and Batgirl and Harley Quinn and all the key players give the feel of a real episode, interact with a setting that stays true to its source.

It doesnít ask that you know everything about Batman; even if youíre mildly familiar, youíll know all you need to know. Good for casual fans.

It makes a world that looks like itís supposed; if youíre deep into the mythos, itíll be like walking through the cartoon. Good for the longtime Batfan.

Batman Vengeance tries to draw two audiences and succeeds. Thereís not much else you could ask.

lasthero's avatar
Staff review by Zack Little (September 24, 2006)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by Zack Little [+]
Catwoman (Xbox) artwork
Catwoman (Xbox)

99.999% of the people reading this review have either seen or heard about the horrendous Catwoman movie, and are coming into this review expecting it to be bashed. Though I hope the great majority of people enjoy the read, know that I'm not aiming it at them. No, this is for the .001, the one soul on the planet ...
Mass Effect (Xbox 360) artwork
Mass Effect (Xbox 360)

The moment that made me realize Mass Effect was a great game came about thirty minutes in.
Spider-Man 3 (Xbox 360) artwork
Spider-Man 3 (Xbox 360)

Gang wars take over the streets. An alien symbiote pops out of nowhere and gives him a new suit with incredible strength - but makes him a complete asshole. Kraven the Hunter, Calypso, the Lizard, the Rhino, the Scorpion, the Kingpin, the Sandman, the New Goblin, Venom - New York City is a battleground, and thereís onl...


If you enjoyed this Batman: Vengeance review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

User Help | Contact | Ethics | Sponsor Guide | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2021 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Batman: Vengeance is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Batman: Vengeance, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.