Mention a Batman videogame today and people will gleefully reminisce about stalking the streets of Arkham City, masterfully kicking the crap out of crime. But there was a time before Rocksteady gave us the game we deserve, and we were left with some of the worst games ever made.
Batman – 1986
The Dark Knight’s debut title and uh, well, just look at him. Here our Curvy Crusader navigates numerous Isometric rooms to repair a hoovercraft and rescue Robin who also looks as if he’s been force-fed by the Joker.
Ocean let down fans everywhere but they can only go up from here, right?
Batman: The Caped Crusader – 1988
WRONG. In the past two years Batman has shed the skin and Robin has been kidnapped by the Joker again! AND The Penguin is about to take over the world with an army of armed goons, oh sorry, that would make too much sense, an army of Robot Penguins.
Our only hope apparently is an incredibly tan Batman.
Batman Forever – 1995
“Hey, you know the movie that completely crippled Batman as a tolerable franchise? Let’s make a game about it! WITH FULL MOTION VIDEO! Because that’s were the future is headed, forget sprites, you want to fight a digitized Jim Carrey!” – A studio executive says to a bucket with a face drawn on it.
Which is clearly the only demographic for this hot street trash.
Batman and Robin – 1998
Sssssshhh! Hear that? It’s the sound of Batman fans everywhere grinding their teeth. Its been described as a game where the controls are like a shopping cart, I’d agree, except the cart is filled with the corpses of everything you love. This game doesn’t even have the bucket demographic.
This was one of my first games, it’s a miracle that I don’t hate games, or myself for that matter. Imagine everything terrible about the PS1 all merged into one game, look no further, but only look.
Batman Begins – 2005
A movie tie-in game where, like in Splinter Cell, fear is your weapon. Although something went wrong down the line and the fear element was completely overdone, the game was so badly put together, it strikes fear into the hearts of gamers everywhere when it is brought up. Just think, if it had sold a few more copies we would have had a Dark Knight tie in while the Arkham franchise would lie in a pool of blood in crime alley…
This article is a cautionary tale for all those whining about how Arkham Origins was a “complete sidestep in the franchise” or for the less eloquent “a total piece of shit”. You ain’t seen what I’ve seen.