The Dark Knight Rises review (iOS / Universal)

July 23, 2012

“We flap our wings but we never leave the ground”

10 word description: Superhero action game inspired by the movie. Missions, upgrades, IAPs.

10 word review: Although there’s plenty to forgive, it’s still a fun game.

You will like this if you enjoy: Batman. Third person action games. Fighting games (there’s a lot of fighting). The grapple in Just Cause 2.

The good news: It’s a very good movie tie-in. Although much of the game is dark, the graphics are consistently pretty good. Sound is excellent, particularly the voice acting. Grappling and gliding around the city is convincingly done and always fun. The simplistic fighting is quite entertaining and doesn’t become frustrating.

The bad news: Graphics are at their best on Retina devices; on iPad 1st gen  it doesn’t look particularly fantastic. Camera angle is occasionally straight into a wall, or the ceiling, or Batman’s armpit. Fighting is limited to hammering one button until the ‘counter’ icon appears, then tapping that before returning to the main button. Note – keeping the fighting controls simple (very simple) is arguably a good thing. Enemies have no intelligence; they’re just there to be beaten up. There’s no real skill involved with grappling or gliding; landing on a target building is even done for you when you get close enough during some missions. There are lots of  IAPs, some with insanely high prices.Finally, if you play the game before you watch the film, expect to see some spoilers.

Arcadelife verdict: While this game won’t completely blow your mind, it’s easily good enough for me to recommend to anyone interested in playing a Batman TDKR game on their iPhone or iPad. Some of the dark interior locations are easier to navigate on the iPad’s larger screen, but that’s hardly a revelation. I like the grappling hook and the associated ability to reach the top of very high buildings; it immediately reminded me of playing Just Cause 2.

Junction box mini-games pop up occasionally – they’re pretty easy

Ultimately, I ended up forgiving the game for quite a lot but still enjoying it. Gameloft games are now completely out of control as far as IAPs are concerned, even ones like this that are priced well above tier one. Luckily, TDKR seems to be perfectly playable without any additional purchases, but I still feel entitled to be annoyed by the existence of all the IAPs. The game is well worth getting for Batman and action game fans alike; just don’t expect a perfectly flawless experience!

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8/10
Audio – 10/10
Controls – 8/10
Content – 8.5/10
Fun – 8.5/10
Final rating – 85/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.0
iTunes link

Gameloft / TDKR website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (iOS 5.1.1)
iPad (iOS 5.1.1)

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