Batman: Dark Tomorrow Review

Nebojsa Radakovic
Batman: Dark Tomorrow Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 1

Publisher

  • Kemco

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • GameCube

rating

Unholy, Batman!

Superman might

be the burliest alien around, but when it comes to superheroes who hail from Earth,

you won’t find ’em much tougher than Batman.

The guy just won’t die, despite having been maimed, crippled and even killed a

few times. I think he kicked ass with a broken

back
for about 12 issues.

His digital counterpart has been equally hard to destroy, despite the efforts

of scores of lousy Batman games. But time and again, the virtual bat-stard keeps

popping up with the promise of (at last) a great game to match the great character.

Well, get used to broken promises. The latest one comes from Kemco in the

form of Batman: Dark Tomorrow, a pretty serious undertaking with roots

solidly planted in the classic comic book figure (as opposed to the recent Batman:

Vengeance
, which was based on the contemporary cartoon). But despite what

seems like a ton of effort, this stinker is nothing less than a complete bat-astrophe.

Is

that any surprise? Aside from the marginally decent Vengeance, no Batman

game has done justice to the anti-hero. Just look at this

garbage
. Or this waste

of space
. It’s almost trendy to make a crappy Batman game, and Dark Tomorrow

is no exception.

The plot is actually based on an original story by a real Batman writer and

has something to do with a madman trying to take over the world while gangs

are fighting all over Gotham City. Plus, something has gone screwy over at Arkham

Asylum
, where pretty much all of Batman’s enemies are cooped up. It’s all

tied together, but it’s not really important because the game has so many other

problems that only the most dedicated Bat-phile will play it long enough to

soak up the story.

The gameplay in Batman: Dark Tomorrow lies somewhere between action

and adventure, but no matter which genre you dump it in, you’ll find it almost

unplayable thanks to both the worst camera and control in the history of video

gaming.

POW!

The camera is placed in fixed positions ala Resident Evil, and

as you move through the world it will suddenly snap to a new shot. This happens

almost randomly, presumably to give the game a cinematic feel, though all it

usually does is totally ruin your ability to control Batman.

Here’s the deal: you’re pushing Up to run ‘up’ away from the screen, then

the camera jolts to a new perspective, perhaps a 3/4 view from the left, at

which point you’re suddenly moving to the left even though you are clearly holding

Up on the stick. You have to stop moving completely so that the game can figure

out that Up should mean up, not left, at which point pressing Up now sends you

up. Are you with me so far?

So, let’s say you then press Left to head to the left (which you were previously doing by pressing Up, remember?) and exit the screen. The camera now spasms its way to yet another angle, perhaps now to a classic third-person behind view. You’re pressing Left but you are now moving Up. So once again, you stop moving entirely, let the game recognize the fault, and then it settles down again.

What this all means is that you’re constantly going the wrong way and bouncing

back and forth between screens. Confused? Just try playing it. Or better yet,

don’t play it and just take my word for it. It’s

the most aggravating thing ever.

Wait, I take that back. The most aggravating thing ever is combat in Batman:

Dark Tomorrow
.

POW!

BIFF!


You’ve got a nice complement of bat gadgets, including Batarangs

and smoke bombs to match your fists and kicks. But none of it really matters,

because Batman is not allowed to knock anyone out. Instead, he relies on an

endless supply of Batcuffs

to subdue criminals…over and over and over again. If you don’t cuff ’em, they’ll

just keep getting up to shoot you some more, even if you’ve smacked them with

three Batarangs and 25 kicks and punches. But you won’t need to do that, because

once they fall down – often after one kick – you just run over to them and press

the R trigger to start a brief cutscene of Batman bending down to apply the

steel.

It’s maddening. Here you are, a trained superhero with all kinds of reasons

to be pissed off at bad guys,

and you’re forced into handcuffing every single enemy you face. Six thugs shooting

at you with machine guns? You have to run over to each of them, knock them down

and cuff them, one by one. It’s not fun at all. In fact, it’s downright depressing

seeing the world’s toughest crime fighter turned into Underdog.

POW!

BIFF! KAPOW!


Boss battles are equally depressing. Though a few big names are here like The

Joker
, Poison

Ivy
and Mr.

Freeze
, none of the fights are memorable and usually just amount to horribly

clumsy Bataranging and melee fighting.

Even the simple task of steering the Dark Knight is made difficult because

he has the turning radius of The

Love Boat
. Trying to line up a jump is needlessly awkward and often he fails

to grab onto ledges correctly.

Getting to the bosses is a chore in itself thanks to the irritating level

design. The beginning level attests to this. After a really long intro, you

find yourself standing atop a building at night. You then have to use your Batcable

to swing to another building, which is only clear thanks to a green glow on

your small radar map. So off you go, swinging and landing and oftentimes dying

just trying to hop from building to building with no fights. That goes on for

about 20 minutes.

WHOMP,

etc.!


And it just gets worse. The whole game is letterboxed, so you never see enough

of the screen, and the first-person view afforded by the Batarangs or night

vision goggles has a painfully low ceiling. You’ll sometimes have a few directions

to choose from, but you never really know where you are or what direction you’re

facing since the control is so terrible. The designers must have known this,

since they even included a little white trail in the radar representing where

you were just walking. At one point I even got stuck behind a chain link fence

because Batman couldn’t open up the gate. Foiled again!

The only thing Batman: Dark Tomorrow even gets partial credit for is

its depiction of Batman himself, who looks pretty cool. Sadly, the enemies look

pretty lame and clipping problems are common, with Batman often floating a few

feet above whatever he is theoretically standing on.

Batman: Dark Tomorrow is a study in poorly conceived, aggravating gameplay

and marks yet another failed caper for the caped crusader. Even die-hard fans

will want to tie the disc to a Batarang and hurl it out the window. Just hope

it doesn’t come back.

 

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

0
Rating
Worst control ever
Terrible camera
Bad gameplay
Incessant batcuffing
Weak graphics