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June 16, 2005
Batman Begins - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
16/6/2005EA GamesEA Games/Eurocom1$89.95

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Peeking around the corner.
In case you were unaware there's a new Batman movie in the works for release in June 2005. Directed by Chris Nolan (Memento and Insomnia) and titled Batman Begins the movie looks at Batman's early days and, as Warner Brothers are hoping, will be the start of a new series of movies following the collapse of the 1980's/1990's movies. The movie and game explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight’s emergence as a force for good in Gotham. Gamers will play as both Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego, Batman, hunting evil-doers from the shadows, using strength, intellect and an array of high tech gadgets to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city, including classic villains the Scarecrow, Ra’s Al Ghul and Carmine Falcone.

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Check out the facial detail.
As with most movie tie-ins Electronic Arts had access to the Warner Brothers movie sets and teams and were able to access the script, cast, and film production to ensure authenticity and consistency between medium. DC Comics were also used during the production of the game, in particular Denny O' Neil was made available - he created the villain Ra's Al Ghul as well as being the editor of the comic books for some time. Apparently J.T. Petty, who wrote the Splinter Cell games (and the upcoming Splinter Cell movie) has also been employed to work on the storyline in this game as it goes beyond that which appears in the movie.

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Just hanging around.
Unlike most games where you can kill enemies Batman can only incapacitate or interrogate them. Interrogation will play a crucial role in the game to discover new secrets and locations. One of the most interesting aspects of the game is the fear level. As Batman get closer to enemies their fear level increases which can affect how they react to your presences. The accuracy of their weapons may decrease as may their fighting abilities and sense of location in the world. Of course Batman will be able to use the surrounding environments to his advantage such as scaling buildings, jumping between rooftops. In terms of gadgets Batman will be able to use Batgrapple, Batarang, Optic Cables and Lock Picks.

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In the batmobile.
Certainly one of the most exciting aspects of this game is the ability to use the batmobile in sections of the game. As you can see in the image to the left the graphics in this section of the game - as with the rest of the game really - looks very impressive. The batmobile is equipped with a variety of weapons to use including rockets. While in this mode a radar indicates where your main threats are while a damage meter on the top-right shows how, well, much damage you have.

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Bruce Wayne.
In terms of sound Batman Begins will include an impressive voice cast. This list includes Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Michael Caine (Alfred Pennyworth), Liam Neeson (Henri Ducard), Katie Holmes (Rachel Dawes), Cillian Murphy (Dr. Jonathan Crane), Tom Wilkinson (Carmine Falcone) and Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox). The game will most likely make extensive use of the music score from the movie.

By the time this game comes out it would have been in development for just under two years. The chances of another Catwoman are slim especially with Eurocom working on the title. At this stage Batman Begins looks like a solid movie based game. Keep and eye out for release in June.