Gameloft's mobile movie adaptations this summer have all been pretty impressive, and The Dark Knight Rises continues that trend with its blend of action set-pieces, side-scrolling brawling, and platforming.
Throw in a plot that loosely resembles a rejected first draft of the film, some impressive animations, and plenty of replay value, and you're left with a title that harks back to the halcyon 16-bit days of Ocean's 2D game.Battering man
You play as either Batman or Catwoman, depending on the level, and work your way through Gotham's seedy underbelly, fighting crime, taking on Bane's goons, and spouting out hideous lines of dialogue to move the plot along.
Batman is a brutish sprite, his blows full of enough heft to make even the most devout 3D advocate wince. Fighting is quick and button-mashy, with a counter system not unlike the one found in Arkham Asylum.
Catwoman isn't quite as lithe as she should be. Her sections are all about tapping buttons at the right time to hurl her under closing doors, over tables, and stiletto-first into the crotches of unsuspecting goons.
Vehicle levels are all about fast reactions, dodging oncoming traffic, and blasting holes in the scenery to let your bat-themed vehicle pass through without taking any damage.Where does he get those wonderful toys?
Each level has a set of achievements linked to it, from taking no more than a particular amount of damage to finishing things off within a time limit. There are bat coins to collect, too, which give you a decent idea of where you should be going.
There's enough variation to keep you interested, with stealth sections, chases, and violent bouts of pugilism all popping up to make sure you're still entertained. Quick-time events keep you on your toes, and the whole game is polished to Gameloft's usual sparkling sheen.
If you like the games of your films to be Java-based, enjoyable, and pocket-sized, then you're living in a golden age, and The Dark Knight Rises ensures that age will continue for a few more weeks. This is the mobile Batman game we deserve.