Batman: Dark Tomorrow
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|Batman: Dark Tomorrow|
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
|Series||Batman video games|
Batman: Dark Tomorrow is an action-adventure video game developed by HotGen and published by Kemco for the Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox consoles. It is based on the DC Comics' character Batman and his iteration from the DC Universe source material, unlike most other Batman games which are adaptations of the character in film or television appearances.
While Batman is trying to stop a gang war between Scarface & the Ventriloquist and Black Mask being waged on Gotham City's streets, Commissioner James Gordon has been kidnapped, and is being held hostage at an overrun Arkham Asylum. Racing through the city's sewers in order to enter the Asylum undetected, Batman has to fight through a gauntlet of enemies ranging from Poison Ivy to Mr. Freeze before finally encountering the man holding Gordon: the Joker.
Batman soon discovers that Gordon's kidnapping was in fact orchestrated by Ra's al Ghul as a distraction from his latest plan to take over the world. Batman travels to the villain's stronghold in the Himalayas in order to stop him. The game's ending features a branching storyline: in order to get the most complete ending, Batman must disarm a signal device before facing off against Ra's. However, the player is never given any indication that the device even exists, making the small objective easily missable. Failing to disarm the device will result in Ra's succeeding in taking over the world.
Members of Batman's supporting cast of allies appear in the cinematics of the game, including Oracle, Robin, and Batgirl. Nightwing does not appear, but is mentioned in dialogue as possible backup leading into the game's climax.
Many precedents of the comics are cited, especially as it pertains to Ra's al Ghul, and Batman's "undefined" relationship with al Ghul's daughter, Talia.
Dark Tomorrow was first presented at E3 2001 as an exclusive to the Nintendo GameCube console. It was originally conceived as an open world oriented adaptation of the comic book iteration of Batman. Similarly to Activision's Spider-Man 2, players would control Batman as he traveled around Gotham City, with the ability to patrol Gotham in the Batmobile, Batplane, and Batboat. Character A.I. and combat was very ambitious in order to allow an in-depth open world Batman experience. The exact reasoning for scaling the game's design back to a more linear experience, as well as for developing on the other major platforms of the sixth console generation, are unknown outside of rumors.
Veteran DC Comics and former Batman: Gotham Adventures writer Scott Peterson (who also wrote the previous year's Superman: The Man of Steel video game) and Final Fantasy's Kenji Terada created the story for Dark Tomorrow, while the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed the game's orchestrated score. The game had a total development span of four years before ultimately being released on the GameCube and Xbox early 2003.
Batman: Dark Tomorrow received "unfavorable" reviews on both platforms according to video game review aggregator Metacritic. This is due to its confusing game play engine, its repetitive mission modes, and its awkward camera angles. The end of the game is also criticized because there is no direction to the "fulfilling ending" of the story, outside of another source. Game Informer gave the GameCube version 0.75 out of 10 for gameplay that is "incomprehensible and littered with bugs". IGN was severely disappointed with the same console version, saying that "The Dark Knight gets his wings clipped in his latest adventure."
Although the gameplay was widely criticized, Peterson and Terada's story, as well as the in-game cinematics, were widely praised. IGN noted, "Positive marks earned here for sticking to the DC-based Batman license and faithfully bringing it to life. The cut-scenes are arguably the best part of the game."
The game is notable for resulting in the inception and being the first recipient of the "Shame of the Month" award in Electronic Gaming Monthly, which "honors" each month's worst-reviewed game in the magazine.
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