The Dark Knight Rises

Marvel's The Avengers had an impressive box office run to the tune of $613 million and counting. Now it's Batman's turn. The Caped Crusader may dominate the summer in Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated movie, The Dark Knight Rises, debuting this Friday, July 20. Right alongside it will be a video game adaptation from Gameloft, and we hope this virtual beat-em-up compliments the film, if for nothing else than to give us something to play while waiting in line for tickets.

The Dark Knight Rises, set to appear on iOS and Android, is an open-world 3D adventure that mostly follows its big screen counterpart. As such, expect to run into Selina Kyle (Catwoman), the monster Bane and other recognizable faces, including Lucius Fox and Commissioner Gordon. That said, you'll follow missions closely tied to the plot, but from what we've seen, there's plenty more to see and do in Gotham, which Gameloft split into separate districts.

To that end, you'll take control of Batman and complete a series of random events that help cement that feeling of being a superhero. These range from hostage situations and assisting the bomb squad, to car chases and jailbreaks. The primary goal of stopping Bane from destroying the city, though, will remain front and center.

As we expected, Batman makes use of an arsenal of gadgets. Players will use the Grapnel to quickly zip across Gotham or defeat enemies. The Batarang, meanwhile, comes in handy for knocking out thugs or hitting switches from a distance. In fact, it appears that most if not all of Batman's toys have more than one practical use.

Of course, the Dark Knight isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. With this in mind, the fighting system contains a plethora of moves and cinematic effects, but you won't have access to everything right away. Instead, you must explore Gotham to find hidden items that unlock upgrades and valuable fighting skills; you'll also stumble upon secret content.

Finally, the game comes with vehicles like the Bat-Pod, perhaps limited to vigilante missions, and The Bat, for when you need to cover a lot of ground in the quickest time possible; Batman can also glide using his cape. No word on whether the Batmobile made the cut, but we'd be surprised if it didn't.

The hope is that all of these elements come together to produce one of the best superhero games on the App Store and Android Marketplace. Bottom line, The Dark Knight Rises is a big deal, and the film deserves a quality virtual adventure. We'll find out if Gameloft nailed it later this week.