Two years ago a vigilante took to the streets of Gotham City. He has taken it upon himself to clean the streets of the human filth and corrupt cops that litter them. He has kept to the shadows and inspired fear in those that would prey on the innocent. Some don't believe he exists, but all have heard whispers of the Batman. Now it is Christmas Eve and Blackmask, a notorious mobster, has placed a $50,000,000 bounty on the Bats head if he can be taken in before the end of the night. Can Batman keep out of the hands of the eight bounty hunters that took up the job and keep Gotham safe at the same time? And more important, is it worth your time to help Batman?
The Legacy Continued
Both "Batman: Arkham Asylum" and "Batman: Arkham City" were done by Rocksteady Studios. "Batman: Arkham Origins" was done by WB Games Montréal. That leads us to first ask, is this game as good as the others on the series? The good news is yes, the gameplay is just as good in this game as it was in previous iterations. Combat flows smoothly if you are good enough. They continue the balance between waiting to counter an incoming attack to avoid any damage, going on the offensive so as to not lose your combo counter, and avoiding attacks that promised damage otherwise. Gliding through the city is done well. Sometimes I don't grapple on to what I thought I should be able to, but that could be me just as well.
Now it was not perfect. There were a few glitches where enemies would get stuck in a walls or vehicles. One time this prevented me from stopping a crime in progress as the last thug I needed was jammed in a vehicle and I could not knock him out. Another time I had to a interrogate the last thug in a predator level. I could not reach him though as he was stuck in a corner so I had to restart the level. The game also froze up my 360 a few times which is always annoying.
Everyone Has a First Time
We all know the Batman has quite the rogues gallery. Hey has Killer Croc, Penguin, Riddler, Bane, Joker and more. He also has allies in Commissioner Gordon and Barbara Gordon. But at some point he had to meet them all, and he does that in this game. His reaction to meeting these characters is interesting. When Batman started this he planned for thugs and mob bosses. He did not really plan for super villains and psychopaths. That being said he is not going to let this stop him. One by one he meets different villains that are progressively more insane or difficult to deal with. But through these conflicts we see what defines not only the Batman, but the Joker as well. Sure we all know the origin of their meetings, but to see it in this game is pretty cool. My only rub is that the primary story is to short. I had done a fair number of side quests between story quests, but still finished the story with less then 40% of the game completed. Now I know that I rarely (never) get 100% in games, but I am usually at a respectable 70% when I finish the main mission of a game. Now this does mean that I have a fair amount of the game left to experience, but was still disappointed as I felt they could have played the Batman / Joker conflict up a bit more then they did.
So Many Wonderful Toys!
What is the Batman if you take away his gadgets? Well you have a martial arts expert that is a genius detective, but beyond that he is just a man. For Bruce Wayne that is not enough to fight crime. As such in "Batman: Arkham Origins" you continue with all the gadgets we are used to. Gadgets such as the grapple gun, batarangs (remote and standard), smoke pellets, and more. There was also a new gadget called the remote claw that could place a cable between two points, pull two enemies together, or pull an item into an enemy. My favorite to use was gas tanks to knock them out. The freeze grenades have been replaced by glue grenades that do the same thing. They even are used to create floating platforms in the water. How you get said gadgets happens in one of three ways. It can happen as part of the story, by level progression, or by completing a series of objective based goals. You don't necessarily need the items that come from experience or the objective to complete the game, but the more you get the more fun the game is. Think of it like Pokèmon, gotta collect them all.
Gotham's Dark Knight
All said this is an excellent entry in the Arkham series. It is not quite as good as "Batman: Arkham City", but it is still a great entry. There are plenty of villains to keep you busy and you get all of Gotham as your play ground. If the story had just been a more substantial portion of the game I think would have enjoyed it more.
4 / 5 Joysticks