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Batman: Arkham Origins Review

08 Nov Posted by in Reviews | Comments

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Following in the footsteps of Arkham Asylum and City was never going to be an easy task to complete. After all the pair managed to prove to gamers that a comic book tie-in doesn’t necessarily need to be a total disaster. Warner Brothers Montreal, now taking over from Rocksteady as developer for this newest entry in the series has crafted a game that manages to maintain that same momentum of the series even if it does so in a fairly safe manner. It’s not that Arkham Origins is a bad nor an outstanding game, simply put it’s just more.

Arkham Origins introduces us to a younger, gruffer Batman only two years into donning the Batsuit, foiling the plans of villains whilst constantly landing on the wrong side of the Gotham City Police Department thanks to his none too popular brand of vigilante justice. Taking the spotlight as lead villain, mysterious mob boss Black Mask puts a $50 million price tag on the Bat’s head offering the challenge to Gotham’s eight greatest assassins. This makes for an interesting way to introduce plenty of villains to the mix including the likes of Deathstroke, Copperhead and plenty more. Of course along the way you’ll see old favourites such as the Penguin, Bane and Killer Croc rear their ugly head more than once but overall it seems like Origins manages to hold a nice balance of popular baddies and lesser known ones very well.

The story itself is surprisingly gripping, particularly as we reach the halfway point when a few twists and unexpected surprises are thrown the player’s way. What starts as a simple mission for Batman soon becomes a nightmare as he contends with not only accomplishing his original task but also dealing with the Joker as well as the occasional assassin battle when he least expects it. The voice acting, also really helps sell the action on screen with Troy Baker and Roger Craig Smith truly excelling in their respective roles.

In terms of gameplay, Arkham Origins sticks pretty close to the blueprint already laid out in Rocksteady’s past two adventures. First off fighting retains the same simple and additive system as before with Batman gracefully leaping and punching enemies at the well timed press of a button. You’ll still be countering moves; utilizing your gadgets and stringing together long combos in much the same way as before but Origins does try to add a few new elements to the mix like martial artists who can counter back your attacks themselves or giant brutes who use Bane-like venom. While these additions don’t exactly change the way you fight, they do offer a little variety to a system that is pretty much unchanged since day one.

Likewise the predator sections remain fairly identical to past games of the series allowing you to pick off enemies one by one using the element of surprise as well as some well placed traps. It’s at times a little too familiar yet still manages to truly show Batman in his true light. Swinging from gargoyles high above, swooping down and taking out unsuspecting enemies before hiding in a nearby grate and leaping out onto the next one. The number of options is vast and clearing a room out in as slick and swift a way as possible still rewards you a great sense of achievement.

The game is a mix between open world and smaller segmented areas hidden away by loading screens. Much like Arkham City you’ll be driven from location to location by the game’s story missions with the option to explore your surroundings between tackling side-missions including randomly appearing street crimes and bigger arching ones that usually involve another main villain. Enigma for example hides data packs around Gotham for you to find whilst Anarky tasks you with chasing down bombs and diffusing them before a timer expires.

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