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Batman: Arkham Origins Review

08 Nov Posted by + in PlayStation, Xbox | 1 comment

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Gotham City itself feels bigger here than it did in Rocksteady’s, offering new and old areas alike to explore. Sadly it’s the vast size that makes it ever more apparent that there simply isn’t much going on in it. With a snow storm supposedly sealing residents inside their homes all night the only signs of life you’ll find on the street are those of the occasional groups of criminals. Also the game’s Christmas setting doesn’t really add much beside the odd decoration here and there and an excuse to keep the streets of Gotham empty. Getting around is handled via a mix of gliding and using the Grapple gun on buildings to gain momentum.  More often than not though I found myself frustrated at the lack of grapple points on higher buildings instead taking longer more awkward routes until I finally did. Thankfully you can unlock fast travel points on the map making getting from one side of the city to the other less tedious.

Batman’s catalogue of gadgets will appear familiar to anyone who tackled Rocksteady’s previous adventures with plenty of returning favourites including Batarangs and explosive gel. A few new gizmos are also introduced for good measure such as the shock gloves and remote Batclaw that bring with them new methods of taking on enemies and also navigating your environment.

Earning experience from fights, predator sections and generally completing an objective allow you to level up in three upgrade trees expanding Batman’s abilities further. Need some extra protection in battle? Then award Batman armour that resists melee attacks better. Need Batarangs that stun enemies for longer? Unlock it in the predator focused tree. The choice allows you to craft a Batman that caters to your playstyle and aids you in the areas you need.

Detective work once again makes a return this time allowing Batman to play and rewind through a hologram version of the crime unfolding before his eyes. It’s a neat addition and one that really adds another layer to the scanning process.

One area that Arkham Origins manages to improve upon is in its boss battles. Whereas Rocksteady’s titles were known for their less than impressive bouts, Origins offers a great selection of engrossing, exciting battles. Deathstroke for example puts the pair toe to toe as you trade fists and kicks at lightning fast pace, the camera angle rapidly changing and capturing the action perfectly. While a lot of it is comprised of quick time events, the fact you can still control Batman’s movements yourself makes a world of difference. Bane’s encounters too require you to change your approach completely as you use the environment to your advantage.

Batman: Arkham Origins plays it safe - perhaps a little too safe in fact. While my enthusiasm to load up the disc every time would start off high, playing it for too long would bring with it the growing feeling that I’d seen and done all this before. It’s not that Arkham Origins is a bad game by any means; it’s just that it doesn’t do anything particularly new or adventurous with the series instead sticking dangerous close to Rocksteady’s great but now worn formula.

Final Summary
Decent character models and Arkham City still looks great albeit slightly empty.
Excellent voice acting and a powerful soundtrack that compliments the gritty action perfectly.
Same tried and true Batman systems with the odd tweak here and there.
A safe Batman adventure that does little to change the formula. Still fun though.

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  1. Delia12-12-13

    Awesome design! What’s the name of it?

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