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Batman: Arkham Origins Review
Batman: Arkham Origins Review
Date: 05-11-13
Topic: Reviews & Previews
Author: Sunit Choudhary

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Gamer and Android Nerd

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Batman: Arkham Origins Review


Batman: Arkham Origins Review
Batman Arkham Series is undoubtedly one of the best superhero themed games of all time. Arkham Asylum in 2009 was the beginning of this fantastic series followed by Arkham City in 2011 which improved over its predecessor in almost every way. The two games won the hearts of all the Batman fans and so people expected a lot from Arkham Origins too.

Warner Brothers Montreal had a big job in their hands as they replaced Rocksteady Studios, who did a tremendous job in the previous games of the series. So lets see if the third installment of this series lives up to the hype and reaches the standards set by the its predecessors.

Caution : May contain spoilers.
Story

Arkham Origins does not tell the story of how Bruce Wayne turned into the mighty Caped Crusader. It is in fact a prequel to the first two games of the series. Origins lays the ground to the events happening in Arkham Asylum. In the game Batman is just 2 years into the crime fighting scenario and is more of an urban myth. People still don't believe in the existence of Batman including the police and some criminals. He operates alone in the shadows without any help. The events take place in Gotham City. Origins is a story of the first encounter of Batman with some of the most deadliest villains of the Batman Universe.



The plot kicks in when on Christmas Eve Roman Sionis aka Black Mask makes an escape from Blackgate prison and puts up a bounty of 50,000,000 dollars over the head of Batman. He hires the 8 of the world's most deadliest Assassins to do the job. The Assassins include - Killer Croc, Deadshot, DeathStroke, CopperHead, FireFly, Electrocutioner, Shiva and Bane.



When you see so any villains in a game you probably think all of them would get equal importance. This is just not the case in Arkham Origins. Some of the Assassins are poorly used and they don't feel like one of the 8 world's deadliest Assassin but more like a street level thug. Electrocutioner is among them. Batman knocks him down with just one blow. Batman takes care of Killer Croc in the first 15 minutes of the game itself and then there is no sign of him in the game. Even Deadshot and Shiva have no involvement in the story and capturing them is more like a side mission. Only DeathStroke, Bane, FireFly and CopperHead are used well (Boss Fights). Bane is used very well in the story and we see him a lot in the game.


Bane Boss Fight

The plot takes a sharp turn with the introduction of Joker, the heart and soul of Arkham series. After his entry in the game, the story just gets better and better.



The story also includes the early encounters of the Dark Knight with Captain Gordon and his teenage daughter Barbara. The voice actors for both Batman and Joker have changed. The iconic Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are no longer part of the series. Roger Craig Smith does a pretty decent job with his Batman voice but it lacks conviction. He tries too hard to sound like Kevin Conroy and sometimes sounds like Christian Bale from the Dark Knight movie series. His "Where is he?" to a BlackMask thug sounds exactly like Bale's "Swear to me" in the Batman Begins movie. Troy Baker as Joker does an exceptional job. Here is Troy reading Joker's monologue:




Graphics and Gameplay




Batman: Arkham Origins is a beautiful looking game. The graphics are well laid out and is definitely better than the previous games of the series. But the game has a few minor bugs and graphical issues along with the occasional framerate drops. But these small issues don't take away anything from the immersive gameplay.



Arkham Origins also brings an open world pattern similar to that of Arkham City. Batman is free to roam about Gotham City. Gotham looks brilliant (although the northern part is exactly the copy-paste of Arkham City) but the city feels empty. The reason given is that the story takes place on Christmas Eve and citizens of Gotham are told to stay inside their houses as a curfew is in-effect. The only people on the streets of Gotham are the Street Thugs and the SWAT.
Gotham is divided into two parts: Northern Gotham and Southern Gotham both of them connected by a long bridge. The game has fast travel locations. These fast travel locations are towers that are controlled by Edward Nigma (The Riddler) and you have to hack the terminal with your cryptographic sequencer to gain access to the tower. Once the towers are unlocked, you can use the BatWing to fast travel across various sections of Gotham.



The game offers a lot of side-missions besides the main story. But all of them will give you a feeling of deja-vu. If you have played the previous Arkham games, Origins has nothing new to offer apart from the story. Batman fans won't be disappointed but it will feel nothing more than playing Arkham City again. For eg, instead of the Riddler's trophies you now have Enigma's data packs, instead of Zsasz's phone calls you now have Anarchy's bomb defusing tasks, instead of security cameras you have network relays to destroy. You have to interrogate the informants to get the locations of the datapacks (exactly like Arkham City). You have to find and destroy Penguins weapons cache, BlackMask's drugs cache and Bird's venom Supply which are distributed all over Gotham city. It all feels repetitive. Except the story, the game is completely predictable. The absence of riddles from the game really bothered me as it was one of the best parts of Arkham series.



The free-flowing combat has always been the main attraction of the series. The fighting mechanics in Origins is also great. Strike, counter, take downs and use of gadgets all things are used well in the combat mechanics. Apart from the normal street thugs few new enemy types have been added to the roster including a martial artist. Beat down introduced in Arkham City plays an important role here also. Not much has been added or taken away from the previous two games of the series. However, with the introduction of a new gadget, the shock gloves, fighting becomes too easy. So easy that all you have to do is just strike. You fight with the thugs thereby charging your shock gloves and once charged you can activate it and knock out thugs with ease. The riot shields, stun batons and armored thugs stand no chance once shock gloves are activated. This makes combat a little too easy and a little less interesting. Here is a video:


The predator mode is also made a little too easy with the introduction of another gadget, the remote claw. The remote claw can be used to grapple up thugs to gargoyles. But still the remote claw is a welcome addition to Batman's arsenal.



The detective vision does the same job as the previous Arkham games and lets you plan everything.



A new addition to the investigation aspect of the game is that Batman has the ability to re-create the crime scene. This concept is absolutely brilliant but there is not much to do in these sequences. Here is a crime scene investigated by Batman when he goes to the first tower:


In Arkham Origins Batman's utility belt has a lot of gadgets. But the existence of some gadgets in the game is hard to understand - the glue grenade for example which replaces freeze grenade from Arkham Asylum and City and the Remote Claw. The reason: If Origins is a prequel to both Arkham games and Batman is having those gadgets in Origins then why were they not present in Arkham Asylum and City? These kind of things can make a prequel go wrong.

Multiplayer



For the first time in Arkham series a game has Online Multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode is designed and developed by Splash Damage studio. In the multiplayer mode there are two teams - Joker's thugs and Bane's mercenaries each having three members. A third team includes Batman and Robin. The thugs have to control certain points on the map whereas Batman and robin's job is to remain in the shadows and intimidate the thugs and make them leave. Last team standing wins. Addition of multiplayer is a good thing in the growing trend of multiplayer genre but Arkham series doesn't need one. Instead a few hours longer campaign would have been great. Here is the multiplayer trailer video:

Conclusion

Batman: Arkham Origins is a good game. It has a great story but apart from that it has nothing new to offer. Everything about the game feels repetitive.
But as they say, sometimes things are so good that you don't feel like changing anything. Maybe Warner Brothers Montreal thought of the same thing because there wasn't much to change in Arkham City since the game was almost perfect. If you haven't played Arkham Asylum and City, then you will enjoy playing Origins. Arkham series fans won't be disappointed with the game either.




Pros:
  • Good Story
  • Improved Visuals
  • Boss fights
Cons:
  • A lot of bugs and glitches
  • Combat too easy
  • Poor use of Assassins in the story



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  #1  
By The Knight 06-11-13
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Exellent review mate.!!! Keep going.
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  #2  
By realandR3cys 06-11-13
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Brilliant review Sunit
Short and intuitive as always!
Anyways, I'm not gonna buy any Batman games anymore. Sad part, my BAC & BAA retail dics are getting lotta dust..
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  #3  
By nikthegr8 06-11-13
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

nice review
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  #4  
By ManISinJpr 06-11-13
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Sunit, this is a stellar review.
You have covered the story and the plot so nicely alongwith the tech involved.. !
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  #5  
By vijayninel 06-11-13
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Great review as always Sunit I guess they just had to put in the mulitplayer even if it doesn't fit in a game like this.

Watching the ComiCon press conference video above reminded me - Do you know the ComicCon organisers hacked the attendees Twitter accounts.
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  #6  
By csunit37 06-11-13
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Thanks guys
Originally Posted by vijayninel View Post
Watching the ComiCon press conference video above reminded me - Do you know the ComicCon organisers hacked the attendees Twitter accounts.
Ya that was actually funny
All of them sending out the same tweets.
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  #7  
By ChironX 06-11-13
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

And I thought you were off for exams -_-

Jokes apart, excellent review! Keep up the good work!
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  #8  
By csunit37 07-11-13
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Originally Posted by ChironX View Post
And I thought you were off for exams -_-
Jokes apart, excellent review! Keep up the good work!
lol thanks..
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  #9  
By skyfall 08-11-13
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

I found it too repetitive like there is nothing new.Yes the story is different but it follows the same mechanism/physics of previous two.
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  #10  
By uniquegamer 11-11-13
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Good review.
But the gameplay is just similar to the previous arkham series.
They improve only the graphics and added some extra boss fight with some new cool gadgets.
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  #11  
By mohitgamer 11-11-13
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Nice Review Sunit.
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  #12  
By johnyy 20-01-14
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

looks great
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  #13  
By klk 25-09-14
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

nice review
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  #14  
By deadman20 16-04-15
Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Nice one
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