As we all know video games based of super heroes can be very hit and miss, more so of the latter. Then there is one series of games that redefined what a super hero game could be: the Batman Arkham series. Single handedly making all of us take notice and applaud the respective creative team from Rocksteady games. What they’ve done with the Batman franchise is create a game starting way back with Arkham Asylum that was so intense, moody, dark, creepy and eerily awesome and made you FEEL like Batman. They did it again in an even bigger way with Arkham City with a more open world type of approach whilst still retaining what made Arkham Asylum so enjoyable. Now here we have the follow up in a prequel called Arkham Origins.
In this third instalment we are 2 years into Batmans career as the caped crusader and he has yet to meet some of his most feared villains. Due to the emergence of The Bat, we become witness to the criminal, Black Mask, announce a $50mill bounty for anyone who can take care of The Dark Knight. Black Mask enlists eight assassins to do the job. Being a younger and inexperienced crime fighter, this tale shows us a more aggressive Batman who doesn’t seem to know what he’s in for, which is great. We’re so used to seeing our Batman being able to handle anything, like he knows what’s going to happen before anyone else, so this is a refreshing trip. Even though this is meant to be a less experienced Batman you still start out with the majority of skills you had from the previous game, and the upgrades you can get are more or less expansions on those weapons which I felt was a missed opportunity to try out different gadgets less refined Batman would use.
Combat is still just as solid and fluid as ever and the famous countering system is very responsive. Even the animation in the way Batman slides from foe to foe seems more polished. You’ll find the same types of enemies so you still use the same tactics as the other 2 games. Why fix what ain’t broke? Fighting a large group is always a blast and there seems to be more instances where I’ve found myself fighting more at one time than in the previous two games.
So far the boss fights haven’t been quite as involved or puzzle like as we’ve been accustomed to but they’re still a challenge. The first fight with Deadpool can be a little frustrating and more of a quicktime event fight, although they do vary and can become quite tough as you’ll find yourself taking on the likes of Killer Croc and Bane whilst being surrounded by other criminals at the same time.
When you’re not fighting the worst of Gotham you can retreat for a breather in the BatCave. It is always something to behold entering the famous lair of The Bat. It’s also great to see how they seemingly scaled it back showing how raw this early cave is compared to what it will become in Arkham Asylum. Alfred will chime in to give somewhat parental advice and there is one part where the two have a disagreement and later whilst returning to Gotham Alfred attempts to apologise over the communicator but Bruce stops him reassuringly. They’ve really made great effort here to add early depth to the characters. I won’t spoil anything but there are some moments when the clown prince is mentioned that gave me chills, the foreshadowing of whats to come between the famous battle between the Joker and Batman. Even further on they delve more into the Jokers origins as well. It is called Arkham Origins after all.
All in all with a new team handling this game, Warner Bros Games Montreal, after Rocksteady giving their stamp of approval, they’ve done a bang up job sticking with the prestige. This series represents my definitive version of Batman to this day, they really nailed it for me. I love the tone, the feel, how eery and frightening Gotham is. Who would live there? The villains are all threatening and by no means laughable. In saying that I can’t help but feel something is missing with Kevin Conroy and Mark Hammil not voicing the Bat and the Joker respectively in this outing, but who they got did amazingly that you get over that very quick.
I’ve enjoyed every outing in this Arkhamverse thus far and look forward to more instalments of what i consider to be the definitive Batman.
If you can’t tell, I strongly recommend you play this series if you haven’t already. I give it 4/5 BatChunts.
Also check out my video for the unboxing for one of the collectors editions of this game and please like, subscribe and leave a comment on what you think of this series and what your favourite version of Batman is. Happy Batmanning!