“This city’s a complete mess. How are we ever going to clean it up?”
“The Bat? You serious? I thought he was like a uh… urban myth.”
“Batman: Arkham Origins” hit stores on Friday, October 25, and is the prequel to “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and “Batman: Arkham City”. The game features a Batman who has only been cleaning up the streets for two years, well before all the big rogues joined his gallery. In “Arkham Origins” you will meet the big names, such as Bane, Penguin and Deathstroke and forge those key relationships that become the mainstay of Batman’s future.
Controls: The controls are a bit heavier but the combat has much more impact. It takes a bit of getting used to, but the trade-off for extra key and button movements really pays off with how fluid the combat feels with them. You really feel like you’re there in the action and that each push of the button is making that difference toward beating the criminals down.
Boss fights: Boss fights, for this reviewer, were fun and challenging without going overboard. One of the most memorable was the fight with Deathstroke, which conjured to mind all the amazing things The Terminator has done in previous comics and why he's as amazing and difficult to fight as he is. For others, the boss fights ranged from fun to agonizingly difficult and annoying. It really depends how much patience and time you're willing to spend learning the fight before succeeding - and how much pride you feel upon defeating something that was previously challenging.
Graphics: The graphics look beautiful. There was definitely no skimping. Even the backgrounds look properly texturized. Nothing looks like it stands out from everything else as particularly well textured while unimportant background details are flat and bland. Everything really pops and stands out as a part of Gotham.
Sound: From the individuals that speak directly to you to the criminals talking amongst themselves, often taunting one another for believing the Bat to be more than a myth, and even the wind whipping past Batman as he glides through the cold, Gotham sky, the sounds are great. They help immerse the player into the mood of the game without being overpowering.
Music: The regular, Gotham music is there, and sounds nice when you pay attention to it, with exciting swells followed by nearly silent pianissimo sections. It’s reminiscent of “Batman: The Animated Series” music, which is quite nostalgia inducing for those who grew up on that cartoon, as well as being dark enough to feel like it belongs within the gothic city Batman is grapneling his way through. The primary music during rooftop fights with common and hired thugs is more of a drum chorus, exciting and reminiscent of a heart beating harder and faster from adrenaline.
Story: Without giving away any spoilers, the game is very much what you would expect for a “Batman” game. Enigma stood out the most, in this player’s opinion, as Riddler’s performances have often been hoaky and not at all fitting of the man who claims himself a genius. In “Batman: Arkham Origins” Enigma is toying with the Bat the whole beginning of the game with a perfectly ‘I‘m better than you’ snob attitude that comes from a man who doesn’t yet realize he’s dealing with his mental equal.
The ending, with revelations about the Joker and Commissioner Gordon, were also great reveals that completely fit within the Batman universe.
Overall, "Batman: Arkham Origins" gets a 9/10. This reviewer would have liked to see more variety in the basic fighting layout. While the missions were varied, from stopping bombs to collecting dirty information on Gotham's people, you still ultimately are always doing the same thing: beating up another group of thugs, with no variation on how its down. Once you get in a rhythm with your attacks you really don't even need to change it up.
“Batman: Arkham Origins”, overall, was a great experience. Don’t forget to get your “Batman: Arkham Origins Signature Guide” for only $22 to make sure your playthrough doesn’t miss a thing.