Batman Arkham Origins Review

Posted: January 11, 2015 in Game reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

Greetings mortals, I am DracoJames102 and I’m here to give you a review.

Batman Arkham Origins Title card

Like most of you, I was disappointed when they announced that Rocksteady Studios wanted to push back the release date of Batman Arkham Knight to June 2015. But I understand that Rocksteady want to make sure that they create a solid game and you’ll be sure that I’ll review it when it comes out (it’ll also be the main reason I’ll buy a PS4). For now though, I’m going to review the last game in the series, Batman Arkham Origins. Now when I saw the first trailer of Arkham Origins, I was exited. Batman was duking it out with Deathcstroke and Deadshot and Black Mask hiring six other assassins to kill Batman before the night is out. When the game finally came out, I got it on launch date and does it manage to stack up with the other Arkham games? Well…let’s find out.

batman cover

Story

The story takes place on Christmas Eve and before the events of Arkham Asylum. A riot has broken out in Blackgate Prison and Batman goes over to stop Black Mask from getting his men out of prison with the help of Killer Croc. Batman manages to apprehend Killer Croc but Black Mask escapes. Black Mask then decides to hire eight deadly assassins and whoever brings in Batman will be rewarded $50 million. The assassins consist of Killer Croc (who’s already been taken care of so now it’s seven deadly assassins), Deathstroke, Copperhead, Lady Sheeva, Electrocutioner, Deadshot, Firefly and Bane. Batman decides to go out and put an end to this and hopefully enjoy some Christmas ham with Alfred.

story

I’m going to be honest, prequel stories are more misses than hits with me. There are some exceptions but most of the time they don’t really hold well because…well if they take place before a story we’re already well aware of, then there isn’t really any suspense or surprise. Putting my personal opinions aside, this story is okay. It isn’t bad but it isn’t great either. The fight between Batman and the eight deadly assassins was built up a lot in the advertisement, but in the end they don’t really much with it. It does have its moments and I like the presentation, but it is ultimately more disappointing than it is interesting.

Gameplay

Batman Arkham Origins follows the exact same gameplay style as the previous Arkham games. If you want more info, read my previous reviews. I don’t want to sound like a broken record. However I will say that for some reason they changed the buttons around for the detective mode and the gadget list. It’s only a minor thing but it is annoying if you’re used to the control scheme in Arkham City.

gameplay1

The grunts are all back from Arkham City and they perform exactly like they did in that game, but we do get a couple of new thugs this time around. First there are thugs that use Bane’s venom packs that pack a heck of a punch and you need to use a combo takedown to destroy their packs. The other type of thugs you will encounter are martial artists, who require a lot of countering spamming in order to take down.

thug

Detective mode has been given a cool upgrade when you are analyzing crime scenes. Batman can actually rewind and observe the actual crime when he has scanned certain objects in the crime scene. Some points even require you to rewind or fast forward to a certain point of the crime in order to find the next clue. It is a really cool feature and I hope it comes back in Arkham Knight. There’s something so hypnotic and funny about watching a guy get run over by a car over and over again.

detectective mode

In terms of new gadgets, there isn’t really much to talk about. All of the old gadgets with exception of the line launcher are back and they perform exactly like they did in the previous games, though some gadgets like the freeze grenade were given cosmetic changes so now it is a glue grenade. A new gadget that replaces the line launcher is the death claw which you obtain after fighting Deathstroke. You use it to fire at certain extensions popping out of the walls to create a tightrope so you can progress. It can also be used in stealth sections to pull thugs into gas or explosive tanks which can either blind them temporarily or knock them out. There are also the Electrocutioner’s gloves which you obtain after certain events in the story. Once you have the gloves equipped, there is gauge that fills up whenever you beat up thugs. Once the bar is full, you press the L3 and R3 buttons down to activate the gloves and you’ll be able to power up your punches, rack up more combos and even penetrate through armoured thugs.

gadget

Gotham City is pretty much just a much bigger Arkham City. There will be times where you will tread through familiar territories such as the Steel Mill and the Ace Chemical factory, but you can also cross the big bridge to explore more of Gotham before Arkham City was created. Gotham City also has a variety of side quests to go for such as stopping Anarchy’s bombs, confronting the Mad Hatter and find and destory Penguin and Black Mask’s drug storages. But to be honest, most of them are really just copying and pasting events and side quests from the previous games.

gotham

Downloadable Content

When the game came out, it came with a code which allowed you to play as Deathstroke in Challenge Mode when you pre-ordered it. There were also multiple Batman costumes though it should be noted that the PS3 version came with the 1960s Adam West costume (which is frikking awesome by the way), challenge maps (one of which lets you see Bruce Wayne studying martial arts before becoming Batman) and the Cold, Cold Heart pack which lets you fight against Mr. Freeze on New Year’s Day.

Batman-Arkham-Origins-Cold-Cold-Heart-06

Graphics

The graphics are pretty good. There may be too much grey in a lot of places but the fully rendered cutscenes are nice to look at. The presentation however is fifty-fifty. Sure it’s action-packed, but sometimes the graphics cause the game to be laggy in some areas and the game freezes in some places to load up the next area, even though that never needed to happen in Arkham City.

Music

The soundtrack is incredibly forgettable. A lot of it is atmospheric but not memorable. It definitely does not compared to the great soundtrack of Arkham City.

The voice acting however is pretty good. Roger Craig Smith (the current voice for Sonic the Hedgehog) does a pretty good job at doing a young Kevin Conroy Batman. Troy Baker makes a pretty good Joker too and although he may be trying too hard to be Mark Hamil, I look forward to one day see him make the role all his.

Controls

The control flow is a serious downgrade. It doesn’t feel as nice and smooth in Arkham City. It isn’t bad by any means, but it feels wierd to go back to that experimental feel that wasn’t quite perfected yet in Arkham Asylum. Heck I think it might be worse than Arkham Asylum because there were countless times where I was fighting a gang of thugs and one of them manages to land a blow on me even though I swore I pressed the counter button on time. Again not bad, but not as great as the previous installments.

Final thoughts

This latest installment to the Arkham series was rather disappointing, especially after enjoying Arkham City so much. With all the bugs and control issues, it just feel like the game was rushed and had to be sent out before the deadline. It’s pretty much just an expansion of Arkham City with almost nothing new to offer. I don’t think it’s bad, just ok and disappointing. If you are interested in getting into the Arkham series, I’d play Arkham City first and then get this game for a low price or get a copy that comes with all of the DLC.

Final rating: 7/10

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