Arkham Origins

Posted: March 9, 2015 in Video Game
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  The third Arkham game based on Batman is more like an off-brand product licensed by the real thing.

That’s not a bad thing here. I like these Batman games, I am very much looking forward to Arkham Knight, it’s just that Origins doesn’t quite feel the same. Which should be true, the developers of both Asylum and Arkham City, Rocksteady, didn’t put their hands into this. Arkham Origins was made by WB Games, who did great for the most part.

There are some things about the game that, coming from to amazing games prior, make this feels odd. Such as during combat, it is more counter heavy, some enemies need two counters, it throws my timing off. Not a big deal, and you could say it is an evolution of the combat system, making it more complex. I will argue none of those things needed to change that way, and it’s frustrating to lose a long combo just because some martial artist thugsman needed me be to press the button twice when almost every other counter needs one. And yes I know those enemies with the knife are different, but I’ve never been able to pull off that specific special take down consistently enough for me to remember.

Combat in Arkham City was fluid. You could glide in from above and smash a henchman before he knew what was up, hop over and take two of his buddies down with a couple of hand to hand strikes, then quick-fire Batman’s batclaw at a fourth dude who ran around the corner just to be grappled and drawn towards you and smashed to the ground. I’m not saying that can’t happen, just there are slight tweaks that throw me off before any of that can take place organically as it once did.

Not to mention there seems to be far less grapple points than I remember previously as well. Before it seemed like wherever you stood, or move five steps and Batman was zipping around like he was some sort of “spider” man. In the new installment, once you get up and get going, yeah it’s great. There are a lot of times when I found myself just running around trying to latch on to something and can’t. Sometimes the location of the grapple point is too specific and if you’re not aiming precisely Batman just stands there, wishing somehow he could get up to that air duct five feet above his head.

There was that one time during a fight with Killer Croc in the beginning of the game, the screen went black and all I could see was the health bars. The sound was still audible, and I won so this one-off glitch wasn’t game ending.

If you are going to play this keep in mind one of the many glitches this game has is one that corrupts your progress. It hasn’t happened to me, though I hear that part of it has to do with the Anarchy missions, which I haven’t tried yet. Just keep that in mind.

Once you get past the weirdness, which for the most part is not that bad. I like the story. Black Mask hired a group of assassins to take out The Batman. Some big names show up, Deathstroke and Bane, and some lesser known bad guys try to kill Batman, The Electricutioner and Copperhead being two. Copperhead in this case is not a guy, they made her into a lady. I think it makes things more interesting for the character. Of course that plan is not how the whole story goes down. The Joker shows up at one point, which pokes some chaos into the mix, and this is supposed to be the first meeting of Batman and The Joker.

So you have a younger Batman and The Joker. They look and sound like it as well. Roger Craig Snith and Troy Baker lend their voices to Batman and The Joker respectively, and do an excellent job. They are trying to emulate Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill to a degree, I’d like to see what they could do without that.

And the best thing in the game, that was introduced in Arkham City and expanded upon here is the investigating and detective work. There are several occasions where Batman deconstructs a crime scene going through evidence, looking at what is presented, and does actual detective work. It’s awesome, I wish there was more. Mechanically all you do as a player is look around and hold “A” at the prompt, but I like showing Batman as a detective, and that’s all you really need to do.

Should you play Arkham Origins? If you liked the previous two, then yes. If you haven’t? It’s called “Origins”, you are not going to get lost if you know Batman is Bruce Wayne. Just be wary of the of the ways this game can act up.


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