Review: Batman: Arkham Origins
Rarely do I ever say this about a game, but Batman: Arkham Origins is so stale that every time I played the game, I died a little more inside.
That being said, I really wanted to like this game. With all of its promises to show us an unrefined Batman, I didn't see anything unrefined in Batman's techniques. I felt like he had already been at this a long time. So long, in fact, that it felt like I was playing Arkham Asylum and Arkham City in the same game.You keep your gadgets from Arkham City, which makes me think that WB Games Montreal didn't pay much attention to when he actually got his weapons and when he met certain people.
Also, you can expect combat is unusually frustrating. There were many times when my counters would fail or just not register at all. This is unacceptable of a series held to as regard as Batman: Arkham.
Another thing that frustrates me with this entry is its repetitive gameplay. The whole game follows this formula: go into area, beat up guys, have a Predator encounter, beat up more guys, and beat the boss. If you don't believe me, just look at a Let's Play someone has done on YouTube. It's painful to play and even more painful to watch.
The story, while a good attempt, is just using beats of Year One.
If you're not a Batfan, then you probably know nothing of this tale. Here's the skinny: Batman is just starting out, and needs some help from the GCPD--specifically James Gordon. However, he's in trouble a lot of the time because of the GCPD's dirty cops, like Branden and Commissioner Loeb.
While the side missions are fun, a few of them felt forced, so I didn't feel the accomplishment I did in Arkham City. This might be a sign of the issues of a solid release date or WB Games Montreal.
There also no big threat felt in the game. Oh, that's right they save all the emotion for the end. That worked out well didn't it? No.
During the game, I found myself using Detective Mode as much as I did in Arkham Asylum.
Isn't this why we have sequels? To make things better?
The game world also feels like there's no room to glide and there's less to grapple on. This is either as a result of the team deciding to pull Batman's abilities back a bit or just unfinished mechanics. If the Batman games continue down this road, the Batman curse is bound to spring up again.
Among my disappointments, I did like what it does different. At the end of every combat encounter, I jumped for joy. I also liked the new enemies, like the Enforcers and Martial Artist.
Something remarkable about this game is the Most Wanted, Dark Knight and Casefiles systems. They feel a little easy, but since you actively have to seek it out, I'll give these systems mad props for pulling off.
Among one of the new locations is the frigging Batcave. You heard that right. The Batcave. That alone is an achievement in and of itself. Plus, there's some hints in here that if you pick on them, will make you squeal for joy.
For anyone worried that Mr. Conroy and Mr. Hamill are not in their respective roles this time around, don't be. Troy Baker KILLS it as Joker in this game. However, Roger Craig Smith, feels a little too much of an imitation.
On your travels, you will encounter villains new and old. Well, to the Batman games anyway. Never did I feel like there wasn't a villain that I didn't like in this game, especially their boss battles. Because, while frustrating, they are an excellent demonstration of Batman's skills and what the game has to show off.
For some reason, I found myself falling in love with the Christmas theme of this game. Not only does it make for an excellent atmosphere, but great music as well.
For $60, you get a fundamentally broken game. My verdict is to wait until the game is $30 or below.