The past Arkham installments are included in some of my favourite games ever. If you also loved them games then you’ll also love Batman: Arkham Origins, maybe. The game sees you playing as a far angrier Batman in his younger years, which makes for some interesting story elements, such as him meeting The Joker for the first time. However, the formula for the game is exactly the same as it was in the past two titles; worryingly so, in fact.
Eight assassins are out for your cowl-covered head, and there’s $50,000,000 for the one that brings it in. Obviously, for Batman, this doesn’t make for the most convenient of Christmas Eves. However, these assassin’s take a back seat throughout most of the game, with Joker himself again taking centre stage. Whether it be these assassins, some cops, or the usual thugs, you’re never very far away from someone or something to punch.
One thing that Origins does is take the best bits from Arkham City and keep them going. You still end up feeling like the Batman, with all of the different predator sections and gliding from rooftops alike. People will also be glad to hear that the series’ renowned combat has been kept the same as well, by popular demand no doubt. Unfortunately though, that is all you are going to get from this game.
While the game retains the best bits of the past games, it neither builds upon them or adds anything new and fresh to the mix of the game’s formula. Everything just feels that bit too familiar and I never found myself feeling that sense of wonderment that I got from playing the other two games. Boss battles in the game have their ups and downs. While all of them have some flair that we didn’t see in the boss battles of the other games, many of them just boil down to being quick time events. Deathstroke and Firefly provide some high points. The several times you have to confront Bane simply become annoying due to the fact that the game thinks you will like the idea of tonnes of regular thugs entering the fray. If anything, this just adds confusion to the fights, rather than difficulty per se.
One of the dullest things about the game is Gotham itself. The map consists of two islands, one in the north and one in the south, separated by a very long bridge which gets more boring to cross everytime you do so. But, this is where the game’s new fast travel system comes into play, possibly the only welcome addition to the game. Batman is able to make use of the Batwing to get to certain points of the city. You unlock one of these fast travel points by taking down it’s corresponding radio tower in the same area of the map (sound familiar? ASSASSIN’S CREED, FAR CRY 3!!!!!). Just make sure that you are prepared to watch the same boring cut-scene every time you make use of the fast travel. As for the city itself, it’s empty, and pretty damn lifeless. I suppose you could say that there is a lot to do, but apart from the “Most Wanted” missions, all you have are the “crimes in progress” which consists of travelling to a location and beating some people up. Not saying that these features aren’t enjoyable, but there isn’t much imagination involved. Grappling and gliding around the city is still relatively enjoyable, but you’ll end up seeing the same buildings that you saw in Arkham City and more of the same all round.
So, by no means is Origins a bad game, it is just more of the same that you are probably used to, only a little more underwhelming than you would like it to be. Go in thinking of Origins as an expansion pack rather than a completely new experience and you probably won’t be disappointed, maybe.
- Combat is the same.
- Story has the occasional interesting moment.
- You still feel like The Dark Knight.
- Never short of things to do.
- A dull, boring Gotham.
- Unimaginative missions and design.
- A misguided story line.
- No new features from the old games.
- Boss battles can be irritating.