By Ruben Etienne
Oct. 25 saw the release of “Batman: Arkham Origins”, the prequel to Rocksteady’s critically acclaimed “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and “Batman: Arkham City” worldwide.
The video game was developed by Warner Bros. Montreal and was written by Corey May and Dooma Wendschuch, who between them have written games like “Assasin’s Creed” and “Prince of Persia”. “Arkham Origins” strays away from the action based game style Rocksteady introduced and placed Batman in an open world, story driven video game similar to “Assasin’s Creed”. While it seem initially enticing, “Arkham Origins” does not live up to the expectations set by the two previous games.
The title is misleading; the video game isn’t an origin story that takes players into the story of Bruce Wayne becoming Batman; the game begins when Batman’s presence is an unproven rumor prior to the events of “Arkham Origins”. The video game attempts to highlight the story, but it is riddled with so many plot holes that it can disappoint players when completing the video game.
The game centers around Black Mask hiring eight assassins to eliminate Batman, so logic would dictate that the completion of the game would be defeating all eight assassins and then dealing with Black Mask. If lucky, you’ll be able to encounter six of the eight assassins before completing the game, which is deceptively short for such a seemingly complex storyline.
The game begins to feel like “Assasin’s Creed” with the added gadgets throughout the game, enemies that require different strategies to defeat, and Roger Craig Smith voicing both Bruce Wayne, Batman and Ezio Auditore from the “Assasin’s Creed” franchise. The open world and the fast travel stations throughout the open world also devalues the game and strays away from the action driven video game “Arkham Asylum” and “Arkham City” masterfully intertwines with its story.
When playing “Arkham Origins” the distinction between side quests and main storyline quests are painfully obvious, while “Arkham City” kept players engaged throughout. The side quests boil down to arriving at a specific place to beat up certain criminals each and every time.
“Arkham Origins” does bring new dynamics to the game that appear to make the game compelling. The detective mode used to analyzing crime scenes argues in favor of Batman’s moniker as “the world’s greatest detective.” The introductions of new villains to the game like Anarky and Electrocutioner, as well as bringing back Batman classic villains like Bane, Deadshot, Deathstroke and the Joker mesh well together; the game gives each villain its due diligence without making the game seem like it threw villains in the game for the sake of throwing them in.
This game has many flaws that make the game painful at times to play. The bridge that connects the northern half of Gotham with the southern half of Gotham is excruciating to cross, and is necessary to cross for certain missions which leads to 1015 minutes of gliding across the bridge just to reach a point. The fighting system the previous games perfected is devalued with the abundance of gadgets that makes fights less about strategy and more about button mashing.
The game sets itself to be completed by anyone with little to no effort. Completing the video game only completes about 2030% of the video game itself. The online mode of the game plays similarly to a 3rd person shooter version of “Call of Duty” which is underwhelming considering the games that came before it.On its own, “Batman: Arkham Origins” is not necessarily a bad video game, but when compared to “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and “Batman: Arkham City” this game is obviously underwhelming.
The fighting system is the same, but the action is few and far in between, and is replaced by an incomplete storyline that ultimately disappoints and it’s vast open world map that is excessive. Despite its new additions of characters and gadgets, the game unfortunately does not live up to the expectations “Arkham City” sets.