Reviews for the Lazy Gamer: Batman: Arkham Origins
Game: Batman" Arkham Origins
Platform: PC, Xbox, PS3, Wii U
Publisher/Developer: Warner Bros
Describe This Game in Three Words: Army of One
Plot: This prequel takes us back to the beginning of Batman's career as a vigilante. He's been the Dark Knight for just two years at this point, and the career criminals of Gotham are beginning to take notice. Black Mask has put out a bounty on Batman's head. $50 million to whoever takes out the Bat, and it draws assassins from all over the world. In addition, Batman must stop a bomb plot by Anarky, and investigate a mysterious new mastermind known only as Joker.
Up, Up: I was a bit worried when I heard that Warner Bros. had taken back development of the third Arkham game from Rocksteady, but it's clear that they've done a pretty bang up job on their own. In many ways, Origins is the best so far.
Our new Batman is a much younger and angrier man than the one we've come to understand. It's clear that he is both still powered by his intense grief and has tempered none of it with any relationships with his extended "Bat Family" yet. His drive is singular, and it comes through heavily in the gameplay.
Stealth and predator aspects still make up a great deal of the game, but combat this time around is much more brutal and clearly centered on the physical abilities of Batman as a one-man war on crime. More than the previous two games, he is able to pretty much immediately descend into large groups, even armed groups, and utterly destroy with ease.
A lot more detail has been added to the aspects of him as a detective, and your investigations require a systematic breakdown of events that is actually really fascinating to behold as you repeatedly fast-forward and rewind a mental timeline developed by analyzing shot trajectories, DNA samples, and other evidence. Weirdly, the Batman most likely to just charge in and start punching is also the most cerebral.
More to the point, it's wonderful to see Batman take on a physically equal opponent like Deathstroke, and Origins handles it very well. That first battle against Slade Wilson is a real white-knuckle contest, and Warner Bros. does a really nice job mixing regular thug-beating tactics with expanded technique to match someone as capable as Deathstroke is.
Review continues on next page.