Batman Arkham Origins
Warner Bros. Game Montreal
Batman Arkham Origins, developed by Warner Bros. Game Montreal, released with a bit more over-anticipation than predicted given the game’s story mode, is short yet thrilling. The combat is smooth and free-flowing and, much like Batman Arkham City, the open-world sandbox provides great roaming capabilities. There is a definite sign that the series has gotten progressively darker given the physical and psychological torment Batman must endure.
Dark missions include killing Bane and then restarting his heart with shock gloves as well as fighting a jetpack equipped sociopathic pyromaniac, Firefly, atop the crumbling Gotham Pioneer Bridge.
Other memorable moments are when the Electrocutioner is thrown out of the top floor of a skyscraper by the Joker and dies after landing on a chandelier. When Batman and Joker come face to face with each other for the first time under those aliases.
Some of the errors of Batman Arkham Origins are frozen screens and glitches; these glitches range from enemies being stuck inside cars and becoming unreachable to Batman being unable to get in and out of vents. When the game does decide to work, it provides quite a fun time stringing gunmen upside down from awnings with the remote claw. By far, the triumph of all of Batman’s gadgets is the shock gloves, which make gameplay flow more quickly and are funny.
The shock gloves provide the player with the capability of mowing down enemies for about 90 seconds. Aside from the gadgets, the plot of Batman Arkham Origins is a mash-up of creativity and disappointment. In the interesting first half of the story, Batman fights eight assassins while trying to find out why Gotham’s crime lord, Black Mask, put a $50 million bounty out for him.
The game shifts gears when Black Mask is replaced by the Joker, voiced by Troy Baker. Baker plays a spot-on role as he sounds similar to Mark Hamill’s Joker. The Joker is lively, comical and crazy, but it seems the story has been hijacked by him while leaving Black Mask to a side mission. New villains such as Copperhead, Electrocutioner, Lady Shiva, Firefly and Deathstroke are given their brief screen time to fight Batman, but their appearances are short-lived.
Despite the faults of Batman Arkham Origins, the story holds up and the dialogue is direct and clever. There is even a moment where the Joker’s past is explored in the form of a brief mission directly into his psyche; the mission involves the Joker’s transformation from the original Red Hood to the Joker as a result of his confrontation with Batman. Aside from the occasional glitch or bug, Batman Arkham Origins still holds up even with the few problems it faces, which keeps it from being on par with Batman Arkham City.
I give it: 3/4 Stars
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