In the video game industry, it is a common joke that video games starring superheroes are poorly done. The major exception to this is Batman, who has starred in several great games, including the recent “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and “Batman: Arkham City.” The next installment in this series, “Batman: Arkham Origins,” takes a look back to the early days of Batman.
Rocksteady, the developer of the previous “Batman: Arkham” games, is not developing this installment. WB Montreal is instead taking up the reigns for “Arkham Origins.” Other changes include the voice actors. Roger Craig Smith, the voice of Ezio in the “Assassin’s Creed” series, voicing the role of Batman and Troy Baker, currently known as Joel in “The Last of Us” and “Booker DeWitt” in Bioshock Infinite, portraying the Joker.
The plot of “Batman: Arkham Origins” is not the origin of Batman; in fact, the Caped Crusader has been out for two years at this point. However, Black Mask has sent out a bounty of $50 million on him on Christmas Eve, making him the target of eight villains, including classics like the Joker and Bane along with newcomers such as Copperhead and Firefly. Batman must now go around all of Gotham City in order to take down Black Mask.
Because this game is set early in Batman’s career, fighting is slightly different. Here, some enemies can counter Batman’s moves, adding a layer of difficulty and strategy to each fight. Also, with each assassin that Batman takes down, he can gain a new ability reminiscent of Mega Man. For example, after Batman takes down a villain known as the Electrocutioner, he gets electric gloves.
Along with these abilities, Batman also has the Bat plane for fast travel throughout Gotham as well as access to the Batcave.
With the single player campaign, a competitive multiplayer system is available, a first for the series. In this mode, two gangs, one run by the Joker and the other by Bane, try to overtake the opposing faction’s checkpoints. A pair of players can play as Batman and Robin who try to take down the two gangs.
In addition to this game, which comes out for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC, another game by the same name will be available for iOS and Android.
This game, developed by NetherRealm Studios, is a simple arcade-style brawler with daily challenges and side quests to help build up Batman’s combat skills or earn bonuses like an alternate costume for Batman. This game also incorporates different stances for Batman, prompts as to when to block and attack, and RPG elements like pre-mission boosts and upgrades to Batman’s suits.
Another game tied with “Batman: Arkham Origins” is a handheld version called “Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate,” which acts as an epilogue to “Arkham Origins.” In a gameplay style similar to Metroid, Batman infiltrates Blackgate prison where the Joker, the Penguin, and Black Mask have taken over.
The gameplay is largely item-based and the combat from the other games has also been incorporated, where Batman can move along the 2.5D environment as well as the background and foreground. Cutscenes appear in comic form with voices over them. “Arkham Origins Blackgate” also features side missions, different suits with unique abilities, and multiple endings depending on which crime boss is taken out last.
“Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate” will release for the Playstation Vita and Nintendo 3DS on Oct. 25 alongside the console version of “Batman: Arkham Origins” with the mobile version releasing afterwards.