Every hero has a beginning; either you came from a distant planet or starts off with a dark past. Either way it is your choice on what legacy you want to begin and for Bruce Wayne, it was to be the Dark Knight that Gotham needed. This is the supposed prequel to the other Arkham titles where you take on Gotham as a fresh start Batman against a lot of heavy hitters, but the question that everyone is asking, has Warner Bros Montreal succeeded in this Batman? We shall definitely get into that.
The main villain this time around is Blackmask and right now Blackgate has been infiltrated unleashing all of Gotham’s most deadly of villains. The only wrench standing in Sionis’s way is Batman himself, but he has a night selection of assassin’s to keep the Dark Knight occupied while his plans are coming together, or so we think. I am sorry I am going to have to stop right there, because I am still looking for the “Origins” portion of the game. I get the fact that they wanted to keep the title with the Franchise, but so far with Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, they made sense. This title is very misleading and I was trying to save my negative points for the end of this review, but I just can’t. Let’s just lay all of our cards on the table right now, this is not Batman year one. I say this because many people are under the impression that this is. If this was it would of made a better game title. The second thing…you are infiltrating blackgate, which has nothing to do with Arkham Asylum. The reason the other two titles were called that because you had to deal with Arkham Asylum and then it expanded into a whole city area. This one really has nothing to do with the Asylum and if you played the first one with the Easter egg of finding Arkham’s ghost, that would be the true origin.
Where are the changes from the other two titles? With this game being made by Warner Bros Montreal, I was expecting some differences especially being a fresh batman, but to my surprise; his gadgets are better than the previous titles. How is that possible? The enhanced and I do mean enhanced detective mode gives you a full spectrum of the crime scene and a play by play of what exactly happened. I mean you can do a recorded viewing of exactly what happened to a victim or in that area which was not in any of the other titles. If this is a “prequel”, I would not expect his gadgets to be that impressive. The second was the rocket batclaw…we didn’t get that until part two and we had to do those special glide missions just to unlock it, but they said to hell with it and gave it to us from jump…Wtf? Now some were complaining about the change of the buttons, but it was not that much of a drastic change. They only switched the trigger button layout and I was fine with that.
One of my readers Psychowulff who is on the Xbox 360 version made this valid point,
“Yes, its a little confusing about him being fresh in the game, but I already have gadgets that I would of had to unlock further in Arkham City.”
I found it strange that you encounter all these badass assassins Copperhead to Killer Croc, but when you face them the battles are very weak, especially Electrocutioner or whatever hell you call him. I thought it was funny, but this is no time to joke right now Montreal, this is your time to impress us as you took over for Rocksteady! I finally got the chance to encounter Deathstroke and I was much hyped to get in this fight, but it was over in less than five minutes…I am laughing at this other reviewer that shall remain nameless who stated it took him 30 minutes on easy to defeat him…really dude thirty minutes…on easy? Either way, I was expecting a deeper fight with him, but surely was disappointed with that outcome. I mean come on I can let Bane or Killer Croc slide, but this is Slade and as a first time in a game outside of DCUO encountering him. The fact that you had him as the main selling point for this new franchise, really hyping him up and it ends in under five minutes. Go in the corner Montreal, you are done here.
So, the game can be beaten straight through in 8 hours and then you have the extras, like game plus mode and I Am The Night mode which only grants you one life. Then of course you have the challenge maps which will be in game as before against other players to show who can be the better fighter. This has been a fan favorite throughout the series and always challenging to go against others scores. At this point I feel that WB Montreal was just fishing to cause more replay value, even though it is already there by adding the 3 vs. 3 vs. 2 online modes. The objectives are not confusing at all, but it is up to you to follow them and that was not the case. The idea was to capture and eliminate enemy adversaries. However, you can skip the main objective and just go all death-match by either winning the match killing the two heroes. I was on Bane side for the past three games and my buddy ended up being batman. He got me that one time, but after that I figured out the pattern and the robin was getting done to easily. The shooting mechanics are very bad in terms of when I was taken down by a slow gliding robin and was getting hit markers. It does give you a final break down of how you died and how much damage you inflicted on your opponent. Not for nothing, but at a certain point you get to run to the door to activate bane or joker and frankly Joker is stronger than Bane. It all depends on who uses them I guess, but Joker is a bada** character to control.
There is a lot to unlock in the mutli-player as you level up, but they still need to fix the lobby system and of course the mic support, which the indicator was there, but not working. If you want to get your friends in a room, you can either do a private match or join a quick game, however you must invite your friends fast or the lobby will fill up and you are stuck with randoms’. The customization and abilities are pretty decent, but still not strong enough for me to make a return to multi-player. The challenge maps are enough to satisfy me.
There is not much good I can say about this title and WB Montreal really didn’t make this title their own. It is quite disappointing and feels more like an expansion rather than a prequel story. They changed the voice actor from Kevin Conroy to Roger Craig Smith and I thought he did a good job, but did he sound younger? No, not really. That’s what I was told is the reason behind the voice acting change and batman does not look any younger prior to the other titles. The fact that they let you walk around the batcave was pretty neat and seeing that the batmobile was not built yet was very disappointing, since the car was his first mode of travel. Speaking of that the new fast travel feature is a nice touch, but you still have to travel around to take out the towers to even utilize it anyway. Side mission have to be hunted down this time, they are not gifted to you anymore and the A.I villains are not that much of a challenge, except for a selected few that can counter your counter. That is a problem because that should be for later games with an enhanced enemy of that nature!
Batman: Arkham Origins gets a 2.5 out of 5 and I am slightly upset at this, but the signs were all there from the beginning as time passed. If I were you, wait for the price to drop and get the Game of the Year edition with all the DLC, challenge maps and all that. Xbox 360 people do not be sadden that you could not get the nightfall costume or Adam West Costume, because they are just costumes and for my friend that was screaming out that he can run around as White Lantern Batman, unless I have the powers, it does not impress me at all. In multi-player you will unlock other costumes if you progress or bother to do so, but as for me I rather wait for Rocksteady to come back with something else or give us another DC game based on another character like Catwomen, Nightwing or Deathstroke.
That is all for me right now and please return for next week as we get into Battlefield 4 and Assassin’s Creed 4. Stay frosty gamers!
Developer: Warner Bros. Games Montréal
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Action Adventure
Platforms: Nintendo WiiU, PC, Ps3, Xbox 360
Modes: Single-player, Multi-player
KKEnt’s Verdict: 2.5 out of 5