Batman: Arkham Origins - The Review

Batman: Arkham Origins adds to the popular action-adventure Arkham video games series developed by WB Games Montréal. This latest showing by WB Games Montréal introduces an original prequel storyline set several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. You will see a younger Batman as he faces defining moments on his way to become the Dark Knight.

Origins of the Dark Knight

The game unfolds in an expanded Gotham City before the rise of the city’s most dangerous criminals. One problem with the city, though, is that it is astonishingly uninteresting compared to previous depictions of the same city in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City.

The streets in Batman: Arkham Origins are packed with corrupt cops and confused criminals. There are no civilians to save and no people to help. You will only find supervillains to cuff and criminal plans to thwart. Apparently, a "citywide mandatory curfew" prevents people going to the streets.

Anyway, the city is pretty lackluster, but you probably won't mind too much because you can beat up pretty much everything in sight. Batman: Arkham Origins is defined not by alterations or improvements to the near-perfect Arkham formula and mechanics, but by its numerous distractions.

You will be inclined to wander and explore the seemingly lifeless city and you might just enjoy it thanks to nice incentives like a full-to-bursting utility belt. Batman is also very handy in a fight. Pressing just one attack button allows him to maneuver between targets diving and ducking a stream of incoming blows.

The counter button allows Batman to repel dense matrices of incoming blows that threaten to land. You can also build combos quickly to deliver a final blow that has a satisfying crack, which the game always frames up nicely and puts into slow motion.

Overall impression

Batman: Arkham Origins is a pretty decent game. Its inspiring stories help establish how Batman forged an uneasy alliance with James Gordon and how his adversarial relationships with the criminals who loom large in the Arkham games all began.

However, the game is pretty predictable and weapon accuracy leaves a lot to be desired. That said, the game gives exactly what you would expect in an Arkham game: plenty of action and adventure.

Arkham Origins is definitely worth experiencing because of the way it sets the stage for the events of the other Arkham video games.

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