April 9, 2013, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced the upcoming release of Batman: Arkham Origins, ushering a third installment in an amazing franchise. This begs the question: can Warner Bros. Montreal (the new developer) deliver? Games are always intended to be linear; getting better with time. However, most of us gamers known all too well that this isn’t always the case. Sometimes things just go bad. Back in 2008, there was a lot of doubt surrounding how well Batman: Arkham Asylum would do. Superhero games are some of the hardest to pull off successfully. But oh Nelly!!! Asylum blew all our nerdy expectations out of the water! Still today, five years later, Asylum is very much re-playable and still very much enjoyable.
The same could be said of Arkham City, which released in 2011. The same voice acting carried over and was top notch for both Asylum and Arkham City, with Kevin Conroy as the caped crusader and legendary actor Mark Hamill as both the Joker and Scarface. The graphics were stunning. The combat smooth and nontechnical. And all the gadgets a budding detective would need in taking down Gotham’s villainy. The only thing missing for me in Arkham City was a continuation of the Killer Croc sub-story that had developed within the pits of Asylum’s sewer. I’m sure there have been other complaints, but for the most part its all nit-picky stuff, nothing fundamentally upsetting. The only thing really nagging me, regarding if Arkham Origins will rock, is that, as mentioned above, WB Montreal are taking the helm, instead of Rocksteady, who had developed the two previous games.
According to Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment website, “Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline occurring several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Taking place before the rise of Gotham City’s most dangerous villains and assassins, the game showcases a young, raw, unrefined Batman as he faces a defining moment in his early career as a crime fighter that sets his path to becoming the Dark Knight. As the story unfolds, witness identities being formed and key relationships being forged.” Thus far, all the press releases following the announcement for Arkham Origins, makes everything seem very hopeful that the game will be one of the best, maybe even perhaps better than Asylum (big maybe).
Some of the new features in the game include new enemies, such as: the Enforcer and a more nimble martial arts experts. The Enforce is as it sounds, a tank, who will need to be dazed and then dearmored by a special attack move before they can be hurt. The latter is more agile foe, with blocks, evades and counterattacks, prompting the Dark Knight to switch tactics more vigorously between all the different enemy types. The new gadgets seem to involve a deeper level of detective play, such as: recreating a 3D crime scene. There are also some new interesting ways of taking down goons, such as with the remote claw, allowing players to aim between two different targets. The new story looks even deeper than the previous two games, with the Black Mask set as the main antagonist. Not much else has really been said regarding all the new features, though I’m sure there will be a few more announcements sometime soon. The trailer/short film recently released showcases some of the games visuals, as well as some of the subtext that will carry the mood of the game. If you haven’t yet watched it (where have you been?), check it out below:
Batman: Arkham Origins is set to release October 25th, 2013.