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Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline set several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, the first two critically acclaimed games of the franchise; Taking place before the rise of Gotham City's most dangerous criminals, the game showcases a young and 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, players will meet many important characters for the first time and forge key relationships
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Batman Arkham Asylum & Arkham City were epic games that re-defined a franchise and were completely capable of standing on their own in the franchise as excellent breakthrough games in this genre. However, Arkham Origins feels like a bad carbon copy of the previous two games (between the voice acting, story, graphics, level design and basically lazy game creation). This game brings very few new inspirations to the Batman Arkham franchise. The gadgets feel very stale, the free-flow combat feels recycled with no new moves or animations, the voice acting is mediocre at best (Kevin Conroy, the previous voice of Batman, is not one that can easily be replaced... and in this game is not).
For a city, such as Gotham which is supposed to be a lively massive sprawling city, I'm blown away by the blatant re-use of everything Arkham City and very few new additions that are just spread out across large bridges or "city walls". Moving from one area/neighborhood of the map to another feels like a trek between distant islands (and this is not a good thing.... a lesson that should have been learned from any game designer thru Nintendo's island hopping adventure, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker). Also, where are all the citizen of Gotham? I've been gliding across this city for a few hours and yet to see a single resident of this "vibrant" city except for thugs, villains, corrupt police, and the signature characters of the franchise. I'm not as interested in stopping a turf war between thugs as I am pulling off some epic batman stunt to protect actual Gotham-ites.
Not to mention the technical issues: frequent frame rate slow-down, audio choppiness, game stuttering, and out-of-sync audio. The producers should have held out longer on this game for defect resolution & more so, the overall game content. This game feels almost similar to the re-hashing and re-packaging of formally great titles such as Assassin's Creed (specifically the AC2 series - Brotherhood & Revelations).
Probably the most innovative feature I've seen in this game so far is the new crime scene reconstruction feature which brings to light Batman's impressive detective prowess. Being able to create a visualization of the crime makes for a great add to the franchise and to Batman's impressive arsenal. Outside of that, the most effort I've seen in this game is the re-designed artistic approach to the menu's and HUD... which probably could have been left out.
As a huge fan of this series, I was quite disappointed in this release (if you couldn't tell already). I still have yet to try the multi-player... but if the solo campaign is any indication of what awaits in the multi-player campaign. I think I may be better of just skipping it. Nonetheless, it still has the great batman action that has come to redefine a franchise and the video game industry. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. Games Montréal took Rocksteady's great triumph and basically managed to release a new $60 DLC for Arkham City that gives a bit of backstory (and not even an origin story) for this great series. Ironically, its typically the sequels that disappoint but in this case, they managed to change the status quo and flop with the third installment.
VERDICT: Batman is great, WB Games Montréal is not. Better luck next time WB Games Montréal, but in the meantime... its time to return this series to its proper owner. If I could give this game 2 1/2 stars I would, but out of respect for the amazing work performed by developer Rocksteady in the past, I'll have to round up to a 3 out of 5 stars.
For this reason (as well as some of the bugs / glitches I've run into) I give the game a four-star review. The devil's in the details and if you get the history of Batman wrong it loses some of the credibility. Also, in the very first issue of Batman (May 1939) Bruce Wayne is sitting in COMMISSIONER Gordon's office, not DETECTIVE Gordon. Maybe he got demoted? It was nice to see Harleen Quinzel in her early days but she was invented in the late '90s.
As a new addition to the Batman Arkham franchise this is a good game, despite the reins being passed away from Rocksteady. When I finished the main story mission I was only 27% complete so there is lots to do here. Although there are buildings that you will recognize from Arkham City, there are masses of new buildings and scenery as well. One reviewer stated it was exactly the same but it's not. This is Gotham City after all so why should everything look completely different?
I started this game in Easy mode and it was still a challenge (though my skills aren't great) but some of the challenges were bugs. Silent take-downs wouldn't work until I restarted the game. Ground take-downs worked rarely and jumping out of the way of a huge thug was mental! It's like my controller grew a mind of its own.
All of this aside, I really do like this game. I know the historical issues won't bother most people but they bothered me since I have the early issues of Detective comics through the Batman Chronicles. Thanks to Arkham Asylum and City I became interested in the Batman stories and characters. Batman Arkham Origins have still managed to keep that interest alive.
Until Warner brothers can patch this game, it is worthless and worth one star. The fact that it is a rehash of Arkham City, and nothing really new, I could overlook if the game was playable.
Warner Brothers has issued an apology, but it does not do anything for me. They took my money for a broken game. And an oology is not making the game any more playable.
DO NOT BUY THIS GAME, until they fix it.
Edit: The problem seems to be related to the WBID. I will be keeping this review up until the problem is patched.
Where is heath ledger?
Batman has no super strength!
Therefore superman, a guy who could destroy a planet would beat him instantly!
Poor gameplay, poor graphic, and bad story is not what makes a good game!