Top critical review
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Fun, But Very Flawed
on November 11, 2013
Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham city are two of my favorite games of all time. Arkham Asylum gave us excellent graphics, an excellent storyline, excellent voice acting and above all else, excellent gameplay. It was such an enjoyable experience, that upon beating it, I immediately started over again. Arkham City improved on this successful recipe by opening up gameplay to the expanse "City of Arkham". One very important thing that both games had in common, was the developer Rocksteady Studios. Batman: Arkham Origins was developed my Warner Bros Montreal. Oh how the developer can make a difference. I'll start by saying that the game as a whole is a good game. It's quite fun and and very similar to the first two Batman games. In fact, it's almost a carbon copy of Arkham City, with some DLC added to it. New toys were added to Batman's arsenal, such as shock gloves, the disruptor, glue grenades and a remote batclaw. All of the other gadgets are present - smoke pellets, decryptor, explosive gel, etc. are all items that you start out with. There are a number of bosses, all of which have unique ways in which they are defeated. There are plenty of side missions to keep you busy (ala Riddler trophies in AC), such as destroying riddler disruptors, responding to police calls, destroying drug stashes, etc. You are also now allowed to fast travel around the city via the Batwing once you liberate certain Riddler disrupted radio towers. The game is a prequel, so you will be just getting to know characters like the Riddler and the Joker and there are many other villains in the game that you will get to enterface with. The game looks good and the new voice actors for Batman and the Joker do a very fine job.
All of these things are great, but they do not detract with the game being buggy and frustrating. I've never had a game freeze up on me, requiring a restart as often as this game (at least for PS3). The sound has gone in and out during gameplay. There was a sequence where all I could do was walk around during a fight....no fighting buttons worked and none of the enemies was engage me anyhow. One of the new gadgets - the glue grenade - is great when it actally works. The hit detection for the GG is no poor, that you could throw one directly on the target, just for it to miss with no apparent reason why. These are just a few of the many bugs that have taken away from the overall experience of a very good game.
Bugs aside, I also found myself asking a question. It's understandible that in Arkham City the streets would be filled with thugs. After all, AC was basically a sealed off prison city. However, in this prequel, nothing but thugs roam the streets. Where are the normal citizens? You will hear a loud speaker from time to time that speaks of a city-wide curfew, but it just seems odd that there are absolutely no normal citizens, only thugs. Not a big deal, I guess I just expected so much out of this game that the little things like this were noticieable to me.
Overall, BAO is a good game. If you enjoyed either of the first two Batman games in the series, you'll want to pick this title up. Just beware of the bugs - perhaps the XBOX360 version has less bugs, but I have a feeling it won't matter what system you use. After restarting the game 7 or 8 times because of a frozen screen you may find yourself throwing your controller. That is, if the battle with Deathstroke doesn't have you kicking your TV first (the eipotme of frustrating boss battles).