Batman: Arkham Origins review (PS3)

MightyNoX | 308d ago | User review
Reviewing: Batman: Arkham Origins
Arkham City 1.5
Imagine, if you will, falling in love with a beautiful girl. She's smart, she's funny, she's beautiful and she knows how to make you happy. You have no idea how but somehow every syllable, every word and every one of her actions make your heart soar. She just has that certain 'quality', if you will.
Fast forward in time, you and your beau have broken up (circumstances not important) and you're with someone else. She's sweet, she's passionate and she really, REALLY wants to please. You smile and you nod and then you tell her to try an act like your old girlfriend...she does so and because she loves you, she does a really good job at it. She hits every note, every pitch and yet...there's something missing.

"Je nais se quoi."

It's that quality. It's missing.

Batman: Arkham Origins is the third game in the Arkham series and the first one NOT develoed by series founder Rocksteady. The first game, Arkham Asylum, did the impossible by giving the players the sense of what it is to be Batman. The second game, Arkham City, went even further and perfected the feeling of being The Dark Knight culiminating in one of the most emotional endings of all time.

It's safe to say that WB has mighty big shoes indeed.

STORY

Arkham Origins begins on the start of Batman's third year as Gotham's Caped Crusader. The majority of the criminal underworld believe him to be a myth whilst the Gotham police force consider him a public menace. Meanwhile Roman Sionis the Black Mask, summons many of the world's greatest assassins with the promise of 50 million dollars to the one who brings him Batman's head.

Safe to say, there's a lot of interesting ground to cover.

Unfortunately, the narrative lacks any sort of impact at all. The stakes are practically non-existent. Wheras Asylum had the Joker's ultimate plan driving the whole narrative and Asylum had Hugo Strange's ominprescent all-seeing precence every pulling us towards the end, Origin's 8 assassins storyline feels lackluster and weak. As Alfred aptly put it, the deadline for Batman's death is 24 hours and he could just simply hide and let them leave. Your story loses any semblance of an 'oomph' when your main threat can be defeated by waiting them out.

I suspect it was because of this that the writers introduced THAT plot twist and the rage on the boards have been nothing short of amusing.

All in all, don't expect to be wowed by the story. The isn't a love-letter penned by Paul Dini, that's for sure.

GAMEPLAY:

Exactly the same as Arkham City which does a good job of making you feel like Batman. The only interesting addition are the 'Crimes-in-progress' which are basically a group of baddies that you have to beat. They're tedious and entirely optional. I do miss the Riddler's puzzles, though.

MECHANICS:

The game is unoptimized. Never in an Arkham game have I suffered the black screen of death or have had Batman stuck behind a wall or a trash bin, yet there I was...restarting and replaying the game over and over. WB Montreal doesn't seem to have a handle on the engine. Already several workaround 'solutions' are fluttering around the net.

Expect a few game-breaking bugs.

CONCLUSION

That Troy Baker attempts to imitate Mark Hamill's Joker seems so eerily appropriate in lieu of everything. Arkham City desperately wants to please you and hits all the right notes, sometimes perfectly but it just lacks that certain quality.

The new guy SOUNDS like Batman but he's not Kevin Conroy.
Troy Baker SOUNDS like the Joker but he's not Mark Hamill.
The story ATTEMPTS to be emulate Paul Dini's writing but it's not the same.
The gameplay COPIES Arkham City but brings nothing new to the table (certainly not the difference between AA and AC)

Je nais se quoi, indeed.

I would like to STRESS that WB Monstreal had been correct in their approach. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. They were caught between a rock and a hard place. If they changed the formula too much, fans would have undoubtedly burned them at the stake. It just pains me that this game could have been easily a 9 out of 10 game if Rocksteady returned to a final entry.

If you're hungry for more Arkham City, pick this up to sate your hunger pangs.
Ups
More of Arkham City's gameplay
Bigger map
Batcave, I guess?
Downs
Bugs, bugs, BUGS!
Meh storyline
No Riddler riddles
Score
7.0
Graphics Arguably worse than Arkham City. The map's huge size caused my PS3 grief to no end. This game is unoptimized, causing huge dips in the frame rate.
7.5
Sound Troy Baker comfortably wears the Joker but Batman's new voice lacks Kevin Conroy's charm. Everything else is serviceable.
8.0
Gameplay It's Arkham City's gameplay. Be happy
7.7
Fun factor Huge map to explore, plenty of collectibles to gather yet somehow it all became tedious halfway through.
0.0
Online Multiplayer in a Batman game?! It is to laugh. Sadly, there's a Gear of War match shoved in the game where you play either one of Bane or the Joker's faction and you have to duke it all while avoiding pesky heroes from snatching you. Haven't had time to play it.
7.8
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
Zizi  +   305d ago
I like your analogy. Hahaha...

Good job.
Jurat  +   305d ago
I was afraid of this when I heard that the gaming press hadn't been sent review copies.
ABizzel1  +   304d ago
Seems like this game would have benefitted if they had moved it to the PS4 and XBO for more processing power for better graphics and bigger maps, and a Spring 2014 release date to add more features, gameplay options, characters, a better story, and iron out all bugs.

It saddens me, but this is one of those games I have to try for myself, because it's just so hard to believe that a game that was a GOTY contender a couple years ago has dropped down to just above average.
Am_Ryder  +   303d ago
See, I feel very differently.

I, for some reason, didn't find Arkham City very compelling at all. It felt largely like a chore to me. So I was just expecting to have a bigger, more fun version of Arkham City with Origins- and I got exactly that.

To me, it goes:

Arkham Asylum = Version 1 (almost flawless, too)
Arkham City = Version 1.5 (disappointing)
Arkham Origins = Version 2 (what City should have been- big map, many more enemies/ fights, big story, etc.)

In my review which I'll be N4G'ing very soon, I gave Origins a 9.5/10. I've had a bloody great time with it.

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Batman: Arkham Origins

Average Score 7.4 Reviews(221)
Release Dates
Android Release Dates
iPad Release Dates
iPhone Release Dates
PC Release Dates
US 25 October 2013
AU 25 October 2013
EU 25 October 2013
PS3 Release Dates
US 25 October 2013
EU 25 October 2013
AU 25 October 2013
PS4 Release Dates
Wii U Release Dates
Xbox 360 Release Dates
Xbox One Release Dates