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Batman: Arkham Origins review
Meh
by bgsmith3

Batman Arkham Origins is a good Batman game, but a terrible Batman: Arkham game. Strip away all of the trappings and you have a game that is trying desperately to copy and ride on the coat tails of one of the best entries in the Batman: Arkham games: (and in my eyes one of the best comic book video games ever made) Batman: Arkham City. The game is set on Christmas Eve five years before the events in Arkham Asylum. Batman has only been active for two years and has already upset the criminal element in the city. In response to this, Black Mask puts a bounty on Batman’s head attracting the attention of nine assassins. Batman must survive the night and stop the reign of terror that the assassins have decided to unleash on Gotham to lure him out and kill him. This sounds like a simple premise, but the game quickly decides to go “all out” and doesn’t try to do anything different with the established Arkham formula. The story shines when Corey May (Assassin’s Creed) and the other writers get creative and focus on the game. But when they decide to try and explain things that occur in future games….well they break canon…..seriously….Arkham Origins diminishes if not outright contradicts the story in Arkham Asylum on so many levels. The dialogue is good, and there is a progression to the game, but the game also sloppily sidelines many of the main players in the game and either confine them to cameos (the Penguin), side missions (Deadshot, Shiva, and others), or outright forgets about them until the end of the game (Firefly). The game also attempts to depict the first time many of these characters interact with Batman and each other. Some work (Barbara Gordon, Jim Gordon) some don’t (the Joker, Bane, and others). The game shoe horns the Joker into the game and does absolutely nothing with him of significance. Bane is clearly inspired by his depiction in The Dark Knight Rises, which isn’t bad, but is so uncreative to me. And what is done with the character in the game is outright pathetic, pandering petulant writing. There are some emotional beats that just don’t stick. If the game would have tried to stay within its means and tell an authentic Batman story first instead of trying desperately to tie everything into the Arkhamverse then maybe the game would be more enjoyable. The side missions are okay, but there are too many objectives in them and not enough satisfying payoffs (the Enigma mission is best to be skipped…the end result simply isn’t worth it).There is also a scene that hints at a future game not necessarily involving Batman that will probably never see the light of day. The voice acting is okay. Nolan North returns as the Penguin. Roger Craig Smith (Ezio Auditore) voices Bruce Wayne/Batman and does a good job. He’s no Kevin Conroy, but he’s not bad. Many veteran voice actors fill out the cast rather well. Troy Baker delivers an uninspired, kind of pathetic, impression of Mark Hamill’s Joker. Sorry, Baker did nothing with this role and as I suggested….the Joker was not needed in the film. Now I would have thoroughly enjoyed the game if the Red Hood (the Joker before his fall into the chemicals) was in the game and you witness his fall into the chemicals and the ending of the game hints at the Joker to come. The game didn’t use that distance to hint and set up these relationships that emerged in future games. No, it just hit the ground running and sloppily tried to explain parts of the Arkham universe that didn’t necessarily need to be explained. The graphics are very dated to 2013. There is a bland dullness to textures and the environment that lacks that gothic unique design that Rocksteady put into their games. I will praise the Christmas setting and what is done with it aesthetically, musically and otherwise. But like most of the game, it is very uninspired in regard to graphics and design. Character designs are kind of dull and are taken from other things besides the art department being creative. Batman’s costume is a hodgepodge of various influences from the Nolan Batman films to the New 52 costume. I don’t have an issue with it….but seriously…..be creative. Cutscene graphics are good, however I experienced a lot of lag and desynchronized sound both when I played the hard copy of this game and when I played it on Playstation Now (it was actually better to play the game on Playstation Now, and I know the difference between buffering or lagging connection to the content on Playstation Now and lagging sound that is in the game itself). I do remember that this game was/is plagued with bugs so there is that to acknowledge. Lastly, the gameplay is so dull and routine that it’s both frustrating and familiar. Batman is too agile for his antics and its difficult to see this Batman doing the things he does and seeing Batman being more contained in Arkham Asylum. The gadgets and abilities that Batman does in this game seem to contradict with the other entries in the franchise and once again, it seems like a retooled, repurposed, unimaginative version of Arkham City.Ultimately Arkham Origins is a competent game, but it is so offbrand and outright insulting to the Arkham series that it diminishes the fantastic games that Rocksteady made. I know that this game is considered to be canon….but I just ignore it.
Rating: 3/5
«Boooring»
«I could make it better»
«Game over at last!»

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Batman Arkham Origins PC Review (Finished on 08/30/2020)

Note: *The final word in terms of feedback was given to the port, not to the overall game. The game itself is great, it was the port that didn't give justice to one of the best Batman and superheroes games in existence.

Pros

+Cast of characters both main and secondaries. The game has one of the richest cast characters of any Batman game to date. Alongside the participation of Bruce Wayne as Batman and Alfred Pennyworth, there's also the likes of Commissioner James Gordon, GCPD Detective Harvey Bullock and Barbara Gordon in her initial incarnation before becoming Batgirl/Oracle and Joseph Warden from the side of the supporters. From the antagonist side, the game has Bane, The Joker, Firefly, Killer Croc, Deathstroke serving as part of the main enemies, The Riddler, Lady Shiva, Deadshot, Mad Hatter, Bird, The Penguin, and Anarchy serving as the secondary enemies. Thanks to the DLC, the cast of character also welcomes Mr. Freeze, making one of the most impressive numbers of characters to interact in a Batman game, all of them very important characters to the Batman and the DC universe overall.

+Many features and options to customize the port. The port does a good job enabling the usage of both controllers and keyboard/mouse right from the start, as also switching from one to another is a very seamless transition. Aside from the Main Story, the game contains the traditional Challenge Mode, which is a set of both combat and predator maps with designated objectives that need to be completed as instructed for a full completion per map. The game does support multiple ways of experiencing audio such as Surround, Headphones or TV and the graphical options are plenty to tweak such as the activation or deactivation of full screen, resolution selection, v-sync, anti-aliasing, geometry detail, dynamic shadows, motion blur, depth of field, distortion, lens flares, light shafts, reflections, ambient occlusion, and hardware acceleration. Finally, the DLC portion of the game contains a separate mode called "Cold, Cold Heart" which tells the story of a grudge between philanthropists and GothamCorp CEO Ferris Boyle and Victor Fries known as Mr. Freeze, as Batman is in charge of stopping both since Boyle is trying to kill both Mr. Freeze and his wife in cryostasis, Nora Fries and Mr. Freeze is seeking revenge and plans to save his wife. There's also the traditional Character Trophies and Gallery which are unlocked as you progress in the game, alongside Synopsis mode which retells in form of a review, the events of Arkham Origins, finally the Casefile reports which happens to detail about every single event in Gotham City. Alongside the main story, they are two types of side quests, one called the Police Cases, which are events where Batman reconstruct the crime scene to make sense of the situation and also The Most Wanted cases, which are the sub-quests of some the main and secondary villain of the game, where they are drug stashes that need to be explored, weapon crates that needed to be jammed, waves of enemies that needed to be defeated, items that need to be collected, etc.

+The combat mechanism and overall gameplay are the same as Asylum and City, but with few improvements. The freeflow combat makes a return to this entry, which for those who have not played the previous games is a system where Batman is free to move and attack the whole map, creating combos by the combination of individual attacks, the usage of gadgets, special moves that can be activated after reaching a certain number of hits, and by a counter or evading the enemy's attack. As for Batman gadgets available are the batarang, bat claw for pulling vents, demolish certain walls and pull enemies, concussion detonator capable of stunning enemies from a distance, cryptographic sequencer to decipher electronic locks when outside of combat, disruptor to disable weapons and jamming devices, explosive gel to stun enemies and break certain weak walls, glue grenade to block vents pipes and blind enemies, grapnel gun to accelerate the gliding throughout the map, remote claw to grab enemies towards you and to attach to certain sections, remote-controlled batarang to do a homing attack in combat or to solve puzzles when navigating the maps, shock gloves to solve puzzles and to improve the combat experience, smoke pellet to blurry the enemy view when in predator mode, and many more. Alongside the freeflow combat system is also the Predator Mode, in which Batman enters a stealth-like mode with the task of subduing silently the number of enemies targeted, and with the help of the Detective Mode (X-Ray vision), understand better if the enemies are armed or not, and how many of them, if they are armored, if there's a jamming device, etc. There are also some sections within the Story Mode and DLC segment where after defeating a wave of enemies, the last one will trigger an "Interrogate" prompt so Batman can obtain more information of the task at hand, expand the location of certain items within the map or give a new objective. Finally, the "Detective Scene" mode where Batman activates the detective mode in certain areas to collect clues via reconstruction of the events with the ability to rewind or pause to know about key items or key people involved and how to proceed to deal with them. The input of the combat and stealth sections is responsive and provides the player with many options to tackle even enduring objectives with precision and variety.

+The overall visual presentation is well done. The UI fonts and the way of navigating the menus is like if the player was accessing the Bat computer with the futuristic style. Aside from the font style, while on the main menu, you will see animated pictures of Batman changing every time an option is selected. The graphics are basically the same from both Arkham City and Arkham Asylum, only they seem to put more details into the Batman and the main bosses, as the suits and costumes of everybody previously mentioned seems more refined than previous entries. The non-main enemies are less disfigured than the two previous Arkham entries due to how well the polygonal anatomies and meshes were done, alongside how decent the internal and external sections of the map looks in terms of perspective, good projection of shadows, overall lightning effects, smoke effects and also the alerts when Batman is about to be attacked, that depending on the attack, it changes the color to light blue if is normal attacks, yellow if is a weapon attack that can be countered, red if is an attack that can only be avoided and double light blue if is a double counter on a normal attack. The X-ray vision of the detective mode still does a good the job of showing the hidden parts, the graphical silhouette of the enemies, the bombs placed, the vent entrances and even the fuzzy image when intercepted by enemy hardware was correctly developed into the final product and finally, the cutscenes are still high-quality videos that add momentum to the ongoing events of this game, something introduced in Arkham Asylum, but still very well executed in Arkham Origins to the point of being some the best compilation of cutscenes in the series.

+The story is a good Batman story and one of the best Batman stories. Arkham Origins focuses the plot 5 years before the events of Arkham Asylum, on an inexperienced Bruce Wayne taking on the Batman mantle in its beginnings on a night of Christmas Eve and tells an episode where eight of his more recognizable enemies Bane, Copperhead, Lady Shiva, Deathstroke, Deadshot, Firefly, Electrocutioner & Killer Croc are pursuing a bounty set by Black Mask of USD$50 million for whoever kills Batman. Unbeknownst to BlackMask, there's an unknown enemy in the game which not only plans to collect the money of the bounty and put the caped crusader on a dangerous spot, but this character gets away by taking Black Mask position as the new crime lord of Gotham City and later reveal himself to be The Joker, who is all in for a war with Batman. Thanks to the DLC, after all the assassins have been put in jail or out of the commission, it is later revealed that Mr. Freezes team up with The Penguin on a plot to kidnap Ferris Boyle, GothamCorp CEO and philanthropist, as revenge due to Boyle's attempt to kill both Mr. Freeze and his wife Nora Fries, which is in cryostasis status. The plot of the game has a good pace, as the main narrative happens with decent speed, they are situation which one may think that is all over for Batman but is all the contrary, and then there are even segments as sidequests where more villains such as Enigma, Bird, etc are present to complicate things for Batman more than they already are.

+Voice acting, overall sound effects, and OST are very good. Batman Arkham Origins gives players a comic/movie-like experience with the iconic voices of every single one of the characters within the game, whether if is Alfred advice to Batman, or Batman intimidation to enemies, Bane combination of both English and Spanish words, The Joker maniac analogies and impersonations, the dramatic voice of Black Mask, you name it, everything is provided with top quality resembling any animated movie or TV series, combined with the cinematic ambiance music characteristic of the Batman series as a whole that greatly improves the tense and enigmatic moments, the stealth sequences, the combat segments, all emulating the audio experience that made every Batman cartoon, movie, TV series to unique to the DC ecosystem.

Cons

-An unplayable Online Mode which servers are closed, making Online play impossible as of 2020, on top that previous Batman Arkham games did not need a multiplayer game to show the greatness of what the Batman Arkham series is capable of achieving. The Online Mode should not have been implemented at all and that data could have been used to expand the story or side quest of the game.

-Another game that forces the players to complete the main story portion in order to unlock the new game plus and the "I Am The Night" mode. While is understandable for the new game plus, it does not make much sense for a mode like "I Am The Night" to be locked through the completion of the new game plus to justify replay value.

-It would have been a good opportunity to use another map for this game, as every Arkham entry uses a different map or improves on the re-used maps as this is technically a shallow replica version of the map found in Arkham City.

-The boss fights are very one dimensional as the player is only limited to do what the game forces you to in order to reduce the health of the enemies, eliminating the creativeness in which player can battle the enemy bosses. They should create ways to allow more freedom per battle and not being so restrictive in the ways to finish a battle.

-The collectives from the game are only centered in the subquest portion related to The Riddler and nothing more. They should have included collectives that expand on the lore and overall main story of the game, as the majority of the side quests had something to do with the narrative of the main story.

-The port is badly optimized, probably the lowest point of the port. There's noticeable cracking sound wise in some areas, there's also flickering when the PhysX and the DirectX11 effects are activated on other areas, sometimes when a section is loaded, you can see the rendering has not finished generating the models or the levels, the camera can go bonkers or do random focus when walking in certain areas, when in the middle of a freeflow combat sometimes you don't hit the target you have aimed but another target, there's certain areas when you try to climb or jump something that is up to the size of Batman hip or smaller, Batman does not do the action correctly, sometimes it teleports to another position or the physics make him do the action but centimeters away from the spot, the port suffers from random crashes (it crashed five times before ending both the main game and the DLC), and they seem to be some bugs, specifically when you finish a mission when a cutscene or a dialog is supposed to be in place and does not happen, forcing the player to restart the mission, it suffers from slowdown from time to time even on high-end machines and sometimes it does not register the counter input when on freeflow combat.

-They are still committing the same mistake of giving all the playable characters within the challenge mode, the same challenges and it was a bad decision to use a "Deathstroke" skin on Robin, as that Deatstrokes within the game is basically Robin from Arkham City but with another skin and the introduction of Bruce Wayne with the ninja, the outfit is basically a more limited Batman. With all the main enemies within the game, it would have been a really good opportunity to make playable the likes of Deathstroke with his own moves, Deadshot, Lady Shiva, etc and give each and everyone, different challenges to complete, taking into consideration players are even able to use The Joker in one section of the main story with his own set of moves. -While the main story was top-notch, the DLC was not that well-executed as the pacing of the game is very slow and Batman spends a lot of time searching for clues to make sense of the whole situation with little important happening. With how good was the story, they should have devoted the same amount of quality to the DLC as well, as the DLC operates as a separate and new mode to the overall game.
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6/10
«Sit back and relax»
Honestly got too much flack on release. I think it's pretty stellar. 
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
The first meeting between Joker and Batman. Of course, the Joker again leads foul in The Shields The Story: Arkham Origins is about the Time when Gotham becomes aware of the Exsistence Of her Savior Batman. In terms of Time, the whole thing still takes place before Arkham Asylum. The Joker takes over the Gangs in Gotham through foul Intrigue, giving Gotham the worst Christmas ever. Of course, Batman can't just Sit there in such Machinations. It is up to us to free the City from the Clutches of the Joker. Personally, I have always been a Fan of the Arkham Series and feel it is a nice Change to learn how everything was regulated without the Asylum and Arkham City. Some Passages, however, seem a bit exaggerated for everything to have played out in one Night. Therefore, only 8/10 Points. The Graphics: Graphically, a clear distinction can be observed from the Predecessors, the characters have been designed in much more detail, the Environment responds significantly better to the Presence of People through PhysX effects and the Weather plays a great game in this Game Role. In itself, a real Treat for the Eye, however, the Game literally eats the Hardware when you turn up the settings to the Maximum. Therefore, only 9/10 Points. The Gameplay: The Gameplay is both Nourishing As in the preceding Parts: Soft camera guidance, a variety of moves, And the Ways to combine them, but this Part has more than failed to hide the Default Settings for Mouse and Keyboard. By the Patzer in Mouse and Keyboard therefore only 8/10 points. # My Rating: Pro: Many Side missions Important historical Content from the Time before Arkham Asylum Kontra: Multiplayer and DLC Achievements (100% almost impossible) Technique of Batman More advanced than in The chronologically Later Parts Ingame Challenges tied to Story Additional info: Game related: Game Time 50 Hours for the possible Achievements 60 collectible cards 9 Controller support * Bugs: 2 Occurred Bugs: Killer Croc is used in The first Kamp F-Invisible Interrogation Victims become immune (Gamebreaking) System-related: Mainboard Gigabyte GA-H170-HD3 CPU Intel Core i5-6500 (Skylake) @ 3.2GHZ GPU PNY NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX760 Random Access Memory 8GB @ 1333MHz Drug-average Framrate 80 Frames per Second Operating System Windows 10 My Conclusion: For both Newcomers and experienced Batman players, this Part is only recommended. Since he plays Temporal Parts even before the older Parts, you don't miss anything as a Newcomer and as an experienced player this Game is a successful Flashback at the Time before Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Due to the many contra points unfortunately only 7/10 Points. This Review was written as a Standings within one's own Genre. If you liked this Review, follow our Review Program on German _ Gamer _ Community. You Can also check out my other Reviews. Click here for my Reviews.
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Compared to the other Arkham games, this one was lacking. Really, they just got worse as they went on... But we all know why this was the worst one. If you don't just google it. But I did not enjoy this game, and the multiplayer trophies were such a pain in the neck. Why make MP trophies in a Batman Arkham game? No thank you. Never again.
«Game over at last!»
Not as good as Rocksteady's Arkham series but it was completely playable. I ws waiting for the next Rocksteady Arkham game and this came up. I enjoyed while I was playing it. I would love to play this again in PS4 with a definitive edition.
«Underrated»