Friday 1 November 2013

Batman: Arkham Origins

“The Dark Knight returns once again to thrill us with a thoroughly enjoyable adventure full of cool gadgets, comic book novelty and plenty of sweet action. While it may not have the same long-lasting impact as the previous two titles in the series, Batman: Arkham Origins still does Batman and the comic book universe proud.“

The Gameplay:
Arkham Origins unfortunately suffers from inevitably being compared and scrutinised right down the tiniest detail in front of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Being part of this great lineage of games means you can very strongly guess that things haven’t changed that much, you know, considering how freaking incredible the previous two games were.

As a result this pseudo-prequel revels in the same game mechanics, especially fighting, while polishing some other sections (some for the better and some for the worse). Don’t get me wrong, everything you loved about the Arkham games is here, the cool gadgets, the smooth gameplay and all the comic book tributes are intact – they just don’t have the same sparkle as Asylum and City because we’ve seen it twice before now.

Arkham Origins also introduces for the first time competitive multiplayer to the formula but, just like Assassin’s Creed and Uncharted to name a few, the first game in the series to do this always feels like a rough draft or an experiment – it’s not bad but you’re not going to be up all night playing it.

The Presentation:
The dark and gritty style of Batman returns but again, even though I hate repeating myself – we’ve seen it all before. Gotham feels desolate and lacks any sort of life. Questionable design choices, in particular a ridiculously frustrating bridge that connects the northern and southern parts of the map, do nothing but get in the way and the same love you felt in previous games just isn’t quite there.

With so much to do but not the best environment to do it in, I found it very hard to get sucked into the world around me and wished I was back in the Asylum Asylum. Arkham Origins also suffers from distinctive frame-rate issues on both PS3 and 360 and although the voice actors performed admirably, it’s still a real shame that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill have left their roles as the Batman and Joker respectively.

The Verdict: 
Good but not great, fun but not thrilling and interesting but certainly not enticing. Batman: Arkham Origins misses the cut-off point for the higher grade boundary in almost every department. I feel like it’s all there but the love, quality and innovation is highly lacking. People who wanted more Arkham will get more Arkham but you’d be lying to yourself if you thought this was a better game than the predecessors.

Gameplay – 8/10
Presentation – 8/10
Replay Value – 6/10
Verdict – 7/10

Igor Kharin.

Batman: Arkham Origins at CeX

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