While Batman cannot use guns to fend off his enemies, he sure has a lot of gadgets that he can use that help him survive. In Arkham Origins, there are several new gadgets that he will acquire like a concussion grenade that jams the firearms of his opponents, a shock glove from the Electricutioner that allows him to jump start a mechanism (it also allows him to use it combat for more power), and a disruptor gun that destroys a device that jams a signal. These new gadgets are neat additions that certainly adds flair to exploration and taking down enemies though you will not be using them quite often.
Boss fights in the game have somewhat improved over Arkham City but it still has flaws. The first couple of boss fights with the Killer Croc and Deathstroke are one of the best as it finally has mechanics that you have to remember in order to survive. Taking a break from the button mashing, the fight with with the first few bosses introduces a mechanic that makes you more aware on what they’re doing. It has some quick time events but the way it has been executed is phenomenal. However, as you get through the end, you will notice that the bosses tends to become a push over and are back to simply button smashing segments. When you get to fight Copperhead and Bane, the difficulty starts to dwindle, making the last remaining bosses too easy. The inconsistency in difficulty is quite disappointing but there are moments where certain bosses shine.
The biggest addition that Warner Bros. Montreal introduced in Arkham Origins is a competitive online multiplayer mode, although it’s a big disappointment as there’s only one mode that is available. Those who want to take a break from the long and winding adventure of Batman in the story mode can play the online multiplayer where they can join in either the team of Joker, Bane, or Batman and Robin as they fight and eliminate one another. If you were to land in Joker or Bane’s group, your task is to avoid Batman and Robin, as well as the opposing group and vice versa. The idea sounds great but sadly, it’s all muddy since the accuracy in using guns are off, and the way the two heroes take down enemies isn’t as solid as the main campaign. In other words, the multiplayer can be fun for a few hours but will get tedious as you keep on playing it.
Performance-wise, Arkham Origins shares a common problem found in Arkham City. You can expect to see random pop ins, textures loading slow, and glitches where you see Batman’s cape disappearing. In my ten hour playthrough, I’ve encountered two freezes and that was very annoying. As for its visuals, Warner Bros. Montreal didn’t improve on them in any form. The game still uses the old Unreal Engine which makes it somewhat dated. In other words, the game looks exactly like Arkham City, or maybe Arkham Asylum and these games are already a few years old!
Batman: Arkham Origins is no way a bad game, but it simply lacks originality. Not a lot was introduced in Arkham Origins that makes the game stands out from the other two Arkham games that Rocksteady developed. Instead of Warner Bros. Montreal innovating and taking the series forward, it just recycles and repackages elements from the first two games. Sadly because of this, Batman: Arkham Origins feels more like an expansion more than an original game therefore making it the weakest entry in the famed Arkham series.
[Editor’s Note: Batman Arkham Origins was reviewed on the Xbox 360 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Batman: Arkham Origins (Xbox 360) Review,