on 25 November 2013
If you liked either of the previous games, buy this now. Storyline excellent, gameplay largely unchanged - it does feel that this is somewhat of a filler until the next 'proper' release, but when the game is this good, that is absolutely not a bad thing
if you didn't like either of the first games, then i would avoid this! :)
on 21 February 2015
While this the third installment of the Arkham Batman series is weaker than Arkham City (the previous game) but better than Arkham Asylum (the first) it is still great fun to play. If you liked Arkham City, you'll like this, although there isn't really a great deal that is new other than the storyline and the characters in the game. The new crime-scene reconstruction segments are entertaining and satisfying to complete, and the new gadgets which have been added don't seem gratuitous or game-breakingly powerful.
The free-flow combat system is back and as smoothly brilliant as ever, bar the odd annoying occasions where a button press has unexpected results and this can be a combo-breaker but not a game-breaker. Predator (stealth) mode allows you to take down enemies from the shadows in true Batman style and the strategy (and occasional patience) required for the most slick room-clearings makes predator mode a highlight of the game.
The open-world environment is larger than in previous installments, though isn't massive. There are plenty of side-quests to encounter as you fly and sneak around Gotham City. The system of Dark Knight challenges (e.g. glide 150m without touching the ground) is a nice touch to give the player more things to do and unlock upgrades, although some of the tasks seem infeasibly hard. Furthermore, glitches can occasionally cause these tasks to become completed for you despite never actually completing them which can be a relief if there is one you are stuck on but makes unlocking all the upgrades a slightly more hollow achievement.
The soundtrack is wonderful and the voice acting from certain characters (no spoilers) is stellar. On this note, the plot is arguably better than that of Arkham City, and the boss fights that the plot necessitates are for the most part fun and not annoying, although my personal favourite is so early in the game that the rest seem slightly lame in comparison, but this is just my preference.
The DLC is worth getting if you want more challenge maps (combat and predator challenges based on but outside the confines of the storyline).
Summary: really enjoyable game marred by the occasional bug/glitch. Highlights are the storyline (including voice-acting), the playtime value (i.e. plenty to do) and predator mode; lowlights are said bugs (which are not gamebreakers) and not much else. 4 Amazon-scale stars does not do this game justice but it is more an 8/10 than a 9/10.
on 24 March 2015
Never played an arkham before, so I guess I can just this on it's own merits, acknowledging that others have played arkhams that they say are superior.
I will be chasing those games up now. Enjoyed this immensely. Graphics and sound superb , leveling up system makes sense and maps are fun to get around.
Put this for an hours play and three hours later- hooked. Still not scratched the surface but I'm not the best. Seems to have play value ok.
The only thing I found annoying is the almost automated battle sequences that are button bashing affairs with some cool cut scene style finishing moves. It's a shame because it makes up a vast amount of gameplay.
Took to stalking enemies from above, using batrang attacks and moving in and out rather than 'head on' into a group which seems easy.
Hope they correct the fighting in the forthcoming one, more freedom and interaction would be good.
on 15 May 2014
Well, we had Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and now Arkham Origins. The title of the review more or less says it all, but let me go into a bit more detail.
From the get-go it's clear Arkham Origins was meant to fill the gap between Arkham City and Arkham Knight. The developing studio is different, it was made in the shortest amount of time among all existing Arkham Games, and it looks more or less like a re-skin of Arkham City. Of course, I think we can all agree that Arkham City was a great game, so this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The major problem with Origins is that it doesn't break any new ground. The map looks the same, the combat system is the same, the gadgets are, for the most part, the same. It really does feel that Warner Bros took the Arkham City formula and simply followed it. They followed it well, but didn't really build much on it.
Of course it's a new story, looking at a younger Batman in the early years of his crime fighting. It shows a spotlight on how the Joker initially develops his obsession with the Batman and vice versa, and to be fair the scenes with the Joker are all well done and worth a watch. The voice acting is good, and while it's not Mark Hamil I dare say the new guy is a worthy successor. You actually get a brief chance to see the world through Joker's eyes, which was also a bizzare, interesting sequence.
The rest of the plot, well... I know it's a comic-book-based game, and suspension of disbelief is a must for any of the series (like in Arkham City, walling off an entire part of Gotham just to house its criminals. I mean, really?), but I found myself nit-picking Origins more than the other games. I'll avoid blatant spoilers, but just somehow a lot of things that happen seem too outlandish and outrageous even for a Batman game. For example, one scene has Batman go through a hotel that's basically been turned into a lethal amusement park by the Joker, which is fine. The Joker's been known to do such things. But the premise is, Joker's only been in town for a few days, and this is a major hotel. How the heck did he manage to do all the construction without anyone noticing? I mean, the game makes a bit deal about the cops being corrupt and all, but there are limits. This isn't Arkham City where the setting is basically No-man's Land, this is supposedly normal Gotham on Christmas Eve, with normal citizens living normal lives. You do hear announcements about a state of emergency being declared and a mandatory curfew and whatnot but still. And why is it that every street corner and roof is crawling with heavily armed goons? There's a prison break early on in the game, but did EVERYONE escape?
Speaking of goons, that brings me to the combat. The overall mechanic is the tried and true Arkham style, with quick-fire gadgets and combos and special takedowns, and it's as bone-crunchingly satisfying as ever. The only gripe I have here is about the enemy types. It seems all too often the game throws at you normal enemies, enemies with knives, enemies with guns, enemies with shields, enemies with armor, big enemies, big enemies with armor ALL AT ONCE. It's true that in previous games too there'd be big dudes/armored dudes along with normal thugs, but they way over-do it in Origins.It seems like every third enemy is either shooting at you or doing some un-blockable attack that you have to dodge, and of course you lose your combo if you get hit. The tough enemies also require a beat-down to take out, which takes time to finish and can be interrupted if another enemy attacks you. This makes large enemies and armored enemies very frustrating to deal with, and not in a good way. It does get a lot easier once you have your full array of gadgets (and master the quick-fire controls), but that only happens near the end of the story.
So, OK, I've complained a lot, but keep in mind most of my complaints come from comparing Origins to City. City was a tighter, more polished, more interesting game, whereas Origins was designed from the beginning to fill space. Does that make it a bad game? Hardly. It's still good old Batman action, and the story, with its flaws and all, is still entertaining enough if you don't take it too seriously. They COULD have put a bit more effort into debugging the thing though, seems like every time I start up the game I find some sort of bug. Usually nothing serious, minor audio glitches and whatnot, but I did run into one or two crashes. Fortunately, as far as I could tell, there were no progression-halting bugs on the PS3 version.
So, final verdict? Arkham City is a better Batman game and a better game in general, but Origins has its merits, and it's still fun to play. If you're hankering for a bit of Dark Knight action but have played through Arkham City too many times, this might add a bit of fresh air.
on 14 April 2014
Another batman Arkham game, admittedly these do not appear as often as the Assassins Creed games but it seems like yesterday I was running around Arkham City. Now this game has undeservedly got a bit of a bad rep for some reason as it wasn’t made by Rocksteady in my opinion. However this is more of the Arkham goodness that has been seen in previous games. Arkham Asylum was ground breaking in terms of superhero games as in the fact that it didn’t stink and it was actually very good, City was more of the same but in a bigger environment and now we have origins which yes you guessed it is more of the same again.
Yet another solid outing for the bat with a game that is very solid in terms of graphics and sound with fluid action sequences and a truly dark environment. Fans of Batman will feel like they really are Batman… again!
This is part of the problem unfortunately as this game adds nothing to the legacy of the titles before it but detracts via a number of small bugs or glitches which take the gloss off slightly.
Now I have read reviews where people that have played the game encountered a number of different issues but the only repetitive issue I encountered were when trying to stealth attack someone on stairs, which tended not to go so well despite the stealth takedown icon being shown. Admittedly quite a small issue but it did detract from the experience and was more infuriating as it seemed to be inconsistent as to if and when it failed.
Other than that it is more of the same, beating up bad guys and solving puzzles never gets old and the story moves at a brisk pace while still allowing you to pick up new skills and use them effectively in battle.
I really liked this game but as a big fan of Batman I am probably a bit biased. However, Bat tinged glasses aside this is a good but not great addition to the series and is worthy of a play through or two.
on 4 March 2014
I adored the previous two games in this series. After finishing the main plot I thoroughly enjoyed carrying on to find all the Riddler trophies and other extras, not so much for completionist reasons (not into trophies etc), but just because I was enjoying "being" Batman.
However, this time around it feels different. I didn't feel immersed in the story, which seemed somewhat fragmented. It's been a good while since I played this, and struggle now to remember much about the story at all. The sidequests often felt like a distraction rather than an addition. Once the main plot was finished I really felt no impulse to carry on as I had before. Even dressing up in Adam West's costume got old fast (note - I think that costume was a pre-order bonus)..
To be fair, the game is enjoyable enough, but it had big shoes to fill. This one may be more open world than "Arkham City" (although I'm not sure about that, it seems pretty similar just without the big walls), but it doesn't really feel any different. There's little in the world to interact with outside of missions and groups of thugs, so it doesn't really matter how big the playing area is anyway. Activities which should be challenging but fun are now often tedious. For example, in "City" swooping around the city was a joyous experience for me. Here it's often little more than a pain in the neck (the tediously long bridge being a case in point).
Where the game improved on it's predecessors was in the implementation of the "detective vision". Batman occasionally investigates crimes using a scrubbable timeline to recreate the incident. Not everyone is a fan of this, but I found it to be one of the more enjoyable aspects of gameplay.
In summary - lacks the "Wow" factor of the previous games, and most of what's here was done better before. However for (currently) £14 you won't feel hard done by and will have some fun I'm sure.
on 27 January 2014
Having played both of the previous games I was really excited when they announced this addition. After hearing that Rocksteady (the previous developers) would not be at the helm I was a little apprehensive but though WB Montreal couldn't go far wrong using the same engine as Arkham City.
Story wise the game is very enjoyable. They do make an attempt at explaining some of the Arkham back story, I won't go into much detail in case of spoilers. But overall I was satisfied with the whole journey. The voice actors were phenomenal especially Troy Baker as the Joker.
Gameplay wise it plays just like a dumbed down version of Arkham City. Combat is exactly the same as before, and although enjoyable it just feels lacking. I did experience some frame rate issues after using the fast travel but nothing major, and this seems to be fixed now. My main gripe with the game was the Riddler side missions, I understand it's a prequel but they were just far too easy after playing Arkham City. The new crime scene 'mini-game' was fun at first but then began to feel unnecessary and far too linear.
At this point I would have happily given the game 4/5 and skipped along happily to the next one. However WB Montreal for some reason decide to tack on a multiplayer mode created by another development team, Splash Damage. A multiplayer mode (as most people here have said) was just unneeded and really has diluted what could have been a solid gaming experience. I've played it a few times and just became very bored. It's clunky and just not very enjoyable at all. Which isn't helped by the (extremely difficult, luck based) online trophies. I do apologise as I am a big lover of collecting trophies and I do get annoyed at the inclusion of online trophies that seem to be based more on luck and very difficult to achieve outside of private matches.
Overall, the single player campaign is a solid 4/5 for everyone who enjoyed the previous two games. But loses another star for the silly inclusion of a very clumsy multiplayer effort.
on 6 December 2013
I must say that when the arkham series traded makers from rockstar to WD montreal, I was a bit worried because Rockstar had set the bar too high for a batman game and the task for any other company to take on the task of Rockstar would be unachievable. However with early screen shots, gameplay footage and the origins video promo that showcased deathstroke going toe to toe with the dark knight, my worries about arkham origins started to fade away (though not completely).
I must say that I have just completed the game and I must say...wow! Origins does deliver like it's predecessors. well...sort of. The story has it that joker (disguised as the black mask)has placed a heavy bounty on the dark knight so many of gotham's criminals (eight to be exact-excluding the regular street thugs) have emerged to take on the bounty quest.
Now story-line wise, it is here that origins really shines. The story is really captivating and PERSONALLY I did find the story of origins to be a lot better than Arkham city and asylum combined! the way the 8 assassins out for the bounty are introduced, you can't just help but be instantly drawn to each character illustration. The story also digs deep and uncovers the jokers fascination with the batman, Harley quinn's obsession with...Mr J and Bane's addiction to the venom substance that causes him to mutate into hulking appearance you see in asylum and city. The confrontation between batman, bane and joker is really enthralling.
Voice-over acting is great though it took me a while to get used to Roger Craig Smith as a younger batman but don't let that discourage you. a few of the voice-over actors from previous batman games appear here. Nolan North returns as the penguin, Tara strong reprises her role as Harley Quinn, Wally wingert still lends his voice as the riddler and Martin Jarvis returns as Alfred. Mark Hamil does not appear as the joker but his replacement, Troy Baker does an excellent job! quote me!
Gameplay wise, it plays exactly like the previous batman games so players will feel right at home. Another aspect of the gameplay is the end of the level boss fights. They are really, really exciting. My favourite boss fight's are Bane's and Firefly's but be warned, the deathstroke boss fight is really frustrating!!
My only gripe with this game is that it is... riddled (no pun intended) with a few freezes. Other than that, Arkham origins is a great game. Although it does not offer anything majorly new that sets it apart from the previous arkham games, origins is still an enjoyable game. My advise, wait for a price drop.
on 5 December 2013
I loved Arkham Origins every bit as much as the two previous games. I'm a big Batman fan, and although I despise the films, I always look forward to the game releases. As is now tradition, I took the week off work so I didn't have to speak to bothersome human beings while I was busy fighting crime. It was a good week. Yes, I did find a bug, but I re-started and everything was magically fixed. Yes, there were a few moments when all I seemed to be doing was mashing buttons, but as a certified and habitual button-masher, that was nothing out of the ordinary. Weirdly, though, despite the criticism of the game's constant need to block, I seemed to get to grips with the fighting much better than the first two games. Perhaps I'm just a double `ard pro at this now.
The main story was excellent, and the bosses challenging but not impossible. The only character I struggled with was Deadshot, and I nearly sent my controller spinning into the sink. The city is huge, a massive area to explore, and again I got to grips with the Batman's flight far better than the previous game. There were, however, a few moments here and there when it felt like my Playstation was struggling to keep up. Some minimal lagging occurred - not enough to spoil the game, but enough for me to make a frowny face. The Enigma challenge is huge, much like the previous Riddler challenge, and unfortunately I had to leave that as the only side mission not completed. I just couldn't get a couple of the data packs. Too hard! So annoying! Oh well, I consoled myself with a bucket of chicken and got over it.
I loved the new evidence scanning sequences and I hope very much to see it used more in the next game. The investigation side of Batman's job is somewhat important. He is the world's greatest detective, after all. I think Origins severely underused the new feature, but perhaps they were just testing the waters with it, seeing how we would react to its addition.
Summary: Yes, there are/were some bugs. It does occasionally lag. Button-maiming is encouraged. The game isn't perfect and that is a shame. But I still loved it. I still had a fantastic week drinking tea, eating cake and hanging bad guys upside down from gargoyles. The way I see it is this: all the problems? Better they're made now and learned from so we can one day have the ultimate version on the PS4.
on 24 November 2013
This is an Arkham game so expectations were high, Its two predecessors had been great games which had revamped the perception of superhero games. From gimmicky and basic, to a good story and a great amount of control over what you can do. leaving the linear stage by stage gaming far behind to great affect. His gadgets, appearance, mobility and story left you enthralled from start to finish.
This new game had some big shoes to fill and I can say that they did a great job. with a few expectations its more of the same and nothing too far from pervious games. I was looking forward to more basic, less refined gadgets and tools. make this game feel like he had refined his choices before entering Arkham Asylum (first game of the series). What we actually got where more advanced and if I say so cheaty gadgets like the electro gloves which in my opinion took some skill and planning out of the game.
The assassins idea was a good one but not so well planned out. one of the hardest fights is less than an hour in to the game and after that the game kind of goes down hill difficulty wise. It was a good idea to have these prominent and less well known faces creeping up but the story suffered from them sometimes being forced in.
The trophies reflect the idea that the multiplayer section, a new addition to this series will be as important as the single player if you want to get your platinum and yet after your second attempt at it, It becomes stale and boring. Its difficult to get a full team to actually play with sometimes waiting half an hour for sufficient numbers. which just shows how unloved this part of the game is. Back to the drawing board for this section either reducing the number of related trophies or creating different approach's to the game.
To summaries yes its an Arkham game but no it not a must have. more of the same from previous games which means hard core Arkham fans will buy it but they like myself wont be getting everything they hoped for. Fighting, gliding and puzzles all good but nothing new so overall good game just not great.