Customer Review

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is it just me? :(, 27 Oct 2013
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Batman: Arkham Origins (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I feel really disappointed that I'm having to give this game a below average score... I want to love it so much but I just can't get past what I think are some really awful issues - I'll try to write a balanced review but I'm afraid it's been a pretty negative experience for me :(

I'll start with...

THE POSITIVES:

- The graphics are great, and Batman's new look is (in my opinion) really cool. I like that WB took the opportunity to make the 'Origins' story more fleshed out by changing a few subtle things about Batman and his surroundings.

- Exploring Gotham and the Batcave, and reading up on characters that Batman is meeting for the first time is a great way to add some depth, fans of the previous Arkham games probably won't find this feature to be a surprise, but it's still cool.

- I really enjoyed the story, and some of the interaction between characters is great!

- The new approach to 'detective mode' is fun, though your participation is minimal... Don't expect any real 'Aha!' moments like I found from solving riddles in the other Arkham games. The game does about 90% of the work, and all of the figuring out is done by Batman without your help... Which actually kinda sucks now that I mention it, as I bought the game wanting to 'be' Batman!
Still, it looks good!

- Troy Baker makes a pretty damn good Joker!

- The boss fights, while marred by some of their own issues, are generally approached a lot better than in the other Arkham games, in my opinion - They're all cinematic (in the best possible way), challenging and mostly unique in terms of gameplay - I really found myself looking forward to them rather than dreading the usual 'dodge, batarang, stun, beatdown' approach.

- There are a lot of great *ideas* in Arkham Origins, but sadly in my experience they flopped in execution, or just straight up did not function.
Which takes me on to...

THE NEGATIVES:

- First and foremost, the game is glitchy as all hell, and this was shocking compared to the beautifully polished games by 'Rocksteady'.
I'll list a few of the ones that reaaaally annoyed me:

The Warner Brothers ID system... That was a bad sign the second I saw it, and sure enough, the game couldn't log onto their servers when I first tried to play it, which meant that it never got past the menu screen... First impressions! I mean... Why do that? Why add such a horrendous feature?
In the end I was able to play the game buy disconnecting from XBL, but it was a pretty duff start.

Fast travel: Freezes my game about 50% of the time I use it. After I'd noticed that the game couldn't handle one of it's most FUNDAMENTAL features, I just stopped using it for fear of having to re-start my console for the 100th time... This meant that I was travelling 'the old fashioned way' all the time in-game, and this became pretty tedious at times! Still, it was faster than having the game lock up and me have to re-start.

Texture/content pop-in: I'm not that bothered by little things like texture pop in, especially in games that I know are pushing consoles to the limit by having a tonne of stuff on screen and generally being awesome, but when I was flying around Gotham and suddenly the game fails to load any content whatsoever, that can kinda ruin it for me.
A few times this happened, and Batman flies straight through half-loaded buildings, can't grapple, and then falls through the street when I try to land. Fail.
N.B - I tried to force the game to 're-load' the area by activating fast-travel... Which then froze my game. Double fail.

Predator moves not working: Again, pretty damn fundamental to the Batman experience in this game, if you ask me... The game gives you tutorials for various moves, and I thought it was odd that the 'que' never came up when I positioned myself above an enemy for a 'silent takedown from ledge' - I really missed the move, but then I noticed that the prompt DID appear in one scenario after a whole game of it not happening! Imagine my disappointment when I push 'Y' and... It froze the game.
Also, the 'RB' que has failed to pop up when I'm trying to grapple between vantage points in a predator room, leading to mission failure... Urgh!

I think that's it for the worst glitches! Mostly the game just freezes at every opportunity, especially when entering/exiting buildings or going in and out of cutscenes (one problem that ruined the boss fights for me).

Other issues for me come from a few personal gripes... Like any sane body, WB decided to leave the combat system *almost* totally alone.
I mean, lets be honest, it's probably the best melee combat system in a game by a country mile! Rocksteady nailed it... But WB couldn't help trying to add a few things that for me just made it way less interesting.

Personal gripes include: Where the hell is the 'disarm & destroy' technique!? (It is in the game, but it takes a LONG time to make itself known, which made every encounter with armed enemies rather less fun and made Batman feel significantly less badass than in AC)

Why did WB add an extra animation to the 'stun and jump off of one enemy on to another' attack? This makes it incredibly hard to use, as it's similar to using a ground take-down in the middle of a crowd: You're going to get interrupted! I loved this move :(

I'll leave it here as I don't want to go in to too much boring detail...

To summarise: Arkham Origins is just less immersive and less fun than the previous Arkham Games, not because of anything that can't be fixed, but because of what I perceive to be dumb ideas and poor quality control.
Or is it really just me!? I mean, regarding the glitches I've found a lot of people complaining in forums, but not very many mentions in reviews - I'd be interested in hearing other peoples (constructive) comments on the matter.

I didn't expect this game to be as good as Rocksteady's work - Those guys created this series and have proven that they know exactly how to make a game, but there's no excuse for WB releasing such a glitchy product, it's just a shame. Especially because both previous Arkham games were executed so well in that regard, even before you take actual gameplay in to account.

It's definitely an Arkham game, and at it's core it's great, but several layers of 'Rocksteady' polish are clearly missing. The devil is in the detail, I guess!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Oct 2013 12:37:38 GMT
James says:
Great review! I actually found it entertaining! Especially when you mentioned the game freezing at the worst possible moments, not that I'm taking pleasure at your misfortune! I was thinking about buying this but the change in developer made me hesitate. Thanks for the warning! I'll wait and see if these problems will be rectified.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Oct 2013 20:41:23 GMT
S. Whiting says:
Thanks, James! Glad to help - It really is a shame, but I've tried to play the game again since writing my review and have only come away with even more glitch related problems :(

Hopefully it'll all be fixed ASAP!

Posted on 13 Apr 2014 03:22:13 BDT
JWS says:
Thank you. I thought that such a huge price drop so quickly was "too good to be true". I am glad I found this in depth and objective review. I loved the first two games and would not even say I was a Batman fan as such but I shall definitely just rent this game if I ever start my LoveFiLM subscription again. Thanks again. :-)
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