Saturday, January 11, 2014

Batman Arkham Origins Game Review

Final Verdict - Give It A Shot

Well we're back for another year here on our blog. A lot of new changes have been taking place and in keeping with as such we are changing our review scheme for this year, the grading structure will  remain the same but we wont be assigning a numerical score to the game. When I review games I review it in a manner that I feel doesn't give away too much of the overall game experience but gives just enough insight into the game to pique your interest. I have always questioned the merit behind assigning a numerical value somewhat as a final score so will be embarking on this new system for the year 2014 and see how it fares. Today we take a look at Batman Arkham Origins; I received this game for free as a part of a promotion for purchasing a Nvidia 770GTX graph card this past Black Friday for my new PC. Feel free to check out the various un-boxing videos if you are into that sort of tech on our YouTube channel.

Batman: Arkham Origins is a 2013 action-adventure video game developed by Warner Bros. Games Montréal and released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for Microsoft Windows and the PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360 video game consoles. Based on the DC Comics superhero Batman, it follows the 2011 video game Batman: Arkham City and is the third installment in the Batman: Arkham series. the game's main story-line is set five years before that of 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum and follows a younger, less-refined Batman. A bounty is placed on him by crime lord Black Mask, drawing eight of the world's greatest assassins to Gotham City on Christmas Eve. The game, played from a third-person perspective, focuses on Batman's combat and stealth abilities, detective skills, and gadgets for combat and exploration. Arkham Origins is the first game in the series with multi-player capability.

What’s Good:
Replay value: The game features an expansive and robust world to traverse with a plethora of activities, missions and instances to partake in. Warner Bros. Montreal saw fit to incorporate a multi-player addition to the game; a first in the series I might add which further pushes the player to come back for more. After completing the story mode a New Game Plus mode is unlocked, enabling a player to replay the game with all their acquired gadgets, experience and abilities; enemies are tougher, and the icon warning players of attack is disabled. Completing New Game Plus unlocks I Am the Night mode, where the game ends if Batman dies.

Soundtrack:  The score for Arkham Origins was composed by Christopher Drake. The in-game music was created with layers which activate with action (such as Batman entering a location or beginning a fight), and can be added or subtracted depending on what is occurring. The overall nature and undertones of the soundtrack do well to immerse the player in the city of Gotham.

Graphics: The game features high contrast between dark's and lights, with exaggerated shadows and few balancing colors. The entire game is represented beautifully using the Unreal Engine 3 graphics engine. This is even more so pronounced on the PC version of the game when played at max graphical settings in Direct X11. On compatible systems, the Microsoft Windows version uses Nvidia's PhysX software engine to produce more realistic, dynamic interactions with the game world. With PhysX enabled, some areas contain additional snow or fog (which reacts to Batman moving through it); with PhysX disabled, the effects are lessened or absent.

What’s Bad:
Game Mechanics: I'm not entirely sure if its because i'm not a fan of the series or just used to a different third person experience but the controls felt a bit clunky and unpolished. Maneuvering in the game didn't feel refined enough as well as the combat and cover approach system leaves a bit to be desired.

Story-line: Arkham Origins is set as a predecessor to the other two Batman Arkham games in the series. The events in Arkham Origins take place about five years before Batman: Arkham Asylum, in midwinter Gotham City. Batman, an experienced crime-fighter in the second year of his career, is not yet the veteran superhero of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. He is a mysterious force; even the police do not know whether he is a vigilante, a myth or a supernatural being. Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, they hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not their hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.

What Should Have Been Added:
A co-op mode would have been a pleasant addition to the overall game.

Final Thoughts:
Arkham Origins does not do much to push forward the Arkham series but still represents the series well. If you are a fan of the series you will find everything very familiar and easy to get right into. Newcomers to the franchise will adjust well to the game as well due to the overall completeness of the game mechanics and design. I feel the multi-player was an unnecessary addition to the game but who am I as a gamer to complain about additional content. Feel free to check out our video game-play with commentary...


January 14, 2014 at 11:59 AM

your lucky at least you didnt run into one of the many bugs the game still has

January 14, 2014 at 12:10 PM

yea @Casey I kept hearing about the game having multiple errors but thankfully have not ran into any to date.

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