Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Written by Mat Jones

October 29, 2013 | 09:57

Companies: #wb-montreal

Another unfortunate holdover from the previous games is an arduous interaction with certain doors or ventilation grates, which require hammering a button to pry open. It’s not a new problem, it’s just more prominent and strangely made inconsistent, with the game only assigning a certain amount of stress to certain doors and entirely avoiding the struggle if Batman’s bursting through a grate to attack an enemy.

Button mashing like this should have some statement to the player. What’s being said about Batman that he struggles to get these things open? He’s one of the strongest humans alive, this shouldn’t be too much of a hassle for him. It speaks to a level of thoughtlessness, or lack of self-criticism and reflection that exists throughout the entire game.

Batman: Arkham Origins Review

The Boss sections suffer most from this, where most are horrid repetitive messes that have you find a specific pattern and complete it until the other character’s health is worn down. The only change as the encounter progresses is that standard enemies are also thrown in, but they don’t make the task harder, they instead serve as a slight distraction from it.

Level design seemingly always draws from a “Broken and Rustic” design aesthetic, even when it doesn’t seem necessary or relevant. It’s strange to wander through the parking garage of a high-class hotel and see it filled with auto-wrecks below exposed wiring shooting electricity everywhere. Gotham doesn’t have much variety, it instead feels like Decaying Open World Video Game Environment #006 across the board. This doesn’t make sense when it’s a place that people are supposed to live and work within.

Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Troy Baker’s serves as a great Joker, drawing a lot of inspiration from Mark Hamill but carving out enough of his own take on the role, while Roger Craig Smith is a poor replacement voice for Kevin Conroy’s Batman, though that’s less of a comment on his performance and more on how irreplaceable Conroy’s performance is.

During gameplay we suffered a hard crash, a sudden total inability to move and one egregious glitch near the late-game where audio from a cutscene began after we’d been knocked out and remained playing long after we’d respawned. This is a finished game, one that sits on a store shelf, not something that we should still be doing QA on.

Batman: Arkham Origins Review

It’s quite see-through that Arkham Origins was intended to only serve as a stopgap game, put together by a WB Montreal rather than series mainstay Rocksteady in a short amount of time. This game does not live up to the level of quality that should be expected from the series, the glimmers of success it does show largely stem from repeating what has already been achieved. It is an unnecessary break between a quality experience and, hopefully, a better release in the future.
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