Batman: Arkham Origins [Review]

Batman-Arkham-Origins-Box-Art

Batman: Arkham Origins [Playstation 3]
2013, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

The third in the Batman: Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Origins takes place years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. I understand why they continued to use the Arkham name, but Arkham doesn’t figure into this game at all. Unlike the first two games, Arkham Origins does not feature Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as the Joker, Paul Dini as the story’s writer or Rocksteady Studios as the game’s developers yet this game tries to mimic the previous two as much as possible. So I’m left to wonder why the same designers, writers and voice actors are not involved.

To everyone’s credit, the game holds up pretty well. The new voice actors sound very similar to Conroy & Hamill, the game looks like the previous two (for the most part) and the story actually has more heart and depth to it than I have read other reviews state it does. The premise of the game sounded fun and straight-forward: Black Mask (one of my favorite Batman villains) puts a $50 million hit out on Batman on Christmas Eve and eight different villains come to collect. That alone, while light on story, seems entertaining enough except there’s a few twists and turns to the plot as the game progresses which makes things much cooler.

There’s some technical glitches though. One issue that I have had is the frame rate.  There are a few times when the game gets choppy. This is usually when Batman is gliding or zooming around using his grappling gun. I’ve also had issues with the game freezing or losing sound during the quick travel cutscenes.

This is the first Arkham game where I unlocked all of the upgrades. There’s plenty of challenges to do after completing the story mode and some fun new Batman outfits to try out as well.

The game manages to feature most of Batman’s major villains at one point or another. The only notable exceptions being Catwoman, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, Clayface and Scarecrow. There is a rumor that there will be some downloadable content coming that focuses on Mr. Freeze.

Ultimately, Arkham Origins is not as good as Arkham Asylum or Arkham City but it does come close and I love the fact that it takes place on Christmas Eve with plenty of snowfall and snow covering Gotham City. Batman at Christmastime always seems to work.

Thumbs up from me. I know a game is good when I’m sad after having beaten it. Hopefully, this is not the end of the Arkham series.

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