Hello gamers! Megan Highwind here again to bring you a review of one of my two most anticipated games for the end of the year! When I first heard about Batman: Arkham Origins I could not contain my excitement for the release of this title. As stated in my last article, I love everything Batman so anytime I hear about another game in this amazing series coming out I am immediately full of anticipation. Let me start by saying that I enjoyed Arkham Origins. I thought it was a good addition to the Batman franchise and have had a great time playing it. That being said, however, I have a few problems with this newest installment that I did not with previous titles.
Let’s start with the things that I did love about the game. I adored the storyline and the progression of Batman and the Joker’s dynamic and thought the team at WB did a great job of setting up the tension between these two integral characters that would follow in the other installments. I also thought that it was worth noting that the team did a fantastic job of making the whole game, which only takes place over the span of a day, feel believable. Taking down the Batman is a common thread among the villains in the series and receiving money to do so on top of that makes it all the more likely that the events of this night would take place in the way that they do. I never once felt as though there was too much going on for the time frame, but always had enough to do as far as side quests and other bonus missions to not make the game feel too short either. Another thing I enjoyed about the game were the graphics and sound effects. As always, Batman’s world looks beautiful and the music chosen to go along with what is happening in the game is appropriate and helps draw the player into the world. The voices of Batman, the Joker, and the other characters in the world also fit them well and are fantastically done. The final thing that I enjoyed, but also had somewhat of a problem with, is the combat. I have enjoyed the style of combat of the Arkham games since the beginning and the combat style here is no different. Fighting is smooth and the movements feel fluid which I love. The one thing I liked the most that was included in the “combat” system this time around was the detective mode. I say “combat” because it is not technically fighting but I love being able to search for clues in order to solve a crime. That being said though, there is nothing quite like beating up a baddy with a bully beatdown and hearing that final punch at the end as the crook goes face first into the dirt, particularly when that crook is one of the main villains chasing Batman around.
However, the combat has changed very little with only a few additions to Batman’s arsenal. Part of the fun of being Batman is new gadgets and the ones that are included in this entry do not feel all that interesting and fun as some of the previous have. Another issue I had with the game is the frame rate issues. I have not encountered many games that I have had issues with, but this one does have quite a few. There were multiple times where I found Batman slowing down and barely moving across the screen when in the middle of a tense fight and even once or twice when my game completely froze forcing me to start over and come back to my last save. This issue is frustrating and I found myself getting annoyed with having to occasionally go back to an old save and come back to where the game froze, but I never had this happen more than once in the same spot so that, at least, I was not playing multiple scenes over and over again. The final thing I had an issue with in Arkham Origins was the multiplayer. I have only been able to play it a few times because I am fairly disappointed with it. It feels like it never got any sort of polish put on it. I felt as though I was playing something that was not quite done and I wanted more added to it. I like how Batman and Robin are sneaking around the entire map trying to take down opponents from both teams, but the mode needs a lot more to it to be worth adding into potential future installments. Right now, it just feels kind of like a bad third person shooter with some stealth elements integrated to try to make it more interesting.
Overall, I liked Batman: Arkham Origins. It is not my favorite entry into the series, but that does not mean that it is bad. It is definitely worth playing for fans of the series since the alluring storyline, wonderful combat and overall awesome that is Batman are back. Those unfamiliar to the series would also enjoy this entry since it does a good job of including players that may not be already integrated into the world or familiar with the history. However, the problems with frame rate issues, multiplayer and lack of new combat tactics make it impossible for me to say this game is without its issues and worthy of being the best game of the year. That being said, however, I definitely recommend this game to anyone who loves the action adventure series. Issues aside, it is a worthy entry into the Batman dynasty and I cannot wait to see how the series may continue from here.
-As always please read, review and share! Megan Highwind has left the party.