When it comes to Batman Arkham Origins, I haven’t played the previous two games in this series.
In fact, I’m not massively familiar with all of Batman’s back story. Sure, I’ve seen all the films that have been made in the last 25 years, but I don’t read the comics or check out the animated movies, so I just take each Batman entry on its own merits as a source of entertainment and fun.
As this is ‘Origins’, Alfred is comparatively young, while Batman is in the prime of his life – and not hobbling about a la Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises, the game starts off with you having to defeat Black Mask, but he’s a slippery character and you seem to spend more time coming across various other baddies in the Batman universe by getting from A to B to sort them out, usually by skippng from one roof-top to another as if you’re Spiderman. The enemies you’ll encounter include The Penguin, Deathstroke, Firefly, Copperhead, Deadshot, Shiva, Bane and The Electrocutioner – a baddie who can, inexplicably, be beaten by a single punch .
I thought I’d hit a lucky strike, but unfortunately not: this is built into the game.
Batman Arkham Origins – Levels 1-8 Walkthrough (720p HD)
At the time of writing my review, I’m 1/3 of the way through the game and rather enjoying it, but here are some of my thoughts about it as you make it from stage to stage – each stage being quite similar to the last one gone by:
- Fighting: This is quite repetitive, using a limited combination of buttons with which to floor an opponent, but it’s quite engaging the way it’s done, so repetitiveness is not a major issue. In fact, I quite like using a combo of circle and square – i.e. a “Beatdown” – to beat someone to the ground when they’re wearing armour. Of course, you can block their punches, but it’s more satisfying to strike at them instead! That said, the boss battles do require the occasional block, as and when it tells you. There are other combos that it brings up during fights from time to time, but they end up being a bit of a faff and, quite frankly, it’s more satisfying – and easier – to just continue to punch seven bells out of them.
- Use explosive gel to blast through poorly-constructed walls: If you’re in an apparent dead-end, this might be the answer.
- Batarangs: Shoot these at the bad guys to stun them for a brief time or, for example, fire them at Killer Croc’s fuel tank when he’s about to throw one at you, in order to make him think twice! (and it reduces his strength bar)
- Detective Vision: Pressing L1 spots if there’s anyone hiding behind a wall and whether they’re armed – useful to know if you need to get from A to B and want to know if you’re still going to survive.
Go to page 2 for the next part of my review.
Batman Arkham Origins Part 1: Blackgate Prison Intro (720p HD)
- Vents: Go up or along through these to access other parts of the prison, and when you come across a closed vent, you can pull the grill off it by using your batclaw.
- Upgrades: As you progress through the levels, you’ll earn upgrade points to improve Batman’s skills and equipment, such as upgrades in close combat, ‘Invisible Predator’ and auxiliary upgrades.
- Fast Travel: A lot of the time, you’ll get from A to B as I’ve described. Fast Travel is like teleporting and this is also an option… sometimes. The problem is, sometimes Fast Travel doesn’t work. Apparently, you have to quit out of the game and reload your last save point. Not ideal! 🙁
- Character profiles: You can view these for info about people and enemies you come across. They’re not essential, but worth a look for the completist.
Batman Arkham Origins Part 2: Killer Croc battle (720p HD)
- CGI scenes: Batman: Arkham Origins does a great job of blending in brief CGI in-game scenes into the next time you can get moving again, as the camera centres back round towards the third-person view again.
- Replaying levels: You can’t. This game is a royal pain for not letting you replay levels, so you can go back and make a near-seamless walkthrough video. This is very annoying, as it means I can’t replay levels which I’ve just completed, so while I did this for the opening prison level and then the Killer Croc battle, the remaining videos are first attempts at gameplay. Apparently this is the same for the previous games in the series.
- Level length: Like Beyond Two Souls, some levels last a few minutes while others seem to last forever. Why the inconsistency? This is so frustrating. I’ve had a moan about this in my BTS review, so have a read in there.
Overall, while Batman: Arkham Origins isn’t the best game you’ll play all year, it certainly holds its own as being a cracking piece of entertainment and well worthy of your time. Anyone who can expect to receive this for Christmas will consider it time well spent.
Batman Arkham Origins Part 3: Finding the Penguin (720p HD)
- Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive
- Standard Price: £27.99-£39.99 depending on format
- Players: 1
- HDTV options: 720p
- PAL; Region 2
- Languages: English
- Subtitles: English
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
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