Batman: Arkham Origins is set at the end of second year of Batman career. Still considered an urban myth by most of Gotham City’s underworld and barely tolerated, if not hunted by Gotham’s police force, Batman wages his one-man war on crime. But not all thinks he is just a myth. Crime lord Black Mask has issued a challenge to several of the world’s best assassins: For one night only, kill the bat and get a $50 million payday. Batman must deal with these trained killers while finding out what Black Mask is planning for Gotham. And in the middle of all of this, a certain Clown Prince of Crime is waiting to make his debut…
The game, developed by WB Games Montreal, builds on Rocksteady’s work on the previous games. With the backdrop of a snowy Christmas Eve, Gotham is once again dark and dreary, with the occasional spot of Christmas lights setting the holiday mood. The characters haven’t changed much from Arkham City, with Batman looking younger and his equipment and suit not as refined.
The villains also look good, with younger versions of Riddler, Penguin, Joker and Bane popping up. The game introduces some challengers new to the Arkham series: classic DC villains (not exclusively Batman foes) Deathstroke and Lady Shiva make their first appearance as well as a new take on the villain Copperhead, now a woman in the game (and eventually will be introduced in the comics). Other villains include Back Mask, who is the one tying it all together, Anarky and Firefly, amongst others.
The gameplay is still the same as Arkham City. Combat is still a matter of well timed punches, counters and dodges. Weapons are upgradable and unlock as you level up.
The collector’ s edition comes with special DLC, such as the Deathstroke playable character in challenge mode and various skins for Batman. There is a diorama of the Joker with light up TV that is pretty neat. It also comes with an art book, a wanted poster for the Batman, the assassination contract and a fact sheet on the various villain’s aiming to collect.
Batman Arkham Origins is solid, if not wholly original addition to the Batman game franchise. Swinging through Gotham is still a thrill as are the new challenges. Fans of the first two games should check it out.