Batman: Arkham Origins Review - Good, But Not Good Enough

Falterfire

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Jul 9, 2012
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I'm enjoying the bits I play, but I haven't played a ton of it because I switch off with my roommate whenever it crashes since the XBox has to be restarted anyways. We switch off roughly every hour or two. (360 version)

The combat does feel off a bit, but I'm not sure how much is the game and how much is being out of practice.
 

Phrozenflame500

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Dec 26, 2012
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So basically it's Batman's Creed 3. Ouch, that strikes it off my list. While more Batman is tempting, if it's just the same game I don't feel the need to spend $60 more bucks for it.
 

JonB

Don't Take Crap from Life
Sep 16, 2012
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Just as I expected - a good game, but not as good as the Rocksteady ones. I can live with that.
 

gphjr14

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Phrozenflame500 said:
So basically it's Batman's Creed 3. Ouch, that strikes it off my list. While more Batman is tempting, if it's just the same game I don't feel the need to spend $60 more bucks for it.
Wait till around Christmas if you're in America. Usually after Thanksgiving Batman games are like 50% off at major retailers.

So far this game isn't anywhere near as engaging as AC. Doesn't help that a large part of the map is just Arkham City which makes sense but still comes off as more of the same.

Glitch wise I've only encountered one glitch that was potentially game breaking but worked itself out. Still the camera doesn't quite keep up with the more hectic fight sequences and I felt that I was getting hit with cheap shots since I couldn't see what was going on. This is especially true for a boss fight were the area is crowded with enemies and the camera can't decide who to focus on you, the goons, or the boss charging around the arena.

Also the countering system is a little slow to the point where you have to actually focus more on the enemy movements as opposed to the blue lightening bolts.
 

Sanunes

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Mar 18, 2011
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Sadly I was hoping the game was going to be better, but once I heard Rocksteady was no longer involved this is what I was expecting.
 

Lieju

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I have one important question;

Does this game have The Riddler in it?
 

The Lugz

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Apr 23, 2011
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the game's perfectly proficient, but unfortunately the console-itis is showing it's head there are some pretty big sound bugs where the sound is cutting out entirely or voice-overs are gone, I've also experienced a strange flickering which I think is a lighting bug, or possibly something to do with a missing physx element ( currently running an amd card, so that's all disabled ) and some of the cut-scene intro animations are quick or have sloppy camera work, but no crashes or complete game-stoppers yet, although the audio bug is really big enough..

Lieju said:
I have one important question;

Does this game have The Riddler in it?
yes, it most certainly does! :)
 

Skade

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Mar 27, 2009
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No mention of the multiplayer? I recommend you to have a look at it. It has a few problems (like needing a full set of 8 players to actually work), but it is a very enjoyable asymmetric mode. An asymmetric modes are few and far between :(.
 

TheIceQueen

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Well, that's a shame. I was a pretty big fan of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. I was hoping that this would be just as good, but I didn't expect it to be considering a lack of Rocksteady, but... still, if the rumors are true, Rocksteady'll have us another Arkham game before long.
 

Gitty101

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I quite like it. From what I've played so far it isn't quite as 'rich' as Arkham City, but it does what it sets out to do well enough. The graphics are brilliant and it runs better than City ever did. It's more Batman, and that's all I really wanted.
 

Blood Brain Barrier

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Why is everyone saying it's better than AA but not as good as AC? That doesn't even make sense. AA was quite a bit better than AC, and I thought that was the common opinion.
 

Bostur

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I agree with the review, although I'd rather say it's not perfect but it's good enough. Taking the flaws into account, it's still a very enjoyable game.

The thing that annoys me the most is the shortcomings of the city design. While AC had a very open design, AO seems to have a ceiling hanging relatively low over the city. A lot of rooftops and towers simply can't be reached. In AC not all rooftops had suitable surfaces for walking on, but in most cases the player could bump into them giving some consistency to the game world. In AO a lot of freedom is taken away in the lateral direction.
I also agree that the visual design of the city isn't as interesting as in AC.

The boss fights I have played so far seems more fluid and a lot more enjoyable than the sometimes contrieved mechanics used in AC.

There are also a lot of glitches unfortunately, ranging from the gamebreaking to the merely annoying. The PC port has some UI annoyances, it would be nice if they had made the menus completely mousedriven.
 

Woodsey

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The writing, on the other hand, does not stand up to the standard set in earlier games. Though it doesn't completely fail, there are some notably bad bits. The Penguin and his assistant are both the most ridiculous parodies I've ever heard of how a British person actually speaks , cracking British slang every third word.
Whereas the Penguin's portrayal in Arkham City was, uhhh... exactly the same.
 

AgentLampshade

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Why is everyone hating on The Penguins voice now? It literally hasn't changed and Tracey isn't in the game long enough to warrant any ill will from me. Overall, I think the story is stronger than City and Asylum. I only have a few complaints about it.

They did exactly what everyone knew they would as soon as the first Joker screenshot emerged. They made him the Big Bad instead of Black Mask. Ugh. I like the way he was written here (a mix of Mad Love and The Killing Joke) and Troy Baker's performance is incredible, but maaaan I am SICK of The Joker. The main draw for me in this game was that Black Mask was touted as the Big Bad, but he barely gets any screen-time and basically becomes the Arkhamverse's walking joke.

Another complaint: Remember all the hype Deathstroke got? All the artwork and wallpapers? Remember how he was to be one of the main villains? Yeah, he's the first proper boss fight and never resurfaces.

Combat I'm more harsh on. It seems they tweaked things that absolutely didn't need to be tweaked. Enemies are much more aggressive, and while this should be a good thing, it clashes with another change they've made. In Asylum and City, when Batman's finishing a strong strike, time slows down slightly, ending with a satisfying crunch. In Origins however, Batman slows down while the enemies don't, so you can't counter their attacks. This is very frustrating.

Another change I don't like is that there are special enemies everywhere! I get that it's supposed to increase the difficulty, but man those shield bastards keep stopping my combo. Same goes for armoured enemies, who aren't as noticeable as they were in City. Martial artists and heavy thugs are a welcome addition, because they keep you on your toes and don't force you to spam cape stun just to hit them[footnote]okay, Armoured Heavies do, but they're few and far between[/footnote].

Predator gameplay has barely changed, but I'm okay with that. Don't try to fix what isn't broken.
 

actelon

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May 20, 2010
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So far the game is enjoyable and totally worth more than the somewhat childish 3.5 that Jim gave it over at Destructoid.
 

GinraiPrime

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Aug 26, 2010
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Despite the few technical issues its still a very enjoyable game. I've finished the story campaign and just working the remaining Most Wanted missions and I'm having a blast! :D
Its kinda funny how when this was first announced people didn't want them to alter the combat or anything and now that its out and the gameplay for the most part is unchanged, alot of people are crying foul for them not changing it!

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. People are never satisfied. All I wanted from this game was a bigger area to explore, going to the BATCAVE for crying out loud and just generally more of the same and thats what I got. Call me out for saying thats the problem with more of the same but the fact is that the gameplay was solid from the first 2 games so why would you want to drastically alter it just for the sake of "innovation"?

This has become abit of a marmite game, you either love it or you hate it. Me, I'm loving it and once these few techincal issues get patched then it'll all be fine.

Oh and before I forget, I've been seeing around the 'net of how people are calling out WBGM about these technical problems saying that this never happened with Rocksteady. Have you people forgotten about the whole Catwoman DLC fiasco? Kept crashing Arkham City and people had to keep restarting?! Some issues like this seem to be happening with some people for Origins but thankfully for me its just the odd bit of framrate dropping and some crashing behind a loading screen, no deleting of saves though. Just because its a new developer doesn't mean that they're the only ones to have stuff like this happen to their games. Even Rocksteady had technical issues with AC.
 

JonB

Don't Take Crap from Life
Sep 16, 2012
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Alfred fails to change as a character is really something that you criticize about the game?

Okay, I guess it's still not as bad as some other reviews I've seen.
 

Buizel91

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Aug 25, 2008
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JonB said:
arc1991 said:
I pretty much agree with this review...apart from the Voice Acting. Complaining about Penguins voice? Nolan North Voiced him, who also voiced him in Arkham City. I admit however, Tracey got on my nerves! I admit voice acting isn't as strong, but considering most of the actors are back who played characters in the other 2 games (Alfred, Penguin and i believe Banes voice actor from AA, could be wrong however, sounds pretty much the same.) it still feels like an Arkham game :p
Gotta step in here and say that I think Mr. North's voice acting was great, it was Penguin's writing that I think was horrible. He and his assistant both. Neither of them is like some feverish nightmare based entirely on american media based on british people in AC. The dialogue they gave North in AO is just atrocious. He does great with it, but the words coming out of his mouth are so fantastically shit.

You'll all note that I did not address the multiplayer in this review. I think it is shit and bad. I would rather not dignify its existence.
I actually really like MP, it's different than you typical "shoot things and gain exp", it's "Shoot things...and watch out for batman and robin because they WILL fuck you up...ooh and here is Bane and Joker...you are now fucked"

Admittedly atm its a bit laggy and not many people are playing it, hopefully it will pick up and be patched up by chrimbo.
 

RJ 17

The Sound of Silence
Nov 27, 2011
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They don't hit the mark directly, but they're still on target.
A funny choice of words, as I found that to actually be one of the biggest problems with the game...not that the new studio "didn't hit its mark", but in the sense that more often than not, Batman doesn't hit his mark.

By this I'm referring to the Combat in the game in which the target prioritizing is completely screwed. The biggest example of this that I encountered was during one fight in which there was a baddy with a gun standing next to a baddy who had picked up a fire extinguisher to throw it at me. I initiate the Disarm-Destroy move, pointing in the direction of the two guys. Now, in the previous games, it would recognize the guy with the gun as posing the bigger threat and as such would have Batman jump towards that guy, take away the gun, and take it apart. Not this game. In this game Batman just jumps towards the nearest weapon - regardless of how threatening it is - and Disarm-Destroys it. This led to Batman jumping at the guy with the fire extinguisher, taking it away from him, and throwing it across the room to destroy it...and then get pumped full of lead by the guy with the game.

But that isn't the only example. The Batclaw always targets the person furthest away in the direction that you're pointing. As such instead of grabbing the guy that's running up to punch you in the face, you target the guy dancing around behind him and get punched in the face as you try to pull that guy towards you. The jump-evasion technique also has lousy targeting, often leading to you just dive-rolling in the general direction you're pointing rather than jumping over an enemy in that direction which, again, leads to more getting punched in the face.

Quite honestly, I kept saying "as long as they don't screw up the combat, I'm sure I'll enjoy it." Well...due to the wonky prioritizing/targeting, they actually DID manage to screw it up...so that bumped the game down quite a few pegs in my book.

And to say that the exploration wasn't much fun is only part of it. After about 2/3rds of the game has gone by, most of the rooftops have snipers on them, which more or less negates the fast-travel system (unless you like being shot at by snipers) and makes going from one place to another rather tedious as you're pretty much forced to clear out every roof that has a sniper on it. But yeah, the fact that you're just arbitrarily prevented from going on top of certain buildings (such as the power plant, as mentioned in the review) becomes a pain since you have to go all the way around it every time, and it's a pretty damn big building.

As for bugs, the only one I encountered was a particular elevator that Batman seemed to enjoy falling through the floor of, ending up in an eternal freefall/glide underneath the area.