It was just a day ago that the newest installment in the Arkham franchise was announced; yet we already know so much about it. Batman: Arkham Origins is the prequel to Arkham Asylum (2009) and Arkham City (2011), which will take you back to the early days of the Dark Knight. The game is slated for an October 25th release date, available on PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U. It will be developed by Warner Bros. Games Montreal instead of the traditional Rocksteady. However, WB Montreal promises to stay true to what Rocksteady has done with the previous two installments.
There are several areas of interest involving Arkham Origins, namely: the plot, the characters, and the gameplay. Here is what we know about these categories so far:
Taking place before the rise, or creation, of most of Gotham’s most dangerous criminals, players will play as a young, unrefined Batman as he faces a series of events that define him into becoming the Dark Knight. Throughout the game you will be introduced to many familiar faces for the first time while you establish friendships, partnerships and adversaries. The story opens on Christmas Eve, with 8 assassins coming to kill Batman. I’m already interested.
- Batman (not yet as experienced or as skilled and perhaps, not as many gadgets in his arsenal, but young and determined to save his city as a relatively new superhero/ vigilante)
- Deathstroke (a new face in the Arkham franchise. He may also be connected to the 8 assassins at the beginning of the game. Whatever his role, its clear that he is one of the main villains of the game)
- Penguin (not as old or disfigured as we know he will become, but we may see the origin of the Arkhamverse’s Penguin, who appears to be one of the only villains also featured in the previous two games)
- Black Mask (If you took the time to play through all the side missions in Arkham City then you would have seen the small cameo made by Black Mask, but based on the latest photo releases from GameInformer at IGN, he’s center stage in Origins)
- Gordon and the GCPD (Jim Gordon is not yet Commissioner and neither he nor the police force is familiar with the Batman and view him as a potential threat. Also, the GCPD appears to be even more dark and untrustworthy then we thought, due to recent rumors of “bad cops” secretly working for crime bosses, something fans of Batman are all too familiar with so it should come as no surprise, and should add interesting plot points)
- Robin? Batgirl? (nothing has been revealed about the possibility of sidekicks, but this is where speculating fans do their worst. Considering that this game takes place years, if not almost a decade, before Asylum or City, perhaps Barbara Gordon is not yet wheelchair bound, and just starting her superhero career. Or maybe we get the debut of Jason Todd in the franchise. Or, going back even further, we see young Dick Grayson dawning the Robin cape and cowl for the first time)
WB Montreal has literally dozens of options with the game being set in the past. My concern is that they keep as much continuity as possible so we don’t get a bunch of fan boys questioning the creditability of the game based on minor details (its happened too many times before). The ability to play as other characters has not yet been determined, but you can bet they’ll be a few DLC’s if its anything like it predecessors.
There is much to discuss concerning the gameplay that WB Montreal is developing. For starters, it has been announced that the Gotham we play in will be nearly twice the size of Arkham City and that fast travel will be available through the use of the Batwing, once the jamming towers that block the plane’s signal are destroyed of course. While we are unable to manually fly the plane, it is the first time in the franchise that we actually get to use a vehicle (no, calling the Batmobile to run Bane over doesn’t count).
The new developers were very clear about keeping the look, movement and fighting style the same as what Rocksteady had created. Just like the previous two games, hopefully there will be some improvements here and there to keep us entertained, because while the fighting in both games was very cool, it eventually became more of a chore to have to fight thugs throughout the city.
They look to involve the detective aspect of any good Batman story and apply it to the gameplay. Now, you can enter a crime scene, find evidence, go do other missions and maybe gain more experiences points and more gadgets. After you’ve acquired more tools, you can now return back to the crime scene and uncover more info then you could before. You can also gain a better reputation with Gotham and the police department by completing crimes in progress and solving cases for the police, gaining trust from Gotham and showing that you’re a hero, not a villain. Another feature is called “Most Wanted”, which allows you to specifically go after one or more main villains by traveling the city, finding clues and possibly beating the information out of various thugs.
There will certainly be a lot of side missions, crimes, crime scenes and investigating to keep you busy outside of the main storyline. With all of the advancements being made in this game it looks to give us the complete package of what it truly feels like to be Batman and exist in a crime-ridden Gotham.
Keep your eyes and ears open Bat-fans, for more information, releases and possibly a teaser trailer in the weeks to come.
For more details on Batman: Arkham Origins and all Batman news in general, keep it here in the Heart Of Gotham.