Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ARKHAM ORIGINS: Trailer and Details Revealed

The first official trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins has arrived. It was only days ago that we were given a teaser with quick flashes of the duel between Batman and Deathstroke. In this new, elongated version, we discover that mobster Black Mask is the man behind the 8 assassins coming to kill the Dark Knight. Confirmed among those eight are: Deathstroke and Deadshot (he was also featured in a side mission in Arkham City, remember?). Following the trailer is an advertisement featuring Deathstroke as a playable character through pre-order through Amazon. It is assumed that he will be playable in the same capacity as Catwoman was in City; with his own mini-missions and story. Or, at the very least, he is available to use in the challenge maps, similar to Robin and Nightwing.
     Overall, not a whole lot of new details are revealed, aside from a few little hints and unexpected objects like a bomb hidden inside a toolbox with a Queen Industries logo painted along the top. Of course this sparks any questions surrounding the involvement of Green Arrow in the game. Will he be a playable DLC character? Will he just appear in a cameo role much like Azrael in City? Or are they using Queen Industries because Wayne Industries would have been too conventional? Too many questions, too few answers. One thing is for sure: fans will welcome his inclusion in Origins considering his huge success in Injustice, which may be the creators’ logic for possibly including him in the game. Another reason could be because of Queen’s similarities to Batman. If the creators were looking for another DC superhero to include in the game, Green Arrow is the most logical, realistic choice, and would be on par with the playable capacities of the game (as cool as it would be, having Superman zipping around New Gotham doesn’t exactly stay true to what the two previous games created).
       Did anyone notice the way Batman took down the second thug? Yeah, obviously. Pulling someone through the floor isn’t something you regularly do, even if you’re Batman. If you recall, Arkham City’s first trailer showed Batman bursting through a wall to grab his opponent, which ended up being a usable takedown in the game, so I wouldn’t be surprised if, instead of busting open grates, we’ll be busting through wood floors to takedown our enemies.

     And that’s about it. This trailer (much like the Hugo Strange trailer for City) was all about the visuals, showcasing a villain that can match Batman, not only mentally, but also physically. No gameplay. Very few confirmed details about the game, but another reason to get excited, but who wouldn’t, its an Arkham game that seems to be on the right path to surpassing its predecessors.
     But where the trailer failed to give any real information about gameplay and the “feel” of the game, the game’s creative director, Eric Holmes, did not: “the Arkham franchise is a lot of stuff done ‘okay’. Its about certain things done to a great level of quality. We went through a bunch of ideas”, he tells IGN, “and we picked a small number of the best ones we felt would give the game its own identity, give it a meaning to exist.” Along with discussing the importance of improving upon the foundations created in Asylum and City, Holmes explains the game’s updated combat and upgrading systems, describing the changes to your fighting styles that will give you feedback at the end of each fight to help you improve your style. One thing also mentioned is the addition of so-called “ninja” thugs, who will not only be able to block your attacks but counter them as well. This was relieving to hear, considering that after engaging the 80th group of thugs over the course of City’s story, made me a little sick of the simple attack-counter combo.
     As we know, the playable areas of New Gotham are twice the size of Arkham City, with the ability to fast travel to many destinations via the Batwing. Holmes commented on the scale of the city, stating that there are many skyscrapers to give the city a more “vertical” feel (which was nice to know considering the best part of playing open world Spiderman games was climbing to the top of the Empire State Building, diving off and swinging a web at the last second. Hopefully they can recreate that, although its not my biggest concern). All of this and much more is discussed in IGN’s interview with creative director Eric Holmes so check it out.
And for more information on anything Batman and Arkham Origins, keep it here in the Heart of Gotham.

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