When Bruce Wayne was still relatively amateurish at being a vigilante, Gotham city was a corrupt mess. It was ruled by a number of gangs, those under the Black Mask in particular, who had also bought out the police, and hence operated without any fear. However, Batman was putting a major wrench into this whole escapade. And hence, the Black Mask put up a 50 million dollar prize to whoever could kill the Batman before dawn on Christmas morning, one that assassins from all over the world and even corrupt portions of the police came to pursue. And hence, Batman’s goes out to stop and capture these assassins, deal with the corrupt police, deal with other crime throughout the city happening because of the chaos, and look into a number of mysteries and inconsistencies surrounding this whole affair. It’s a long night. Merry Christmas.
For some background, I played Arkham Asylum and City and enjoyed both, city considerably more so. I should also note I played these a long time ago, both within a year of release, so fatigue at being too similar to it’s predecessors shouldn’t be an issue. Comparatively I would have to say that I enjoyed this more than Asylum, but less than City, the latter of which its very similar to.
In terms of story, the development of the rough unrefined Batman was very interesting. Just as interesting if not more so was the development of the Joker, from being someone lost and simply wanting to burn things down so to speak in a literal sense, to being someone with a purpose heavily linked to his relationship with the Batman. Watching that relationship developing, as well as watching the relationship between Batman and Gordon were the highlights story wise, and the core of the actual plot. There were also a whole bunch of other villains, but because of that it felt like a lot were underused. It felt somewhat like going through an amusement park with an attraction for each villain without much consistency and coherence throughout. Still, having such a variety was still pretty cool. In terms of atmosphere, it felt very similar to City. Gotham was much bigger, but in part because of that, it felt dead, like Arkham City. While this fit with the world of City, it doesn’t fit as well with Origins, despite the story explanation given of a curfew, it still felt somewhat wrong.
The combat was solid similar to City, flowing well and having a good amount of depth with critical hits and the gadgets, though no where near character action game level. I feel I got much more into it this time than previous entries though, solely from experience I’m assuming, but I feel there might be a bit more polish here. The purely combat oriented bosses I’ve never felt have been all that amazing in these games, and this felt about the same. The more gadget and other mechanic oriented bosses were interesting though. The Predator encounters were also similar to City, with a couple additions, but that still felt incredibly similar to previous entries.
In terms of progression, the upgrade system was cool, and the Dark Knight challenges were a nice thing to go for throughout the game while playing. An issue that I have with this game, similarly to an issue I had with its predecessor, is that there are far too many Enigma data packs. I’m the type of person that will either plan to do all of something, or feel far less motivated to do any of it, so seeing how many there were I just didn’t even try. There was a lot of other side content as well, but despite being focused around different villains or groups, the majority of it felt incredibly similar.
In terms of sound and art, it was definitely solid, some moments such as Joker’s monologue definitely standing out as exceptional, but being great throughout. The character designs they chose were pretty authentic despite some novel choices. The graphics were also solid.
Very by the books Batman game that doesn’t innovate much beyond Arkham City in meaningful ways and has a few additional issues, but is a solid entry nevertheless.
Note that I did not play any MP or any of the challenge maps.