Batman: Arkham Origins is a wonderful version of somebody else's game. While a return to the Arkham series is welcome – and if you take only one thing away from this review, it should be that Origins is a worthy entry – there's no denying that Warner Bros. Montreal has taken Rocksteady's tremendous template and crafted a similar experience.

This means you're still treated to, for my money, the best combat system in all of gaming, an excellent open world, and a Batman story packed with dozens of knowing remarks, easter eggs and references that will light a fire under any Dark Knight fanatic.

Origins' narrative too is fantastic. Warner may struggle to work its handful of villains into the equation seamlessly, but seeing the makings of Batman - including his more naive, immature nature - leads to some fine moments that give more weight to the character throughout the entire trilogy.

With all that said, it would be wrong (even as the Dark Knight fanatic I, unashamedly, am) not to underline how much of an extension this feels. Most of the secrets or surprises thrown at you are retreads of what have come before, and as satisfying as revisiting Arkham City's (expanded) environment is, you can't help but have a small sense of déjàvu, no matter how slight.

This extends to the likes of Riddler trophies and other side missions. All are well-implemented and addictive, but they're not of the quality achieved by Rocksteady, something that can also be said for the visuals and overall production of the game.

Boss fights prove to be an issue also. The majority have individual flashes of inspiration, but by and large they descend into messy battles that don't take advantage of the tools built up over the last 4 years.

Such issues do nothing to take away from Origins' strengths, though, giving you another chance to revisit a franchise that is surely now one of the generation's best. Ultimately, this is like a cover song done by a band you're quite fond of. It may never be better than the original, but it's a great addition.

Version tested: Xbox 360. Campaign played for 12 hours. Multiplayer not tested (servers offline when reviewed).

8 / 10

  • Still has gaming's best combat system.
  • Great Batman origin story.
  • Numerous spine-tingling Bat moments.
  • Does go over a lot of old ground.

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User Comments

Wido's Avatar

Wido

I have picked this up today from GAME for £22. I can't grumble at that price and it is a game that I did want for Christmas, but replaced it with a retro Arsenal shirt instead now.

I'll report back on my first thoughts after playing the game. Good read Simon. Great that I waited!
Posted 10:01 on 02 December 2013
AdesteFideles's Avatar

AdesteFideles

Utterly uninspired in almost every conceivable way. Also feels rushed and a bit buggy.

At times it feels like they took Batman:AC and made a TC mod for it.

I'm only 4-5 hours in and it is clearly the weakest of the Arkham games.
Posted 21:17 on 28 October 2013
essex1212's Avatar

essex1212@ Jam_Sponge

I thought Bayonetta highlight was how random it was with it's levels, the combat and game though was no where near as good as Arkham City.

Thought Metal Gear Rising's bosses were brilliant though.
Posted 12:41 on 25 October 2013
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

Played it for about 3 hours last night and based on my thoughts so far - this review is absolutely spot on. There is a small dip in quality graphically from the previous games but once you get playing it is definitely like revisiting an old friend.
Posted 11:55 on 25 October 2013
DancingRhino's Avatar

DancingRhino

It's not blowing reviewers away though. Scores like 7 and 6 elsewhere.
Posted 10:08 on 25 October 2013
Guvnafuzz's Avatar

Guvnafuzz

This review is incredibly rushed. I would've waited for a much more detailed and informative review.
Posted 08:14 on 25 October 2013
Mintyrebel's Avatar

Mintyrebel@ Bluevane

They never signed an embargo, their pre-order copy simply came early since they never got a review copy, so they released the review.
Posted 22:27 on 24 October 2013
Chozo_Hybrid's Avatar

Chozo_Hybrid

More of the same is okay, it is a prequel, so if it had way more stuff that wasn't in the other games, it kinda wouldn't make sense continuity wise I guess. I'm fine with something akin to what we've had before, it shows a good job by these devs and if they do another, they can improve on it then :)
Posted 22:25 on 24 October 2013
Bluevane's Avatar

Bluevane

8/10 is what I was expecting, and that's good enough for me.

Props for breaking the review embargo prior to release! :)
Posted 21:03 on 24 October 2013
RazorGecko's Avatar

RazorGecko

I agree with DancingRhino, couldn't have set it better!
Posted 20:43 on 24 October 2013
CaptainMellow's Avatar

CaptainMellow

Will definitely buy, on steam.
Posted 20:41 on 24 October 2013
Carpetfluff's Avatar

Carpetfluff

Decent score, and much as I expected comments wise.
Posted 20:10 on 24 October 2013
Mando44646's Avatar

Mando44646

sounds great. I'm picking up the special edition as well as Blackgate on Vita. You guys should review that as well!
Posted 18:51 on 24 October 2013
DancingRhino's Avatar

DancingRhino

"Ultimately, this is like a cover song done by a band you're quite fond of. It may never be better than the original, but it's a great addition."

Good enough for me. I just wanted Arkham City to go on longer.
Posted 18:37 on 24 October 2013
Jam_Sponge's Avatar

Jam_Sponge@ CheekyLee

It's arguable, that's for sure. My personal favourite is Bayonetta - but the combat in Batman is phenomenal, no raised eyebrows from me.
Posted 18:23 on 24 October 2013

Game Stats

Batman: Arkham Origins
8
Out of 10
Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Still has gaming's best combat system.
  • Great Batman origin story.
  • Numerous spine-tingling Bat moments.
  • Does go over a lot of old ground.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 25/10/2013
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , Wii U , iPhone
Developer: Warner Bros. Games Montreal
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Genre: Action
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 271 1
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