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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CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Miller
the best combat system in all of gaming
Oh dear... If ever a phrase was typed up that was destined to be taken to task, it's this one.
Posted 18:19 on 24 October 2013
tvr77's Avatar

tvr77

Yeah i totally agree with this review, Simon is spot on. I have been playing this since it arrived early this morning, (yep, Shopto.) although i would have liked a fresher experience i can't deny i'm having a lot of fun with this game. WB Montreal have done ok in my book.
Posted 18:12 on 24 October 2013
SimonMiller's Avatar

SimonMiller@ Clockpunk

Yeah. I go into more about them in the follow-up feature. They're really well done - you may have seen as you uncover a crime scene you had 'scrub' through what happened - but it still holds your hand a lot. I never felt like I was uncovering the secret. Just being told what to do next.

It's entertaining, though, mostly because the crime scenes themselves are so dark.
Posted 17:52 on 24 October 2013
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Hmmm... for some reason, I'm just not excited about this Arkham title (the other two were preordered). This one I just think I'll pick up in a few weeks time. Yet I know it'll be fun. Strange.

Might I ask how the detective segments are? Is it just a repeat of the 'follow a trail' seen in Asylum (and expanded upon slighty in City), or is that more of the same as well...?
Posted 17:46 on 24 October 2013
laticspieman's Avatar

laticspieman

Good to hear its not an absolute disaster. Considering you didn't even have a review copy during yesterdays podcast I'm surprised you've had time to review it.
Posted 17:37 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: 290 14
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