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Backlog Files: Batman Arkham Origins

Illustration for article titled Backlog Files: Batman Arkham Origins

Vital Stats

Backlog Number: 5

Game: Batman, Arkham Origins

Number of Players: Single Player

Genre: Action, SuperHero Simulator

Developer: Rocksteady WB Montreal

Time To Beat: 21 hours (leisurely pace, did some extraneous collectible stuff but not all)

Rating: 3 out of 5 furbies

Recommend: yes

Batman Arkham Origins is a game I got via humble bundle I think but always thought of as the black sheep of the Batman Games bundle. I didn’t consider it a “real” batman game and so I never picked it up. Welp, due to my new system of working through every* game in my backlog A to Z, I finally sat down and gave it a shot.

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The Good

  • The Story. The strongest part of this game and the reason why even though it’s a 3/5 I still recommend it, is that the story is as good as the other Batman games. It tells the tale of a two year old batman and his initial run in with the Joker.
  • Voice Acting. Yes, neither Kevin Conroy nor Mark Hamill reprise their roles but you can do without them. Everyone else is top of their game including *Squints* Troy Baker as Joker? I hate to hand it to the guy but goddamn is he talented. This is a spot on impression where I would hardly know it wasn’t hammil if I hadn’t been told prior. Roger Craig Smith does a fine job as a more angry, surly, cocky batman.
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The Bad

  • Pretty much everything else. Now here, I have to caution, if you HAVENT played Arkham Knight nor Arkham Origins but you plan to (all 3 of you on the planet at this point), play Arkham Origins first. This game really felt like the batman version of the first uncharted. Go to position A. Fight. Go to position B. Fight. Go to position C. Predator mode. repeat. It got stale in the first 30 minutes and nothing afterwards really made it any more interesting. I ran into frequent hit detection bugs or where usually batman would sail around the arena locking onto guys in freestyle combat, here he would swing wildly into the air, breaking my combo, which was one of the only interesting parts of the entire system. Anyway if you’ve played Arkham Knight this becomes even MORE painful as Knight’s combat was progressively more difficult and the predator modes so much more interesting than here. It’s not HORRIBLE but it certainly gets old fast.
  • Travel. Again, this is mostly because I played Arkham Knight first and was one of the few who just loved the batmobile, but even beyond that. In Origins you unlock fast travel locations throughout Gotham by solving riddler puzzles. It’d be fine if some of the puzzles didn’t require certain tools you don’t get until you’re so far into the late game that you don’t even need the fast travel locations anymore. Really stupid. Beyond that, gliding just doesn’t feel as fun for some reason. Too many times I found myself flying right into a flat unscalable wall. As anyone who has played a batman game before knows, the worst part of flying around is “Press A to glide off wall”. This happens FAR too frequently in Origins.
  • The Hacking Tool. This game has such a love affair with the hacking tool and I have no idea why, it’s cheesy and stupid and serves only to slow down gameplay. Literally every other tool in Batman’s arsenal is sidelined so that he can swivel some disks until INCENDIARY can show up on the tool and he can unlock a door. It’s absolutely incredible how much this boring ass tool is used.
  • Copperhead. In the game, Batman is pursued by several assassins. Most feel like a natural part of the story. Copperhead’s section feels like they finished the game and realized “Oh shit, we forgot to add Copperhead”. In short, she shows up in an elevator, poisons Batman, decides to slowly pursue him to an open arena where Batman gets an antidote (Alfred identifies the poison, synthesizes an antidote, puts it in a case, puts the case in the batwing, and delivers it to Batman’s exact coordinates within 5 minutes. It stretches credulity but it’s annoying because Batman could have just said, “Oh hey it’s Snake Venom. Send me the snake venom antidote. Insert specific snake venom for Snake Venom.) and then kicks her butt. It’s a short and rather strange segment that doesn’t really serve much purpose. Copperhead could have been a rather interesting addition but she mostly just seems to have been added so that Rule 34 artists would have something to draw without Harley or Poison Ivy (neither are really in the game - Harley Quinzel is, but not Harley Quinn)
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And that’s it for Batman: Arkham Origins, a mediocre, but still fun to watch Batman game with some stellar voice acting, and a mind boggling amount of hacking. Next up, we are going back underwater to see why Sophia Lamb is kidnapping those children.

Worth Noting: Technically, Bionic Commando Rearmed was up next but since it required me to roll back my graphics driver I figured that was enough of an excuse to skip it.

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Backlog Files is a series where I, Aikage, force myself to play every game I’ve ever bought in alphabetical order. If you have any suggestions or tips for presentation please let me know in the comments below

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