Hands-On First Impressions With BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS

At Fan Expo Canada 2013, WB Games brought five consoles running the San Diego Comic-Con/E3 demo of Batman: Arkham Origins and we were there to try it out, so quickly check out what impression the game left on us last weekend!

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By Alex Lynch - 8/30/2013
Batman: Arkham Origins is the third game coming out in the Arkham franchise, however, it’s worth nothing that this particular game isn’t made by Rocksteady, but instead Warner Bros. Games Montreal. However, that is the most irrelevant detail because you really wouldn’t be able to tell, as Arkham Origins tops its predecessor’s in the same way that Rocksteady did with Arkham City. Arkham Origins feels and looks like a Rocksteady game but it also has significant changes not only cosmetically, but behind the hood of the game as well.

The playable demo at Fan Expo Canada was the one you guys have seen at San Diego Comic-Con and more, featuring a side-mission or two and the cut scene with Bane and The Joker. Getting to that cut scene is the fun part as you could take 5 minutes or explore around for side-missions and take about 30 minutes. I’ve seen it countless times on the internet and to be honest, I thought to myself that it only slightly looked different than the previous games. The creative team talked about how much they changed up the game, and visually, it wasn’t showing. Upon arriving to Fan Expo, I quickly rushed to the South Building as fast as I could and stood in a lineup for Batman: Arkham Origins. Unlike the other demos, there were five consoles setup running the game as Warner Bros obviously anticipated the hype. I waited, patiently until my time came to play.


The demo starts out with a cut scene similar to the one in the trailer featuring Copperhead. After that, you begin Batman atop of a building with a dialogue signaling to jump off, much like the first demo for Arkham City. Now, I’m sure you’ve all seen what the demo has in store so I won’t describe it too much. After this cut scene, I immediately dove down and saw a group of normal thugs and I was feeling a little hungry for some knuckle sandwiches. Overall, I took what I already knew from the Arkham series and applied it to this game’s combat, as the controls are extremely similar. On the PS3, it’s still square to punch, it’s still triangle to counter and it’s still cross to jump. The fundamentals aren’t different which, in my opinion, is best for this game to use recognizable gameplay. This first fight with about 10 thugs is what made me fall in love with Arkham Origins. Why? Simply because not only are there new animations signifying that this Batman is more young and hardened, but more so due to the fact that something in the game engine is different and better than anything Rocksteady used. Eric Holmes noted that it’s a modified version of the Unreal Engine 3, so go talk to him about that for more details one day. Regardless, this one battle was incredibly fast paced, exciting and fun. It had me rushing to block, rushing to evade and it was a struggle (in a good way) to keep a hit-combo going. I believe this demo is a couple months old, so I’m incredibly looking forward to what the WBGM do with the finished product, but this game definitely has the emphasis on a younger Batman. Now, honestly, I didn’t notice much of a difference in the Predator combat missions. The only difference I’ve seen is the use of the ‘Remote Claw’ which isn’t quite that fun considering it’s somewhat broken, but hopefully there is a lot more to do in the final product once upgrades and gadgets are unlocked through progression.

All-in-all, Arkham Origins is an extremely promising tenure into the depths of Batman’s early mythology and this demo gave me hope that it’ll take its place beside Rocksteady’s Arkham games as some of the best licensed video games of all-time.
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33 Comments
MrMartinMarvel - 8/30/2013, 1:14 PM
I expected no less from this franchise.
Brainiac13 - 8/30/2013, 1:15 PM
Cool!

Xandera - 8/30/2013, 1:17 PM
Awesome! Cannot wait to play it!!!
charlie2094 - 8/30/2013, 1:17 PM
Awesome!

Can't wait to play this, was worried about the lack of Rocksteady, but it seems like Origins has turned out great anyway!

Besides, pretty sure Rocksteady has been working away on a next-gen, full fledged sequel to Arkham City, the more Arkham the better :D
MisterMagurlypse - 8/30/2013, 1:18 PM
Sounds good. Hopefully the story is as good as the gameplay looks. Can't wait to kick some arse as Deathstroke!
Indy - 8/30/2013, 1:21 PM
I am sure the game will be fun but I said it before hell with the challenge maps. why hell would I want to pre-order the game and they promise me more maps no. How about I get to fly the batwing for pre-order instead or more missions different characters.
AlertTheSus - 8/30/2013, 1:46 PM
the first two were incredible. played them over a few times. instant classic in my opinion. this one looks amazing from what i have seen too. they need to take notes and make sooo many other superhero and comic based games like these and Injustice. Can you [frick]ing imagine a Spider-man or x-men or even Hulk game like this?! Deadpool was [frick]ing awesome too
mk - 8/30/2013, 1:49 PM
man.. i remember torrenting asylum back then and got in trouble in school :( but cant wait for this one.. not really in a hurry thought so ill wait for pc sale ;)
Ineedrevelation - 8/30/2013, 1:52 PM
Few games to buy

GTA V

Arkham Origins

ACIV

PS4
Indy - 8/30/2013, 1:53 PM
Get Tim Daly do a superman game.
Brady1138 - 8/30/2013, 1:59 PM
Honestly, I'm kind of tired of the Arkham games. How many adventures is Batman gonna have where EVERY SINGLE VILLAIN is involved?! I wanna see Rockstar try a Superman or Green Lantern game.
TheDarkLord - 8/30/2013, 2:10 PM
Most Anticipated!!
KINGPEN266 - 8/30/2013, 2:28 PM
IN OTHER NEW MARVEL JUST CONFIRMED BRAD COOPER AS ROCKET RACOON
patrat18 - 8/30/2013, 2:33 PM
Another game of the year in the works.
patriautism - 8/30/2013, 2:46 PM
How are they going to explain him having BETTER gadgets in the past? For example the Grapnel boost was a prototype in Arkham City, so how would it make sense if he had that ability 15 years earlier?
Sparrowsabre7 - 8/30/2013, 2:47 PM
Really hope this manages to be more than "another Arkham" don't get me wrong, another Arkham is still better than most other series, but being a prequel I'm not as thrilled with anticipation for the story as I would be fore a sequel. I mean where City left off was uncharted territory for much of the Batverse and I want to see how it progresses, not how it began.

That said I have hopes for this game, and all will instantly be forgiven if we get a DRIVABLE BATMOBILE FOR ONCE =P
relentless1 - 8/30/2013, 2:51 PM
@patriautism, i was worried about that too but on the wikipedia page they describe it as the grapnel accelerator; an earlier version of the grapnel boost
Whippet - 8/30/2013, 3:02 PM
Amazing news. I worried that this might get mucked up.
JayJayCAW - 8/30/2013, 3:44 PM
Awesome glad I have it on preorder :)
JayJayCAW - 8/30/2013, 3:44 PM
Oh and thanks for the hands on review :D
superbatspiderman - 8/30/2013, 3:49 PM
One thing that has made the Arkham games so great is the character design. The villains looks so cool and some terrifying. The thing that I think this game is improving on is Bane because I never liked the Bane in the other games but this one looks fantastic.
thewonderer - 8/30/2013, 4:35 PM
Again, you have Bane taking orders from Joker.

This has always been a problem. Why does he always have to take orders?
staypuffed - 8/30/2013, 5:16 PM
So glad to hear that it isn't a let down (based on the demo, anyways)
I have extremely high hopes.
Azrael725 - 8/30/2013, 5:45 PM
@TrueBeliever2: I literally just came across that episode of Batman: TAS this morning randomly on YouTube! haha
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 8/30/2013, 6:33 PM
[frick]ing Joker. So pointless.
JediPhilosopher - 8/30/2013, 7:23 PM
But, Batman doesn't look like Ben Affleck :P
unknownfacts - 8/30/2013, 7:42 PM
Wonder what Rocksteady is working on to hand over the Arkham franchise?
GetsugaTensho22 - 8/30/2013, 7:50 PM
@Patriautism: Because he has full access to the Batcave and his arsenal, for this one.
Asylum had him use a watered down temporary base of operations, while Arkham City had him essentially improvise the whole time.
Maximus101 - 8/30/2013, 8:49 PM
I was watching people play it at the fan expo and it looks awesome. Pretty close to the same as ark ham city. Super excited to play this!
rage - 8/30/2013, 10:56 PM
As awesome as the Arkham games are and I will say are some of the best games I've ever played. I think i would have like to see a similar style game using a different character(s) maybe the teenage mutant ninja turtles like the rumours were saying way back when. But bring it into the more mature world for the more mature gameplayer.
charlie2094 - 8/31/2013, 4:38 AM
@unknownfacts

Very likely Rocksteady are working on the proper Arkham 3, heard a lot of rumours and such about it, and Conroy let it slip he was working on a new Arkham game, which isn't origins. They haven't handed it over, seems more likely that WB just wanted another Arkham game out, to fill the time until Rocksteady releases the next-gen sequel to Arkham City, hence why WB Montreal are doing a prequel, leaving the sequel to Rocksteady. Have to imagine, we'll get the Arkham City sequel November-ish 2014, be too crowded and probably too early (considering most PS4/Xbox One titles this year are also 360/ps3 releases) for it this year..
MightyZeus - 8/31/2013, 5:41 AM
Sounds good. I cant wait to play it.
SnapperCarr - 9/3/2013, 8:27 PM
THIS GAME IS GONNA BE GOOD

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