E3 Preview - 'Batman: Arkham Origins' in good hands with new developer

Tuesday, 11 June 2013 10:17 PM Written by 

I’ll admit I was worried when it was announced that “Batman: Arkham Origins” wasn’t going to be handled by Rocksteady Games. Rocksteady had made two of my favorite games of the console generation in “Arkham Asylum” and “Arkham City,” and to hear that they wouldn’t be involved with the third game in the series made me skeptical of its quality.

That worry washed away during today’s demo on the E3 floor.

Set years before the events of “Arkham Asylum,” Batman is still in the early stages of his career. The game follows him at year two. He’s not yet infamous among Gotham’s crime ring, and has only achieved the status of urban legend.

It’s Christmas Eve in Gotham City, and the Black Mask has put a $50 million bounty on the Caped Crusader’s head. Gotham’s super villains are all vying to cash in on this bounty.

There was no shortage of villains mentioned or shown in the demo, which include Deadshot, Bane, Joker, Penguin, and Black Mask.

Warner Bros. Montreal looks to have picked up right where Rocksteady left things. “Arkham Origins” looks to have the same stellar combat and flight mechanics we’re used to in the series. This game is set in South Gotham, which is an all-new area with new buildings and structures.

The core of the combat is untouched. Fans of the series will recognize many of the same animations, but some new ones have been added. New gadgets have also been added to the mix, including a chain grappling hook that chains together two enemies or objects and forces them to collide.

New enemies have been added to Gotham. Two that were shown were a heavily armored enemy and a martial arts enemy. Armored enemies must be broken down and there armored must be removed to make them vulnerable. Martial arts enemies are able to counter Batman’s counters, making for some really entertaining and fluid fight animations.

This new Gotham will also feature random crime events that Batman can choose to remedy, or pass to focus on his main tasks. These events will unlock new gadgets or earn XP.

The leveling system has been improved by making it more tree-based and less linear. However, no aspects of the leveling system were shown in the demo.

To explore Batman’s detective angle further, a new detective mode and crime scene investigation has been added. At the scene of the crime, Batman is able to scan the area and send the data to the Bat Computer for analysis. That analysis allows him to watch a recreation of the crime to learn more about the perpetrator. The recreation can be reversed, paused, or fast forwarded. The demo showed Batman watched a virtual recreation of a helicopter crash eventually caused by Deadshot.

Kevin Conroy is out as Batman, but the new voice actor is a suitable replacement. He does a solid Kevin Conroy impression.

“Batman: Arkham Origins” will be available for the 360, PS3, Wii U, and PC October 25 of this year.

 

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