Batman goes back to his roots in Arkham Origins

BATMAN: Arkham City back in 2011 set the bar at a new level. It was hard to say a bad word about it - it had everything Batman fans could want in a video game. There was the action, the gadgets, the story and the characters. It left us wanting more and that's exactly what we got in new release Arkham Origins - and now I'm not so sure that's a good thing.

As the title may suggest, this is a prequel to the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City titles from previous years. The story here features a younger Batman as he encounters many of his most famous foes and allies for the first time. As the story goes, crime lord Black Mask has put a $50,000,000 bounty on Batman's head. There's more too it than that, but I'll let you discover that for yourselves.

A screenshot from Batman Arkham Origins.
A screenshot from Batman Arkham Origins.

If you're like me and played Arkham City non-stop when it came out at the end of 2011, you'll feel right at home in Origins. The controls are the same, as are the weapons albeit it for a couple of new additions to the utility belt. At times I didn't feel like I was playing a new game but rather some new content for Arkham City. I found it a bit too easy.

Having said that, Origins not a carbon copy of its predecessors. New additions such as the option to fast-travel to various points of the city (which is much bigger than the previous game) and even back to the Batcave can save you some valuable time. Street thugs aren't all created equally this time around. The martial artists will test you as they counter your counters.

A screenshot from Batman Arkham Origins.
A screenshot from Batman Arkham Origins.

One of my favourite things about the title is the amount of side missions to distract you from the main story. It's entirely up to you how you proceed in the game, whether you blaze through the storyline to see what awaits at the end, or if you take your time to delve into the extra challenges such as tracking down Enigma's blackmail information or defusing Anarky's bombs. As you glide around the city as well you'll come across crime scenes that need Batman's detective skills to solve or crimes in progress requiring a beat down.

And being a Batman game, it wouldn't be complete without his rogues' gallery - and Arkham Origins doesn't disappoint. Even after two titles choc-full of Batman baddie goodness, the game creators still manage to dig deep into the DC mythology to give us fans something new. You'll be happy to know Joker's back, and additions like Deathstroke and Copperhead make for some fantastic boss battles.

Arkham Origins is a solid game but for anyone who racked up some serious hours playing City you may a little underwhelmed. It's Batman, it's got a great story, but I feel like I played this game two years ago. Still, it's Batman and it's hard to do wrong by the Dark Knight. It's not as great as we'd hoped but that's not going to keep me from playing it.

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