(360 / PS3 / PC)
The Dark Knight returns in one of the most hotly-anticipated games of 2013. Are you a Batman fan? Wait’ll you get a load of this…
The original Batman Arkham Asylum was everything a comic book fan could have ever hoped for – with breathtaking production values, it was easily the best game of 2009. This was followed up two years later with Batman Arkham City, picking up the bat-banton and attempting to do what many gamers thought was impossible; improve upon the original. Can Batman Arkham Origins continue this fine tradition with the series’ third outing?
I’ll break all laws of reviews and tell you straight away – Arkham Origins is phenomenal. As with the first and second games, this is a remarkable rendition of the Dark Knight’s universe that fans will appreciate every second of, this reviewer included.
As the name implies, this time around the games events are set before the first two games, a few years after Batman has begun his crime-fighting career. He is wanted for arrest by the police, who think he is nothing more than a criminal vigilante and a menace to society. The action starts on Christmas Eve as he investigates a break-in and Arkham prison and encounters the Black Mask, the first of many villains he will face.
Luckily, Batman himself is a dab hand at this crime fighting malarkey, and whilst you progress, you get to unlock new skills and power ups. As you gain experience, the more powerful you become. There is also additional content to unlock that help add to the game mythos in the form of character descriptions and other extras; in true Pokémon fashion, you have to collect them all.
The detective mode is back for a third time. At any point in the game you can tap a button and enter the special mode, which takes the form of a sort of heads-up x-ray vision, with pointers to objects or items that can help you progress. It is possible to play the whole game in this way, but to do so would rob you of some of some truly detailed graphics.
In fact, it’s very easy to just sit there just admiring them, let alone playing the game. With visuals this good, it makes you wonder if we really do need a batch of new consoles when the existing ones are capable of these heights…
The voice acting too, earns a solid ‘A’ for effort. Even though Mark Hamill has chosen not to reprises his role as the Joker, Troy Baker does a sterling and suitably barmy job as his replacement. The rest of the voice cast are just as good, and they all put in a first-rate effort here.
To sum up, everything about Batman Arkham Origin is well honed and highly impressive. This game is a work of art, and a suitable send off for the caped crusader’s last outing on the current generation of consoles.