Batman Arkham Origins explores the beginnings of the Dark Knight’s rise in infamy with Gotham’s criminal underworld. In Origins, the supervillian Black Mask has placed a bounty of $50 Million on Batman’s head for one night only. So, as you would expect, this has brought out everybody to earn themselves a chance at the money, whether they are criminals, assassins or one of Gotham’s finest. It’s up to you to stay alive, investigate Black Mask and still keep Gotham safe in the process.
With a world twice as big as Arkham City, Origins is very focused on its open world with the freedom to pursue or ignore side missions or street crimes as they dynamically happen. In the demo shown, in an attempt to take advantage of the situation plaguing Batman, the vigilante Anarky planted bombs in order to bring his own sense of justice to Gotham. While the mission itself wasn’t particularly exciting, I did get to see (and face) a new enemy type – the martial artist. The martial artist can block, counter and generally do everything to outsmart you. Side missions like the Anarky’s can turn into entire quest lines that may eventually lead to a boss battle.
Another new feature in Origins is the building of case files. A new form of investigation, building case files has you investigate a crime scene and with the help of the Bat Computer, begin recreating the who, when, where, why and how of a situation, which can lead to further missions and story advancement. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Batman game without sweet gadgets. They didn’t really go into all the new gadgets, but they did focus on the remote claw. The remote claw allows you to target two objects or people and the remote claw brings them together. Target two enemies and the remote claw bangs them together. Or perhaps target an enemy and an explosion container. Or use it for yourself to create tightrope walk lines between perch spots in order to get the drop on your enemies.
Overall, I think fans will be pleased with the fluidity of the combat and the smooth animations. Warner Bros. really is focused on the open world aspects and the dynamic events. While playing the demo, it may not have felt like a revolutionary change, but the iterative improvements feel really good. Batman Arkham Origins is set to be released on October 25, 2013 on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC.