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23 December 2013

Batman: Arkham Origins

Planning to don the cape and cowl this Christmas? You may want to read this first...

Gagan Gupta
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It’s hard not to be excited about a game featuring Batman. If we had made a statement like that a decade ago, we would probably have had a fanboy fish-slap us. But today, seeing how Batman has been reinvented in video games, thanks to Rocksteady’s Arkham series, we can’t help but be all giggly about the new Batman game.

Arkham Origins, as the name suggests, is a prequel to the other games in the series. It has a younger Bruce Wayne/Batman, who’s still considered nothing more than an urban legend by criminals and police alike. It’s Christmas time in Gotham and Black Mask has called in a bounty hunt on Batman, which has attracted some top assassins in the game. The condition is simple – kill Batman before morning.

If you’ve played Arkham City, you’ll be right at home with the controls to this one. Besides some good upgrades, the gameplay has been kept relatively unchanged. The combat still follows the chain system, rewarding you for getting consecutive hits; and traversing Gotham is still as great as it was back in Arkham City. It may seem more of the same at first, but there are some smart additions in the form of micro quests and challenges that come through intercepting police calls.

Arkham City was an incredible fan service, with nods to many comic book villains and other Batman-related mythos scattered throughout the game world. This one seems a bit devoid of that. It’s also devoid of any citizens. We understand that Arkham City  was a glorified jail, but why doesn’t Gotham have any life form that you’re not supposed to beat up or rescue?

So, even with certain upgrades to the gameplay, Arkham Origins seems a bit shallow, compared to its predecessor. But that doesn’t make it a bad game. With an Arkham game, more of the same is something we don’t mind keeping us busy, until Rocksteady gets back on the job that is.

Rs 2,699 (Xbox 360 and PS3), Rs 1,499 (PC); gamestheshop.com

Tags: arkham origins, batman

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