Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Batman Arkham Origins review: Unmasking the Dark Knight

Compared to the previous installment of the Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Origins for PC has one significant advantage: this time, the game can be purchased directly on Steam. Windows Games Live – or Games for Windows Live, or something like that – has successfully kicked the bucket, so no one will have any more problems with it.

Therefore, welcome to the third installment and prequel of the best video game series about the Dark Knight!

We’re home

Since we have this prequel here, it is not necessary to know the brief summary of the previous episodes, you can immediately move on to the agenda. Batman has just taken on the case, and the only one who really knows him in the city is the Black Mask, while the rest, excuse me, couldn’t care less about him. The Black Mask, however, realizes the foresight of his colleagues and immediately understands that Batman needs to be eliminated, as soon as possible. And so, on the eve of Gotham Christmas, eight killers of varying degrees of competence gather to hunt down the bat worth 50 million dollars. Bruce Wayne, even though he can remain Bruce Wayne and do nothing until the dust settles, realizes that Batman will still be lured out with some kind of terrorist-hostage situation, and immediately accepts the challenge. That’s how it goes.

The gameplay itself has not changed at all since Arkham City. They even left us a healthy chunk of the old city, albeit in much better cosmetic condition. Various Riddler puzzles and side missions have been shuffled and rearranged in some places, but if you have played Asylum/City, you can easily breeze through about two-thirds of the acrobatic tricks and treasure hunts on autopilot.

Fight your way through the darkness in Arkham Origins

Missions, once again, are exactly the same as before. That is, exactly the same, just in different locations. It’s hard to say whether this is good or bad. On one hand, there are no innovations in Origins, it’s even shocking, but on the other hand – what’s next if the formula continues to work perfectly?

Admit it, after you’ve completely exhausted the content of the City, you (and we) wanted the developers to do the same thing, only more. Well, here it is, our wishes have been fulfilled word for word. Add new villains, but keep the Joker? Done. Expand the sandbox and stuff it with the same things, but with a new flair? Done, gas canisters turned into weapon crates, surveillance cameras turned into relays of something, gangs changed their appearance, but still hang around burning trash cans and guard the goods.

Well, there are probably some minor novelties. For example, the boring and useless crime scene scanning – remember, using your super-vision, figuring out the trajectory and position from which the Joker’s stupid bullet flew – has grown into whole scenes and performances that take three times longer than before. Always dreamed of wandering around for five minutes in one room and triggering a series of scripted events in Batman games.

Now you can also hang out in the Batcave. The developers thoughtfully moved all the training missions there, among other things, for which they deserve sincere gratitude. No need to rush around the city for training in your pursuit of 100% completion… or maybe there is. You still have to rush, they just put the trial mode in the cave.

Upgrades and gadgets

The new broom named Splash Damage

Where is even better. The game is worth half the price of a standard big release abroad, and no one promised any major innovations. Well, except for the multiplayer, but we’ll talk about that later. And in general, on this joyful note, we could calmly finish the review if it weren’t for two new thorns in the series that don’t let Origins rest. Along with the change of developers, the city of Gotham was flooded with loads of scripted and simple stupidity, as well as waves of bugs.

About the first one. So, you come out of the starting corridors, and in front of you are two doors – one is a sturdy iron hatch like on a submarine, the other is part of a mesh fence. The completely pumped-up body of Batman unsuccessfully bumped into the mesh fence, which has been completely worn out since the third installment, and the screen displayed the message “Closed,” but that was only the first part of the joke. It was time to laugh out loud when the same Batman easily opened the second gates, which were a mixture of an industrial refrigerator and a bank vault. Because they were open, and the mesh fence was closed!

If you dig into the past, you can remember that there were all sorts of things in the previous parts. But the developers who used to sit on the green grass under the blue sky, first of all, tried harder not to allow such nonsense, and secondly, if there was absolutely no way to avoid stupidity, they made the main character justify himself in the style of: “But now I had to quickly turn right and nowhere else, time was not waiting.” Now, however, we have become more lenient with this matter.

A panoramic view of the Arkham Origins world

About simple stupidity. Gotham, it seems, has finally become dull, now together with its Dark Knight. Take our unfortunate Riddler, for example. Our friend has gone so crazy that he decided to destroy the city by publishing compromising materials on corrupt officials/police officers, mafia, and so on. Honestly, I still don’t understand what Batman could have against such sudden help, but the knight nevertheless decides to remove these compromising materials and not let them go beyond his computer. Because… um… does Batman have a monopoly on Truth and Justice? Or maybe it turns out that everyone around is their own, and you can rule openly?

Our translators couldn’t help but add some spicy notes to the ensemble. For example, when resolving a random encounter with a gang ambush on the police, instead of “Crime stopped,” they give the opposite “Crime completed”? It’s especially fun to see this message when you can beat up Gotham’s SWAT team during the fights.

They broke my toy!

The second major drawback of Arkham Origins is the bugs. The internet exploded with various technical glitches immediately after the release, but somehow I was lucky and didn’t notice anything for the first three hours. And then I encountered a glitch that completely prevented me from progressing in the Riddler’s storyline. The game doesn’t let Batman out of a locked room, and that’s it. See for yourself:Thank you for the video to Andrei Alexandrov on YouTube.

There is still no official treatment for this PC infection. There are rumors that this bug does not exist at all on Xbox 360, which cannot but please owners of versions for other platforms. But there is no good without evil. The public has learned to fight fire with fire.Muahaha.

After discovering the first serious technical defect, my game seemed to break apart. There were texture glitches, non-functioning scripted fight elements, bosses dying from the first hit, and so on. But the biggest surprise awaited me in the online mode.

Multiplayer is not for everyone

He doesn’t work. That is, it works for someone, and for someone it doesn’t.

It all started well. In the educational gameplay videos, everything looks quite appealing. The essence of the local multiplayer mode is that on the map, three bandits from the gangs of Bane and Joker fight each other until the last kill, following the principle of Battlefield’s control points. Sometimes one of the gang members can even upgrade themselves and run around as the aforementioned leaders’ strike teams. At the same time, Batman and Robin roam the map and complete their own quest to fill the Scale of Good’s Victory. It fills up directly when gaining kills and decreases when dying. That is, if one group of bandits shoots down the others until the scale is filled, they win, but if Batman and Robin manage to knock out members of both teams first, until their figurative hysteria, then they are the winners and well done.

Stealth and strategy at play

In the same educational videos, it was shown which side can do what, and just how fun it is here. Well, why not play? Matchmaking quickly found me allies-opponents, the map started loading, and… the game froze completely. Three attempts in a row in different locations with different players.

That’s how you can have fun playing multiplayer Arkham Origins, if circumstances are favorable.


So, what do we have: almost untouched basic gameplay from previous parts, which is great. It starts to get boring, in the fourth part without some sharp sauce it will already be inedible, but for now it still works great. Lots of content, a healthy portion of which is identical to the first and second parts. Negligent attitude towards the technical side and chaos in the background.

Hmm… 6 out of 10? Probably yes. Developers who took over the baton from Splash Damage on a very powerful foundation are freeloading.

It could have been much better, of course. My advice: if you are thinking of buying the game, wait a month and see how well Arkham Origins is doing with patches.

Batman: Arkham Origins
PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360
Action, Adventure
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Warner Bros. Games Montréal
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



More Reviews