The New Omniverse DC Blog Issue #1 Be The Batman: An Arkham Retrospective Part 1
Sup g1s, this is RenegadeForGod and KenfromSF, and welcome to one of the new blogs to come to Omniverse.
Pretty much, we are the ones who will be handling the DC side of things. Comics, Movies, TV shows, games...If it's part of the DC Universe, chances are we'll spotlight, review, or just talk about it here. Speaking of, with Arkham Knight hitting the shelves later this month, your g1 friends in the Omniverse have you covered with “Be the Batman: An Arkham Retrospective.” We will breakdown one game a week leading up to the release of Arkham Knight by revisiting the story of the series as well as what, in our opinion, made the previous games in the series so much fun to play. We'll also cover what really stood out as our favorite moments and mechanics, as well as a couple things that we maybe didn't quite like so much.
For those unfamiliar with the series, we’ll start with the games' basics. Batman can fight hand to hand and has an arsenal of gadgets at his disposal for anything from combat to creating new ways into places or zipping around the city. Not all are available from the start, but as you progress, you’ll have more and more toys to use. In addition to earning new gadgets, you also earn experience. This experience can be used to upgrade various gadgets' effectiveness, upgrade the batsuit to increase Batman’s health, and even unlock new combos for taking out enemies. Stealth is one of the most important aspects of the Arkham Series. Some enemies are armed, and some are not. Luckily, the detective vision mechanic lets you investigate crime scenes and helps you assess the danger level of a situation and plan accordingly. This is one of the most important mechanics in the game as you’ll sometimes be faced with a room full of enemies armed with guns. Using gargoyles and floor vents, Batman has to pick off enemies one by one while being seen as little as possible. New obstacles, like enemies that have goggles capable of seeing Batman while he’s hiding and enemies with signal jamming backpacks that disable detective vision, make it a must to take these guys out as soon as possible. Boss fights will often have you using a variety of tactics to take out the super-villains. Some fights are more about stealth and evasiveness while others are about getting a position advantage and beating them to a pulp.
Anyway, it's safe to say that we are huge fans of the Arkham Series and are both stoked for Arkham Knight. So let's go ahead, end the intro, and get started. We’ve decided to go continuity over release date so we will be kicking things off with the third installment, Arkham Origins.
Arkham Origins takes place five years before the events of Arkham Asylum. Back when Batman, in the Arkham Series timeline, is only two years into his crime-fighting escapades. The main plot being that the crime lord, Black Mask, has put a fifty-million dollar prize on Batman’s head. Eight assassins are competing to see who can take out Batman.This group of assassins consists of Deathstroke, Copperhead, Killer Croc, Firefly, Electrocutioner, Deadshot, Bane, and Shiva. All coming after you on the lovely night of Christmas Eve. Progressing through the story, you’ll uncover why Black Mask is willing to pay such a price and each assassin's motivation for coming after Batman. Some of the assassins are in it for money, some for personal reasons, and some just because they enjoy a challenge. We would discuss the story more but due to major spoilers we can’t give too much away.
I know I’m in the minority here, but this is my favorite of the Arkham games. There are many things that make me enjoy this game as much as I do. First, it’s the only game to have a proper batcave. Sure, it’s not as interactive as a batcave could be in a game, but there is so much more to do outside of the batcave that it doesn’t have to be. You do, however, get additional gadgets, improve your skills, access the batcomputer, and you can even talk to Alfred who shares his opinions and thoughts on certain events depending on when you talk to him. But the best part of the batcave is the ability to change batsuits. Sure, you have to finish the story before being able to do so, but the number of epic costumes from bat-history is awesome. Only on the PS3 do you get the classic 1966 Adam West batsuit and the even more near and dear to my heart Knightfall batsuit, which I can’t explain my love for enough. Another thing I really enjoy is the setting, a snow-covered Gotham on Christmas Eve. Can’t go wrong with the Red Son batsuit in a snowy setting! They expand upon the classic crime scene investigations from the previous titles by giving you the ability to rewind time to see just what happened, and it’s awesome! Stopping the random crimes in progress is another new addition, and it's also quite fun. As for some of the things I dislike about the game, the only thing that really sticks out are the boss fights. The Arkham series as a whole can have challenging boss fights if you don’t know how to bring them down, but there’s one fight in Origins that I think might just be one of the biggest reasons people hate the game. Deathstroke. His boss fight is unlike any other in the series. It's pretty frustrating and requires a lot of patience. My only other complaint is the glitches. I only experienced it one time where I was stuck in a battle pose, but it can be easily fixed. Overall I think Origins is an excellent, and under-appreciated entry in the Arkham series.
The DLC, A Cold Cold Heart, explores the origins of Mr. Freeze. I won’t say too much more, but if you’re a fan of the Arkham series, it’s a good time. However, it's not totally necessary.
Unlike the previous installments of the series, which were handled by Rocksteady, Arkham Origins was developed by Warner Bros. Games Montreal. With the changing of studios and a very high bar set from it's predecessors, they had the very tough task of keeping true to the overall feel of the games that came before. In my opinion, Warner Bros. Games Montreal did a good job doing so. The atmosphere in each game has always been one of my favorite parts about the series, and there is no exception in the case of Arkham Origins. The snow covered city, the emptied streets of Gotham due to a city wide curfew, the criminals, the thugs, the police, the unfortunate victims, and the group of assassins that want you dead all contribute to the feeling of not quite knowing what will happen if you accept one of the many side quests in and throughout Gotham. A good example of this, and one of my favorite moments, was the encounter and the fight with one of the assassins, Shiva. I will not go into detail as not to spoil anything for you. Ultimately, after finding an unspecific side-quest you encounter and, in time, inevitably fight Shiva. This boss fight was one of the more enjoyable ones for me as I was going for the achievement for completing the fight without being hit and I ended up doing so. That said, I do believe one of the major weaknesses of this game was its boss fights. While the boss fights in the previous games made you out-think, outwit, out-maneuver, and even sometimes overpower your enemies, the boss fights in Origins felt tedious and repetitive.
Overall, the game had its flaws, but it also had its strengths and through it all it was an enjoyable game. If you are a fan of the Caped Crusader, then grabbing this game wouldn't hurt at all.
Thanks for reading g1s! We had a great time putting this together. Keep an eye out for next blog where we continue this series with the one that started it all, Arkham Asylum.
Until next time.
From the Omniverse Crew,
RenegadeForGod and KenfromSF