Looking back – Batman: Arkham Origins
These days, I’m more inclined to play games I’ve either not finished, or had previously played on older generation consoles. Playing on PC means I get to see some older titles at their absolute best (usually 1080p at 75hz), but it also means I have access to a massive world of games through Steam and other stores.
One game that fits the description above, is Batman: Arkham Origins. I bought it on the 360, I’ve played through all the other Arkham games, but I cannot for the life of me work out why I didn’t finish it.
Thanks to CDKeys, and a very cheap copy of the game, I’ve been able to run through it from start to finish, and see what I missed out on.
Arkham Origins is to be the first, in a series of “Looking back” pieces. I have a platform to go back and pick up games cheaply. Knowing that I never finished them, or that I want to re-live it all.
How does Arkham Origins hold-up in 2020?
I love the Arkham games for a few reasons. All of which are present here in Arkham Origins.
Free-flow combat, gadgets, being gaddamn batman, stealth/predator challenges. It’s all here, and to be honest, it’s expected.
Released after the excellent Arkham City, but set before Arkham Asylum. You fill the cape and cowl of a relatively new-to-the job Bruce Wayne as Batman.
Black Mask has put a price on your head, and you need to take him down, along with all of the assassin’s that want that bounty.
Then off you go…..
I reviewed Arkham Knight a while ago. And I’ve played the whole series top to bottom.
There must have been a reason I never finished Arkham Origins, but my memory is hazy. In fact, playing through it, I remembered almost 80% of the story beats and missions, so I have no idea how I dropped-off it.
After playing it through now, it’s a solid entry in the series. Taking all of what makes the series great, all those solid mechanics and the atmosphere/aesthetic. And it puts a new story on top of it all.
What’s going on?
The Assassin’s were bosses, and (I think a 2013 game can be spoiled now……), the beginning of the story of The Joker and Batman is a nice way to add depth to the game.
But if the bones are all borrowed from elsewhere (still a Warner Brothers game, but not developed by Rocksteady), the story is a thin-skinned overlay.
I remember beats of the other games that struck a chord. There were things that were new and enhancing the series. Nothing in Arkham Origins narrative struck me as particularly engaging. Joker/Batman origin aside, there was nothing to grip onto.
The Arkham games are solid on their own. But the experience can feel a little hollow without a story to keep you motivated. I got over it, and enjoyed Arkham Origins for what it is.
As old as Alfred Pennyworth….
If you’re new to the series, you wouldn’t think you were playing a game that was released in 2013.
It didn’t feel dated particularly and was a smooth as you want it to be. Even with large combat encounters.
Sure, newer games look better, as technology advances. But the art style of the series is so strong, it’s kinda timeless.
Running at 1080p, a solid 60 frames per second and rarely dropping below. It’s been an absolute pleasure to dive back into the world of the Arkham games.
Arkham Origins isn’t original, it isn’t the best of the series, and it didn’t really set the world on fire. But it’s more of that good stuff that really scratched an itch in a way that only Batman can.
If you haven’t played the Arkham series, or you haven’t finished Origins off, like me. For a couple of quid, it’s well worth your time. It fills that Arkham hole in my soul and you can just sit doing combat challeneges for days if you like.
Get stuck in and take down crime!
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