E3 2013: Batman: Arkham Origins Preview

June 13, 2013

At this year’s E3, Rocket Chainsaw managed to have a peek at the sequel to the recent and critically-acclaimed Batman games: Batman: Arkham Origins.

The main story of Arkham Origins will see Batman trying to survive the attacks of assassins in the city. The preview that we got our hands on introduced a new character named Anarky. Anarky is an anti-corporate vigilante, and he actually likes Batman. He thinks that what he’s doing is right. However, Batman disagrees with Anarky’s methods.

One of the missions we played invovled defusing Anarky’s bombs, which are spread all over the city. Remember how one of the features of Arkham City was a much larger playing space? Arkham Origins is headed down that route again, this time featuring an open world that is twice the size of Arkham City. Finding those bombs wasn’t such a walk in the park after all. However, it did allow us to take in the sights, and Arkham Origins looks a little better than Arkham City in terms of graphics, with very smooth animation as well.

But what would a Batman game be without the combat? The combat appears to be unchanged from the previous games, with familiar elements such as Batman being able to initiate combat with an aerial takedown before progressing to use of melee attacks. Arkham Origins does, however, adds a new progression system that shows how big and difficult a fight is. There are a couple of new enemy types that we had the pleasure of beating the faces in: armoured enemies, who Batman has to wear down before he can finish them off; and martial artists, who are extremely skilled in combat. They can counter Batman’s moves and are highly agile, making them tricky enemies.

Detective vision is back as well, as highlighted in a section of the game where Batman uses it to piece together a crime scene while also making use of the Bat Computer. Reconstructing a crime scene allows him to figure out what to do next. It’s a multi-part process, and Batman comments on what he discovers. Interestingly, crimes will happen in real-time. In the demo we played, he’s trying to figure out who shot down a helicopter. He discovers that it was the assassin, Deadshot.

We also received a new gadget called the Remote Claw, which attaches to a target, then attaches to another object and pulls the enemy towards it. We found that it can also be used to slam two enemies into each other or objects. With these new tools at his disposal, Batman clears a lobby, making his way towards Black Mask, who we met in Arkham City. As luck would have it, he runs into the Joker, who has various detonators and, in true Joker style, taunts Batman. With that, the demo ends, taunting us as well.

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