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Batman: Arkham Origins

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Batman: Arkham Origins
Batman ArkhamOrigins1
General Information
Developer: Warner Bros. Games Montreal
Publisher: DC Entertainment
Warner Bros. Games
Distributor: Unreal Engine 3
Release Date: October 25, 2013
Genre: Action-adventure
Beat 'em up
Stealth
Mode(s): Single-player
Online Multi-player
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Based on: DC Comics

Batman: Arkham Origins is an action-adventure video game being developed by Warner Bros. Games Montreal and released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. video game consoles, and Microsoft Windows. The game is the third entry in the popular Batman Arkham mythos and serves as a prequel to the two previous games in the series, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. The game was released on October 25, 2013.

Summary

Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline set several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, the first two critically acclaimed games of the franchise. Taking place before the rise of Gotham City’s most dangerous criminals, the game showcases a young and unrefined Batman as he faces a defining moment in his early career as a crime fighter that sets his path to becoming the Dark Knight. As the story unfolds, players will meet many important characters for the first time and forge key relationships.

Plot

On Christmas Eve, Batman intervenes in a breakout at Blackgate penitentiary led by Black Mask. There, Black Mask executes police commissioner Loeb and then escapes while Batman confronts Black Mask's hired assassin Killer Croc. After defeating Croc, Batman learns that some of the world's deadliest assassins are in Gotham City to claim the $50 million bounty put on Batman's head by Black Mask. Batman tracks down the Penguin aboard his ship, believing he knows Black Mask's location. After arriving, Batman is forced to overcome the assassins Deathstroke and Electrocutioner, before learning from Penguin that Black Mask has been murdered in Lacey Towers. Batman travels to the towers and investigates the murder scene, piecing together that the victim was not Black Mask, and the murder may have involved a new criminal known as "the Joker".

Needing more information to solve the case, Batman infiltrates the GCPD to access the National Criminal Database. In the midst of his escape, Batman encounters Captain James Gordon, and the corrupt SWAT team who hope to eradicate Gordon and collect Black Mask's bounty money for themselves. With advice from Gordon's daughter Barbara, Batman enters the sewers beneath the GCPD to secure permanent access to the database. There, he finds Black Mask's crew planting explosives. The database helps Batman uncover that Black Mask was kidnapped by the Joker, who Batman believes intends to use Black Mask to access the Gotham Merchants Bank. At the bank, Batman encounters Black Mask, who is revealed to be the Joker in disguise: the Joker had replaced Black Mask days earlier, seizing his criminal empire and placing the bounty on Batman. Batman then pursues the Joker to the Sionis Steelmill, where he frees Black Mask, and defeats the poisonous assassin Copperhead.

Tracking the Joker to the Royal Hotel, Batman finds that he and his men have taken control of the building, filled it with explosives, murdered the staff, and taken the guests hostage. Joker gathers the assassins about their failure to kill Batman, and throws Electrocutioner out of a window to his death: Batman recovers his electric gloves. The assassins depart except for Bane who believes Batman is coming for the Joker. Batman works his way through the building, eventually encountering Joker and fighting Bane. Concerned Batman is outmatched, Alfred alerts the GCPD for help, who arrive and interrupt the fight. As Bane escapes by helicopter he fires a rocket at Joker, and the concussive force sends Joker falling from the hotel. Batman leaps after and saves the Joker before leaving him with the GCPD. The Joker is left intrigued by the events as he is imprisoned in Blackgate, and placed in the care of Dr. Harleen Quinzel. Talking to Quinzel, he explains that he now believes it was fate for him and Batman to meet.

In the Batcave, Alfred implores Batman to abandon his crusade, fearing he will die, but Batman refuses to listen. Batman locates Bane's headquarters and discovers that Bane knows Batman is Bruce Wayne. Firefly launches an assault on the Pioneer Bridge, forcing Batman and Gordon to work together to overcome the assassin and his bombs. Meanwhile, Bane breaks into the Batcave and beats Alfred nearly to death. Batman returns to find the Batcave in ruins: Alfred dies after requesting that Batman not feel guilty over him. Batman manages to resuscitate Alfred using Electrocutioner's gloves. Elsewhere, the Joker has taken over Blackgate after launching a riot.

Finally accepting that he needs allies, Batman works with Gordon and the GCPD to retake the prison. Batman is forced to fight Bane to the death when Joker places himself in an electric chair that will automatically kill him unless Bane dies: Batman uses the electric gloves to stop Bane's heart. Satisfied, the Joker leaves, intending to detonate the bombs placed around the city. Batman resuscitates Bane, but he becomes enraged and injects himself with a potent steroid which transforms him into a hulking beast: Batman manages to defeat him, and the steroid's side effects damage Bane's memory. With Gordon's help, Batman fights his way to the Joker in the prison chapel. Dismayed to learn that Batman saved Bane, the Joker tries to goad Batman into killing him, but Batman subdues him. Gordon decides to let Batman go, believing he can help the city.

In a radio interview during the credits, Quincy Sharp says he will lobby to reopen Arkham Asylum to house the city's worst criminals. In a post-credits scene, an imprisoned Deathstroke is approached by Amanda Waller to join her Suicide Squad.

Gameplay

Arkham Origins is an open world action-adventure game that incorporates elements of stealth game tactics. Batman can use his cape to glide around Gotham City, and he can use the grapnel gun's retracting rope to attach to out-of-reach ledges and extend his flight. Some gadgets obtained in previous Arkham games are present at the start of Arkham Origins, while others become available during play. Returning gadgets include: the Cryptographic Sequencer, which is used for hacking security consoles; the Batarang, a throwing weapon; the Batclaw, used for hooking on to surfaces; Smoke Pellets, used for stealthy exits and entries; Explosive Gel, used to create openings in surfaces; the Disruptor, which can remotely disable guns and explosive mines; and the Grapnel Accelerator, an earlier version of the Grapnel Boost. New equipment in Batman's arsenal include: the Remote Claw, which allows Batman to target two objects and pull them together allowing him to throw enemies into each other or hit them with objects, while tethering two walled-points together creates a tightrope that Batman can traverse; the Shock Gloves, which allow Batman to block electric attacks, instantly disable some enemies and stun shielded ones, and short circuit some objects within the environment; and the Concussion Detonator, capable of stunning large enemy groups.

The game introduces a fast travel system, allowing Batman to remotely summon his plane, the Batwing, to transport him to other areas of the game world quicker than gliding or grappling can allow. Enemy tower installations prevent Batman from summoning the craft in some areas and must first be disabled using various gadgets and abilities to make the Batwing available; the Batwing is not player controlled. Some towers can only be disabled when the player has obtained the necessary equipment.

Players can traverse enemy-controlled areas using stealth or direct combat. Using an enhanced version of the series' Freeflow combat system, combat introduces a tracking system which assesses the players' efficiency, highlighting various achievements in battle such as avoiding damage and using gadgets. Combined with chaining attacks together to maintain momentum, the performance is rewarded with experience points. These points can be used in a branching upgrade system to enhance Batman's abilities and gadgets, allowing players to upgrade multiple paths or specialize in one. Enemy attacks are prompted with a warning icon, which indicate the attack can be countered. Enemies are armed with weapons like knives, lead pipes, and shields which can be countered. The game introduces two new enemy types: the "Martial-Artist" who is capable of blocking, evading and countering Batman's attacks, the "Armored Enforcer" who is invulnerable to harm until he is dazed and de-armored, and Venom-infused henchmen who possess superhuman strength, allowing them to grapple Batman and use uncounterable attacks. Some enemies are armed with guns which significantly damage Batman. The player can use predatory tactics through stealth to tilt the odds in their favor. Many areas feature stone gargoyles or outcrops placed high above, helping Batman remain concealed in between movements to set traps and knock out enemies.

Arkham Origins offers side missions including: "Crime in Progress", where Batman can assist the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD) to improve his reputation by accomplishing tasks such as rescuing police officers from a gang or preventing an informant being thrown to his death; "Most Wanted" allows Batman to pursue villains outside of the main story such as Anarky, who plants bombs around city. The Dark Knight system offers tasks of escalating difficulty that promote improvement in stealth and combat. Additionally, Batman's radio scanner also allows him to locate side missions. Completed side missions are rewarded with experience points and upgrades to Batman's equipment. The game features collectible objects and puzzles similar to the Riddler challenges of previous games, orchestrated by Enigma, prior to taking on his villainous Riddler identity. Collectible objects appear in the game, and in similar style to those from previous games. A "1 vs. 100" mode in the game's challenge maps, tasks the player with surviving in combat against 100 increasingly difficult enemies.

The game features an emphasis on Batman's detective skills: Batman can scan a crime scene using his "Detective Vision" (displayed in first-person perspective) to highlight points of interest and holograms act out theoretical scenarios of the crime that occurred. The crimes can be reviewed at will, via Batman's link to the Batcomputer in the Batcave, allowing the player to view virtual recreations of the scene from different angles with the ability to move back and forth through the timeline of the crime, view it in slow motion, or pause it while looking for clues to advance and solve the crime. Small and large crime scenes are spread out over Gotham City. For example, reviewing the downing of a helicopter, Batman is presented with false and accurate clues; investigation of the scene can reveal that the helicopter was shot, allowing Batman to trace the bullet's trajectory to a murdered police officer and another crime scene. Once a crime is solved, the player is shown a Batman-narrated rundown of the crime. The Batcave also serves as a hub where Batman is able to change costumes, upgrade his equipment, and access challenge maps to practice combat - these maps were accessed separately from the main game in previous installments. After completing the story mode, a "New Game Plus" mode is unlocked enabling the player to replay the game with all of the gadgets, experience, and abilities that they have attained; enemies are tougher and the on-screen icon that warns players of imminent attacks is disabled. Completing "New Game Plus" unlocks "I Am the Night" mode, in which the game ends if Batman dies.

On compatible systems, the Microsoft Windows version uses Nvidia's PhysX software engine to produce more realistic, dynamic interactions with the game world. With PhysX enabled, some areas contain additional snow or fog, which reacts to Batman moving through it, while with PhysX disabled, the effects are lesser or not present at all.

Multiplayer

Arkham Origins also introduces a multiplayer component to the series. "Invisible Predator Online", revolves around a gang war in Blackgate Prison between the supervillains Joker and Bane. It involves a match of 3 Joker gang members against 3 Bane gang members against the team of Batman and Robin. Gangs win by killing all of the opposing team's reinforcements, while Batman and Robin win by acquiring intimidation points from eliminating gang members. At a specific point a gang member can become their respective boss – Joker or Bane – gaining more powerful abilities. Gang members have access to guns and explosives, while Batman and Robin have access to gadgets and abilities from the main game, including "Detective Vision". Gang members have a limited "Enhanced Vision" which requires recharging.

"Invisible Predator Online" features a customization element that allows players to outfit all three factions with unlockable gear and outfits, earned through playing the mode. Gear includes such things as new weapons and additional loadout slots, while outfits include Batman's costume from Batman: The Animated Series and Tim Drake's costume from Batman: Arkham City.

Characters

Heroes/Allies

Villains/Adversaries

Other

Organisations

Voice Actors

Crew

Downloadable Content

  • Deathstroke DLC pack - 2 Challenge Maps and 2 Exclusive Skins
  • Jean-Paul Valley's Batsuit Skin
  • Adam West's Batsuit Skin
  • Gamestop Preorder: Black Mask DLC pack - 2 Black Mask Challenge Maps
  • Batman Legends Skin Pack
    • Long Halloween Batsuit Skin
    • Earth 2 Batsuit Skin
    • Thrillkiller Batsuit Skin
    • Dark Knight of the Round Table Batsuit Skin

Batman: Arkham Origins Initiation

Bruce Wayne is playable in the Initiation pack, released December 3, 2013. The pack contains five challenge maps, with some narrative content to explain the setting. Initiation features Wayne before he becomes Batman, as he trains under his ninjutsu mentor Kirigi in an Asian monastery, and comes into conflict with Shiva. The DLC also contains two alternate skins for the character: Initiation Bruce Wayne (based on his monastery attire) and Vigilante Bruce Wayne (a masked ninja outfit).

Batman: Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart

The story-based campaign expansion, Cold, Cold Heart is scheduled for release on April 22, 2014. Set on New Years Eve, Cold, Cold Heart's narrative focuses on the origin of the supervillain Mr. Freeze, and introduces new equipment and outfits for Batman.

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Development History

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