Batman: Arkham Origins is the latest entry into the Batman: Arkham series of games, serving as a prequel to the previous two releases in the series. It is a game which offers an experience as good as the others in the series, but does not offer much more than them. For some, this will be all that is wanted, but for others, a little more innovation may have been desired. Read on for our full review of the latest Batman experience…

Origins is set in Gotham City, with Batman himself being voiced by Roger Craig Smith, who imitates Kevin Conroy (the voice actor for Asylum and City) pretty well, but does not add anything of his own to the mix. Gotham is hit with extremely bad weather, being hit by heavy snow and wind. Black Mask, a crime boss central to the game, has offered a $50,000,000 bounty to anyone who can dispose of Batman, who has been destroying many gangs in the city.

Assassins are drawn towards to the city, with 8 of the highest rank all arriving on Christmas Eve in the hopes of killing Batman and claiming their prize. You may expect this to be the main story arc, but, there is an important twist, also causing trouble is The Joker, who comes to battle Batman due to the their well-known rivalry. This character helps add a little bit more to the story, and is a very welcome addition in Origins. You will see many classic characters return under the label of these 8 assassins, including Firefly, Bane and Deathstroke, each with their own boss fight and small story arc behind them.

Origins does not offer much new to the series, mainly just including the same elements present in the previous games because they worked. This does create a bit of a deja vu feeling for anyone who has played the games before and isn’t as fun as the original experience. There are a few moments in the game which have some fresh content and great narrative, but they are few and far between and I would have hoped for a little more innovation.

New items have been added to the game which are collected by playing through the story, however, these unfortunately can be too overpowered. There is not much of a change in terms of the core combat system, which has only had cosmetic changes and the like. Thankfully, the ‘predator’ sections which are puzzle-based levels which have many different approaches, with level designs designed to such a standard that they support many different ways of playing through the game. This is where the biggest change has happened in Origins and makes the game feel slightly less linear.

There are a lot of side missions in the game, however, again, they generally are imitations of previous quests in the series or grinding tasks which tend to bore quickly. There is a huge amount of content available in the sidequests, ranging from re-battling enemies, finding items or puzzles to understand. A lot of it is quite good, but, nothing that we have not seen before. Unfortunately, it seems to be a running trend with Origins.

Graphically, however, the game looks great and the textures are very smooth and vivid. The character models are outstanding and Batman looks better than ever. I will admit, I was rather impressed by the visuals as they offered a better quality than I originally anticipated. Sound effects and voice acting are also excellent, and offer more of the quality we expect from the Arkham series of games.

The online aspect of the game is not something which most people are going to spend hundreds of hours playing, but, it should entertain you for a few hours. It allows you to play as a number of well known characters from the Batman series and play against each other in an almost third person shooter type match, with added Batman flare (such as stealth, Batman style weapons and less of a traditional approach). Overall, it is a good addition to the game, as it may allow you to get some extra value from the game.

Overall, Arkham Origins is more of what we got before, with not a lot of new content added. If you love the previous entries, no doubt, you will enjoy playing this, but for those looking for something a bit more fresh, you may be a bit disappointed. The game performs well overall, and for a fan of Batman, it is worth a play.