November 1, 2013
Review: Batman Arkham Origins
Gotham’s caped crusader is back after a two-year hiatus from Arkham City to bring a fresh new coat of paint to the Arkham series alongside some very interesting story elements that, even after Arkham City’s amount of polish, manages to surprise and capture some of the most gut wrenching moments of Batman’s long and tedious career. Unfortunately, that career wasn’t always as smooth and efficient as he wanted it to be.
No, in Arkham Origins, we’re seeing a much younger and less refined Bruce Wayne take to the skyscrapers of Gotham City. It’s year two for the dark knight, and that means that eight of the series’ most iconic villains are already well known and making very familiar splashes in the story. The most peculiar of which is The Joker, the master of dramatic introductions, as he steps onto the Arkham Origins platform with a freshly stolen pair of purple dress shoes that he probably got from a morgue.
But The Joker isn’t the least of your worries in Arkham Origins, at least not for the first half of the game. Instead we’re given Black Mask, or Roman Sionis, a rich boy mob boss that grew up with Bruce Wayne. Sionis always believed in the tyranny and malice of the super-rich, so he dedicated much of his childhood and teenage years to hating the world.
Why? Because Sionis has a twisted box of logic located between his brain and cerebral cortex, and it’s going to take a lot of beatings to knock him back in place.
Arkham Origins takes place on the eve of Christmas, and Brucie Boy is still beating martial arts experts to a pulp before midnight. Owing to his newfound addiction for vigilance and cape stunts, Bruce has decided that he’d rather be saving people than spending the night at the Wayne Manor having a Christmas dinner with Alfred. I wish I could say that this means that you’ll have some way to enjoy the holidays like a normal human being, but I can’t.
Instead, Roman Sionis has put a $50 million dollar bounty on Batman’s head, and he’s hired eight of the world’s greatest assassin’s to collect that bounty. This proves to be more difficult for these shamed men for hire, as Bruce has already refined his skills to a master level, ensuring that although this younger Bruce is younger and less strategic, he’s still way smarter than everyone else in the room. You don’t always see that level of intelligence and wisdom in Arkham Origins.
After all, Bruce is still a bit raw from the death of his parents.
Batman is much more violent in Arkham Origins than he’s ever been, but so is everyone else in Gotham.
More on the caped crusader’s review in future blogs to come!
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment