Tag Archives: Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham Origins – What We Want To See

Batman: Arkham Origins comes out this week, and with a new developer behind it, there’s no real way to know how the third installment will compare to the previous two. Sure, we’ve seen some Arkham Origins trailers and have heard some of the core details about the Dark Knight’s next foray into video game Gotham, but there’s so much we can’t know about the game until we get our hands on it on October 25th. Here are five dos and don’ts we hope to see when we tag along for Bats’ second Christmas Eve later this week:

Don’t: Mess With the Combat.

Arkham Origins
Photo via Just Push Start

Of course, the shining heart of the Arkham series is the free-flowing combat system that forever changed the standard of the 3D brawler. A large part of what allows us to feel like the Caped Crusader in these games is being able to take down an entire mob of gangsters with one fluid dance of fists and justice. We know that Warner Bros. Montreal has made some tweaks and changes to the existing combat from Arkham City, but they seem to have been very conscientious about taking things too far away from their roots. Let’s keep things fairly grounded, here: Not too many elaborate gadgets or rooftop gymnastics, but make us capable of handling every situation with the right combo or a well-placed batarang.

Do: Mess With The Rest of Gameplay.

Arkham Origins
Photo via EGM Now

If there’s one thing that Arkham City faltered at, it was variety – Fly around, find a Riddler puzzle, give a football team’s worth of gangsters a close-up view of the pavement – We were rarely faced with a new mission type or challenge. Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast completing every single piece of the singleplayer campaign, but most of the enjoyment came from Rocksteady’s deft hand at weaving Batman lore into the world, and the sheer joy of the mechanics that I had already become used to. However there’s more to being Batman than aggressive criminal dentistry, and it looks like in Origins we’ll get to explore the side of Bats that earned him the title of World’s Greatest Detective. WB Montreal has shown off a bit of the detective gameplay wherein the player will have to piece together a crime scene in order to make progress in a mission. I really want this to be a fairly major component of the story and not just a handful of neat moments sprinkled into the game, and if the developers have even more fun ways to round out the gameplay I’ll be ecstatic.

Don’t: Sacrifice Substance for Size.

Arkham Origins
Photo via Cinema Blend

Batman: Arkham Origins is going to be the largest of the three games to date, expanding to incorporate all of Gotham City rather than the titular Arkham City and Asylum settings from the previous two titles. As good as Arkham City is, it lost the intimacy of Asylum‘s closed walls and Metroidvania style backtracking which made the iconic prison grounds feel oppressing and teeming with activity. Origins risks doubling down on that loss by adding a lot of square footage to the map. Hopefully the promises of a more varied cityscape, due in part to featuring more than desolate slums full of escaped prisoners, will liven up the environment and feature more details to discover.

Do: Play with Gotham City.

Arkham Origins
Photo via Polygon

A lot can happen in a large metropolis and there’s enough history in Batman canon to fill that space. Not all of Bruce Wayne’s world is depressingly dark and filled with villains. Arkham City was so depressing and grey that certain moments looked like a black and white movie. This is appropriate a lot of the time, but it can’t be all there is to Gotham City or no one outside the poor, the morally questionable or the colorblind could live there and keep their sanity. I want Arkham Origins to show some of the livelier side to Gotham – Give us families, car dealerships, people snapping photos of Batman on the move. I want to feel that there’s more to Batman’s world than a dank cave and a parade of creepy men to fight. Remind us of what he fights to protect.

Do: Tell  Us a Story.

Arkham Origins
Photo via Game Informer

I’m breaking pattern here, but the truth is I have way more positives than negatives to look forward to in this game. That’s because, with whatever flaws great or small that can be found in Arkham Asylum and City, what both of them achieved was a story on par with some of the better source material. Asylum, specifically, tells a much better story for some of the characters than I’d ever seen in the past. Arkham Origins actually looks like it might be far more focused on delivering a satisfying Batman story than City, with a younger, more brutish Batman, still regarded as a vigilante by the police force and a new threat by the criminal underworld. The fact that it all takes place over one night on Christmas Eve makes even more epic. If it can manage to keep a strong pace and treat the characters with as deft a hand as Rocksteady did twice in the past, this will unquestionably a wonderful way to usher in the new console generation.

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Bored to Death – Season 3, Episode 2: “Gumball!” Review

Ok, so this is a little later than promised, but hey – I’m a busy (Arkham City) guy. Anyhow, when we last left our hero, he was hanging from the face of a clock and his bearded best friend was rushing to his rescue…well not straight away.

After a solid hour on the clock face Jonathan’s savior – Ray – finally shows up in a post bedroom state. Under the guise of a safety inspector, Ray fanagles his way into the apartment under the clock and is able to save our detective from certain doom.

It’s Ray’s earlier (perceived) successes with as a dad the give him to confidence to save Jonathan. And he that isn’t my interpretation, Ray actually screams “I’m a father now!” to convince Jonathan to drop down. And it works.

After this they flee to George’s apartment to hide out. And sleep.

In the morning the coppers show up at George’s place, which means Ray and Jonathan must escape out the dumb-waiter. From here they find themselves on the street and accused of murder.

Continue reading Bored to Death – Season 3, Episode 2: “Gumball!” Review

Batman: Arkham City – Robin Playable With Best Buy Pre-Order?

Not too long ago we showed you a trailer that revealed Catwoman as a playable character in the campaign mode of the highly anticipated (By me at least) Batman: Arkham City. Now it seems that won’t be the only addition to the cast.

While it is an unconfirmed report, it seems that if you pre-order the game from Best Buy you will be given the chance to play as Robin in 2 of the challenge maps. For fans of the first game you will remember that the challenge maps included both Stealth and Combat levels were you had to test your skills as Batman against waves of villains.

Continue reading Batman: Arkham City – Robin Playable With Best Buy Pre-Order?

Batman’s Top 10 Best Graphic Novels

The following is a list consisting of what I feel to be the 10 Best Graphic Novels or Trades, featuring the Batman of today. This is a collection of books that can be bought stand alone. For this reason I’ve avoided stories like Knightfall, where you would need to buy 3 volumes to get through the read. Or No Man’s Land, which I love, but it has 5 volumes, and even if you were to purchase all 5 of them, that still covers only 40 of the 80 original issues.

The books on this list though are must-reads for anyone who is a fan of the Bat…

Continue reading Batman’s Top 10 Best Graphic Novels

ARKHAM CITY – New Game Trailer!

The follow-up to the immensely popular Arkham Asylum, released in 2009, is set to hit stores in October. The game is titled Batman: Arkham City and it is without a doubt, the most excited I’ve ever been for the release of a game. I’m not a huge ‘gamer’, so for the most part I wait and buy my games used. Arkham City however, has been building anticipation far too long for me to wait on. With this game, I’m gonna be one of the cool kids, and I’m gonna buy it on day one. No waiting around this time.

My excitement has been building since December of 2009 when we got this teaser trailer:

No big surprise that the Joker has recovered from the wounds suffered in the first game, but his appearance definitely set a tone, and people got excited.

As 2010 progressed we discovered more and more details, and suspicions about which characters would appear started getting confirmed.  In the fall of 2010 the game developers released a large number of screen shots online, and again, excitement swelled.

Harvey Dent and Selina Kyle are both sure to complicate things for the Bat…
Harley! You’re animated, stop being so hot!

Then, come December they gave us this:

That was enough for me. I was sold. After all, the first game was undeniably the best superhero game ever made, there was no way I was skipping this. Plus you know, my whole ‘Batman Obsession’ thing…

Earlier this week, Rocksteady Studios and Warner Bros released the first full length trailer. No more teasers, just a good old fashion, over 2 minute trailer.

This, is that trailer…

Holy Crap. That was awesome.

“This Ain’t No Place for a Hero.”

Those are the lyrics that so brilliantly echo throughout the trailer for Arkham City. They seem to ring true as Gotham appears to be over-run by Batman’s ‘Rouges Gallery’. What was once a great city now appears little more than a run down Hell-hole. And that’s no place for a top-notch Hero to reside, but like Jim Gordon said at the end of The Dark Knight:

“Because he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.”

This Ain’t No Place for a Hero.” Just think about that. The most famous “hero” in all of the comic book universes is Superman. Supes resides over beautiful Metropolis. A big shiny city full of live. Gotham on the other hand is dark and dank and mostly filled with despair. The great twin cities of the DC Universe are as different as their protectors. And while Superman is for sure the protector of Metropolis, I look at him as more of a do-gooder than a hero. Superman faces very little personal risk, as he is almost never in peril, while the Batman is subject to all sorts of deathly situations. Metropolis completely accepts and embraces Superman, an outsider, while Gotham native Batman is hardly afforded the same accommodations. That makes Batman endeavors even more heroic. Jim Gordon was right, Batman is not their hero, he’s more than that. He is what the city needs, even if it doesn’t want him.

This time around though, you will have to be the best Batman you can be if you want to save Gotham again. IGN is reporting that the Riddler and his trophies will be back, but significantly harder to obtain this time:

In Arkham Asylum, Riddler trophies were found somewhat easily — you just found them by spotting question marks painted on walls and ceilings. Things aren’t as easy this time around. Though there are question marks viewable only in Detective Mode (Batman’s version of x-ray vision), they often point in the direction of informants who know the nearby locations of Riddler trophies.

Find these goons and you can beat the information out of them. But knowing the location of a trophy (which appears on your map) doesn’t mean getting it is easy. Many trophies are surrounded by traps or require some ingenuity from Batman to nab.

IGN also noticed something I missed in the trailer. What appears to be Black Mask, getting quite the beat down around the 26-second mark.

Black Mask

This Ain’t No Place for a Hero.

 

Arkham City is set to officially hit stores October 18th in the U.S., and on the 21st in Europe.