I’m drooling – Batman: Arkham Origins announced
Warner Bros. Montreal just made my bank scream at me a little more by announcing Batman: Arkham Origins yesterday, the much anticipated prequel to the critically acclaimed Arkham series for PC and consoles.
Coming from US publication Game Informer by way of C&VG, there’s a plethora of information provided on the forthcoming title, as well as screenshots.
The first thing that I, and colleague Sai Mealing expressed concern on was that Rocksteady (the awesome studio behind Arkham Asylum & Arkham City) aren’t helming this game unfortunately, however upon learning a little more I’m happy to say that they’ve been consulting with WB Montreál heavily.
There’s a buttload of information coming with the screenshots as well, and here’s my highlights of what C&VG posted:
- Origins takes place on Christmas Eve early in Batman’s career, before the events of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. The tale is inspired by Batman: Year One and Legends of the Dark Knight.
- Eric Holmes, who served as lead designer of The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and has experience writing Transformers: Megatron Origins for IDW, was selected to drive the creative vision. He also worked at Epic Games, and so is familiar with the Unreal Engine.
- Rocksteady offered guidance on tech, mechanics and engine, but WB Montreal was left to handle story entirely
- Batman can call the Batwing to get to the northeast coast, where Penguin’s base of operations is. Players don’t pilot Batwing directly, but it is part of the story sequences and a form of fast travel.
- Glides, ledge takedowns and sleeper holds are back, along with the fluid free-flow combat system: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” says senior producer Ben Mattes, though WB Montreál have added to it, providing “new layers, new opportunities, and new tactics.”
- A new gadget, the Remote Claw, functions much like the grappler in Just Cause 2. Batman can target two objects and pull them together. It can be used to knock enemies together, launch objects at enemies or string up enemies.
- In a later segment Batman is in a room and uses his first-person detective vision to figure out the events that occurred in it. Bullet paths and holograms act out his theories as he mutters information and scans points of interest. The Batcomputer runs simulations, which the players can watch as much as they need to, and from multiple angles, in slow motion, pause and scrub it.
- Old Gotham district is only half of the game world, another area called New Gotham also exists. It doubles the size of the game world in Arkham City.
- Dynamic events dubbed “Crime in Progress” occur in the city. The example given is of saving cops from a group of thugs, or stopped a snitch from being thrown off a roof. Completing these impact Batman’s notoriety.
- A “Most Wanted System” lets players pursue villains outside of the core assassin story
- The Dark Knight system offers tasks that escalate in difficulty. They’re not tutorials, but do train players to be better at combat and stealth. Completing challenges grants XP or upgrades for a particular skillset. This system doesn’t replace Challenge mode, which will be included “in one form”
I’m really excited for this release – to be honest I was excited for all the other releases in the series too, and despite Rocksteady’s diminished involvement, I have high hopes for this one. With any luck, there’ll be something playable at Eurogamer and I’ll be able to give you an idea what it’s like