Gravelly voiced slightly gothic hero? Check. Maniacal super villain with Janet Street-Porter’s teeth? Check. Improbably over-muscled bemasked super villain? Check. Belt laden with enough unlikely gadgets to make Sam Fisher cry with the unfairness of it all? Check.
Yup, I was playing a Batman game at Eurogamer. The demo was good fun but didn’t significantly play differently to the previous offerings, which (despite the ‘but’) isn’t a bad thing. I got to grapple and glide around the city a bit and crucially, indulge in the satisfyingly liquid fist fights you should love from the previous games. Sneaking around the roof spaces and ducts are present and correct- silently picking off lone guards, whilst their colleagues panic more and more, falling for your traps and snares as they charge about, is a familiar joy. One new item- the remote claw offers some interesting opportunities – allowing you to snare hoodlums and not just drag them to your position, but attach them to distant objects- A gargoyle across the room for example thereby keeping your current location hidden, or even better- an explosive barrel!
The formula is all there intact and therefore should attract your interest. What was difficult to see was whether the storyline and game flow works as well as usual- I guess we will have to review the finished game to be sure, but the early signs are promising. The venerable Mark Hamill has hung up his vocal cords for this instalment, but Troy Baker seems to have measured up nicely as the Joker- arguably the most critical of voices to get right.
My only hope is that Warner Bros Games Montreal throttle back on the riddles over Arkham City- I’m not fecking hunting around for a couple of hundred of them this time- that was just tedious. Stick to max of 50 or 100 and make them interesting- quality over quantity please!
Batman: Arkham Origins is scheduled for release in late October- and looks to be a suitable stable mate to the previous titles.