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New Developer, Same Formula

   Batman Arkham Origins is the new Batman Arkham game from Warner Bros. Montreal. Yep, that's right, not Rocksteady. This is the first in the amazing Batman series not made by Rocksteady. This prequel is made from a less experienced team. Only question is, can they keep live up to this series's great reputation? The answer is yes. 

   The basics, plot wise, for the game is this: Black Mask has hired seven assassins to kill the Bat for 50 million bucks. Batman needs to stop this madness, all on Christmas and with the cops trying to stop him at every corner. The plot sounds simple, but it gets a tad bit more complex when the Joker comes along. While Batman is the lead, this game would've been fine with the name, Joker Origins. The only reason we have Arkham in the name is just so people know it's still the same series, so don't get mad when you see no asylum. 

   The characters in this game are interesting. Though I liked the Joker a little better in Arkham City, this one is still pretty interesting. He also gets a great backstory. Each character also has a kickass boss battle. Deathstroke's was a little dissappointing, but fun nonetheless. Bane was super challenging and he got the boss battle spotlight in this game. The Firefly missions were very exciting and his boss battle was great also. Every fight needs something different. New tactics are required each time. 

   When it comes down to innovations in the game, your not really going to see a whole lot new to the table. And that's good and bad in some ways. The awesome fighting mechanics are still at play, the stealth moments are still here, all without damage, and the puzzle solving parts to the game are just like before. Arkham fans will be pleased. But if your looking for something more, you may be little dissappointed. This prequel is just a prequel. New story, same game.

   Multiplayer. It's different. The formula is 3v3v2. This is the one thing in the game that really diverges from the pack. Batman and Robin are the two. Bane henchmen are the three. Joker henchmen are the three. Take over the control points. Simple. Playing as Batman and Robin is a blast. I loved using my gadgets and stealth skills to take down the henchmen. Playing as the henchmen: meh. I liked customizing my henchmen's looks and weapons. The only problem was the shooting mechanics. Don't expect Gears of War, because if you are, you're going to be really dissappointed. It's not that it's not fun. I like trying to take down Batman and Robin as a henchmen. I got to be in those bad guys from the campaign. It was cool. It just seemed a little boring trying to take down the other players. It seemed really slow. The henchmen did get their time to shine though when you got to the middle of the match. Someone from the Joker team could get to become the Joker and someone from the Bane team could become... Well, you know. This multiplayer was good, but most people can live without it. 

   On the technical side of the game, graphics are great. Everything is smooth and detailed. However, Alfred's lips move in the weirdest way. But that won't really be a game changer. I wish the city was a little more detailed though. White snow, grey buildings. There you have it. Even with half of the sandbox being the same as Arkham City, it was still hard navigating with everything looking so dull. The gameplay felt great though. Fighting is as good as usual and gliding is still a blast. The sounds are detailed and the new voice actors for Batman and Joker (who is played by the legendary video game actor, Troy Baker) are just fine. If I wasn't told Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill were replaced, I would've never known. I do need to inform players of the massive glitches though. They can be very annoying. I had to restart my game once. But I encountered nothing after that.

  If you're an Arkham fan, don't pass this game up. If you're someone looking for a good Batman game, don't pass this up. This is a fun game, and offers many hours of gameplay, and it proves that Warner Bros. Montreal is able to keep up with the other big developers in the industry.

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