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Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate

Hands-On With Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate

We already told you all about Batman: Arkham Origins in our cover story, along with a hands-on E3 2013 preview. But Arkham Origins has a little brother called Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. The Vita and 3DS side-scrolling 3D adventure game takes place six months after the conclusion of Arkham Origins. In my hands-on demo, Batman chases Catwoman across rooftops while beating down thugs.

Here’s what you need to know about Blackgate: 

Batman Loves His Grappling Gun

The Caped Crusader hasn’t been into wall jumping since his NES days, so Blackgate’s Batman relies on his grappling device to scale high ledges. The majority of the demo involves running to the ledge of a roof and firing the grapple when you see a button prompt in the distance. Then Batman runs across more roofs and repeats the process. The environments are dark and detailed on the Vita’s big, crisp screen, but this early section of the game is pretty repetitive.

Combat Is True To Its Console Brothers

Naturally, Batman comes upon some scrappy thugs while chasing after Catwoman. These overzealous security guards make perfect punching bags to familiarize myself with the combat. Batman unleashes a volley of punches with the tap of a button, and can counter incoming enemy attacks instantly with the tap of another button. Enemies slightly fan out around Batman, creating the appearance of depth in the side-scrolling world. Developer Armature is using some combat animations from Arkham Origins to enhance the scuffles.

Touchscreen Detective Vision

The Master Detective still has augmented vision that allows him to see clues in the environment. Vita players drag their fingers across the touchscreen to reveal hints like a switch on a fire escape that can be Batarang’d to release a ladder. We didn’t get a chance to try detective vision on the 3DS.

Streamlined Predation 

Batman likes to strike his enemies from the shadows, and a simplified version of this is in Blackgate. Players use the grappling device to leap across gargoyles while guards patrol below. Sentries that wander too far away from the group can be picked off stealthily with a swift flying kick. Fumble one of these sequences and the guards unload their machine guns on The Bat, who crumples quickly if he doesn’t escape back into the shadows.

Motion Comic Storytelling And Voice Acting

Batman and Catwoman’s game of tag throughout the demo is occasionally interrupted with cutscenes that look like hand-drawn comics. The voice acting sounds good, and the corny double entendres exchanged between the two are par for the course. Some of these flirty interactions are done in engine, which consists of looking at the character models while they flirt with each other.

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The demo ends with a police helicopter swooping in on the two black-suited creepers. Batman, still untrusted by the Gotham police force, decides to make his exit while Catwoman faces an uncertain fate. Blackgate has great graphics for a handheld title, and the controls feel good at this point in development. The gameplay in this early section is simple to a fault, but things should get more engaging when Batman enters Blackgate Penitentiary. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate hits Vita and 3DS on October 25, the same day as Batman: Arkham Origins.

Read up on Blackgate's Metroid-inspired elements

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Comments
  • is it wrong that i am more excited for THIS than the console game? dont get me wrong i LOVE the Arkham games but nothing can beat Arkham city in my opinion (in terms of batman games) and i think keeping the flowing combat and putting it in a metroid-vaina style could help the series
  • is it wrong that i am more excited for THIS than the console game? dont get me wrong i LOVE the Arkham games but nothing can beat Arkham city in my opinion (in terms of batman games) and i think keeping the flowing combat and putting it in a metroid-vaina style could help the series

  • This game is sounding amazing. Let's hope the execution follows suit.

  • FINALLY!!! Some Arkham Origins Blackgate news!! This game has been so in the dark even though its released around the same time as the console version (Although I can understand why story is being kept hidden since this takes place after the console version and could spoil story)

  • Catwoman's in this new Arkham series too? Nice having just about every Arkham City character back. Past being annoyed about this being a cheap prequel plot and just glad to have Batman back. Amazing that it looks THIS good on a handheld. Highly intrigued.
  • This is the only reason I'd buy any of those consoles.
  • Sexy.
  • Is it sad to be way more excited about this than the console version?

  • I'm excited for this one. I'm thinking of it as Retro's 2D MEtroid we've been waiting for. It has the gameplay and exploration. It has the developers. It has a badass character (Other M doesn't exist to me. *Plugs ears* lalalalalala). It looks sweet

  • It's such a bummer that this is not a true 3D game like it's big brother. If this was just for Vita it would be just like ACIIIL or Arkham Origins. Nintendo has got to stop low balling technology and come out with a true powerhouse handheld. So many Vita games are piss poor ports of 3DS games. LEGO I am looking at you. So disappointing.

    Now on the flip side you can look at this like Guacamelee and say great it's a Metroidvania game!!! But there is no 3D Guacamelee so it's ok. There is however going to be 3 fantastic 3D Batman games soon. It would be nice for Vita owners to get what we deserve.
  • So what was the 3ds version like? Did it look pretty good as well?

  • it's an immersive game in PS VITA. This game looks awesome, maybe it is in in 2.5D, but you feel all the emotions that you feel in the whole arkham series. Still you can fight bosses, thugs.Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate along with Killzone Mercenary are the best games until now in PS VITA See Batman fighting Catwoman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxWCjMAeUhE and here ALL NEW screenshots and news http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePw_aHxAy60
  • I'm not sure why, but the idea of a side-scrolling Arkham Origins game is very intriguing. If I had one of those handheld consoles I'd definitely pick this game up.

  • The vita version looks pretty.

  • "The environments are dark and detailed on the Vita’s big, crisp screen, but this early section of the game is pretty repetitive." But how does it look on 3DS? I expect it to AT LEAST look as good as Castlevania: Mirror of Fate... which was real pretty...
  • This is going to be the better of the two new batman games my gut is telling me.

  • Seems like this should be a pretty good handheld companion to the main game.

  • I need a vita, and this game!

  • This will be the only good 3DS game to come out for the rest of the year.

  • Far out this site just gave me a free PSN code from a card and it redeemed just fine! I got it from freepsnforever● com - See more at: freepsnforever.com

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