I love the Arkham games. Everything about them made me really feel like I was the Dark Knight, and there weren't many games that had done that before. So when Arkham Origins was announced, I didn't really care about the fact that it was being developed by WB Montreal and not Rocksteady. It was still going to be an Arkham game and I love making Bats take down a whole group of thugs. So after watching the great Gamespot Batman Marathon featuring Man from ManvsGame, I decided it was high time I picked it up. Now, that I've played through the game, I have to say there are a couple of issues with it.
Before I head onto the many issues, I wanted to touch upon the good parts of the game. For one, I really liked the story, and thought the dynamics between Bats and The Joker were perfect. Sure, the story wasn't overall perfect and there are a couple of criticisms that do ring true such as a few high caliber characters not getting a lot of screen time or a real effort to make the game feel a lot less like its predecessors, such as making excuses to have the city filled with thugs and Bats having all the gadgets from City already. I still liked it.
I also liked the combat for the most part. The same free flow feel of making Bats glide across the screen taking out gangs of thugs looks and feels great. There are a few hitches in the system that I felt disrupted the rhythm, such as enemies attacking quicker and a few targeting errors. These weren't great enough to actually cause a major pain, and after a few quick adjustments, it was like there wasn't anything wrong in the first place.
As I said earlier, there are quite a few issues with the game, many of these are minor, but there are a few major issues that really made me question why this game was released in the state it was.
- Movement around Gotham. I may be nitpicking, but I felt that the mechanics of the grapple was off. I found it much harder to target the exact ledge I wanted to grapple on to. Oftentimes I would try to grapple onto a ledge just above me and after moving slightly to the right, the game would think I wanted to grapple onto a ledge 1000 ft behind me. This happened a bit too common for my liking. Alone, this might not have been that big of a deal, however, when mixed in with the terrible programming AI of the many snipers that man the buildings, it makes moving around certain sections of Gotham a real hassle.
- Snipers. As I mentioned above, I had a real issue with the snipers. I'm not saying I didn't know how to deal with them, far from it. I'm talking about their programmed behavior. For whatever reason, once I alerted a sniper, that sniper would forever see me. In other words, they'd be able to track my exact movements through walls, buildings, and across maps. Trust me, I tested this by walking around an entire building watching the darn sniper keep his sights directly centered on me. I also tested to see if I could fast travel back to the same area only to find four sniper targeting lasers upon me the moment the level loaded up. The programming is flat out broken.
- Freezing. A larger issue that should never be in a game, I've had Origins freeze on me five times through one playthrough. I don't know about anyone else, but in my books, freezing is a gaming sin.
- The many other issues. I'm just going to list these: clipping through walls and falling for eternity, objectives not spawning, losing the ability to takedown unsuspecting enemies, losing the ability to interrogate data-handlers, having important enemies clip through walls/floors, and so on.
Finally, let's not forget about multiplayer. For whatever reason, I cannot for the sake of God connect with anyone when trying to search for a game. I know most people probably won't touch the multiplayer. That doesn't mean absolutely no one is trying to play it. There's a slight issue with the servers or at the very least the search function. After waiting for five minutes and not getting a single person into a game (I tried this ten times, yes I counted) that's an issue that needs to be fixed and I'm surprised it hasn't yet.
I guess what I want to say is that while Origins is fun - I do like the story and the combat for the most part - the game feels sloppy.
If I have to give a score, and people do like looking at scores, I'd have to give Origins a 7/10. A good game ruined by poor execution.