Batman: Arkham Origins - We've Seen This Before

With little more than electrically charged gloves for Batman, from what we've seen combat does not appear to be taking any significant steps forward in game dynamics.

Discussion

549 comments
Sorrow_Echo
Sorrow_Echo

Both of you need to suck each other... yeah i am serious. That way you can find something new to talk about.

mamoru-sama
mamoru-sama

Asymmetric multiplayer mode seems pretty new to me.

At least I don't remember seeing it in the previous Arkham Games which I both completed 100% so I would've noticed.

joshphillips
joshphillips

I'm sorry Gspot you guys are crazy!  INSANE even.  How on earth does God of War,  COD,  Battlefield,  Madden,  etc play any different than previous iterations yet you salivate over each entry? For years Batman fans have been dying for a good series of games.  Now we have them and even though the gameplay mechanics aren't so different from Arkham city this is only the third in the series and to you it's stale or already been done?  Rocksteady created one of the best fighting mechanics known to games today and one that has been unmatched by any game since.

Now we get more characters,  more story,  more great gameplay and graphics?  So when did if it's not broke don't fix it become a bad thing?  With a lot of Gspots reviews today I find this article/video to be hypocritical of a lot of them.

Massacher
Massacher

the same can be said for fighting games, always the same button mashing, fps is mainly run and gun no matter how many perks and achievements they add. achievements are nothing but a cheap way to extend the longevity of gameplay. racing games are nothing more than going in circles. need i go on?

BZAR456
BZAR456

not much was changed between asylum and city in terms of gameplay and i thought they were both amazing

joshscan
joshscan

This is why I hate Gamespot! IGN FTW!!!!!

coop36
coop36

I dont really know what could be improved from the combat? Besides maybe using batarangs to knock guns out of thugs hands. Assassins Creed is a game that needs the combat to be improved.. batman arkham games not so much. I dont get the point of this video?

gashoe13
gashoe13

To be fair, the demo was only a demonstration of the combat. Even Arkham City didn't add much to the original Asylum combat, which was outstanding. Perhaps Origins will add more in the other gameplay areas - perhaps further flesh out free-roaming and atmosphere.

cgmann16
cgmann16

I guess these guys have never played any successful ip that spans multiple games because the base mechanics of most of my favorite series stay pretty consistent all the way through. I've played Asylum and City probably a combined ten times through, I'm completely fine with them doing more of the same with a couple extra gadgets set in a new narrative. If they can pull of a younger batman and a larger world without losing everything that I loved in the first two, I'll happily spam square (obviously they've never played challenge mode) into oblivion. 

jmkh
jmkh

These people are crazy The first two games have some of the best hand to hand fighting in any action game I have ever played. And to top it off they are the BEST comic book based games I have ever played and above all else I get to play as BATMAN. The more the same the better these guys think they are talking about Call of Duty.

Tacomonga
Tacomonga

I get what they are talking about but I am more or less playing it for the story, because it sounds pretty cool thus far.

Ultra_Taco
Ultra_Taco

I understand what they're talking about, but it's funny because I've never seen videos here on Gamespot like this about Call of Duty...

gf61
gf61

2k gave Irrational plenty of freedom on their game Bioshock.

Fire_Wa11
Fire_Wa11

I get it. Bad cop. Bad cop.

I suppose a new dev who didn't invent the formula deserves some skepticism. If it has good story, a decent value in length-to-price, and the same great combat I might pick it up in 2014 or so.

ThePowerOfHAT
ThePowerOfHAT

I'm curious to see what exploration in this game ends up being like.  One of the strongest aspects of the first two Arkham games was that there was so much detail packed into every little corner of the game.  It was fun - and often beneficial - to visit every rooftop, alleyway, and vent to search for Riddler trophies, easter eggs, etc.  While Arkham City certainly didn't have the biggest open world in the genre, it all felt like it had a purpose.  Nothing seemed to be there simply for the sake of traveling from one place to the next.

That's one of my worries with the larger size of the map in Arkham Origins.  Based on the little bit of gameplay we've seen, I'm not so certain that the game will reach anywhere near the level of detail that Rocksteady packed into their Arkham outings.  Most of the larger map seems to be there simply for the sake of facilitating travel from one area to the next.  The entertaining feeling to exploration was a huge part of what made the first two games so fantastic, and I'm a bit worried that WB Games Montreal could have forgotten about that.  As far as world-building goes, Origins could easily prove to be a bad case of quantity over quality.  I hope that doesn't turn out to be the case.

mishdogg
mishdogg

What's so bad about a game that builds upon the previous two installments which were excellent?  I'm not following their logic.  It is a series, so if they expect every single game to be unique and original, they need to reconsider.  A game can be great without revolutionizing a genre or a series, which is what these two guys seem to expect of every game.  

I'd be perfectly fine with a new game that has a good story and uses the mechanics of the last one.  Don't fix it if it ain't broken.

Gesyma
Gesyma

I'm having a hard time understanding what these guys are taking an issue with.  It's a prequel to an established franchise... how are the mechanics being similar in Origins different from ANY other established franchise that does the same thing?  How different did these guys think the game would be?  People are excited about playing the game for the story and for the ESTABLISHED award winning gameplay.

Small additions and refinements are welcome, huge changes are not.

moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

To be honest I'd be more worried if they were changing the combat, arkham's combat is solid and doesn't really need improving, the updates to detective mode are the things that seem to be interesting and that's good since that side of things could use an update, the storyline will always be the major selling point of these games though.

Waynespread
Waynespread

And ofcourse they not counting on the few small changes to detective mode and combat to sell this game.  The game was never advertised as having a fresh new fighting style.  Like I said the combat is perfect as it is.  The new story is bound to be as gripping as the first two games and the new boss battles are going to sell this game. Loyal fans who bought the first two games are going to want to know what happens in this chapter, I certainly do!

Waynespread
Waynespread

If it aint broke dont fix it! The combat int he Arkham games is second to none. Nothing needs to be added to it. All they need is to add exciting new bosses and battles, which they have done. Cannot wait for this games and complete my trilogy.  Great time to be a BatFan!

akiracrying
akiracrying

Fucking nerds pick on ebery detail for me batman games are sick

racho
racho

I find it very weird that two guys made news out of something very, very minor...In retrospect, the Batman games focused on more than just the fighting mechanics (which was engaging and satisfying, hell; even assassins creed 3 tried to emulate it). The story, game play, challenges were all the ingredients that made the last two work so well. 

Also, speaking on new things, didn't they have new enemy types (martial artists), and the zip line that can bring two objects/people crashing into each other? I found those new things pretty impressive already (although if there were more things they kept hidden, i'd be even more thrilled). 

Perhaps small, but sure steps to new and improved things is better than a 100 new poorly conceived ideas. 

DinoFarmBlake
DinoFarmBlake

It's not only the same as the first two...but the same as THOUSANDS of 3rd person mash-A-to-win+missions+open world+a checkbox from every AAA game of the last 20 years.  Why are people only NOW pointing it out?  And why is this awareness spreading so slowly, and in the circles of professional game journalists.


It's inexcusable at this point that game journalists are saying anything short of "this is the same cash-grab, mash A to win, cynical brain-dead square-peg-in-square-hole 50 million dollar asset tour that we've seen for generations, and it needs to stop.  Game design can happen.  Interactive systems CAN be interesting.  Grinding is necessarily a waste of time.  "leveling up" doesn't make sense.  As a player builds skill in a system, "leveling up" continues to make the system EASIER.  Shouldn't performing well INCREASE in difficulty?  Why is a character stat increasing instead of decreasing?"

We should be reading about the difference between fantasy simulation and game design.  What is an interesting, ambiguous decision, and what is a chore.  What wastes the audience's time, and what respects the intellect and curiosity of the average person?

I'm just sick and tired.

KAB21
KAB21

game play may be the same but the story line is more important to me. kinda excited still for this game. 

jnco10999
jnco10999

I hope this is good, the switch to a new company concerns me. I have my doubts it's going to be better than the previous two.

gashoe13
gashoe13

@mishdogg Well.... City was definitely unique and original even compared to Asylum. 

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

@mishdogg but they aren't really building on it, they are just leaving it the same, thats what they didn't like. 

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

@Gesyma not similar almost identical, watching gameplay most of the combat animations are even the same. At least with assassins creed which every says is rehashed garbage they change the animations if not the mechanics so aren't watching the same fights play out for another 30 hours.

Waynespread
Waynespread

No. I'm buying it because its more of the same gameplay I enjoyed in Arkham 1 and 2.. People buy WWE games every single year when nothing really changes excpept a few added characters. Same with fifa. Most sequels have the same core gameplay, Mass effect 1,2,3 was basically the same kind of game with different story and few different mnigames but it was an awesome series.  If a game does something well then more of the same isnt a bad thing.  Like moonlightwolf said I'd be more worried if they were changing the combat. That would make me think twice bout getting this.

ThePowerOfHAT
ThePowerOfHAT

Arkham City added far more than a couple of new enemy types to spice up hand-to-hand combat.  Here's a short list (doesn't cover everything):
- Additional striking, counter, stun, and takedown animations
- Disarm & Destroy special combo move
- Area attack special combo move
- Multiple ground takedown special combo move (replaced AA's throw move)
- Batclaw Slam move
- Quickfire explosive gel usable in combat
- REC and freeze grenades also usable (total of 5 quickfire gadgets, up from 2)
- Beatdowns (stun + strike chain)
- Aerial attacks and directed aerial assaults (stun + redirect moves)
- Ultra stun move
- Double and triple counter-attacks
- Bladed weapon mechanics changes (dodges and dodge takedowns added)
- Freeflow Focus mode (x12 combo, slows down everything around you)
- Freeflow Focus gadgets (stronger or altered versions of quickfire gadgets)
- Armored enemies
- Ninja assassin enemies
- Some changes to titan enemies, including two more usable rodeo attacks
- Shield-wielding enemies (usually require aerial attacks to damage)

Compare that the changes we know have been made to hand-to-hand combat in Arkham Origins:
- New/replaced striking animations
- New martial artist enemies
- New armored lieutenant enemies (mechanically very similar to titans)
- Modified XP system (more in-depth post-fight breakdowns)
- "New" shock glove gadget (described to be almost exactly like BAT mode from AC WiiU)
- More randomized enemy encounters

Mechanically, nothing seems to have actually been added to combat at all.  I'm interested to see what gadgets end up replacing the freeze grenade and REC from AC, but unless they offer some wildly different aspects to combat as it is, the list of changes is staggeringly small in comparison to what Rocksteady accomplished in the two years between games.

This is JUST covering combat, granted, but that is what's being discussed in this video, and the list of changes outside of combat seems to be just about as unimpressive.

Pyromk1
Pyromk1

@DinoFarmBlake I cant help but feel that you are unfairly aiming a lot of pent up frustration at the Batman franchise.

Although Arkham A and Arkham C do share some similarities with other AAA titles, the game design and mechanics clearly had a lot of thought put into them. I have not played another game that implemented its combat mechanic so well (save from the Witcher 2 perhaps). whilst it is possible to just mash attack and eventually win, to really master it you have to understand the timing and rhythm of the system as well as the combat options available to you. The ability to switch off the attack warnings and speed up your enemies in the second playthough made learning these mechanics essential.

I would also argue that the batman games are not games that require grindimg. The games are paced in such a manner that you earn enough 'xp' to access most of your abilities by the time you reach the latter part of the game. You are rarely put in a position where you find yourself wishing you were a higher level because the enemies are too tough. Any upgrades that are required for you to progress through the game are given as a part of the the games story progression.

There are a lot more cynical games out there, but the fact that there hasn't been a lot of innovation in this game is actually an encouragement for myself as Rocksteady made some very good design decisions with the first two games... and to try to undo all that they'd done would be gaming suicide.
...If it aint broke...

spideyj08
spideyj08

@DinoFarmBlake we are so habituated to such systems, that it is implicitly presumed to be a part of the package. The only growth in terms of those game mechanics has been linear(rather than branching out) with the surrounding elements tweaked to reinforce them and often to convey a sense of novelty. But then again experimentation is a risky endeavour, especially, in the case of the batman series, where previous two titles have subsequently succeeded and the second one outdid the first. Trying something new would mean straying from the proven path, and striping the franchise of its mass appeal. And as you correctly mentioned, those systems can definitely be more interactive and performance based(for e.g. how well you execute a stealth move will determine the further stealth challenges or unlock superior moves of that category), rather than being solely dependent on grinding and leveling. 

ThePowerOfHAT
ThePowerOfHAT

@KAB21 Definitely excited about the story.  I just wish there were more to the gameplay to get me interested, though.  I absolutely adored the first two games, and the gameplay was a huge part of that.  There's a reason I played all of the challenge rooms on both games and bought all of the DLC maps, characters, etc.  I worry that this game won't keep me coming back in the same way AA and AC did, however, especially if it doesn't introduce more new gameplay-wise.

ThePowerOfHAT
ThePowerOfHAT

@gashoe13 @Ultra_Taco To an extent, I think that's actually true, as the Arkham series is one that I doubt anyone feels is diminishing in quality.  Many feel that City was a step down from Asylum in certain aspects, myself included.  However, there's no denying that it took the Asylum formula and expanded upon it in tons of pretty incredible ways.  The open world, massive list of additions to hand-to-hand and Predator gameplay, fantastic movement mechanics, and numerous side objectives made it stand out from its predecessor.  Atmosphere and a focused plot were somewhat weakened as a result, but you can't deny how well everything else came together, and the notion of the series continuing to take what works (and drop what doesn't) so that it consistently improves with each release is something that I think most anyone who enjoyed the first two games would like to see.

I don't think even the typical Call Of Duty player feels that way about that particular series.  It really has become a bit like a Madden-type FPS, with each yearly release being something a gamer picks up so they can continue to play online with friends.  People purchase COD titles for the social aspect and the generally set-in-stone gameplay.  Very few are looking for innovation with each new release, and most of those that are have already abandoned the series.

NBAmaster33
NBAmaster33

@stan_boyd @mishdogg 

You can't judge that based on the little information we have about the game so far. Even if they left the combat itself unchanged, which they haven't, the fact that it's in a different setting with different characters, as well as enemy types should make the game fresh enough to play through, considering how its built on such a successful foundation.

racho
racho

@ThePowerOfHAT I understand what you're saying. At the same time, I don't feel it would be unfair to quantify improvements like that. Furthermore I think the first Batman offered itself as a blueprint and the second one easily saw many things they would've liked to improve..., I don't actually expect the developers to be adding the same amount of changes per sequel in the fight mechanics (and I find it normal for sequel improvements to start reaching a plateau after the second sequel). 

However, I do expect improvements all around the game. That's why for the third one, I think it's more important to take safer steps in making the best additions, rather than a huge changes everywhere ( e.g. Assassins Creed 3 took that risk).

I agree that the combat system is underwhelming from the current looks of it. Hopefully they keep the creativity going. Every two years is a pretty tight schedule for the team. 

NBAmaster33
NBAmaster33

@stan_boyd @NBAmaster33 @mishdogg 

I understand where you're coming from, but I think your concern has to do with you playing so much of the game so close to the launch of the next one. I think if you haven't played the previous game in several months then the next installment will undoubtedly be fresh for you. I suppose you're just fatigued with the combat of Arkham City, as I always thought the mechanics were near perfect. Like I've said before, they'll change enough elements to make the game different. The open world will be vastly different, just how Arkham City was to Arkham Asylum, even though the artistic style is similar. A new story with several new characters (including new bosses) a new multiplayer mode, and I'm sure there'll be more incremental changes once more information is revealed. Bottom line is I wouldn't let those two GameSpot hacks dissuade you from buying the game - they simply don't know what they're talking about.

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

@NBAmaster33 @stan_boyd @mishdogg well my problem with the combat is I have already used it for hour upon hour upon hour playing the campaign and then going through the challenges and doing it all again just seems well not fun. Sure a new story is cool and all I guess, but there are also comic books, movies, cartoons etc that could do the same thing. Maybe its just my own fault for playing about 60 hours or more of AC but so far seeing this game just makes me thing its AC 1.5 same game new map just like the difference between COD MW2 and COD MW3

NBAmaster33
NBAmaster33

@stan_boyd @NBAmaster33 @mishdogg 

"Rehashed" was a strong word for the Assassin's Creed games. "Rushed" is a more appropriate word, as they've taken on the Call of Duty trend of releasing their games annually, thus disallowing the same level of quality as the predecessors. That's why I haven't enjoyed the past two Assassin's Creed games. Assassin's Creed 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and most of all Saints Row 2 are perfect examples of how a sequel should be: expansion/refinement/re-imagination. They build on the foundation of the previous game and add marginal improvements. By the way, what sort of differences in the combat are you hoping for? The mechanics were already near perfect. Like I said before, change for the sake of change generally leads to mechanics and features being axed, like in the case of Saints Row: The Third. I'm not sure what type of changes you're hoping for, but keeping things fundamentally the same from a game that most everyone loved seems to be the best option.

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

@NBAmaster33 @stan_boyd @mishdogg I own AA and AC and loved both, so far though I haven't seen much in the ways of improvement. I don't want them to outright change the combat or anything but I do want to see it expanded. As far as Assassins Creed being rehashed, I disagree, there have been alot of changes to the series with each game (minus revelations). AC2 had no ship combat, AC2 you could not shoot a guy, run over his rifle, pick it up shoot another guy while running, then rather than reloading just run up and use the bayonet to kill the next guy in line, nor could you take human shields in AC2, nor could you hide in bushes and tall grass, nor could you hunt and trap animals so you could sell the pelts or craft stuff with them. Now with AC4 they are adding underwater diving and making the transition from ship to land seamless, they have tweaked combat a bit more, still waiting to see what other changes they are making.

NBAmaster33
NBAmaster33

@stan_boyd @NBAmaster33 @mishdogg 

If you just look at the previous two games, they weren't that different in terms of gameplay mechanics, yet Arkham City felt like a unique experience. I'm quite confident that'll be the case with this game. I'm all for adding things to games that improve the overall experience, aka refining/expanding things, but change for the sake of change generally doesn't lead anywhere good. Series like Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, and now Saints Row are starting to re-hash and cut corners in terms of game design, but the Arkham series has given us no reason to think it'll follow those trends. Judging by your comments, it doesn't seem like you're much of a fan of this series anyhow, but regardless I wouldn't be too worried.

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

@NBAmaster33 @stan_boyd @mishdogg i don't know if even those changes are in there, I mean Gotham City looks like Arkham city as they are essentially the same place, the architecture looks the same. Sorta like how New York and Manhattan look pretty much the same. I haven't seen gameplay as new characters yet, and haven't really seen any new enemies, the armored guys look to be like titans and the martial artists look to be like the ninjas from arkham city.

ThePowerOfHAT
ThePowerOfHAT

@racho That's true.  Arguably, this team's been working at this for less than that, considering that these are the same guys that ported Arkham City to the WiiU.

By all means, I can tell that they have a love for the franchise and the characters; the story and character designs for Origins definitely appear to have had a ton of work put into them.  I'm just disappointed by the lack of dedication as far as gameplay design and attention to detail goes.  It does seem likely that the developers had some more ideas that they probably wanted to include in the game.  One thing that they mentioned back when Origins was announced was a dynamic weather system that affected enemy visibility, but it was cut because they felt it'd be too time-consuming to implement.  While I understand how that could be an issue, it's also incredibly disappointing because it shows that the developers and publisher are more worried about getting the game released than making it everything it could be.

Compare that to Rocksteady's work on the franchise up until this point.  You've probably heard the stories by now about how one of their guys working on Arkham Asylum spent two years just trying to get Batman's cape to look and sound right.  That kind of attention to detail and dedication to what the developers were making is what has made these games so damn fantastic.  I'm worried that WB Games Montreal either doesn't have that level of dedication or simply isn't being given the time for it.  Regardless of who ends up being at fault (the developer or the publisher), I worry that Origins will be a weaker game as a result.