Saturday, November 2, 2013

Review: Batman Arkham Origins- Wii U

The release of Batman Arkham Origins on the Wii U seems to be as mysterious as the Dark Knight himself; prompting more questions than answers. Why is it ten dollars less than the PS3 and XBOX 360 versions? Does it use the Gamepad? Why hasn't anyone reviewed this game on Wii U? And finally, is it any good?

While I admittedly have no idea why this version costs less than the others (my best guess would be the lack of multi-player, though I am in no way complaining) nor do I know why there are no Metacritic review scores more than one week after the game was released on Wii U. However, I did don the virtual Batsuit to investigate whether or not the game is worth buying. Read on to find out...

Batman Arkham Origins is the second "Arkham" game released for the Wii U (The first was last year's Arkham City: Armored Edition) and the third to feature the caped crusader (he was also a prominent character in Injustice: Gods Among Us)... Holy gigabytes, that's a lot of Batman!

          Batman continues to dominate our TV screens in 2013. Is it too much of a good thing?
First things first- If you are reading this review and have yet to play Arhkam Asylum or Arkham City on any console, go buy Arkham Origins right now. This game is a perfect place to start the series (after all, it is called "origins" for a reason) and you will be able to make a seamless transition into the other two titles.
If you have played the previous two games, you will find yourself in familiar territory... thank goodness said territory is an exemplary video game universe. Although this game is open world,  Batman:AO looks and plays a bit more like Arkham Asylum than Arkham City. It is a bit difficult to explain why this is true, it simply "feels" more like the first game.
The game begins on Christmas Eve. making it a great gift for the gamer on your list.
Gameplay is a combination of required missions and optional side quests (a formula with which any gamer will be familiar) and Batman is challenged by a sizeable squad of bad guys chasing a bounty on his head. Combat is simple to learn yet harder to master. Typically, one button does the trick but thankfully that one button has finesse.
The game looks great and features off screen play on the Gamepad. Batman himself is well animated and always huge on the screen... darn near the consistently biggest playable character I have ever seen. The cut scenes look great, too.
The Gamepad is utilized in a few unique ways (like a fingerprint scanner and crime scene investigation tool) but mainly serves as a world map. Kudos for the inclusion of a "headphones" option for the sound output. Since the Gamepad has a headphone jack, every Wii U game should have this option.
Most of the negative press on this game has been focused on the fact that it fails to break new ground. However, that does not change the fact that all three games in the series have managed to forge a formidable trilogy in the gaming world. Plus, the "Arkham" games are chock full of self references making the playing experience all the more "cool."
Here's a sweet heavy metal version of the Batman song to get you in the mood...
All things considered, Batman: Arkham Origins is a great game. It is well produced and, most importantly, fun to play.


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