Find our summary below. For more details and screenshots, check out the May 2013 issue of Game Informer.
Batman: Arkham Origins (PS3, 360, Wii U, PC)
Batman: Arkham Origins is set on Christmas Eve, years before Arkham City and Arkham Asylum, where mob boss Black Mask has it in for Batman. And he’s not the only one. Top super villains from the DC Comics universe are out to catch the world’s greatest detective. And even cops have joined the manhunt. Batman’s goal is to find out why Black Mask wants him dead, and to prove to the good cops that he’s on their side.
The game will offer a familiar combat system with “new layers, new opportunities, new tactics,” and new enemy types.
The Batwing will make a return, but Batman won’t control it directly. It will figure into story sequences and act as a ‘universe-appropriate’ form of fast travel.
New to the game is a remote claw similar to the Grappler in Just Cause 2. Batman can target two objects and fire out a claw. One claw will hook to the first object and another onto the second. Batman can then pull both objects together. Tactics for which this can be used include knocking enemies together, slamming heavy objects into foes, etc.
The predator-like sequences, where Batman swings from perch to perch, glide kicks, strings guys upside down, etc. will return.
Half of the game is made up of ‘Old Gotham’. Though there is an entirely new area of the game, across the bridge, called ‘New Gotham’, which is described as much classier and with much taller skyscrapers. The new zone is also said to double the size of the game world.
Players will be able to dismantle a hacked tower network, which consists of towers emitting a jamming signal preventing the Batwing from flying into the area, meaning fast travel is not an option. It also stops Batman’s sensors from placing points of interest on the map. Tower take-downs vary and require all of Batman’s skills. Some can be taken down quickly and easily, while others require upgrades.
The game will offer “Crime in Progress” moments where Batman can, for example, save cops from a group of thugs, etc. This, among other activities, will earn Batman experience points and respect from the Gotham City Police Department.
A “Most Wanted” system will allow players to go after villains outside of the main storyline. These missions can be tackled as you discover them .
Some missions will offer upgrades. If you had a tough time with a certain mission, Batman’s butler Alfred might offer you a new gadget.
A new “Dark Knight” system will provide the player a string of tasks that slowly increases in difficulty as they progress through the game. This won’t replace challenge mode, however.
Arkham Origins is in development at Warner Bros. Montreal. The series’ original developer, Rocksteady Studios, is working on another project, which is currently under wraps. According to the magazine, though, a Warner Bros. Montreal sequel would carve a unique territory for Rocksteady, if it ever decided to move forward in the Arkham series timeline.
Batman: Akrham Origins Blackgate (PSV, 3DS)
Batman: Akrham Origins Blackgate is a 2.5D, Metroid-style Batman game for PS Vita and 3DS in development at Armature, the studio behind the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on PS Vita, who were put in charge as they’re familiar with that gameplay style.
The game is set after the conclusion of Origins on consoles. At the Blackgate Penitentiary, located on an isolated island, a prison uprising has occurred. Batman ventures to the facility to put a stop to the riot.
The game features a 2D animated Batman moving through a side-scrolling game world where he’ll battle enemies, pick up new gear, travel through interconnected passages, and learn prison secrets.
Unlike the console Arkham games, Blackgate does not focus on leveling up abilities. Instead, it stays true to the formula of its sub-genre. All of his improvements will come through pick-ups and upgrades. The team wanted to give players a greater sense of collection.
The game is mostly set on a 2D plane, though it will take advantage of the three-dimensionality offered by the environments. Batman will explore, fight, and interact in both the foreground and background. For example, Batman can grapple up to a gargoyle on a background balcony from the foreground.
Combat is similar to the console Arkham games. It uses the Freeflow combat system, and button taps are used to attack, counter, and use gadgets. Gadgets include the Batarang, to stun enemies or hit distant objects, Line Launcher, to cross wide gaps, and a variation of the Explosive Gel, which allows you to shoot from a launcher onto spots around the screen, enabling ‘entertaining’ take-downs like chandelier dropping.
Batman will be able to see the sight lines of his enemies to know whether they can see him or not.
Blackgate is split into various sections, each accessible once you figure out a way outside the prison. There are no save rooms as you can manually save at your leisure. The game uses a modern checkpoint system, and you can defeat its bosses in any order. Similar to the console games, it will also have a detective mode—if an enemy is green, he hasn’t seen you, if he’s red, he’s onto you. This mode can also be used to uncover secretes, clues, and analyze situations.
Again, for more details and screenshots, check out the May 2013 issue of Game Informer.