Batman: Arkham Origins, Blackgate detailed in Game Informer
posted on 04.09.13 at 05:39 PM EDT by (@salromano)
An Arkham prequel and a 2D spin-off set after the prequel.

Game Informer this month has first details on Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, the latest Batman games from Warner Bros.

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.

Thanks, Nintendo Everything (2).

  • http://gematsu.com/author/ro-kurorai 浪黒雷 (Roland Gmyrek)

    no rocksteady no buy. that handheld spin-off is way more interesting as it’s being handled by ex-rare staff =)

    • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

      Warner Bros. Montreal could end up being a great developer. I say at least give ‘em a chance! =D

      • Sevyne

        I’m not completely banishing the game from my mind just yet, but I’ll remain cautious until I see more and they can prove their worth.

        I am interested in the portable one though.

      • http://gematsu.com/author/ro-kurorai 浪黒雷 (Roland Gmyrek)

        well, should’ve chosen my words more carefully. Let’s say I will be more critical of the game before making a purchasing decision. It’s the same engine so it probably won’t suck on PS3 (only minor screen tearing in B:AC) and who knows, maybe they’ll put their spin on the Arkhamverse.
        It worked with Assassin’s Creed, why shouldn’t it here. But annualizing the franchise might hurt sales in the long run. What works for COD or AC won’t necessarily work for Batman.

        • Solomon_Kano

          They haven’t annualized it though. It’ll have been exactly two years and a week from AC’s release when this comes out.

          Or are you suggesting that Rocksteady is working on the next game while this is coming out a la Treyarch and Infinity Ward?

    • Akimitsu

      As long as they don’t stray too far from the successful formula used in Arkham Asylum/City, the game should be fine.

      • MrKappa

        Much truth, even with little detail I’m excited for this game like no other.

      • http://gematsu.com/author/ro-kurorai 浪黒雷 (Roland Gmyrek)

        shared more thoughts below. I actually agree with you. My first comment was kinda premature. Let’s give ‘em a chance.

    • KnifeAndFork

      Sounds like it might be better actually. I hope they scrap Unreal engine

      • http://gematsu.com/author/ro-kurorai 浪黒雷 (Roland Gmyrek)

        The devs have already confirmed they’re using the same Rocksteady-modified UE3 to ensure visual consistency.

  • Azoz

    I hope Blackgate isn’t a cheap game or a port from 3DS to VITA like LEGO games .

    • http://twitter.com/GamerOfThrone Aerys

      Regarding these screens, i dont see how it could be running on 3DS, so they should port him from Vita to 3DS with a downgrade

    • Elvick

      The issue with the LEGO games isn’t the 3DS. It’s the regular DS.

      A lot of 3DS/Vita multiplats turn out really well. And the 3DS version is done a disservice by the DS version as well. 3DS is capable of better too.

  • http://twitter.com/GematsuZero Zero

    I’m willing to give both games a chance. The developers seem to realize the bar has been set very high.

    Arkham Origins -

    Top super villains from the DC Comics universe are out to catch the world’s greatest detective.

    This makes it sound like they could possibly bring in all sorts of DC characters. I wonder if this might also apply to DC heroes? (Cameos?)

    I think we kind need to see examples of the combat additions. It’s hard to talk about it without more details.

    The Batwing will make a return, but Batman won’t control it directly. It will figure into story sequences and acts as a universe-appropriate form of fast travel.

    For some reason I read this as – The batarang will make a return… Which had me laughing in the end. I was picturing Batman tossing one in the air and just floating around on it. That would be one crazy deadly ability, lol.

    Do we really need fast travel? That’s a good question I think.

    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.

    This sounds like a pretty neat addition. I suppose this could be one of the new combat layers they talked about.

    “The predator-like sequences, where Batman swings from perch to perch, glide kicks, strings guys upside down, etc. will return.

    Good. What else can I say here? Very good decision.

    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.

    This sounds very interesting to me. It makes me think of the towers in Assassins Creed Brotherhood, or even Farcry 3. I quite enjoyed taking down the towers in those games. The towers in this game sound somewhat similar. I like the idea of the towers being crafted to challenge the player into using all of Batman’s Skills.

    The “Crime in Progress” & “Most Wanted” systems sound like nice additions. I hope they influence all of Gotham.

    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.

    That sounds cool. I’d really like to see more Alfred in future Batman games. Let’s hope he plays a big role in origins.

    I hope we get a full reveal gameplay trailer soon.

    Blackgate -

    It all sounds quite good. I’m glad they got a respectable studio to work on it. I tend to like this style of gameplay. It sounds like stealth will be more of a focus in blackgate. I’m a little concerned about the combat, I hope you can map actions to actual buttons. Everything else sounds promising, but I’d like to wait and see the game. And last thing here. I’m happy it’s also being released on the Vita!

    • Solomon_Kano

      The inclusion of fast travel suggests to me that the world will be much larger. While Bats’ cape and the Batclaw were sufficient methods of travel for Arkham City, we’d definitely need something more if the world will be larger this time out — and with them having access to Rocksteady’s tech, I’d imagine they’ll be able to focus on building the world and adding their new features rather than all of the time RS had to spend building up that tech to begin with.

      I wouldn’t worry about Blackgate’s combat. The article says it retains Freeflow and we’ve already seen how that works in 2D if you have Arkham City’s Robin DLC (if you don’t, I’ll tell you, it works pretty damn well — my favorite combat mission aside from the ones with the League of Assassins).

      • http://twitter.com/GematsuZero Zero

        That’s a good point about the fast travel. I was just afraid they were putting it in to satisfy lazy gamers. I think exploring the world in games is part of the experience. You have to run for a little bit? So what? That’s just my opinion.

        I haven’t played the DLC for Arkham City, but I’m very interested in checking it out now. It’s funny, because I was planning on revisiting the game here soon.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Yea, I like games with huge worlds to explore, so I don’t really care for fast travel myself. It’s one of the things I’m looking forward to most in The Witcher 3, the ability to explore all of that space. As I’ve gone around the internet looking for each little bit of the game, I’ve found that its apparently twice as big as Arkham City. It’s split between Old Gotham (comprised of the area seen in Arkham City — prior to walls, of course) and the skyscraper-heavy section of the city across the bridge from it. So, yea, I can see that being enough from some to want fast travel.

          The news prompted me to return to AC myself. The DLC isn’t exactly a ton of content (unless you want to count playing as Robin in the existing missions as new content), but I found the new missions to be really fun.

        • Elvick

          I like the option. Doesn’t mean you have to use it.

  • Ritsujun

    LOL. That’s a PSP game.

    • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

      What?

  • Ace

    There should really be a button that makes Batman say, “I’m Batman.” every time you push it in these games.

    • DrForbidden

      They should get Frank Miller to record the line, “I’m the goddamn Batman.” and play that line every time the button is pushed.

    • Ritsujun

      Lame.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Considering how freaking awesome the Black Mask combat challenge mission was, the thought of a 2.5D Arkham game that retains the series’ Freeflow combat is incredible! I’ll be pre-ordering this one.

    I’m also excited for Origins. WB Montreal could turn out to be as worthy as Rocksteady. I mean, unlike Rocksteady during AA, they’ve got a developer experienced in making awesome Batman games to ask for advice. :P

    On top of that though, they’ve got Holmes on board! Before Arkham Asylum put Rocksteady on the map, I don’t think any other game made me feel as much like the titular hero as The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (Spider-Man 2 would be a close second). Prototype didn’t turn out quite as well, but there were a number of good ideas behind it. Combining that kind of ambition with Rocksteady’s already successful formula sounds bananas to me. Hell, I’ll be pre-ordering this as well.

  • Kobracon

    Hmm….to me, as long as these guys keep the fantastic flow of combat the other games had and not mess it up, I’ll be fine.

  • tubers

    I find it somewhat depressing that iOS gets an actual 3D Batman game that looks better (Dark Knight) and the VITA doesn’t.

    • Elvick

      Well, I don’t mind getting this 2.5D game.

      However, whenever I see any good looking iOS game, I wonder why it’s not also on Vita. Sony should really try and make that gap disappear. At least from big publishers and IPs.

      I’d prefer to have both on Vita tbh. But I’m just happy they included Vita at all. We missed out completely with Epic Mickey (granted we’re getting 2 sometime, but getting the game later isn’t really ideal… and many hate the game already, even though I like it).

      • tubers

        It’s purely a business decision. Lower budget + magnitudes more userbase = less risky.. the exact opposite of the VITA.

        • Elvick

          No shit.

          • tubers

            ” I wonder why it’s not also on Vita.”

            Yes shit.

  • Kurisu Makise

    Metroid Style 2.5D Batman? Armature? Sounds good, I’ll be cautiously optimistic now. Also what games has WB Montreal made by chance?

  • http://www.squarealliance.com/ Zackasaur

    I’d like a PS4 upscaled release.

  • Kody Mullins

    I’m disappointed that Rocksteady wont be the developer this time. disappointing. :/

  • Bruce Wayne

    I am praying so bad for this game to turn out good. I am a big fan of both A.Asylum and A.City. Both were so dark and had such depth as a game to them. I just wish this does not turn out to be a shallow experience.

    But on a positive note; This IS a Batman game; The map is twice as big as previous game; We finally play into Gotham City; There will be a variety of action because of the 8 super Assassins; and Batwings!!

    I only hope that since it is “snowing”, walking on the roads do not become a pain and forces the player to only use flying as a means of commute. I would definitely like to enjoy the street view of Gotham please.

  • KingNigma

    Unless the game takes place in a scenario where Gotham’s people must go into hiding (I doubt both old and new Gotham would be walled off from the public like in AC), I wonder how they’re going to pull off the civilian interaction. No matter how cool walking on the streets would be, Batman doesn’t exactly put himself in public view compared to Spider-Man for example.