Long story short; there won’t be a Batman: Arkham Origins review. At least not anytime soon. This is due to the fact that I was twelve hours into the latest game in the series when I got a corrupted data message. The only solution? Delete my save and start anew.
I went online and read story after story of 360 owners who had experienced the same issue. Some had restarted the game two, three and even four times and at certain points their data became corrupted again. As of this writing the 360 version is the only one that seems to have this problem although the PS3 version is having frame rate issues. It looks like the Wii U and PC versions are the best of the bunch.
The only news from WB Montreal is that they are “investigating the issue” which is company speak for “oh shit, we missed something. Find it and patch it”. Now if you know me personally you know how much this hurts me. As the tattoos on my body and shelves of Batman action figures (not toys dammit) and statues can attest I am a bit of a Dark Knight freak. So the fact that this happened stings worse.
Why not just start over and play through the game? I can hear some of you saying. This is a multi-part answer. It will lead into my early impressions of the game which were…meh. The game looked beautiful and the voice acting was top notch. Roger Craig Smith was a good place holder for Kevin Conroy and Troy Baker sounds so much like Mark Hamill it is uncanny. There was something just a bit off about it. While keeping the same combat and control scheme of the previous two Arkham games, the timing seemed different and led to a lot of frustrating fights.
I have played through Asylum five time and City three. I even played through both of them before Origins came out to make sure I had my timing down correctly and to acclimate myself with the controls again. In both previous games, I had no problem with big groups of thugs even while playing on hard. Playing Origins on normal difficulty (for the sake of review) I regularly found myself almost dying in groups of six or seven guys. The counter system, while technically the same as Rocksteady’s games was not reading all the counters I was doing. With a game that requires multiple counters in a row to keep combat flowing you need the game to be able to react to them. I was regularly getting annoyed at the combat in a series where combat is the best thing.
Also, while this is our first opportunity in the series to play in an actual open version of Gotham City, it feels decidedly vacant. I understand the story permits this with it being Christmas Eve and people are asked to stay in there homes because of the danger. So it is just you and thugs galore to occupy the city. I know Gotham City is a dangerous place but damn. If my apartment building had two snipers, two knife-wielding psychos and a guy with a baseball bat I would be calling Two Men and Truck…now. I am still looking for that first true Gotham City experience. I want Spider-Man 2 except with Batman. Bustling streets and patrons. Random robberies to stop. Driving the Batmobile around Gotham.
The second part of my reasoning for not starting the game again is I do not have the time to. Besides this site I have a full-time job and, despite what some people think, do not want to spend every waking moment in front of a television or computer screen. Maybe one day I will give Arkham Origins another chance or I may just wait for Rocksteady’s next installment that will be free of these problems. For now I have to get ready for the next-gen launches and even though I juuust said I can’t spend all my time with video games…I have to review WWE 2K14.
I am hypocrite, hear me roar.