Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate has been on by pile for a while now, and as it was deemed as a short game, I thought I’d get it put to bed. I have been playing this on both the PS Vita and the Xbox, but decided to complete it on the Xbox 360 version.
The story picks up around three months after the events in Arkham Origins, however, if you’ve not played Origins, I wouldn’t worry too much, and the you are brought up to speed pretty quick.
The game is classed as a 2.5D game, which essentially means, it’s a 2D side scroller, with 3D graphics. There are occasions where you will head down a corridor using either the left of right, and you’ll automatically turn corners. This sometimes got a little disorientating at time. On occasions you’d enter a grate from the left, then have to change to pressing forward to crawl through the vents. On a number of occasions I popped back out of the vent by mistake as I continued to press left. There were other occasions where the camera would pan around when you were holding with left of right on a platform, only for this also to require a control change to match the new perspective.
The gameplay is quite similar to the other Batman game, but I guess most like Arkham Asylum. You spend your time navigating three main sections of Blackgate prison, of which three villains have taken control of specific sections. In each of these sections you have to defeat the villain specific thugs, and have the option to collect twenty of their specific collectables (sorry for the vagueness, I’m attempting to be spoiler free). As with any recent Batman game, some of these will be in initially inaccessible locations, only to be accessed once you’ve upgraded/acquired the correct tool for the job. As well as the collectables, there were armour upgrades, suit upgrades and even detective cases to solve. However these where normally as simple as, go into detective mode, spin the cursor around the screen, then move on.
Probably worth pointing out at this stage that Batmans arsenal is but a mere subset of what you’re used to, with only the Batarang, Line Launcher, Batclaw, Grapnel Gun, Crypto Sequencer and Gel Launcher at your disposal. You start the game with only the standard Batarang and Crypto Sequencer and the remainder are collected on your way.
Throughout the game you will use the Crypto Sequencer to hack doors and other objects, however it felt a little crowbarred in as it was simply a matter of moving the cursor over a three number sequence until it turned green. Even with the highest level locks (gamma), it was still extremely easy, as there was no type of timer, you just simply moved the cursor around until you found your numbers.
As mentioned above I played this through on the Xbox 360, and was happy that they used the exact control scheme as I had become accustom to with the other three Arkham games, making the game feel very familiar. They however didn’t get them perfect, as the controls felt a little laggy, I felt to my death a number of time when the grapnel gun failed to deploy. This was the same with the countering, even though (in my head) I had perfectly timed the counters, these would fail resulting in a good kicking. This was particularly bad on the final boss battle, where countering was the key to success, I rage quit a number of times, and even switched consoles just incase my amp was causing the lag….but it wasn’t.
Graphically, it didn’t look to bad at all, not quite as polished as the main three Arkham games, but didn’t look too bad at all. The cutscenes, instead of using the ingame graphics engine or even full motion video, they were instead done in a comic book style which wasn’t too bad, and felt it worked ok for an arcade title.
All in all, not too bad, if it wasn’t for the controller lag, some of the brutal checkpoint and some quite dull three stage boss battles, it would have been a solid game.
Approx Time taken to beat – 7 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:3/5]
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