Please note that this is solely the opinion of the author of this article and does not reflect the opinion of BagoGames.
Being a comic book fan and a huge gamer has its ups and downs, Superman 64 being one of the downs and the Arkham Games being one of the ups. Rocksteady‘s first two installments of their Batman games were near perfect, the mood, the story (penned by Paul Dini), and the voice cast from the original Batman: The Animated Series, all combined in a comic book gamer’s dream game. Recently Warner Brother Interactive Montreal released their try at an Arkham game, but this time, Batman has only donned the cowl for two years, so he’s not as seasoned. Gone is the Caped Crusader who doesn’t let an enemy get near him and who controls his emotions while battling, now we have a young and very angry Bruce Wayne.
For those who’ve not played the game yet this story takes place long before the Rocksteady games. Bruce Wayne has been back in Gotham for two years striking fear into the hearts of men. And on Christmas Eve the Black Mask puts a bounty on his head for fifty million dollars, eight assassins take the bounty and Batman must defeat them while protecting Gotham. Fear plays a big part in this game as Batman is just a myth to the criminals at this point, he’s rarely seen, is yet to be captured on film and there is no Batsignal.
Now, if you’ve played the game or read any of the reviews of the game you know that the controls are not as tight as the Rocksteady games. Sometimes you will hit punch and instead of responding, Batman will stand there. Or you’ll try to counter Deathstroke or a common thug and wind up with a knuckle sandwich. And this is not due to bad gaming, the game’s biggest flaw is the controls. Everything else in the game is top notch, the new voice actors do a great job in filling those huge shoes. The graphics look amazing, it may, by far, be the best looking Batman game out there. And the story is phenomenal, however being an avid comic book reader, I would have taken it in a different direction since it is an origin story. Everything about this game definitely puts it into game of the year contention, even with the sloppy controls. But, those sloppy controls make total sense to me, seeing as I’m a huge comic book nerd.
Batman has only been around for two years at the onset of this game. His Batcave isn’t fully operational, he has no Batmobile, a majority of his “new” gadgets are just items he’s found lying around, there’s no Batsignal, Dick Grayson’s parents are still alive, and Alfred is still a brunette. Pretty bare bones Batman if you ask me. Batman isn’t the master detective or martial artist that you find in Asylum or City, he’s twenty something with a chip on his shoulder, and that’s going to get him hurt. Now Warner Brothers Montreal could have just made Batman somewhat less graceful while he’s fighting, but they went a different route, sloppy controls. And after only two years of being Batman he is not going to be the defined Dark Knight we get in Rocksteady’s two games. So these controls do make some sense, not that I’m saying every game with bad controls should be forgiven, but with this incarnation of Batman it just seems to fit.
While Warner Brothers Montreal may not have had this exactly in mind when they were programming the game. I can see where it works. Most people decry bad controls and I am usually one of them, but in this instance they fit and just make sense. They make the game more challenging, but they also give you the feel that Batman doesn’t quite know what he’s doing yet, and I commend them for that. Let’s hope in Origin’s sequel we get a tad better controls since he’ll probably be on his fourth or fifth year.
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