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Batman: Arkham Origins (Wii U) Review

Review for Batman: Arkham Origins on Wii U - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Last year's Armoured Edition of Batman: Arkham City showed that Nintendo fans were not getting the rough end of the stick, with plenty of extra content packed in and some intriguing controls added on. However, this year's release, Batman: Arkham Origins has hit all formats at the same time. What can Wii U owners expect in Batman's latest adventure?

Rocksteady sidelined, in comes WB Games Montreal. However, without checking the credits, it really is not that apparent, since Batman: Arkham Origins is in the exact same mould as Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, which sadly means that everything is wearing a bit thin now. There is still a strong core here, with a gripping storyline and very impressive presentation levels. However, there is far too much flying around the cityscapes, meeting random groups of villains for a bout of button bashing, then zipping off to another location - normally very far from the current position - before jumping into yet another dose of whack-the-buttons-or-die action.

Sounds tedious, right? Well, to a degree it is, disappointingly. For all the wonderment felt to be in the tight suit of Batman, ridding the world of nefarious folk, pretty much all of the story goes to waste as it becomes secondary to the mindless repeated mashing of the controller in the hope of clearing through the boring melee rounds before having to traipse from one side of Gotham City to the next.

One of the highlights of the adventure is the recreation of crime scenes, which makes great use of the Wii U GamePad, lifting it up and moving it around to scan the nearby area in order to find important clues and trace evidence, even being able to rewind time at points to figure out exactly what occurred. Despite these sections being pretty much pre-determined, they are a welcomed break from the usual gameplay exploits. It is not enough to save this from sheer mediocrity, though.

Screenshot for Batman: Arkham Origins on Wii U - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Those disappointed with the technical side of Arkham City on Wii U will at least be pleased to know that Origins has been improved and clearly more care has been given to the Nintendo version…that is until quickly grappling and gliding from skyscraper to tall tower, though, when some slight stuttering in the frame-rate becomes apparent. Forget the idea of the 'Fast Travel' option as well, since it needs to be unlocked later in the game and if the correct equipment is not to hand, venturing far and wide to fulfil the criteria necessary is a painful waste of time. What makes long distance travelling even more depressing is how empty the world is, other than the odd group that mutter something before launching an attack. It is normally along the lines of 'Oh, there's that big dude that beats everyone up…but hey, we're stronger than the rest. GET HIM!!' Clearly paraphrased, but that is the gist!

There are options that allow for a more stealth approach when fighting, for instance it is possible to dive-bomb enemies whilst gliding, sneak up on bad guys, and the Batarang comes into play, yet with so much travelling encountered, all stealth approaches will end up being ditched by all but the most patient of players, instead reverting to the dive-right-in-and-mash-away technique. Sad, but true, and it is what mars what could have otherwise been a great adventure, reducing it to merely a moderately good one.

Screenshot for Batman: Arkham Origins on Wii U - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Whilst the mix of missions may sound interesting, and do manage to keep the gamer's attention for the most part, after a while the button mashing aspect takes over and proceedings start to lose their appeal, with long distance back-and-forth travelling not helping matters.

Graphics

Highly atmospheric locations, impressive character models and animations make this feel like being in the world of Batman. Sadly the land is pretty desolate, with only a few gangs loitering in key locations.

Sound

Great voice work and the high quality on the sound effects and music front definitely add to the ambience, fitting the settings perfectly.

Value

There may be a heck of a lot of meat included in Origins, but the combination moves always ends up turning fighting into a button bashing exercise, which grows tiresome very fast indeed. Overcome that and it is 'happy days' indeed, otherwise this may well be very short-lived. Wii U owners do also miss out on the online multiplayer feature of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, unfortunately.

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Average

About this score

The Batman: Arkham series has been of a consistent quality since it began with Asylum, but with not too many changes to the formula, it has started to become a tad too stale. Whilst missions in Batman: Arkham Origins are interesting to a degree, and there is no question about how impressive the presentation levels are, there is only so much button-bashing a player can take before losing interest.

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11.01.2014

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Developer

Human Head

Publisher

Warner Bros

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (1 Votes)

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Wow, another gimped release - shame really - quite liked City, so was hoping for more of the same with Origins.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer
Obiwan72 (guest) 15.01.2014 22:16#2

It's a lot better than is made out here. I assume the writer isn't very good at it as if you try just button bashing during the fighting, you're in for a whooping 

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

That's where you're wrong, actually - the button bashing method worked throughout the majority of the game. Surprising, but true! I really got so fed up with this, which is a shame as I liked the previous two.

It is a good game at its core, though, but just nowhere near as good as Arkham City and Arkham Asylum, and I put it down to the various points that made it boring for me in the review above.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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