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Batman Arkham Origins full details: Batwing, Dark Knight challenge system, Remote Claw

Warner Bros. Montreal details its Batman prequel

Warner Bros Entertainment officially revealed Batman Arkham Origins earlier today, and now details on Warner Montreal's prequel title have been released.

According to the May issue of GameInformer, the Arkham Origins project was undertaken to satiate fan demand for a new entry in the series following Arkham City.

Here's the full details:

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  • Origins takes place on Christmas Eve early in Batman's career, before the events of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. The tale is inspired by Batman: Year One and Legends of the Dark Knight.
  • Supervillain Black Mask places a hit on Batman's head, offering a fortune to whoever can off the caped crusader. Assassins and supervillains from across the DC Universe come to Gotham to take their shot at Batman.
  • Batman must take on all comers, solve the mystery of why Black Mask wants him dead, and prove to the GCPD that he's on their side.
  • Warner Bros. Montreal used Batman Arkham City Armored Edition for the Wii U to familiarise itself with Rocksteady's codebase.
  • Eric Holmes, who served as lead designer of The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and has experience writing Transformers: Megatron Origins for IDW, was selected to drive the creative vision. He also worked at Epic Games, and so is familiar with the Unreal Engine.
  • Rocksteady offered guidance on tech, mechanics and engine, but WB Montreal was left to handle story entirely
  • Going with a younger Batman lets the developer "refresh characters, refresh ideas, refresh the dynamic between Batman and other characters, and refresh the world"
  • Batman isn't the character fans know yet
  • GameInformer's demo starts about an hour into the game, with Batman perched on Jezebel Plaza watch an arms deal.
  • Gotham is blanketed by snow and Christmas lights decorate the city. It's Christmas eve.
  • Black Mask's assassins have stirred up criminal activity
  • "Old Gotham" hasn't been turned into an urban prison yet
  • The most obvious difference cited between the two period is Amusement Mile, which hasn't flooded yet
  • Batman is trying to figure out why Black Mask wants him dead, and is aiming to use Penguin to get information
  • WB Montreal hasn't tinkered with the free-flow combat: "If it's not broken, don't fix it" says senior producer Ben Mattes.
  • It has, however, introduced "new layers, new opportunities, and new tactics"
  • New enemy types will force Batman to use new moves
  • Batman hasn't honed his skills yet, so his interrogation ends with an unconscious thug. Batman is still unrefined and sometimes pushes things too far.
  • Batman scans the thugs phone to get the information he needs
  • He summons Batwing to get to the northeast coast, where Penguin's base of operations is. Players don't pilot Batwing directly, but it is part of the story sequences and a form of fast travel.
  • Glides, ledge takedowns and sleeper holds are back
  • Inside Final Offer, an old ship The Penguin has taken over, Batman uses his predator mode.
  • Batman can swing from perches and do upside down strikes, like in previous games.
  • A new gadget, the Remote Claw, functions much like the grappler in Just Cause 2. Batman can target two objects and pull them together. It can be used to knock enemies together, launch objects at enemies or string up enemies.
  • An example combat situation involves stringing an explosive barrel to a perch, luring enemies over, then cutting the rope using a batarang.
  • Batman eventually find Penguin talking to a tied up Alberto Falcone, trying to convince him to leave the weapons business, he agrees to tell his father.
  • Batman enters and fights Penguin, before interrogating him by lifting him up and smashing into a mirror. Before he can get the information out of him a grapple claw latches onto his ankle and pulls him out of the room. Batman's tries to get a hold of a door frame, but his arm is stomped on. The mysterious assailant is revealed to be Deathstroke.
  • WB Montreal wants to tell a story "within the detective environment", it mentioned BBC series Sherlock as an inspiration
  • In a later segment Batman is in a room and uses his first-person detective vision to figure out the events that occurred in it. Bullet paths and holograms act out his theories as he mutters information and scans points of interest.
  • The Batcomputer in the cave runs simulations, players can watch these as much as they want from multiple angles, in slow motion, pause and scrub it. They must find clues to further the investigation
  • Small and large cases are spread out over Gotham City, they serve to provide a break from combat scenarios
  • Old Gotham district is only half of the game world, another area called New Gotham also exists. It doubles the size of the game world in Arkham City.
  • To access content in the city players must dismantle the hacked tower network. These tower emit a jamming signal that stops Batwing from flying there and prevents sensors from placing points of interest. They're likened to Far Cry 3's towers.
  • Dynamic events dubbed "Crime in Progress" occur in the city. The example given is of saving cops from a group of thugs, or stopped a snitch from being thrown off a roof. Completing these impact Batman's notoriety.
  • A "Most Wanted System" lets players pursue villains outside of the core assassin story
  • The Dark Knight system offers tasks that escalate in difficulty. They're not tutorials, but do train players to be better at combat and stealth. Completing challenges grants XP or upgrades for a particular skillset.
  • The system doesn't replace Challenge mode, which will be included "in one form"

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