Review: Batman: Arkham Origins: Blackgate
Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate is the handheld sister title to the Batman Arkham Origins. Taking place three months after the Arkham Origins, you take control of a 2.5D stricken Caped Crusader investigating the goings-on at the infamous Blackgate Prison. What you get is a clunky, misshapen blob of a game that can’t decide what it wants to be.
The three sections of Blackgate has been taken over by The Penguin, The Joker, and Black Mask, and you gotta stop ’em! You’ll trudge through bland and dark prison areas while receiving hints from Catwoman who only speaks in dirty puns. For story purposes, Batman will stumble across numerous military grade WayneTECH upgrades and gadgets located throughout the prison (because). Where in the console Batman games you are generally given free-reign to use gadgets however you want, this one forces you to use them only how the game wants you to. If I want to throw a batarang at a switch, I must first scan said button using the touchscreen Bat-Computer to Bat-Analyze it. Seems like something the Adam West Batman might have to do, but otherwise it’s clunky and time consuming just to do something as monotonous as hit a switch.
Combat is taken from the console versions as well…kind of. The same freeflow combat exists, but generally can be bested with button mashing. The game’s 2.5D take on Predator encounters is rather frustrating as well. Removing freedom to attack however you see fit turns even Predator encounters into a monotonous chore. King Fights are forgettable, which is a shame as the console Origins title actually improved on the Arkham series’ bosses.
I found trying to navigate your way around Blackgate frustrating as it gives you a 2D map that doesn’t make total sense for the 2.5 D environment. If I had to pick something positive to tout about the game it would be the cutscenes which are faux-animated comic-book style drawings. Besides that, I can’t really speak very highly of this title. Well, I kind of liked a superfluous boss fight that has a certain giant enemy show up for no reason.
If you haven’t grabbed this game already wait for a sale if you must have it. I would bat-caution against it though. . .
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
What I Dislike:
- Ham-Fisted Story
- Wonky Gadgets
- Scanning Everything with the Batcomputer
- 2.5 D isn’t conducive to exploring / mapping