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"This city has a problem: some freak who thinks he's a hero. Luckily there ain't a problem in the world that can't be solved with a little bit of money. Tonight, we all win. One of you walks away with $50,000,000. And the rest, well, we get rid of the Batman."
―Black Mask, Batman: Arkham Origins E3 gameplay reveal trailer
Batman Arkham Origins cover
Batman: Arkham Origins
General information
Developer(s)Warner Bros. Games Montréal
Publisher(s)Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release date(s)October 25, 2013
GenreAction-adventure, beat 'em up, stealth
Production information
Rating(s)Template:W: Teen (T) for Blood, Drug Reference, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes and Violence

Template:W: 16+ (only in Europe)

Platform(s)PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Windows
Wii U
Input method(s)Gamepad, keyboard & mouse
Chronology
Preceded byBatman: Arkham City
Followed byBatman: Arkham Knight

Batman: Arkham Origins is a 2013 action-adventure video game and a prequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum. Unlike its predecessors, the game was developed by Warner Bros. Games Montréal, rather than Rocksteady Studios. As with the others, however, it was published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. It was released on October 25 2013 worldwide for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and Wii U.

The game was handled by a completely new team of developers, and Roger Craig Smith and Troy Baker replaced Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and the Joker. The story is set several years before Arkham Asylum and features a younger and less refined Batman on Christmas Eve. Black Mask has hired eight of the greatest assassins in the world to Gotham City to kill Batman and receive an incredible reward of $50,000,000. Other villains, such as the Joker and the Penguin take advantage of the fact that Batman is under siege by both Gotham's criminals and the corrupt GCPD and launch schemes of their own. Batman is forced to fend off these assassins, apprehend Black Mask, and make his first steps towards becoming the Dark Knight.

GameplayEdit

Batman: Arkham Origins is an open world action-adventure game played from a third person perspective. The player assumes the role of Batman in an area of Gotham City, which he can navigate with the use of his cape and grapnel gun. The entirety of the two explorable islands are open to the player almost immediately, allowing Batman to explore at his leisure.

Batman's Detective Vision is given greater importance in Arkham Origins. Batman can use it to scan crime scenes and piece together events that took place. 3D holograms act out theoretical scenarios of crimes, and points of interest are highlighted that give Batman further clues. The crimes can be played through at real time, and players can move through virtual recreations of crimes from different angles as well as move back and forth through the crime or view it in reverse or slow motion. There are several crime scenes to solve throughout the game, some larger than others, and Batman will provide a rundown of the events of each crime as he solves them.

Batman once again makes use of a large arsenal of gadgets, many of which return from the previous games. New gadgets include the Remote Claw, a device that can be used to tether two points, objects, or enemies together. Enemies and objects will be pulled together by the Remote Claw, providing takedown opportunities; Batman can also use the fired tethers as tightropes, giving him extra vantage points. The Concussion Detonator is a small device used to stun and disorient groups of enemies, and can be utilized in combat. While not wielded as a gadget in the traditional sense, Shock Gloves can be used by Batman to give him an incredible edge on enemies, allowing him to attack without worrying about what weapons or defenses enemies are using, as well as drastically increasing his power. The Shock Gloves can also be used to power up generators, opening up access to locked areas.

The game includes a fast travel system. Batman can remotely summon the Batwing to transport him to other areas of the map, allowing him to travel much faster that gliding and grappling would allow. Towers prevent the Batwing from being usable in some areas, and must be taken down by Batman. These towers often require intelligent use of gadgets to disable, and many are not possible to remove immediately.

Different enemy types have been added to the game's combat system. The martial artist is capable of blocking, evading, and countering Batman's attacks, and need to be countered with correct timing in order to be defeated. Armored enforcers are invulnerable to Batman's attacks until they have their armor removed, after which a beatdown can be performed to knock them out. Finally Venom-enhanced enemies possess great strength and are capable of charging at and grabbing Batman, which renders him vulnerable to attacks by other enemies; they can only be defeated once their Venom storage tanks are removed, after which they are essentially the same as regular enemies.

Arkham Origins features several side missions. "Most Wanted" missions involve Batman tracking down and apprehending supervillains unrelated to the game's main plot, such as Anarky and Mad Hatter; once "Most Wanted" missions are completed, an upgrade to Batman's gadgets or abilities is rewarded. "Crimes in Progress" are small events which occur in the game that can be undertaken; they usually involve saving vagrants from police assault, snitches from being tortured, and gang wars being stopped. Collectibles and puzzles return, and are once again provided by the Riddler, under the alias of "Enigma". These no longer involve riddles, but are a plot by Enigma to blackmail evidence on major individuals and expose their crimes and other actions.

Arkham Origins also contains a multiplayer component. Invisible Predator Online revolves around a gang war in Blackgate Prison between supervillains Joker and Bane. Three Joker gang members fight three Bane gang members, and in turn the team of Batman and Robin. Gangs win by killing all the opposing team's reinforcements, while Batman and Robin win by acquiring intimidation points though eliminating gang members. A gang member can become either Joker or Bane depending on their gang, gaining more-powerful abilities. Gang members can access guns and explosives; Batman and Robin can access gadgets and abilities from the main game, including Detective Vision. Gang members have a limited Enhanced Vision, which requires recharging.

SynopsisEdit

PlotEdit

After learning of an attack on Blackgate Prison conducted by Black Mask, Batman heads there in order to apprehend the crime lord. Batman discovers that Black Mask has allied himself with a "human crocodile" named Killer Croc and is preparing to execute the police commissioner, Gillian Loeb. Black Mask informs the commissioner that he is tired of his own men being imprisoned, and adds that he is starting a new slate that Loeb is not part of; Loeb is forced into an execution chamber, and is killed before Batman can save him. As Batman pursues Black Mask through the prison, he discovers a foreign surveillance drone destroyed by Croc, and salvages its memory card so that he can recover its data at the Batcave. Batman catches up to Black Mask just as he makes his escape and is attacked by Croc. Once he is defeated, Killer Croc reveals that Black Mask has hired assassins to kill Batman, though he passes out before he can say more. The police and Captain James Gordon soon arrive to arrest Batman, but he manages to escape using the Batwing and heads to the Batcave to salvage the surveillance drone's data.

Upon returning to the Batcave, Batman and Alfred analyze the data from the surveillance drone and discover that Black Mask has hired eight of the deadliest assassins in the world to kill Batman and promised $50,000,000 as a reward. The eight assassins include:

  • Killer Croc (Waylon Jones), the victim of a genetic mutation responsible for his crocodile-like form
  • Deathstroke (Slade Wilson), the subject of a military experiment and mercenary
  • Firefly (Garfield Lynns), an unstable pyromaniac
  • Copperhead, a deadly contortionist and user of toxins
  • Deadshot (Floyd Lawton), an expert sharpshooter and marksman
  • Electrocutioner (Lester Buchinsky), a brawler making use of powerful electric gauntlets
  • Shiva, a master of unarmed combat and unparalleled in battle
  • Bane, a Spanish mercenary with superhuman strength granted from the drug known as Venom

Batman concludes that this kind of technology must have belonged to the Penguin, Batman decides to head to the drone's next waypoint, an arms deal, so that he can locate the Penguin and interrogate him for information on Black Mask's current location and plans.

Following a lengthy period of setbacks, Batman is finally able to locate Penguin onboard a vessel called the Final Offer. Once he gains entrance, Batman finds himself in a large arena, and is challenged to a brawl by Electrocutioner, one of Black Mask's assassins. Batman defeats his opponent with ease; though he ultimately regains consciousness and leaves the Final Offer. Batman instructs Alfred to track the electromagnetic pulse emitted from Electrocutioner's gloves so that he can be hunted down later. Battling his way through the ship, Batman eventually gains access to the casino, which is being used as Penguin's office. After disrupting an interrogation of Alberto Falcone and dealing with Penguin's guards, Batman begins to extract information and learns that a murder has occurred at Black Mask's safehouse in Lacey Towers. However, before Penguin can reveal all he knows, Batman is attacked by Deathstroke, another one of Black Mask's assassins. After a lengthy and grueling battle, Batman emerges victorious, but Penguin seizes the opportunity to seal himself off and prevent Batman from resuming his interrogation. Batman decides to leave the Final Offer and investigate the murder at Lacey Towers once he learns that Black Mask is apparently the victim.

Once he arrives at Lacey Towers, Batman sets up a crime scene to analyze and piece together the murder. He ultimately concludes that Penguin is not responsible for the murder. Batman discovers that someone, presumably Black Mask, entered his safehouse only to be murdered by an unknown intruder. Another man attempted to stealthily attack the intruder, but inadvertently revealed his presence and was forced to engage in a scuffle, though it is unclear who won. Batman also notes that Black Mask's girlfriend, Tiffany Ambrose, was murdered as well. Upon reading a log of text messages from her phone, he discovers that someone by the name of the Joker had attracted Black Mask's attention; Batman ponders over who the Joker is, wondering if he was the attacker, or another of Black Mask's assassins. Unable to identify anyone at the scene, Batman decides to hack into the National Criminal database in the GCPD in order to compare DNA samples and fully solve the crime.

Upon infiltrating the GCPD, Batman learns that Gordon is a prime candidate for police commissioner, and has commanded his squad to locate and capture him before Black Mask's assassins cause extensive damage to the city to lure him out and acquire the bounty. Batman also discovers that Howard Branden, a corrupt SWAT lieutenant, has stuck a deal with Black Mask that if one of his team manages to kill Batman, then the bounty will be awarded to them. After halting a prison riot started by SWAT in order to make it seem that Gordon cannot keep control of the precinct, Batman gains access to the GCPD server room. Upon attempting to hack into the database, he meets Barbara Gordon, Captain Gordon's teenage daughter, who demonstrates a remarkable knowledge of computers and technology. As she believes that Batman is doing the right thing, and that the police are inefficient, she informs Batman that he needs to access the telecom wires underneath the GCPD in order to uplink the database remotely; she also tells him that they can be accessed via the sewers. Without warning, Batman and Barbara are ambushed by a SWAT team, though Batman escapes the building after a run-in with Gordon and Branden and heads to the sewers.

Batman enters the sewers to find Black Mask's men planting explosives under several buildings, including the GCPD, despite the fact that several police officers are under his payroll. Once he finds the server room and gains access to the National Criminal database, Batman performs a DNA analysis and finally pieces the crime scene together. Someone had startled Black Mask's girlfriend, so he sent her to his safehouse, but she was attacked by the very person she was trying to hide from. Black Mask hired a decoy to enter the safehouse while he remained hidden, but the decoy was killed by the intruder and Black Mask was discovered. Black Mask and the intruder fought each other, only for the intruder to emerge triumphant and capture Black Mask in order to gain access to his money in the Gotham Merchants Bank. With Black Mask under control, the intruder hurled a molotov cocktail to destroy any evidence left behind and forces Black Mask to execute his girlfriend. Batman discovers that the murderer is in fact "the Joker" and is heading to the Gotham Merchants Bank with Black Mask in order to steal his fortune. In order to bring Joker to justice, Batman decides to make his way to the bank and apprehend him.

As the clocks strike twelve and Christmas begins, Batman finds that the bank has already been attacked, with the corpses of the bank's staff being posed in bizarre ways. Batman confronts Black Mask in the bank's vault, though he is outnumbered by a large group of thugs wielding guns. Batman informs Black Mask that he has come for the Joker, though Black Mask states that he has never heard of him. Black Mask draws out a hostage and sardonically asks him if he knows the Joker, before ripping a bag off of his face and revealing him as Roman Sionis. Roman immediately yells at his captor, and threatens to kill him as retribution for his attempted theft. Black Mask, without warning, quickly issues a violent beating on Sionis, smacking him with the butt of his pistol and kicking him, all while Batman looks on unable to intervene. Ordering Sionis into the back of an ambulance, Black Mask removes his mask to reveal a disfigured face; chalk-white skin, green hair, and red lipstick messily applied. Batman immediately recognizes the man as the Joker, and realizes that he has been posing as Black Mask and taken control of his operation. Joker confirms this, but adds that it is now his operation, before shooting Batman three times and stating that the Dark Knight is only a small distraction compared to the rest of his plans. Joker then flees the building before detonating explosives in an attempt to finish Batman off. Batman escapes this explosion, however, and learns that Joker has taken over Sionis' steel mill and is heading there. Batman prepares to make his way to the steel mill in order to apprehend Joker and rescue Black Mask before he can be killed.

Batman arrives at the steel mill to discover that almost all of Black Mask's men have now defected to the Joker, while few are remaining loyal. Alfred contacts Batman to let him know that he has isolated the signal from Electrocutioner's gloves, though Batman dismisses this as too late. Batman analyzes a computer and finds that Black Mask was having the Joker followed, and captured images of him stealing chemicals used in the construction of explosives. Once Batman rescues Black Mask from torture at the hands of the Joker's men, he begins to violently interrogate him about Joker's plans, though Black Mask refuses to talk. Before Batman can do any more, he is attacked by Copperhead, another one of Joker's assassins, and Black Mask is able to escape while Batman is preoccupied. As they struggle, Copperhead is able to inject Batman with her powerful toxin, causing him to become weaker and unable to fight. After examining the toxin and send the formula to Alfred, Batman makes his way to ground level so that he can receive an airdrop containing an antidote. As he makes his way there, he suffers several hallucinations, each preying on his self-doubt, before battling Copperhead once again. Due to the effects of the toxin, Batman sees multiple copies of his foe, preventing him from attacking Copperhead herself, and is almost overwhelmed before he receives the airdrop containing the antidote. Once he injects it into himself, Batman defeats Copperhead with ease. Upon being locked inside a shipping container, Copperhead reveals that Joker has called a meeting with the remaining assassins, and tries to negotiate her release in exchanges for telling Batman where the meeting will be held. Instead, Batman chooses to track the electromagnetic pulse from Electrocutioner's gloves in order to disrupt the meeting and capture the Joker.

Batman determines that Joker is hosting the meeting inside the Gotham Royal Hotel, and so he infiltrates the building, which has been taken over by Joker's men and transformed into a "house of horrors". Batman hacks into the surveillance system and watches the meeting unfold inside the penthouse. He sees Joker reveal his identity to the few assassins that Batman has not already defeated, and observes Joker's rage at the assassins' seeming inability to kill their target. Once he notices that Electrocutioner is not taking the meeting seriously, Joker sends him crashing out of the window to his death. He then instructs the two remaining assassins, Bane and Firefly, to leave and hunt down Batman, though Bane refuses; he insists that Batman will be coming for the Joker, providing him with an opportunity to kill him. Batman takes Electrocutioner's Shock Gloves in order to aid him in making his way through the hotel. As he journeys through the hotel, Batman rescues several hostages, and sees more and more examples of Joker's insanity, many of which leave him disturbed. Batman eventually arrives at the penthouse and confronts Joker, though he is soon overpowered by Bane and forced to fight him. Although Batman is able to defend himself, he is ultimately unable to defeat his foe, and Alfred, fearing for Batman's life, alerts Gordon to the fight, although Batman openly protests against this. Once the police arrive, Bane abandons the fight, and bluntly tells Batman that he "got off easy", before fleeing. Joker, however, is incensed that Bane is leaving, and fires several random shots at him, only for Bane to retaliate with an RPG, causing an explosion that sends Joker flying over the roof. Batman acts quickly, catching the Joker as he falls and allowing them both to fall relatively unharmed. Once the two land back in the lobby, Batman is held at gunpoint by Joker and two of his thugs, and Joker asks Batman why he would save him. Joker executes the two thugs threatening Batman, and informs him that they deserved death, just like he did. Joker laughs and turns his gun on himself, only for Batman to restrain him and tie his hands together before the police arrive. Batman escapes the police's attempts to arrest him, and Joker is taken away to Blackgate.

With the Joker behind bars, Batman decides to turn his attention to what he feels is a very grave threat: Bane. Batman eventually follows his tracker beacon to Bane's hideout, where he discovers that Bane has been working on a new chemical serum called TN-1. TN-1 is intended to provide greater strength than that of Venom, as well as eliminate the storage tank that Venom users are forced to wear. However, the formula is highly unstable, and has severe negative impact on the brain, leaving subjects primitive. When Batman arrives at the tracker, Bane is nowhere to be found, but he discovers that Bane has deduced his true identity as Bruce Wayne. Enraged, Batman detonates the tracker, destroying Bane's research into his identity, and orders Alfred to secure himself in the Batcave, as Wayne Manor is not safe from Bane. As Batman prepares to leave, he discovers that Firefly has taken hostages and begun terrorizing the Gotham Pioneers Bridge. Feeling that he is responsible for all the chaos that had occurred up to that point, Batman resolves to head to the bridge and apprehend Firefly before he can harm his hostages.

Upon arriving at the bridge, Batman tries to convince Captain Gordon to keep his men from interfering while he deals with Firefly himself. However, Gordon adamantly refuses, and insists that all of this is Batman's fault, and that he should give himself up. Undeterred, Batman finds and disarms several of Firefly's bombs, but is unable to reach the final one, as Gordon refuses to cooperate with him. Much to Batman's annoyance, Gordon sends his team into the bridge to disarm the final bomb themselves. As Batman makes his way there himself, he is confronted by Firefly, who threatens to detonate the final bomb. Though Batman is able to take the detonator and keep Firefly distracted, it is not long before Firefly once again claims the detonator and prepares to detonate his bomb. Although Firefly presses down on the trigger, the bomb does not detonate, as the GCPD were able to disarm it themselves. Enraged, Firefly pursues Batman across the bridge with his flamethrower in a desperate bid to claim the $50,000,000. After a lengthy battle, Batman is ultimately disables Firefly and leaves him hanging upside down from the bridge. As the police cut Firefly down and apprehend him, Batman confronts Gordon for not letting him get to the final bomb. Although Gordon states that he does not take orders from criminals, he admits that he should have let Batman do his work, and adds that the two of them were able to deal with the situation well. As Gordon speaks, however, Batman disappears, and heads to the Batcave to make sure Alfred is safe.

As Batman races to the Batcave in the Batwing, he attempts to contact Alfred, but he is met with a video of Bane, who informs Batman that Alfred has barely any live left in him, just enough for Batman to have final words with him. Enraged, Batman desperately searches the burning Batcave for Alfred, before finding him under a pile of rubble and the unfinished Batmobile. Once Batman clears the debris, Alfred asks him not to let his death add to the emotional weight he already carries, before succumbing to wounds and dying. Dejected, Batman slams his fist into the ground, only for his Shock Gloves to emit a pulse. Inspired, he decides to use the gloves as a defibrillator in order to restart Alfred's heart and bring him back from the brink of death. Once this works, Batman takes Alfred to the medbay so that he can recover, and despairs that he cannot defend Gotham if he cannot defend his own home. Batman hears over the radio that the Joker has launched yet another attack on Blackgate, and that assistance is desperately needed, though he simply shuts the radio off and bows his head. Alfred, understanding that Gotham needs Batman, convinces him that while he may not be able to defend Gotham on his own, he does not have to; Batman has allies and people who are willing to help him when he needs it. With this in mind, Batman once more dons his cowl and leaves for Blackgate in order to stop Joker once and for all.

Once Batman arrives at Blackgate, he soon discovers that Joker has indeed taken over the entire facility, and has redecorated it in his own twisted style, as he did with the Royal Hotel. Batman makes his way through the devastation until he arrives at the panopticon, where he is confronted by Bane and the Joker. Joker gives Batman an ultimatum: either Batman kills Bane, or the Joker dies. Bane is wearing a heartbeat monitor, and every beat will charge the battery of an electric chair that Joker has strapped himself to. Batman initially refuses, but Bane tells him that somebody is going to die, whether it's Bane himself, Batman, or the Joker; it is up to Batman who dies. Batman and Bane fight each other once again, though Bane quickly gains the upper hand and slams the Batman's back into his knee, before pinning him to the floor before he can get up. As Batman struggles, Captain Gordon arrives and attempts to apprehend Joker, only for him to end up trapped with Joker on the electric chair. Joker is ecstatic, as this means that if Batman lets Bane live, he will be allowing an innocent man to die. Batman suddenly recalls Electrocutioner's threat of killing him, jumpstarting his heart, and then killing him again. Batman then furiously attacks Bane with his Shock Gloves, and ultimately uses them to send him into cardiopulmonary arrest, stopping his heart and cancelling the battery on the electric chair. Joker is overjoyed that he has apparently driven Batman to kill another, and quickly flees after he shoots Captain Gordon. Gordon survives relatively unharmed due to his bulletproof vest, and Batman asks for his help in taking down the Joker, although Gordon expresses disdain that Batman has seemingly killed Bane. However, Batman assures Gordon that Bane is still alive, and that killing is not how he does things. Once Batman resuscitates Bane, he grabs him by the throat and lifts him off the floor; Bane then informs Batman that he has left him no choice, and injects a does of TN-1 into his body, transforming him into a grotesque and hulking monster. Thinking quickly, Batman blows up a large section of the floor, sending both him and Bane crashing down into a room below. After a lengthy battle, Batman is finally able to defeat Bane once and for all, and Bane forgets that Batman and Bruce Wayne are one and the same. With Bane dealt with, Batman heads to the chapel to deal with the final loose end: the Joker.

Batman confronts Joker in the chapel, and furiously holds him up in the air. Once he learns that Bane is not dead, Joker's giddy demeanor immediately fades, and he points a gun at Batman's head. Joker lectures Batman on how he refuses to listen to him, and how the two of them are not as different as Batman would like to believe; his speech is cut short however when Batman delivers a powerful kick that sends Joker flying across the room. Batman then proceeds to deal out a terrific beating against the Joker, who is unable to contain his delight and only laughs as Batman hurts him more and more. As Batman pauses, Joker speculates that he likes the way it feels to inflict violence on others, as well as the possibility that he "needs" to do so. This enrages Batman further, leading him to viciously strangle his enemy, until he regains his composure and simply knocks the Joker out with a strong punch to the head. Captain Gordon, who was watching unbeknownst to Batman, informs him that any one of his men would have simply killed the Joker, though Batman insists that "this city deserves better than that". Gordon confesses to Batman that although his daughter thinks that he is a hero, he still has to bring him in. However, Gordon is soon distracted, and Batman takes the opportunity to vanish before he can be apprehended.

As all the criminals are locked away in Blackgate, Captain Gordon muses on why he did not arrest Batman when he had the chance. He decides that he let him go because of how much his daughter believes in him. Meanwhile, the Joker is being wheeled into his cell on a gurney as he muses on how Batman tricked him into thinking Bane was dead, and declares that it was actually funny, before remarking that he and Batman are going to have fun together. Gordon tells his daughter that he previously had no hope in the city, but now that Batman has made his presence known, he may be able to give its people something to believe in. Elsewhere, Batman leaps off of Blackgate's roof and glides off into the night, ready to continue his war on crime.

Voice castEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Development on Arkham Origins began in late 2011 by Canadian developers Warner Bros. Games Montréal.[1] The studio had previously worked on the Wii U adaption of Arkham City, and were thus familiar with the modified Unreal 3 engine that Rocksteady had used in their Arkham games. WB Montréal chose not to drastically alter the established combat system due to how well it already worked, but introduced new enemy types that created opportunities for new tactics and strategies to defeat them. Although Rocksteady provided advice on technology, game mechanics and its engine, WB Montréal developed the story independently. The plot was partly inspired by the comic-book series Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight and the graphic novel Batman: Year One, detailing the first year of Batman's career, with Arkham Origins described as a "Year Two" story.[2] Various pieces of the plot were inspired by graphic novels such as The Man Who Laughs, Turning Points, and The Long Halloween. The story was written by Dooma Wendschuh, Ryan Galletta, and Corey May, with additional input from DC Comics writer Geoff Johns.[3] Explaining the decision to develop a prequel, Eric Holmes, the creative director, stated that while the Batman of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City was comparable to his comic counterpart, a fully formed, experienced character, Arkham Origins provided an opportunity to explore other aspects of the character, such as his lack of experience and greater vulnerability.[1] The game was considered 80 percent complete by January 2013, and WB Montréal used the remaining development time to tweak the final product.[4]

The developers had decided not to use veteran voice actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill in their respective roles, preferring younger voices for this early career story; they eventually hired Roger Craig Smith as Batman and Troy Baker as Joker.[5] Arkham Origins is the first game in the Arkham series to feature multiplayer gameplay. The multiplayer game was produced by independent British developer Splash Damage under creative director Alastair Cornish, separately from WB Montréal's work on the main game. The Wii U version of the game is purely single-player, with Warner Bros. saying that the team was focused on platforms with the largest multiplayer audience.[6]

DesignEdit

Eric Holmes described the Christmas setting as a juxtaposition between the joyful time of year and the grim setting of Gotham City, including decorative Santas near Gothic gargoyles and Christmas lights in dark alleys. The city itself is dislodged from time and space, contrasting 1930s buildings and architecture with Batman's futuristic technology. The area of South Gotham was designed for vertical movement, allowing enemies to be placed above and below Batman to create areas of dense activity.[6] The game features a high contrast between darks and lights, with exaggerated shadows and few balancing colors. The city was divided into residential, commercial, and industrial districts, and each was decorated in different ways. The industrial setting is bleak, the commercial area has corporate decorations, and residential neighborhoods have lights in their windows.[7]

The developers aimed to make Batman's suit look like it was assembled rather than manufactured, being pieced together from various different sources.[7] It was suggested at one point to have Batman make mistakes due to his lack of experience, such as missing with batarangs or tripping, but this idea was discarded as it would be too de-powering for players. Instead, his inexperience was shown through his personality. The story of the game allows Batman to learn how to grow into the role of Gotham's protector while letting go of his desire for vengeance.[8] In terms of designing Batman's abilities and gadgets, gameplay was valued over narrative consistency, as it was decided that it would be less empowering for players to not have elements they were familiar with from the previous games.[9]

Eric Holmes acknowledged that Black Mask was not as well-known as some of Batman's other villains and that he needed expansion in order to make him more interesting.[10] Black Mask was considered an appropriate villain for Batman's early career thanks to his practicality; he transitions from the typical criminals Batman has been fighting to the crazed supervillains that he will face in the future.[11] The team decided to make Copperhead female, rather than the male version from the comics. The character required three motion-capture actors to animate: a stunt woman, a Cirque du Soleil performer, and a martial artist.[12] Anarky, an anti-villain based on anarchist philosophy, was updated in appearance for the game to a street protester with a gang resembling a social movement. The character would appeal to Batman for a partnership (since he is not necessarily evil) but, as Holmes said, "is multidimensional in the Batman Universe."[13] The developers drew upon original Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle appearances of Anarky for his character.[14] Each boss battle in the game focuses on reinforcing the player's mastery of a particular game mechanic; for example, Deathstroke's battle focuses on countering and timing. The assassins selected for the game were chosen for abilities which would challenge the game mechanics.[4] The boss fights were inspired by Arkham City's battle against Mister Freeze, which tasked players with exploring the full range of Batman's strategies and abilities to overcome the villain.[8]

Downloadable contentEdit

Deathstroke is available as a playable character for all the game's challenge maps, with weapons and abilities such as regenerating health, a rifle-staff, explosives, and his version of Detective Vision (Tactical Vision). The Deathstroke pack, available as a preorder bonus, includes two alternate outfits (worn by the character in the 2013 video game Injustice: Gods Among Us and the 1984 storyline The Judas Contract) and two challenge maps, "No Money Down" and "100 to 1".

The Black Mask Challenge pack, released in November 2013, contains two additional challenge maps: "Lot Full" and "Hidden Facility". Bruce Wayne is playable in the Initiation pack, released in December 2013. The pack contains five challenge maps, with narrative content to explain the setting. Initiation features Wayne before he becomes Batman, as he trains under his ninjutsu mentor Kirigi in an Asian monastery and comes into conflict with Shiva. The DLC also contains two alternate skins for the character: Initiation Bruce Wayne (based on his monastery clothing) and Vigilante Bruce Wayne (a masked-ninja outfit). Also available in December was the "Hunter, Hunted" multiplayer mode. The story-based campaign expansion, Cold, Cold Heart was released on April 22 2014. Set a week after the events of Arkham Origins, on New Year's Eve, Cold, Cold Heart's narrative focuses on the origin of the supervillain Mister Freeze. The content introduces new equipment for Batman, including the XE suit which generates heat, allowing him to melt ice or throw thermal-charged batarangs. In January 2014, the Wii U version of the expansion was cancelled by Warner Bros., who cited a lack of demand as the reason.

A number of alternate outfits for Batman and Robin were made available by completing in-game tasks and as downloadable content. Batman's skins include designs worn in the 1960s TV series, Batman: Noël, DC One Million, Brightest Day, Gotham by Gaslight, Knightfall, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Blackest Night, The New 52 (and a metallic variant), Red Son, Batman: Dark Knight of the Round Table, The Long Halloween, and Thrillkiller. Additional skins include the "First Appearance" design and the classic Earth-Two design (and its New 52 variant). Cosmetics were also released for the game's multiplayer component, including Joker's Vandal Online Vanity Pack and Bane's Forces Online Vanity Pack.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

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