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It is no surprise that we are getting another Batman game set in the Arkham Universe, but there are a few factors that may surprise you about the latest title in the massively popular Batman video game franchise.
Before we even dive into the setting of the new game, it is important to address that Rocksteady studios, the people behind the previous two installments, are not developing this third chapter. As of right now, Rocksteady is currently hold up in their studio working on an untitled game. Their mystery project has me caught with a bunch of anticipation, however, Warner Bros. Montreal is helming Batman’s third outing. I, along with many others, consider Batman: Arkham City to not only be the best Batman game ever made, but one of the best games this console generation. Rather then look at this as a cheap pass off, I look at it as something like Bungie handing over the keys to Halo. Since 343 Studios did a pretty decent job with Halo 4, I’m confident that the same thing will happen with Batman: Arkham Origins
So what is Arkham Origins? It’s a prequel to the previous two games, set very early in Bruce Wayne’s Batman career. Arkham Origins will see a much less polished Batman, as he is just starting out his career in crime fighting. The main antagonist this time around is Black Mask, which is surprising but also a highly exciting and interesting choice. Black Mask was briefly seen in Arkham City, but he is a very underused villain in my opinion, and one that never gets his full due. Black Mask has commissioned eight different assassin’s to hunt down Batman on Christmas Eve of all nights, making the game once again take place over a single evening. As of now, the only confirmed assassin is Deathstroke, an extremely popular character from DC Comics mythos. Penguin has also been confirmed to make an appearance, while the rest of the characters are as of now being kept under wraps. It will be interesting to see if the game takes place before or after Roman Sionis (Black Mask) gets the Mask permanently burned onto his face, but that would make for one hell of a story ending, or at least a twist.
The most important thing to note is that Warner Bros. Montreal has gone on recording stating that they are only adding minor improvements to the already fantastic combat system used in these games, rather then completely gut it. Their idea is “don’t break it if it ain’t broke”, and that obviously makes sense. It feels that this game really could be a fantastic companion piece to the original two games.
The final interesting thing to note is that the game is only scheduled for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U, and PC as of right now. There are no planned next gen versions of this game, as of right now. Also in development is Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate which is set around the same time period as this game, but is a Metroidvania game by Armature, who consists of former Retro Studios guys and made Metroid Prime, that will be released the same day on Playstation Vita and Nintendo 3DS.
You can expect both titles to hit shelves on October 25, 2013.