Rocksteady has done an incredible job with the Arkham series. Arkham Asylum blew away most everybody’s expectations, and delivered probably the best Batman game of all time. With all eyes now firmly on them, they probably delivered the best licensed game of all time in Arkham City. Now, they are handing the reins of the Dark Knight’s gaming legacy off to the Warner Bros. Games Montreal studio. Living up to the incredible bar set by Arkham City wouldn’t be easy even for the original developer, but a new studio always faces extra scrutiny when handling a beloved property.
That said, we’re going to give them the benefit of the doubt. While there is certainly a lot that could go wrong, we’re instead going to focus on what could go right. After countless hours, ah, researching Rocksteady’s Arkham series, we’ve come up with a list of things we would like to see in Arkham Origins.
Extended Puzzle Solving Elements: Rocksteady did a great job embracing the detective side of Batman, but I still think there is room to expand upon it. While numerous, most of the puzzles in the previous games boiled down to “scan the environment until you find the solution.” The Riddler challenges are great, but there are a lot of trophies to track down, and who got time for that? Some puzzles that don’t involve extensive scanning, and make use of your wits instead, would be just the thing to balance the whole thing out.
Consider Co-op: Let me stress that cooperative play isn’t a clincher, here. Everybody and their mama got excited about co-op in Arkham City, and the game was none the worse for wear for not having it. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a foregone conclusion they should not include it. I won’t harp on it too much, because it would be awesome for all the same reasons it would have been awesome in Arkham City, but I can dream. The thought of roaming Gotham with a buddy gives me chills.
More Varied Enemies: It’s hard to find fault with Rocksteady’s amazing combat mechanics, so I’m not even going to try. I literally can’t think of a single way to improve upon it, and I suppose that’s the reason I’m not making a new Batman game myself. But these guys are purportedly professionals, and one thing that seems like an obvious addition would be more enemy types. Arkham City presented interesting foes like Talia’s fem-ninja clan and the awesome one-handed clowns, and I would like to see Origins continue that tradition. Beating up generic thugs can apparently get old, but I’ll admit, I’m still having fun doing it.
Batmobile: I Can Has?: Do I really need to say more? I don’t care how you have to balance it to make it work, and I don’t even care if you shoehorn it into a one-off mission. Just let me drive the Batmobile. Just once. If you are still on the fence about whether or not to include it in the game, I can sum up my argument in two strong words: Come on.
Better Boss Fights: Outside of the Mr. Freeze fight, almost every boss fight in either Arkham game was pretty much the same: Dodge, dodge, strike. Repeat until boss is dead. I’m not saying they are terrible, but I think we can all agree there is room for improvement there. Like any good Arkham game, there have been clues that Scarecrow is making a return in the future, and he is tailor-made for an epic showdown. Then again, Origins is set in the past, so that could be moot, but that just means the entire DC pantheon is available to have fun with.