Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s upcoming action-adventure video game, Batman Arkham Origins was revealed earlier today and now we’ve got the first details of the prequel.

The game is set on Christmas Eve, years before Arkham City and Arkham Asylum, where mob boss Black Mask has it in for Batman. And he’s not the only one. Top super villains from the DC Comics universe are out to catch the world’s greatest detective.

And even cops have joined the manhunt. Batman’s goal is to find out why Black Mask wants him dead, and to prove to the good cops that he’s on their side. It offers a familiar combat system with ‘new layers, new opportunities, new tactics,’ and new enemy types.

Batman Arkham Origins (1)

  • 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.
  • 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
  • WB Montreal hasn’t tinkered with the free-flow combat: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” says senior producer Ben Mattes.
  • 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.
  • The predator-like sequences, where Batman swings from perch to perch, glide kicks, strings guys upside down, etc. will return.
  • 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.
  • New to the game is a remote claw similar to the Grappler in Just Cause 2. Batman can target two objects and fire out a claw. One claw will hook to the first object and another onto the second. Batman can then pull both objects together. Tactics for which this can be used include knocking enemies together, slamming heavy objects into foes, etc.
  • 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.
  • The game will offer “Crime in Progress” moments where Batman can, for example, save cops from a group of thugs, etc. This, among other activities, will earn Batman experience points and respect from the Gotham City Police Department.
  • A “Most Wanted” system will allow players to go after villains outside of the main storyline. These missions can be tackled as you discover them .
  • A new “Dark Knight” system will provide the player a string of tasks that slowly increases in difficulty as they progress through the game. This won’t replace challenge mode, however.
  • The system doesn’t replace Challenge mode, which will be included “in one form”

The game is in development at Warner Bros. Montreal. The series’ original developer, Rocksteady Studios, is working on another project, which is currently under wraps.

Batman: Arkham Origins will releases on October 25, 2013 for Wii U, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.


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