|System: Xbox 360*, PS3, PC, Wii U|
|Dev: Armature Studio|
|Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive|
|Release: April 1, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence|
At least the biggest improvement found in this HD edition revolves around exploration. One of the biggest complaints about the original Arkham Origins Blackgate was the unintuitive top-down map. In this version, the map has been tilted to reflect the prison's three-dimensional nature and show multiple levels, so it's now easier to get around. It's still not entirely user-friendly, simply because the entire prison is so labyrinthine that finding one's way around the map involves following an awful lot of air duct passages and dotted red lines on the map.
While its story isn't particularly ground-breaking, the game does feature strong voice acting. Everybody involved seems to be having a great time portraying their classic Bat-characters, and Catwoman puts in a particularly charming performance. Still, it's hard not to feel like we've been here before and seen it done better in Arkham Asylum. It's time to leave the prison-style environment alone for a while and send Batman out into the wide world to fight crime.
With tighter, arcade-style combat, a more interesting environment, and less time-wasting tedium in the exploration sections, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate could have been an entertaining Metroidvania game. As it is, it's a wholly middling experience. It's not a bad way to spend a few afternoons, but it's almost entirely forgettable. Whether on a handheld or in this new console iteration, the game is easy to skip and difficult to love.
Date: April 8, 2014