With the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era nearing its twilight, we saw a number of high-profile franchises stumble over themselves with one entry too many. God of War: Ascension came and went without a care. Gears of War: Judgment I felt was a huge disappointment, as it played like a shameless cash-grab. After playing an hour or so of Batman: Arkham Origins, I’m disappointed to also toss Bruce Wayne’s latest into that pile.
This third entry is set before the events of the other two Arkham games. Black Mask has put a bounty on Batman’s head and eight assassins are primed to take him out. Unlike its predecessors, the way in which it sets up its premise is banal. The ways in which the game feels inferior spans farther than its story though. Despite running in the same engine, I think that the art direction in Origins makes it look a touch worse. Even the combat didn’t feel right due to lazy combat encounters and a Killer Croc fight that feels as if its mechanics were ripped from 80s. By the time I got to the point where the map opened up, I had my fill.
I think there’s still a lot of room for amazing and innovative Batman games, but based on how this game starts, I highly doubt this is one of them. It may not be a bad game, but it clearly falls short of the bar set by its predecessors. When the Dark Knight eventually makes his PlayStation 4 and Xbox One debut, I hope he comes back at his best.