It’s that time of the year again when the criminals of Gotham hatch a foolish plan to murder a bunch of people and make not enough money for their trouble, but we buy into it because Batman smashes their face. But this year, even the face smashing won’t save us from a shitty ass fuck game.
Batman: Arkham Origins was one of those games I had looked forward to for a long time. I actually had it and the Vita game (Blackgate) reserved for months. And I’m not sure what is wrong with my eardrum right now, but it’s really annoying. The game had a lot of promise, because all it really needed to do was take the Arkham Asylum/City model and not fuck it up. Well, they fucked it up. For starters, it looks identical to Arkham City – yet it cost me $60. I wanted a discount the second time I bought it.
Arkham Origins is an exciting experience for casual gamers who aren’t bothered by game bugs and glitches. But if you are, this game will probably cause you to completely rage. What it does not capture well are the limitations of the systems the game was designed for. The game is loaded with bugs, glitches and system crashes. Plus, it isn’t original at all. You’re playing Arkham City, with new skins on Gotham and the characters.
That isn’t necessarily bad – but it’s not a good thing either. I immediately felt like I was playing a version of Arkham City that was redone by people not involved with creating the originals. I say this because you can tell that too many textures or elements are going on at once sometimes, when in the middle of a heated battle, your frame rate drops to 2 or 3 per second.
I don’t want to play a slide show of Batman. I want to play as Batman. And many times, I’ve been killed because I couldn’t effectively combat the horrible frame rate.
The main story is pretty good on the surface but underneath it, there isn’t much. Putting a bounty on someone is a cheap story tactic used to give a variety of villains motivation for battling the hero. It’s been done in wrestling for years, like in the 98 Royal Rumble, when Mr. McMahon put a $100,000 bounty on Steve Austin. Only that made sense, since McMahon was trying to avoid Austin as a champion and the Rumble winner gets a title shot. Here, Black Mask basically puts the bounty on Batman for little to no reason.
Also, even though Bane and Joker try to kill each other, they inexplicably unite at the end for an elaborate “heart monitor” fight scheme. Not much of a spoiler, considering that the game was a spoiler for my expectations.
The detective mode returns with some crimes to solve. It’s limited fun, however, as usually you just scan 4 points that Batman’s computer is inconceivably able to reconstruct events from. Once, I scanned a paint scrape from a car – and in 10 seconds, Batman knew the make, model, all recent sales AND who had bought it and ran down the victim.
Compare that to real life police, who could analyze the same paint scrape for a day, just to tell you the color.
Online is exceptionally fun and a well done concept – except it’s also bug-ridden. Routinely, online players crash their entire systems several times per play sessions. I’ve watched others playing the game online routinely sign in and out on the PSN – a sign that the system crashed. Mine has done the same. When it doesn’t crash, you may encounter a variety of bugs. Throwing a grenade while aiming with the marksman rifle will leave you zoomed in to the scope, after you release aim, for example.
Although the bugs are present, the online game is actually a terrific concept and I found it tremendous fun, when it would actually work (never). Playing as Bane or Jokers crew (and sometimes the super villains themselves) can be fun (when you figure out which guns aren’t worthless – the assault rifle only), which was a surprise. But playing as Batman and Robin is obviously where the real fun is – and the game has a great random selection method of assigning the heroes to different players. I just wish I could team up with a buddy as Batman AND Robin. Friends are randomly assigned to teams with no regard to who invited them or who is their friend. You can even select which team you PREFER to be on, but that is hit or miss.
Even the new special weapons sucks. The glue grenade is a lame recoloring/slight redesign of the freeze grenade. Shock gloves aren’t even truly new, as it is basically the ability to punch through defenses, as seen in previous challenge maps. However, the Line Launcher is gone because that would include too much freedom for a cheap studio to design for – so Batman literally steals Deathstroke’s crap version that only works in preplaced spots.
This is what happens when a substandard studio takes over an amazing IP and milks it. 4/10, with 4 points being generously awarded for it being sort of fun, for a while.
(And before any genius attempts to tell me that I’m “just not that good at the game,” I was one of the first in the world to get the platinum trophy (100% completion) on Arkham Origins. I also got the same on Asylum and City. The people who previously were thinking about making that comment should now feel wrong and stupid, because you are.)
Exclusive – A conversation about why the game sucks with it’s (half) director, Eric Holmes.
I noticed the game (or as he likes to remind everyone, the SINGLE PLAYER ONLY) director, Eric Holmes, engaging some people on his twitter account @EricHolmesLive. So I decided to offer some criticism on his latest entry in my favorite series of games. He blocked me. (On my actual, human being account no less, where I usually behave myself!). So I then ramped up my Annoyed_Critic account and he blocked me again! WTF! I’m thinking surely this guy realizes his game sucks and that fans have every right to offer criticism.
So, I went to work and offered the most intellectual, respectful challenge to him that I could muster (for a person I can tell is lazy with quality). Here is the exchange we had:
Let us discuss this exchange!
For starters, Mr. Holmes refuses to comment on the quality of the multiplayer component to a game in which he is DIRECTOR. He says that is another studio’s responsibility. Well, if my name was attached to an entire work as it’s main creator, I might take a little more interest in how that part is coming along. If I couldn’t do anything because it is in another studio, and it sucked, then I would say “It sucks and needs to be fixed. It besmirches a studios name to release an experience like that.” but see, these guys have no balls. They can only take a compliment, only when it’s one their ego accepts and often any critique is lumped into “trolling” so that they can never improve.
You know what it’s called when someone goes through life, ignoring their mistakes and the people bringing them up and constantly reassuring themselves that they are always right?
Women usually do this most often. It’s why they lose interest in a guy that they’ve done wrong – they don’t want a constant reminder of their fault looking them in the eyes, even if he did nothing wrong. But sometimes, bitch genes get swapped at birth and did for Mr. Holmes.
The week I bought the game, and the single player was so buggy players were losing entire saves, progress, falling through the world, etc…I noticed Eric Holmes tweeting about enjoying GTA5 multiplayer. It really ran all over me, because here this guy is making a very poor quality product, compared to the previous entries, and he’s Tweeting about another studios game ruling! Yet, he can’t Tweet about his own games multiplayer! That’s funny, if you think stupid shit is funny.
Within a few minutes of sending my Tweets from the Tugboat account, I had random people agreeing with me and retweeting all of my tweets. Holmes stopped replying after his usual “Multiplayer isn’t mine” line that he returns to anytime someone brings up a litany of problems that include multiplayer. Ok mother fucker, we get it – you’re not actually the director of the game but just of one of the options on the menu screen – but do you think you could offer a little more explanation as to WHY the game is so buggy? And WHY patches are adding more bugs instead of less?
Well, whatever reason he may offer won’t be nearly as truthful as this one:
See, this studio began with Arkham City and reskinned it into Arkham Origins. Only, Arkham City didn’t have the kind of bugs this game does. So who added them? You guessed it – inept programmers. Ineptitude can’t be fixed by ineptitude, so when the studio says they’re patching something, the only hope they have of fixing what they broke is in learning what they did wrong. They can’t look at it and recognize it like a more quality studio might. It’s similar to how a backlot surgeon would probably cause a LOT of damage, even though he could give you a cheap boob job. After he initially botches the surgery, are you going to go to him to fix the problem?
No, because you realize that he probably will make it worse.
(Side note: Arkham Origins Blackgate was so buggy, I walked 4 feet, got stuck and could not advanced. Deleted, reinstalled and it happened several times so GameStop, to their immense credit, gave me a full refund. When a game is THAT broken, go get a refund and boycott these shysters).