Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Review
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Box Art
System: PS Vita
Dev: Armature Studios
Pub: Warner Bros.
Release: October 25, 2013
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 544p Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence

Walking around the game world offers more than just frustration, though. Breakable walls and out-of-reach vents hide tons of hidden items. A diligent player will be able to find a hidden costume or upgrade in what seems like every room. And, to help out explorers, the developers at Armature Studio mark most items on the map with a question mark. These items, along with a New Game Plus mode that puts your seasoned Batman back at the start of the game, will keep invested players occupied for hours.

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Screenshot

Blackgate succeeds at one thing the console versions before it can’t touch—Vita controls. The Cryptographic Sequencer that Batman uses to crack electronic locks can be controlled via Vita motion controls. The mini-game that involves lining up the three numbers of the code to the door gets more difficult as the game progresses and is always a joy to play.

The Detective Mode, likewise, uses the Vita functions brilliantly. When in Detective Mode, players touch the screen to reveal objects that can be analyzed. Analyzing objects brings to light hints about how to proceed or exposes secrets hidden in the game. Clues wait throughout the prison to help Batman solve different case files. This deft use of the Vita touchscreen engages the player in the detective part of the Batman life.


Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate performs at its best when not feeling obligated to recreate the Arkham games before it. Anyone who’s a major fan of Batman or old-school, side-scrolling adventures will enjoy Blackgate. Those that still have scars from trying to beat Metroid or Castlevania on the Super Nintendo should stay away. Just like when someone other than Bruce Wayne becomes the Caped Crusader, there may be a brilliant crime-fighter underneath the hood, but it’s just not Batman.

Justin Cloyd
Date: October 29, 2013

The in-game graphics look good but don’t make an attempt to capitalize on the Vita’s power.
The game occasionally refuses to do what you tell it to, but the clever use of the Vita functions adds enjoyment to the experience.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The solid voice work fits in the Batman universe, and the capable music doesn’t miss a chord.
Play Value
There’s plenty to do for those that want to do it.
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Explore the halls of Blackgate prison.
  • Out-think and out-brawl some of Batman’s toughest foes.
  • Experience a new story unique to Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate

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