Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe Edition Review
|System: Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360*, PC
|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
RATING OUT OF 5
While the animated cutscenes are great, the game itself hasn't transitioned well to HD.
Controls can be sluggish, common actions are needlessly dragged out, and combat works best when just mashing X.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voice acting is quite good and the rest of the sound design is appropriate but isn't a standout.
Blackgate stops short of being a good Metroidvania-style game, hampered by an uninteresting setting and sub-par combat.
Overall Rating - Fair
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: Developed by Armature Studio, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate - Deluxe Edition enhances the core pillars of the previously released handheld version of the game with high-definition visuals, an all-new map system, new enemy encounters, difficulty levels, and batsuits.
Previously only available for PlayStationVita and Nintendo 3DS handheld systems and created as a companion game to Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate - Deluxe Edition features enhanced high-definition 2.5-D graphics and 5.1 surround sound.
Players will be able to guide their way through Blackgate prison with the new navigational system created for this version of the game. In addition, they can suit up with the exclusive Zero Year Batsuit skin which players can unlock by registering for a Warner Bros. ID account.
Set three months after Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman is summoned to restore peace and order within the walls of Blackgate Prison. Players will explore the depths of the island penitentiary as Batman investigates and realizes that there is more to the henchman uprising than initially meets the eye.
Clobber bad guys with fast-paced, engaging combat. String together combos, dynamically switch between Unite Morphs, evade and defend against alien attacks, and rack up points to earn the best scores and rewards.