Friday, January 24, 2014

Theorizing the Game: Arkham Origins

When I watch bad movies, which is often, I like to think of ways that I could have made the movie better. Usually the mental exercise starts with only editing and re-cutting, absolutely no re-shooting. The nice movie theater is kind of far from my house so I generally have a lot of time to be thinking about this. When I get stuck in traffic, which is actually fairly rare, I try to see what I could have added to see what kind of super movie I could have made.

Anyway, it's time to turn that lens onto video games and the very first one I want to take to task is Batman: Arkham Origins, a game I liked but desperately wanted to love. To be totally honest its not a bad game, in fact, I think it improves upon Arkham Asylum in a lot of ways. However, it also improves upon Arkham City in pretty much zero ways, which is a shame.

In brief, Arkham Origins is the story of how, in one night, Batman is introduced to a massive amount of his rogues gallery. The previous Arkham games are also guilty of this, they have brilliantly written stories that force Batman into a situation where he has to fight a pretty sizable portion of his rogues gallery. It's a conceit but it works in the first two games, to a certain extent.

This is the problem with Arkham Origins, it's trying too hard. The game tries so hard to do so many things and then the inevitable happens, it doesn't succeed.

So now to theorize what I'd do to improve Arkham Origins.