Paul Dini did the impossible with Arkham Asylum, making a superhero game that was both true to its source characters and fun to play, something that had only been achieved once before in Spider-Man 2. Asylum, along with City, is a love letter to the Batman franchise, using a wealth of characters to bring a truly original story for Bat fans and regular gamers, while at the same time providing some of the best fighting mechanics of the whole generation. They were, in my opinion, near perfect games, and after playing City all I wanted to do is go straight back in and experience it again.
Arkham Origins, on the other hand, is a pathetic cash-in that suffers from poorer writing than most internet fan-fiction. This article is up so long after release that I, having stupidly pre-ordered the game in my childish anticipation, have been lying to myself as to the game’s quality in order to justify the money I spent on it.
However, the final stage of grief is acceptance, and that is where I am now. Warner Bros. have annihilated the reputation of their Arkham franchise and downright insulted both gamers and Batman fans with this game, so without further ado, here are the six reasons you should never buy Arkham Origins…
6. Atrocious Dialogue
My oh my does this game have some terrible dialogue. Most of the stinker lines come from Batman himself, with the writers showing him as some angry douche rather than the gallant hero he’s supposed to be, mocking surrendering criminals as he cripples them for life: Crook, “Please! I give up, just don’t hurt me!” – Batman (who is meant to be the good guy, remember), “Don’t worry, it will only hurt when you breathe.”
Showing Batman with the personality of an angry teenager could be forgiven if it wasn’t for the frequent ’60s style puns, like when Killer Croc says, “The assassins are coming for you (paraphrased),” and Batman replies (and this is a direct quote!), “At least they won’t be ugly.”
That doesn’t even make sense.
There is literally nothing more uncharacteristic and juvenile they could have had him say at that point and, as it happens near the start of the game, this establishes how little the writers know about their source material from the off. The only character the writers come close to going justice to is the Joker, and that’s only because most of his lines are ripped directly from The Killing Joke (which I strongly suspect is the only Batman story these creators have ever written), but considering this is a franchise built on characterisation, it is inexcusable that only one in twenty major players are given decent representation.
Speaking of what the series is based on, let’s move over to the second foundation Warner Bros. Montreal took a sledgehammer to…
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This article was first posted on November 3, 2013