Warner Bros. Montreal’s tweaks to combat are defined principally by new enemy types. ‘Armored Enforcers’ – who wear what appear to be American football pads made out of metal - can be stripped of their armor and taken down with quick punches to the torso. The ‘Martial Artist’ enemy type can counter Batman, and Batman in turn can counter his counters. These fights are intimate and quick, and mix up random encounters nicely.
It was hard to get a sense of scale from the demo, but it seems that the new studio has repeated Rocksteady’s trick of bringing enemies together in a relatively confined space. There’s still a sense of verticality and freedom within the world, but threat never felt far away. A new ‘Crime-in-Progress’ system that indicates nearby randomly-generated crimes on your HUD can either be addressed or ignored, but keeps things immediate and vibrant.
The team describes the experience as a mixture of upbeat and downbeat – getting your face beaten in, under a cheerful Christmas tree. Die Hard has been specifically named as a thematic influence.
Origins’ biggest addition to the finely-tuned Arkham formula is its new Case File system...At specific moments in the campaign (or during specific side-missions), players will be able to enter Evidence Scanning mode....Each case file only takes around three minutes to complete. These aren’t deep puzzles intended to stump gamers. They’re short, stylish, cinematic moments that the team at WB Montreal hopes will help players “feel like Batman” even more than they already did skulking through the rafters.
There will also be a follow up to Origins in the form of a mobile game called Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. Created for the 3DS and PlayStation Vita it’s a 2.5D gameplay title. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate will also include the first appearance of Catwoman.