Batman: Arkham Origins details and screens emerge
Game Informer has lifted the lid on Batman: Arkham Origins, revealing some juicy info...
The May issue of Game Informer has revealed plenty of new details about the next instalment in the Batman: Arkham series of games, which we now know is coming in October alongside a new handheld title for 3DS and Vita, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate.
The details confirm that events will take place earlier in Batman's crime fighting career, and will be influenced by Batman: Year One and Legends of the Dark Knight.
The story, which is based in Gotham City long before part of it was turned into a massive prison, will take place on Christmas Eve, and sees Black Mask place a bounty on the Caped Crusader's head, drawing in the DC universe's best assassins.
Batman will no only have to combat his many assailants, but he'll also have to find out why Black Mask has such a beef with him, attempting to pry information out of the Penguin, who seems to know about Black Mask's agenda.
The new developer for the game is Warner Bros. Montreal, which has stated clearly that it's going to try to continue the extremely high quality of the series. Luckily, the team isn't totally new to the license, having already cut its teeth on the Wii U title, Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition. Not only that, but Eric Holmes, lead designer for The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, has hands-on experience with the Unreal Engine, having done a stint at Epic games. Original developer, Rocksteady, has also provided plenty of assistance on the project, so with luck, the third game will live up to its predecessors.
The actual gameplay of Origins will apparently remain much the same, with some changes to the combat system to facilitate new enemy types and abilities. However, thanks to inspiration taken from the superb BBC series, Sherlock, the team are also deepening the detective elements of the game, presenting what they call a story within the detective environment. This will mean more chances to flex the sleuthing mind of Batman to solve not only main story mysteries, but also a number of side quests.
To further this investigative play, Batman will also get to use the Batcave and Batcomputer again. The computer can be used to run simulations from multiple angles, with Batman able to manipulate the feed in order to find clues.
The extra investigation elements aren't going to stem other new additions, however, and along with a new dynamic crime system, which will randomly generate incidents Batman can optionally tend to, Batman will gain the use of a new remote grapple claw which Batman can use to attach two objects together, reminiscent of Just Cause 2's grapple gun. This can be used to tether two perps to each other, hang them from objects, or even to launch items at foes.
The playing area will be about twice the size of Arkham City's map, including New and Old Gotham (the latter being the area that will eventually become the urban prison). To make it easier for players to get around, the Batwing will return, offering fast travel to various points. However, in order to explore new areas, Batman has to first find and disable various communication towers, à la Far Cry 3.
It all sounds very interesting, and although the prospect of a new developer taking over the mantle of the Bat is going to be cause for concern for fans, experience with the franchise and help from Rocksteady should mean that Origins has a good chance to jump that difficult third album hurdle.
Batman: Arkham City Origins will be released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC on October 25.