Batman: Arkham Origins PS3, Xbox 360 (out now) , Wii U, PC (out Friday), Warner Bros, cert: 16
(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) "Prequel" is rarely a word that makes the heart soar, but there had been some anticipation that Batman: Arkham Origins would be different. The past two Dark Knight outings have been rapturously received and garlanded with honours; the only hitch here is that development duties were hived out from Rocksteady to unproved developers WB: Montreal. And so, inevitably, Origins proves something of a disappointment.
The plot follows Batman in the early days of his crime-fighting career, meeting for the first time many of his friends and foes across Gotham City. It's entertaining stuff and handles the introduction of everyone's favourite clown prince of crime, The Joker, particularly well.
However, there's something missing. The game mechanics - fighting, countering, gadgets, stealth - are all much the same, with a couple of new gizmos and bad guys thrown in for good measure, but it lacks the spectacle of the previous entries in the series. Where Arkham City had a bravura opening with Bruce Wayne besieged and unmasked, Origins has a lacklustre prison break. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why this fails to match what came before, but some of the magic has gone and what is Batman without that? Just another man wearing a rubber suit. Toby Moses
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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