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iPhone  header logo

Batman: Arkham Origins

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Baterang battering

Product: Batman: Arkham Origins | Developer: NetherRealm Studios | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Batman: Arkham Origins iPhone, thumbnail 1
It could be argued that, like Batman Arkham City Lockdown before it, Batman: Arkham Origins kind of misses the point of its lead character by placing him in a beat-'em-up.

Batman isn't a brawler. He's a highly skilled combatant, of course, but he's a detective and stealthy infiltrator first.

Batman: Arkham Origins might not be the quintessential Batman game, then, but it is an entertaining slugger nonetheless.

Looking buff

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Once again, developer NetherRealm Studios has utilised the Unreal Engine to make Batman - and the assorted petty crooks and arch-villains he must beat the snot out of - look and move like a dream.

This is one of those games you'll boot up to show what your iPhone or iPad can do. iPhone 4 owners be warned, though - it's been optimised for the iPhone 5.

Underneath the polish, this is a pretty straightforward one-on-one fighter with a simple tap-and-swipe control system.

Bats will automatically close the ground on his opponents, leaving you to tap the screen to launch attacks. Stringing three quick attacks together initiates a combo, creating the chance for a couple of slo-mo swipe-based bonus hits.

Prompt response

Further QTE-like elements appear when Batman is stunned, at which point you must hammer a circular prompt to clear his head. Meanwhile certain boss characters will launch special attacks that must be quickly tapped in order to dodge or block them.

Holding the screen with two fingers makes Batman block, which is essential against certain heavy hits, whilst you can launch special attacks of your own by pressing a dedicated button at the bottom of the screen.

There's also a stance system that ostensibly enables you to switch between different fighting styles. In practice this means adjusting the balance between Batman's ability to dish out and withstand damage - at least initially.

IAPs explained
Your initial batch of Waynetech Points will get you through roughly the first two of four areas of the city, and you need to spend at least £1.99 / $2.99 here 15, which gets you back to more or less the same points total as you started with.

There are also various batsuits to unlock and purchase, some of which are prohibitively expensive to buy with the in-game currency, and a couple of which can only be bought with a hefty dollop of Waynetech points - 60, for the first WP-only exclusive.

You can also shortcut the process of accruing new moves and stances by splashing the real cash on Waynetech Points.
Enemy design is disappointingly repetitive, although you will encounter one of the story's eight famous assassins (the likes of Bane, Deathstroke, and Deadshot included) from time to time.

Still, the method involved in beating them all doesn't tend to vary much.

Brucie bonus

Batman: Arkham Origins is a freemium game, and there's that familiar, disconcerting feeling from the outset that you're about to fall off the payment cliff. 

You expend stamina by engaging in successive battles, and you must replenish that stamina with your initial stash of Waynetech Points, the game's high-value currency.

But of course, eventually those Waynetech Points run out, and you need to buy some more - unless you're willing to wait for your stamina to recharge naturally.

Add in the optional extras like new batsuits, special moves, and stances that often require a lot of grinding to purchase the old fashioned (and cheap) way, and you have another finely calibrated money-extracting machine.

Still, you'll be able to see the essential parts of the game with little to no money spent - provided you're both patient and proficient.

Stomach for a fight

The question is, will you want to? Perhaps.

Batman: Arkham Origins is a very attractive and immediately playable casual fighter. It lacks the depth and variety (in terms of opponents) of the Infinity Blade series, and while there are strategies to be employed with regard to the stances, the whole game feels more geared towards grinding or spending to obtain a stronger Batman and clobbering your way through the ranks.

Of course, it all looks and feels incredibly cool while you're doing this. We just hope that the next Arkham iOS game remembers that Batman has another, slightly more thoughtful side to him too.
 
Batman: Arkham Origins
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 21 October 2013
If your favourite take on Batman is the 'biff-bang-pow' kind rather than the 'world's greatest detective' kind, then you'll find plenty to like in this straight-forward button-mashing brawler
 
Have Your Say
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Joined:
Jun 2012
Post count:
15
SechUK | 00:00 - 10 November 2013
I wish gamers would just boycott freemium games outright until money-grabbing developers with no consideration for actual GAMERS gave up and went home.
Joined:
Apr 2012
Post count:
53
jn2002dk | 19:03 - 22 October 2013
F2P?

No go

This money grabbing shit needs to end
Joined:
Aug 2013
Post count:
286
Mothreja Jay | 13:22 - 22 October 2013
Great! Another IAP ridden buggy half @$$ game putting a "red cross" on Bats new adventure. Nope. Never downloading this "free to play" garbage.

Nope. Negative. Uh-uh. No.

>.>

Ain't worth the download bros.

It just ain't...............
Joined:
Nov 2012
Post count:
6
Andy Marston | 18:59 - 21 October 2013
I've been loving it; I'm about 60% upgraded without spending a penny or grinding an offensive amount. The game also gives you premium currently fairly often, so if you just use it for stamina refills and the odd revive, it works great. The stances add a surprising amount of strategy, and the specials are nice and varied.

A bit of a harsh review I'd say for a great free game that hasn't felt money-grabbing at all.
Joined:
Mar 2013
Post count:
21
Chris Rolla | 13:15 - 21 October 2013
It's just a re-skinned Injustice on ios and that isn't a good thing, as Injustice is more money hungry than All the Bravest.
Joined:
Aug 2010
Post count:
277
Funem | 13:03 - 21 October 2013
Funny enough I prefer this one over Lockdown. I found lockdown controls a bit iffy and it didn't block when I wanted, or even blocked when I didn't want to. Origins is also a bit better at giving you in game currency than lockdown. but each to his/her own I guess.
Joined:
Apr 2013
Post count:
21
Waii Hui | 10:50 - 21 October 2013
I enjoyed Lockdown more than this game.
Joined:
Aug 2010
Post count:
277
Funem | 09:49 - 21 October 2013
Thought this was due on Android as well as iOS, not a sniff of it yet on the play store.
 
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