E3 2013 Preview: Batman: Arkham Origins is more of Batman, and that's not a bad thing

Batman: Arkham Origins
Batman: Arkham Origins

Everyone that's played Batman: Arkham City loves it. So it's going to be tough to top a game that got scored an "11" out of a possible "10" by Yahoo!. I'll avoid making another Spinal Tap joke, and I'll just continue to say that Arkham Origins has a lot to live up to. At the Warner Bros. E3 booth, I was able to watch a few missions played live, and then play the game myself.

To catch you up on the plot of Batman: Arkham Origins has fans playing as a younger, less experienced Batman. So far in his crime fighting career, he's only faced normal villains. And then, on Christmas Eve, Black mask puts a $50 million bounty on Batman's head, bringing the world's best assassin's to Gotham. During the game, you'll have to survive the assassins' attacks on you, investigate what Black Mask is up to, and stop crimes you come across -- all in an open-world, do-as-you-please Gotham City.

The visuals stood out to me right off the bat. There's just something about a snowy Gotham City around that holidays that brings a certain glow to the environment. It actually reminded me a bit of the Tim Burton Batman films, but with the Arkham edge that we love so much.

Both in the demonstration and my hands-on time, it was stressed that Batman has free reign to pursue the missions he wants. We started out beating up some thugs that were mugging a civilian and made quick work of them. Then we got a call about a "Crime in Progress." You can choose to do these or ignore them; they give you some nice rewards if you complete them, but they are a bit harder than just your normal posse of no-good-do'ers on your street corner. In the crime in progress, I was introduced to a new enemy -- the armored enforcer; he takes quite a while to beat and absorbs a lot of punishment. He also has a tendency to grapple, so you might want to avoid his clutches.

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