Batman Arkham Origins Preview: Passing The Cowl

The prequel to the Batman: Arkham games represents a new start for the series without a reboot.

The game is still a direct continuation of what you had in Arkham City. Batman travels across Gotham City stopping crime and breaking skulls in his quest to stop his rogues gallery from their latest plot. Batman still uses his grappling hook and gliding to move around the city. Holmes is well-versed in the game; he makes Batman ziplining from building-to-building look far easier than I remember in my playthroughs.

"Gotham's a very different place. This Gotham, everything has been reborn. What Batman's facing here is organized crime," says Holmes, explaining the game's story foundation. "He's so much better than the guys he's fighting. He's confident, he's cocky. He's got that young man in his 20s sense of being bulletproof. Tonight things change. Tonight on Christmas Eve, the Black Mask - currently the number one crime lord in Gotham - places a price of $50 million Batman's head."

What strikes me in the presentation was how much is new surrounding the game. Right off the bat, the game is under new stewardship: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City developer Rocksteady is consulting on this one, but it's being developed by Warner Bros. Montreal, who worked on the Wii U version.

Want new gadgets? Batman now has the Remote Claw, which you can use to tether two objects together. This can include two thugs or even just two buildings, giving you something to zipline across. The Remote Claw being used on thugs recalls a similar feature in Just Cause 2, so I can't wait to do things like tether a criminal to the edge of a building and push him off. (That sounds sadistic as I'm writing it now.)

Batman: Arkham Origins makes a fresh start for the series. It's got a new developer, a bigger city to play in, new villains, new missions, and new voice actors bringing it all together. From what I've seen, Rocksteady's fine work has been passed on into worthy hands, but I'm not 100 percent sold until I can get my hands on the game.

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