Batman’s life and adventures are a thing of beauty, so it makes sense then the third game be an origin story. This isn’t strictly speaking an origin story but a story which shows us Batman before we knew him in the two past games. He’s more of a shadow than a hero, more of a myth then a verified legend. Here we see how Batman must overcome a ridiculous amount of super villains in one night due to Black mask putting out a $50 billion bounty on his head. We use his various toys and detective skills to search for clues and aids. This is also a much larger world than the previous games. It must be mentioned that even though the world is bigger it seems somehow smaller, with fewer NPCs around and the world seeming empty. The explanation for this is that it’s past curfew and the population is scared to go out, I will buy this and move on. The gameplay is similar to previous titles, the flowing combat which needs precise button presses. Counter thugs and take them down using your various gadgets. The predator instincts are present here and the silent takedowns are my favourite fighting mechanic. The inverted takedown still looks and feels amazing. The main issue is that Batman: Arkham Origins brings nothing new in the way of combat, Arkham City gave us a fresh take on combat but Arkham Origins doesn’t really change things up. It plays it very safe and whilst for me this was just fine as I loved the combat, some gamers may feel a bit short changed and want something new. Troy Baker does a wonderful job in replicating and dare I say improving on Jokers voice. It’s darker but funnier with more feeling and crazy all in equal amounts. Roger Craig Smith does a decent job but Batman feels and sounds flat, no emotion and depth to his dialogue. As said above the map is huge but looks pretty sweet, the graphics are as before and that’s not a bad thing. The faces look dead on with facial expressions giving us a sense of the story. The story is one of the strongest points of the game as there is a lot of emphasis on the role of Batman in the world. Does his presence cause more trouble than he’s worth? What would happen if Batman wasn’t around really? The toys and tools of Batmans tool belt have been slightly improved, I say slightly because the Remote claw is pretty much the only original and new tool. It’s fun as hell as you can target two objects and pull them tighter, this makes takedowns easier and it does take away from the gameplay a bit. The Batarang and Explosive gels are back and are useful as ever, it’s a bit odd as right from the start we are given access to lots of toys, and surely Batman wouldn’t have all this tools right at the start? A new system for travel is the Batwing and after a while you will be using this a lot because the missions are on different sides of a long bridge and after the third or fourth time you will want to just skip it. The detective mode has been increased but not as much as you think. You can scan as before and this time you see the crime that took place, letting you see in detail who did it and what happened. This is pretty cool for all those CSI fans out there but your actual input is minimal here as you point and scan. So whilst on the surface it’s a great tool the actual participation is little. You also gain XP points as before and Batman can use his radio to search for side missions and see what’s going on in Arkham. For me the introduction of a multiplayer mode is a brave choice, this is a very interesting addition as you can play as either Banes thugs, Joker’s thugs or either one of Batman or Robin. Playing as either of the thugs is pretty much the same experience. Running and gunning away is fun at first but the aiming is off and doesn’t feel just right. Things get better when you get to play as either of the dynamic duo, here it’s our job to swoop down from the top and kill enough thugs to stop their criminal activity. This is fun but when you get down to floor level be ready to kill and go back up as you are dead after only a few gun shots. So whilst this is a positive and wanted addition the implementation doesn’t quite make it. The third Batman game feels very much like the second to me, not a lot of new tools, mechanics or environments. I like the story as it explores a deep aspect of Batman’s life and his existence. The graphics are slightly better with facial expressions and body mannerisms giving us a little more. The main problem with Batman: Arkham Origins is that it’s too much of the past and not a lot of the future. This may not give gamers a reason to buy this but the flowing combat and surprisingly deep story coupled to the novelty of the multiplayer should be enough for most. Try it and see, I enjoyed it and you may too.