Batman: Arkham Origins ReviewClayMeow - November 19, 2013
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Batman: Arkham Origins
Predator Arenas are the second type of enemy encounters and the one that truly makes you feel like Batman. These are your multi-tiered stealth combat situations, typically featuring gargoyles high above the action to swing from, grates and vents to hide in, destructible walls, and of course enemies that need to be dispatched to proceed (even if you get to the exit, the game will inform you that you need to secure the area first before leaving). There are so many different ways to dispatch enemies that I'm not going to even attempt to mention them all. You have the option of using the environment, gadgets, or any combination thereof.
Most Predator Arenas require you to carefully analyze the battlefield and think strategically. If you try to go balls out and deploy your typical combat techniques, you'll likely get killed rather quickly. Until enemies are spooked (either because they found a fallen comrade or worse, you've been spotted), enemies tend to have movement patterns, so studying them before attacking is wise. There's no time limit (unless you're competing on Predator Challenge Map leaderboards), so you can take your time and plan out your moves. You'll likely also want to activate your Detective Vision frequently by pressing 'X', as that allows you to see enemies through walls and obstacles, which is key to knowing whether an enemy will spot you if you take down another one. Inverted Takedowns from atop gargoyles are a great way to take out enemies stealthily, but do so with another enemy within the vicinity and you'll likely be seen.
As I mentioned earlier, you can also use your gadgets to perform a variety of takedowns or simply to distract enemies. The easiest way to distract enemies is with the aforementioned Sonic Batarang, which lures curious enemies to it. Place it well and you'll be able to sneak in behind and perform a Silent Takedown before he realizes it. Silent Takedowns are the basic way of killing unsuspected enemies by sneaking up behind them, holding CTRL to crouch, and then right-clicking when directly behind. Doing so does take time though, so you'll want to separate your target from his friends, which is where the Sonic Batarang comes in handy. In addition, while you're crouched, if you walk near some cover, you can snap to that cover by pressing SPACE and then move to the edge and perform a Corner Takedown on unsuspecting foes, as seen below.
The problem with Predator Arenas in Origins compared to the previous versions is that, as with the Shock Gloves during Combat Encounters, there is an easy-win button in the form of Origins' other new gadget, the Remote Claw. The Remote Claw allows you to connect two people or objects together. If you saw any gameplay trailers prior to release, you probably saw Batman shoot the Remote Claw at two enemies, pulling them together and knocking them to the ground. While that's arguably the most hilarious use of the device, it's also the weakest, as it merely stuns them. What makes the Remote Claw so overpowered is when you use it to connect an enemy to a gargoyle for a quick and easy takedown. You can also use it to connect an enemy to a propane tank, also taking them out very easily, but not every Predator Arena has those, while every arena does have gargoyles. It's like performing a hanging takedown, except you don't have to wait for them to be anywhere near you and you don't have to risk being seen. Initially you get two uses per Predator Arena, but that can eventually be upgraded to three.
Like the Shock Gloves, the Remote Claw essentially removes the need for advanced tactics. While every Predator Arena has more than three enemies, it certainly helps thin out the herd. In addition, when there is an enemy equipped with a jammer that makes it so your Detective Vision doesn't function, he can easily be dispatched with the Remote Claw, where as in Arkham City, you actually had to think strategically how you'd take him out without his comrades seeing you. Still, like the Shock Gloves, nobody is forcing you to use it during Predator Arenas, so it's only overpowered if you make it overpowered.