Batman: Arkham Origins ReviewClayMeow - November 19, 2013
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Batman: Arkham Origins
If all that single-player goodness wasn't enough, Origins is the first game in the series to add multiplayer. I was extremely disappointed when multiplayer was first announced because I didn't want them ruining one of my favorite single-player franchises. Luckily, as you've probably noticed if you didn't just skip to this page, the single-player game was largely unaffected by the inclusion of multiplayer. Indeed, multiplayer is a completely separate mode with little tie to the main game. But is it any good?
My first impression of the multiplayer was not a good one. It took me awhile just to find a game. When I did and it launched into the match, my screen went black. I had to force-quite the game and try again – same result. After reading the Steam discussions, I saw someone suggest that it may be an issue with DX11 features, so I dropped all the "DX 11 Enhanced" settings to the best non-DX11 option and tried it again – it worked!
There is only one mode available in multiplayer and it's called Invisible Predator Online. Curiously, when you go to find a match, there is a mode selection option, despite that being the only one listed, so that may be indicative of WB Games' desire to add new modes over time. In any case, the way the game works is actually a 2v3v3 setup. Two players in the 8-man group are randomly selected to play as the heroes, Batman and Robin, while the other six are divided into two teams, the Joker Gang and the Bane Gang. Each gang has a set number of reinforcements available that are used up every time a gang member dies and respawns. A gang wins by eliminating all the opposing team's reinforcements. The heroes earn intimidation points every time they take down a gang member on either side and win the game by filling their intimidation meter.
At a specific point in the match, the server is notified that the gang bosses, Joker and Bane, are available to enter the fray and the first gang member there gets to become his or her respective boss. While gang members can regenerate health out of combat, Joker and Bane have no health regeneration. Instead, they have a lot more hit points and devastating abilities. Joker uses a super powerful pistol or machine gun with explosive rounds, while Bane is a beast in close combat, yet is also equipped with a rocket launcher for some ranged attacks. Whichever team acquires their boss usually comes out the victor unless Batman and Robin step in quickly.
You gain experience that levels up the faction you played as that round, but you also gain an overall level. As you level up, you unlock new weapons or upgrade existing ones, as well as unlock appearance items, like a new shirt. You also earn credits that can be spent in Penguin's Black Market on crates and satchels that grant random items, like even more appearance items, or one-time use consumables, like boosting experience in your next match. While most appearance items are merely cosmetic, some do confer bonuses, such as the two shown below.