'Batman: Arkham Origins' was a highly anticipated sequel to two very good games. With a new developer at the helm, everyone was curious whether this game would be on par with the first two. The short answer is no. No it is not.

Warning: Pretty Much Nothing But Spoilers Ahead

I was so excited for the new Batman Arkham game. Even after starting it and not really feeling the way the uber-flashy cutscenes played out, the new not Kevin Conroy voice of Batman (which I did eventually get used to), the sub-par soundtrack, etc. -- I still assumed I had a great game ahead of me. Fast forward to 10 hours later and I had accidentally sped through the main story and was a little bummed out that I hadn't spent more time looking around. Here's a few reasons why:

  • Where the F--- Were Deadshot and Shiva? -- The main reasons I finished Arkham Origins so fast was because I kept planning to take a break from the main story and do side missions, but thought I would face all 8 assassins at least once prior to the main story's conclusion. Again, I was wrong. Not only did I not even see Deadshot and Shiva (aside from the aforementioned uber-fancy video towards the beginning), but I didn't fight Black Mask either. I understand now that all of them are set up as side missions. Meh. Also, Electrocutioner was a puss. That is all.
  • Deathstroke Boss Battle -- They billed the Deathstroke boss fight like it was going to be the centerpiece of this game. It was not. Not only did it happen too early, but the on-screen prompts were a bit misleading and made it difficult to finish without some "online guidance" as I like to call it.
  • Gotham Was Too Big -- I'm all for big maps. Arkham Origins' map was way too big though... and for no good reason. At least 'City' had you going all over the place with purpose. This map was larger just to make your journey back and forth across the stupid ass forever-long Pioneer Bridge (which, without quick travel, you will make multiple times) unbearable and tedious. Plus, I found it somewhat lame that a curfew and mild snowstorm kept all Gotham's citizens indoors. Although in the Royal Hotel, you do run into a hostage or two who all look exactly the same. Nice work, guys!
  • It Was Way Too Easy -- Aside from the imposed confusion of the Deathstroke battle, I would rate this as the easiest game in the series. Unlike the previous two, where I got stuck on difficult battles, tough puzzles and challenging platforming/navigation, I barely even stumbled on my sprint to the finish line. Aside from Deathstroke, I probably only died 10 times and finished in 10 hours... if that. And I'm no pro.

Now the game wasn't all bad... it's still pretty much the same mechanics as the previous games and you get to be f---ing Batman! There were some really cool parts of the game too, like:

  • Killer Croc -- An added bonus is that you get to fist fight Killer Croc right off the bat. That was pretty rad!
  • Shock Gloves -- Electrocutioner's battle made me laugh because you basically hit him once and never fight him again, but his shock gloves made fighting large mobs of criminals quite fun.
  • Cool Origin Story -- Despite the convenience of having Batman meet like15 supervillains for the first time in one night (come on, really?), the story had some pretty awesome moments. Seeing Bane become Bane, Joker's "Red Hood" sequence and the beginning of he and Harley Quinn's relationship were all really nice touches. There were actually a lot of cool story elements at play for a prequel.
  • Firefly -- It wasn't incredibly hard, but fighting Firefly was pretty damn fun.

Final Verdict: 'Batman: Arkham Origins' is definitely worth playing, but don't expect it to be as epic as 'Arkham City.' There is still plenty of fun to be had though. B-

Note: I have not completed many of the side missions, just the main story, the few Anarky missions and part of the Mad Hatter mission. I may give it higher than a B- once I complete those.