Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate blends precision combat and stealth strategy with brutal, hand-to-hand brawling in a deeply involving “2.5D” experience.
The 2.5D part is important. The game’s environments twist and turn in different directions, and one of the most enjoyable aspects of the adventure is finding the path ahead – even if that means rappelling to a building in the background or gliding between distant platforms. Batman’s range of actions is spectacular, and makes stalking and surprising bad guys an endless source of pleasure, while the touchscreen controls bring an enthralling extra dimension to the action, allowing you to hunt for clues and hidden items in each new area.
The vicious Blackgate inmates are everywhere, of course, and they don’t take kindly to Batman’s attempts to end their newfound freedom. Fortunately, fighting them off is great fun – the caped crusader has some dazzling martial arts techniques at his disposal. As you progress through the game, you’ll discover a huge assortment of handy gadgets and high-tech Wayne Industries weapons with which to devastate low-level thugs and notorious boss characters alike.
The plot is fed out at an expert pace, and the way the story weaves in and out of the action means you’re always just around the corner from some new mystery or revelation. In that sense, Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate beautifully mirrors the excitement and suspense of reading a real comic book – while adding plenty of super-powered thrills and spills of its own for good measure.