Games News and Reviews | High Def Digest
Film & TV All News Blu-Ray Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders 4K Ultra HD Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders Gear Reviews News Home Theater 101 Best Gear Film & TV
Games : Give it a Rent
Ranking:
Sale Price: $39.97 Last Price: $ Buy now! 3rd Party 22 In Stock
Release Date: October 25th, 2013 Movie Release Year: 2013

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate

Overview -

The Bat is back in action and more readily available than ever before. With the release of 'Batman: Arkham Origins,' players are able to adorn the guide of an early career caped crusader across a variety of gaming platforms, including a separate game for the PlayStation Vita and 3DS that has a story set after the events of 'Batman: Arkham Origins.' With 'Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate,' Armature, the development studio responsible for providing hand-held versions of 'Metal Gear Solid HD' and 'Injustice: Gods Among Us' for the PlayStation Vita, have been tasked to shrink the Dark Knight down to size and provide millions of fans the opportunity to fight crime from their back pocket. Combine this with the whispers of 'Metroidvania' and the expectations for 'Blackgate' present an extreme threat for the Dark Knight.

OVERALL:
Give it a Rent
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
October 25th, 2013

Video Review

Ranking:

The visuals of 'Arkham Origins Blackgate' are a mixed bag of accomplishments and missed opportunities. Armature was successful in their capturing and displaying an impressive 2.5D environment. The fixed camera, while typically pulled back and perpendicular to the action, does a wonderful job of rotating and shifting perspective as Batman's path would change. Background objects were effectively deep when grappling, pulling the Dark Knight to a new section of the room and delivering a true sense of dimension. The mob of inmates, when free to roam the prison halls, would attack Batman from the sides as well as the foreground, quickly enveloping the Caped Crusader. What could have been the most commonplace of side scroller experiences became alive with the 2.5D treatment. The details of Blackgate Prison – both indoors and out – are nicely rendered on the Vita's smaller screen, but suffer from a lack of variety and too often appear to be rehash of rooms and corridors already visited.

The use of motion comics in place of fully animated cut scenes, although adequate in moving the story forward, came across as more of a short cut for the developers than an interesting stylistic choice. Some may consider a lack of full-blown cut scenes an acceptable limitation of the PlayStation Vita. However, having recently played Guerilla Cambridge's 'Killzone Mercenary' it's more than obvious the PlayStation Vita has the visual power and fidelity to attempt to match the production goals of the best AAA console games available. This is easily the area most impacted by the shared target of the 3DS.

Audio Review

Ranking:

Playing a game like 'Arkham Origins Blackgate' and relying on the Vita's built-in speakers for audio would be like watching Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight' on a 60" HD LED TV and using the TV speakers instead of proper surround sound. You'd only be getting half of the experience. For purposes of this review I swapped between my Senheiser headphones and Sony Pulse Stereo Headset – Elite Edition, and the resulting auditory experience was in line with series' expectations.

Explosions were heavy and booming, while the more subtle actions from Batman – grapple hook, zip line, and cape stun – were right on par with what I have come to love when playing the Arkham series. Even the voice acting, while poorly written, was an adequate representation of Batman, the Joker, and Catwoman.

The pitch for 'Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate' was just as tantalizing (if not more so) as a full-scale console title, but the final execution of the game has left me feeling slightly empty and very much wanting more. Armature Studio has delivered a game that exudes a decent, playable quality, but is well short of the definitive, must-play, hand-held 'Arkham' title. I can't help but also question the release timing. Was the marketing tie-in with the console version worth introducing a far-reduced entry? Perhaps providing Armature with a bit more development time to refine and polish 'Blackgate', while allowing consumers to take a breather from the Batman universe, would have been a better plan of attack. Regardless, 'Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate' is still a worthwhile, albeit uninspiring, experience for PlayStation Vita owners.