Warner Bros. Montreal – the studio entrusted with bringing Batman: Arkham Origins to life – may be a newcomer to the development scene, but the talent driving the game’s vision certainly isn’t. Previous developer diaries have gone into detail on how the Arkham Origins team was hand-picked, and the newest video helps explain why the leads on the project were the right men for the job.
With experience on action titles like Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Prototype, and Prince of Persia, creative director Eric Holmes and senior producer Ben Mattes know the ins and outs of the Arkham series’ core gameplay. How will their experience affect the design or mechanics of Origins? we’ll have to wait and see.
Obviously, Batman isn’t likely to terrorize the streets of Gotham to the same extent that the Hulk would – that’s not his style – but ask any comic book fan to name some video game adaptations that didn’t disappoint entirely, and Arkham Asylum and Ultimate Destruction are sure to be on the list. While different in terms of story and tone, both games put players into the mindset of a comic book hero, and let them loose in an open world.
We won’t credit Holmes with all of the credit for that game’s place in comic book gaming, but there are few who can claim to have had a hand in a successful adaptation (evidence, if needed). The same is true of Prototype; whether you’re a fan of the cult hit or not, the open world carnage seen in that campaign is something most large-scale games have since adopted in one way or another.
But before anyone starts worrying that Arkham Origins will be a case of transporting Batman into a massive world at the cost of a directed story, it’s important to remember just where Holmes is taking his inspiration from. As an avid Batman fan, it’s the creative director’s interest in the “Legends of the Dark Knight” comic line that will be shaping the story – as well as Rocksteady’s previous two games.
Skeptics can point to Mattes’ history with the more divisive entries in the Prince of Persia series – in his defense, he claims to be proud of what the reboot/remake/refresh attempted, not achieved – but with a track record of unique action games that got plenty right, we’d say a little optimism is justified.
If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how those past games impact the design or mechanics of Arkham Origins, if at all. The lighting and atmosphere are markedly different from most third-person action games on the market, and from what we’ve seen, the art team has captured the essence of Batman fairly well. Warner Bros. Montreal may not be Rocksteady, but no one can claim they don’t have the talent needed to deliver a solid game.
What do you make of Holmes’ history? Is that the kind of track record you’d like to see sticking with comic book games? Or did the studio lose your support the second they announced Kevin Conroy wouldn’t be voicing Batman? Sound off in the comments.
Batman: Arkham Origins will be available on Wii U, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC October 25, 2013.
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Source: Game Informer