The announcement that Batman: Arkham Origins would be developed by WB Games Montreal, not Rocksteady Studios may have set the game off on an uphill battle, but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t growing more and more interested by the day.
Cinematic trailers are admittedly not indicative of the actual game, but for Batman fans who are intrigued by the idea of stepping into Batman’s boots before he became the master of crime-fighting the world knows, the latest TV spot following Bruce Wayne from the worst night of his life to… the second worst night of his life is sure to build excitement.
While we doubt that Arkham Origins will actually give players the chance to take a closer look at Bruce Wayne’s travels from the night that set his life in a new direction, to boarding school, and his days of (bald?) training, the trailer gets one point across: the development team is hoping to show a side of Batman that hasn’t been fully explored – at least, not in Arkham Asylum or City.
Although the studio may have changed, Warner Bros. is clearly putting their full weight behind this entry in the series, a fact made abundantly clear by the stunning and why-don’t-you-just-make-a-CG-Arkham-movie-already cinematic story trailer. By accentuating the ‘Origins’ party of the title in this new TV spot, the company is emphasizing what could be the game’s most compelling feature.
It should come as no surprise that Batman fans have director Tim Miller and Blur Studio to thank, with the team responsible for some of the best CG game trailers released to date.
After playing the game for ourselves at E3 2013, it was obvious that from a mechanics or art style perspective, WB Games Montreal wasn’t reinventing Rocksteady’s wheel. The real departure – and opportunity for adding something new – lies in the premise: a group of killers unlike any Bruce Wayne has faced before, that he must either learn to defeat, or end his life’s mission earlier than expected.
So while the trailer may clearly take a stylish, artistic look at the hero of Origins, it does share a few themes with the larger game. The Christmas Eve darkness of the game will be one big lesson for Bruce Wayne, learning which members of law enforcement to trust, how to beat assassins at their own game, and how to use their weaponry for his own non-lethal purposes.
It’s unclear how much time the developers will even spend paying tribute to Wayne’s trauma (far more recent in this chapter, and sure to be what motivates him to survive), but the potential is there; and this TV spot implies they’ll at least be drawing on it indirectly.
What do you think of the footage? Do you have hopes for Origins from a story perspective, or are you just hungry for another trip into the Arkhamverse?
Batman: Arkham Origins will be available on PC, PS3, Wii U and Xbox 360 on October 25, 2013.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.