Following a forty second tease for Batman: Arkham Origins, Warner Bros. Interactive has now released a full four-minute CGI trailer. Gameplay footage once again takes a backseat to a scripted cut scene but the new trailer successfully adds a bit more context to the previous video (which showcased fan-favorite anti-hero Deathstroke the Terminator trading punches with the Dark Knight), including a look at the game’s primary antagonist, Black Mask, and other villains that will be competing to takedown the Caped Crusader.
The new trailer is definitely exciting, with some cool easter eggs (i.e. Queen Industries tech), and should help build on the positive goodwill that Warner Bros. Interactive earned when beloved Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy announced he would return to the role once again (after prior rumors suggested he would not return). That said, almost immediately after the announcement, Conroy tweeted that he had misspoken and wouldn’t voice the character in Origins specifically (possibly hinting at another Batman game in development) – a tweet that he quickly deleted.
Still, even if Conroy does return, without Rocksteady Studios overseeing the sequel this round, many gamers remain concerned that Batman: Arkham Origins (which technically isn’t even an Batman “origin story”) is nothing more than a shallow cash grab – lacking in the passion and quality that made the prior entries so successful. There’s no doubt that Rocksteady’s dedication to serving Bat-fans while also delivering fresh and exciting gameplay experiences caught a lot of players off-guard – making Batman: Arkham Asylum one of 2009’s best games (and biggest surprises).
The studio then delivered a worthy follow-up with Batman: Arkham City – which debuted to near universal praise as a bigger and better game experience. Some detractors claimed that the scale of the game was too overwhelming – ditching the tight and interconnect experience of Arkham Asylum in favor of thin add-ons like a playable Catwoman campaign – but whether you agree or disagree, it’s hard to argue with the amount of content that was included in the core game experience.
As a result, while slick CGI cut scene trailers are fun to watch (and it’s great to find out Deadshot is also going to play a role), they don’t tell us very much about the game – a game that is less than six months away. No doubt, the gameplay will draw heavily from the established mechanics of the franchise so far but, given the heavy focus on the iconic assassins that will factor into the game, why not start giving players an idea of how this non-Rocksteady Studios title intends to up-the-ante once again?
After all, boss fights were one of the least-successful elements of the first two entries – meaning that watching watching Batman go toe-to-toe with Deathstroke in the trailer doesn’t carry much of an impact if gamers can’t be sure that the in-game battle will be just as exciting. In fact, we’ve heard more about the game’s Film Noir-style lighting than new combat mechanics.
Of course, six months is plenty of time to help sell skeptical players on Warner Bros. Interactive‘s Batman effort – especially with E3 2013 only weeks away. Without a doubt, Batman: Arkham Origins gameplay will be demoed at the expo – so players shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out if this Bat-title will be as inspired as the Rocksteady efforts.
Batman: Arkham Origins will be available on Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC October 25, 2013.
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