Batman Arkham Origins is now available on general release in the UK and worldwide.  The game has been developed by Warner Bros. Games Montréal rather than Rocksteady Games who have made previous games in the series and is available on the PC, PS3 and XBox 360 and is to be available on the Wii-U.  A companion game Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate has also been released for the 3DS and the Vita and assistive apps have been released for Android and iOS.

The game is set five years before Batman: Arkham Asylum and the plot has a younger less experienced Batman having a bounty placed on his head by the crime Boss Black Mask.  This encourages eight assassins to visit Gotham City, coincidentally on Christmas Eve.    Structurally the game is a third person game, focused on combat and stealth with asides of detective puzzles, gadgets and exploration.  Arkham Origins is the first in the series to also have a optional multiplayer element.

Tom Bramwell at Eurogamer says that:

 Arkham Origins isn’t Batman’s origin story – it’s the series’ – and it lives up to that billing. Batman starts off as a tough, uncompromising anti-hero, who shuns every potential ally, but he grows over the course of the game, and he’s not the only character who goes through a compelling transformation before we end up where Arkham Asylum starts. A few scenes are a little overcooked, but voice actors like Troy Baker and Roger Craig Smith chew on fun lines rather than the expensive scenery and it all reaches a satisfying conclusion. WB Montreal deserves credit for that, and for delivering a game that recaptures a lot of what made Arkham Asylum and Arkham City so playable.

Carolyn Petit at Gamespot says:

Arkham City built on Arkham Asylum by putting the mechanics in an exciting new context. Arkham Origins lifts them from City and puts them in the same context again, complete with all the same sorts of environmental problem-solving. You still toss grenades into water to form makeshift rafts (glue grenades here, not ice grenades!) and use the batclaw to pull yourself around. You still power up fuse boxes by guiding remote-controlled batarangs through fields of electricity. The occasional encounter with something fresh and exciting could have gone a long way toward making Origins’ reliance on these familiar mechanics welcoming. But because nearly everything you do is a straight, wholly unsurprising replication of something you do in the earlier Arkham games, welcome familiarity gives way to an inescapable feeling of predictability.

And finally Dan Stapleton at IGN says:

Batman games are like pizza: even when they’re not very good, they’re still pretty good. Next to Arkham City, Arkham Origins is a bit of a disappointment in its lack of new ideas and use of win buttons, making it the least interesting of the trilogy. But as excuses to dive back into the excellent free-flowing combat and predator takedowns go, this story isn’t bad.

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