Batman: Arkham Origins Trailer Still Shows No Game

By Craig Pearson on May 20th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.


Well, my cynicism was WELL placed [engage smug mode]. After staring at the teaser trailer for the new Batman: Arkham Origins and grumpily reporting that it provided no game footage, I’d hoped Warner Bros. would sneak in a few moments of in-game action somewhere into the full trailer. Nope, they instead created a CGI story and fight sequence that stretches to nearly five minutes. It’s Batman, goons, Deathstroke, and Black Mask. At least it provides a little bit of context this time, and there are a few screenshots to coo over now.

The trailer is everything you imagined it would be. From the “crappy criminal goons who get taken out by Batman” moments, to an explosion that was destined for slow-motion and that fshooooom noise. This isn’t the game, which is a shame because the game sounds fun. Why didn’t they show the new detective mode, which sounds genuinely intriguing: Batman can now recreate whole crime scenes, watching the action, pausing and rewinding it to find out what happened. In one scene he’ll watch a helicopter crash and have to investigate at what point the chopper blade snapped off, then retrace the bullet’s trajectory. It’s complete technical bunk and sounds like the perfect smarty-pants foil to the Bat-fu below.

I do NOT like Black Mask’s creepy face. It makes me feel weird and uncomfortable. I think I’ve discovered a phobia I didn’t realise I had. Skeletal Face Masks are not okay with me from now on. There’s too much anatomy!

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30 Comments »

  1. Jesus_Phish says:

    I don’t think I can remember AA or AC having gameplay footage in their first two trailers either?

    • misterT0AST says:

      Same goes for Dead Island, Saints Row the Third, Assassin’s Creed, Hitman, but at the time RPS wasn’t pissed off to tears with this kind of trailer as it is now.

  2. mrwonko says:

    Same release date everywhere. Good.

    But the Joker is there? I thought Hamill had had enough?

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      Batman and Joker have been recast to sound younger. Kevin Conroy will actually be in the game in some capacity, but not as Batman (unless they do a framing device, which…ugh), so it isn’t a simple “they didn’t want to do it.” This makes me cautiously optimistic that the performances won’t suffer. But let’s be honest, Arleen Sorkin’s performance in Arkham Asylum was actually pretty crappy, particularly the excerpts from “Mad Love,” which were vastly inferior to her original, so getting the original actors isn’t a guaranteed success anyway.

      I’m more interested in the plot, myself. Both Asylum and City had plenty of weak points, but I thought they were overall well-thought-through and executed. In particular, the fleshing out of this continuity in Arkham City so that Batman and his rogues’ gallery were more intertwined, reflecting and influencing one another in a variety of ways, was really strong work. I want more of that.

      • Geewhizbatman says:

        Well that doesn’t seem too fair to Ms. Sorkin. Because, let’s be honest—The character is supposed to be a bit of a joker. Ba dum ba CHA! But seriously, this is the inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5L8A0QXtcw That is her frame of reference for the character. I’ve always viewed Harley and Joker as characters that are only real in subtext. Anything human about them has to be inferred and assumed—because at face value they have personified themselves as gags and shtick meeting criminal desires. So, giving criticism about performance due to such narrow characterization seems a little harsh.

        Which, if anything, is a result of these games mixing some of their Batman iterations. They are going for the gritty realism in gameplay and art style, but keeping the blatant comic style for the characters which creates a dissonance. I don’t think that is bad, in fact I think it was a rather smart move on their part. It both keeps people feeling safe in their characters, Harley Quinn (other than her redonk costume) wasn’t changed into some gritty reboot, while actually underscoring just how totally insane these characters are if you tried to place them into a more realistic setting. That would be diminished by a “better” performance. If Arleen Sorkin tried to play Harley as having some sort of deep complexity and range of emotion then it wouldn’t really be comic Harley Quinn who is, ya know–A clown with a gun.

        As for the game itself, I might actually be able to immerse myself in it with this detective mechanic if it matches the hype. Then maybe I might want to see more from the characters–but for an interactive action comic I don’t mind a few Biffs and Pows and Whazamblas.

      • Nethlem says:

        One has to wonder if that whole “making them younger” thing had been the result of Hamill not wanting to do the Joker voice anymore. After all it had been quite a while ago that Hamill announced he wouldn’t do any more Joker, because doing that voice all the time damaged his vocal cords.

    • xBISHOPx says:

      He did say that on his twitter :(. Him and Kevin Conroy will always be THE batman and joker for me. Every movie, tv show, and game where Batman and Joker aren’t voiced by them saddens me. But since Conroy is voicing Batman its not all a loss. As long Joker doesn’t sound like the young justice version then I’ll cringe only a little when I hear him speak (if he does at all).

      Edit: Guess I was wrong about Conroy :/. Heres hoping they can find two people who can match just how perfect the characters where captured by Conroy and Hamil.

    • The Dark One says:

      Troy Baker (Booker DeWitt) is playing the Joker and Roger Craig Smith (Ezio Auditore) is voicing The Batman.

    • Vandelay says:

      You should probably take another look at the screenshots above…

      I agree it would have been good to leave him alone though. City was pretty conclusive with his story (best credits Easter egg ever,) and I don’t really feel any need to see more Joker, even in prequel form.

      • HothMonster says:

        Didn’t the Harley DLC say that easter egg was all for naught? I can’t really remember that DLC except for the huge feeling of disappointment I had while playing it. But I do seem to remember it… putting that baby to bed, to turn a phrase.

  3. Lazaruso says:

    Why so serious? It’s a trailer that shows some of the villains you’ll be fighting, not an in-depth preview of the game itself. Your cynicism would be better lavished on the preorder DLC.

  4. Bhazor says:

    Punch. Kick. It’s all in the mind.

  5. wodin says:

    Enjoyed that..

    Batman games for me have perfect combatfighting mechanics that are fluid and easy to pull off..I’m usually useless at fighting games but in Batman I felt I had some competency.

    I preferred the first game to the second where I felt rushed and bombarded with side quests all at the same time.

  6. Ansob says:

    Deathstroke? Pfshaw; they should’ve used Sportsmaster instead.

  7. AlexV says:

    Anyone know for sure if this requires GFWL or not yet? I’ve been wanting to play the Arkham games for a while, it would be great if I can finally do so with this version.

  8. Ianuarius says:

    Trailers are about selling games, not informing the buyers.

  9. jimbonbon says:

    What happened to high definition videos? No gameplay and 240p makes me sad :(

    Edit. 720 will do. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pnK8akbd2M

  10. geekbabel says:

    Umm guys… I’m not sure if you noticed but at 1:31 The box clearly says “Queen Industries”…. as in the company owned by Oliver Queen…. ya know Oliver Queen aka the GREEN ARROW!!!!!!!!!!! I’m just gonna let you sit on that for a while.

  11. Obc says:

    oh my god, the new detective mode sounds just as hockey as that stupid scene in the dark knight where bruce recreates a bullet down to the tiniest molecule…now THAT took me out of the whole movie for a while, that scene is so unconceivable stupid that i would take a anti-shark repellent over it any day.

  12. anark10n says:

    Is anybody else thrown off by the concept of prequels with regards to games. They’re not exactly like prequels in film or print, are they, where those two can happily focus on the story. For a game, new mechanics are going to be introduced and it sort of clashes with the implication that there’s usually less things in the past (not always the case, but at the very least the grain of truth that things were worse in the past).

    I’m not sure I got my issue across well…

    • Nethlem says:

      Well there are not always “less” things in the past, but more often than not they are “different” things, so it all evens out in the end. One could argue that this has the potential for more mechanics, because in the past everything required more effort/steps to get done as opposed to the “streamlined” future.

      So something that could be a simple matter of pressing a button (or requires no player input at all) in the “future” could be turned into something requiring a little bit more effort in the “past”. Doesn’t sound that fun at first glance (“Now you need to press 3 buttons for the same action”) but still has the potential to end up as something refreshing/unique/new.

      For example imagine a racing game set in the future, where every vehicle drives on automatic. A prequel to that would add the mechanic of manual transmission, giving the player more options and the gameplay more depth. Kind of an odd example but i think it works, Metal Gear Solid 3 is also a great example of an “prequel” where they added meaningful mechanics that fit in the overall context.

      • anark10n says:

        Okay, I can understand that, that would make a lot more sense if they did, but then they usually don’t factor this into the mechanics and just add new stuff anyway, regardless of the fact that a prequel implies a time where their technology, ability, maturity, etc couldn’t account for it. For instance, the detective mode mentioned in this one; makes you wonder, why Batman doesn’t have this in the future? Or the skills that he will have; they’re going to be far more refined than anything from the previous two games; so why use the context of the past to frame it in?

        The game design for prequel games isn’t considering the limitations of the character in the past, they follow the same motivation as for when they are coming up with a new instalment; that is, the story goes back but the game mechanics do not.

  13. Rei Onryou says:

    Is it too much to want Ron Perlman as Deathstroke? I know Slade (Teen Titans) isn’t technically Deathstroke, but you gotta love that voice!

  14. Flammablezeus says:

    I hope the new detective mode isn’t as broken as in the first two games. It’s ridiculously silly that you can see people through walls all the time with no penalty.

    I also expect this new detective mode to involve as much detective work as LA Noire. None whatsoever.

  15. eclipse mattaru says:

    I love the Arkham games as much as the next internet denizen, but I find its bulky, angry-rugbier take on Batman kind of disturbing. You’d think a guy who’s supposed to be a martial arts expert and a silent shadow moving among shadows would look much more like a darkly-dressed, nimble ninja and a lot less like an overly steoridized midget (because I can’t shake the feeling he looks notably shorter than everyone else in the games too). It’s pretty hard to believe those ancient-looking gargoyles could even support this guy’s weight.

    As for the trailer, it’s been a long time since I started bitching about how the industry forgot how to trailer –it’s an issue that probably pushes my buttons more than it reasonably should. At any rate, I’m glad the big boys start to get pissed off by this as well.

  16. ResonanceCascade says:

    Is that Anarky? Man, they really are scraping the bottom of the rogue’s gallery barrel.

    • greg_ritter says:

      I kinda like that. There are heavy hitters, and then there are Sportsmaster, Calendar Man and Anarky. They are interesting and obscure. Of course they won’t play a crucial role in the game, but their cameos sounds interesting.