The Bat is back and ready to take on Gotham City in two upcoming games coming to multiple platforms.
Two years ago Batman: Arkham City was a heavy favorite for Game of the Year; it not only was a stellar action-adventure title, but it managed to surpass its successor (2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum) in arguably every way imaginable, which was no lazy slouch itself.
So what do the rights holder of The Dark Knight, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, doing for a third act? The magazine GameInformer shows us with its exclusive reveal for Batman: Arkham Origins, coming to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC this October 25.
And if that weren’t enough to satisfy your “videogames starring Batman” quota for 2013, the WB is also releasing a handheld outing for the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, on the same day as its console big brother.
Surprisingly, and perhaps a subtle sign that original series developer RockSteady Studios is off making plans for next-gen consoles, each game will be produced by different studios with Origins being handled by WB Montreal and Blacklight by fresh-faced Armature Studio.
What are the differences between the two, you ask? Batman: Arkham Origins, as its marking approved sub-tittle implies, occurs years before the events of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, and stars a younger, caped crusader in training.
The May back cover of GameInformer that broke the Origins reveal pictured the assassin Deathstroke (I don’t know who that is either) who is suppose to play an important plot role, but Bat’s is promised to run into his infamous stable of supervisions.
On the gameplay front, Origins plans on expanding on the open-world trappings and bad-guy hunting sequences of Arkham City. There’s even reports that the Batwing will serve as a form of fast travel for the game, which is going to be a big help in a setting as potentially big as Gotham City.
But if open-world nonsense isn’t your bag (baby), then perhaps the portable likes of Batman: Arkham Origins Blacklight will. Its gameplay style and story completely diverge from the console version, the latter taking place after the events of Origins.
Meanwhile, its gameplay – developed by Aramture Studio, a.k.a. the company founded by the same lead programmers who brought you the Metroid Prime trilogy – is a straight-up 2.5-D exploratory action game, or yes, as it’s better known around these gaming parts, a Metroidvania.
Personally, out of the two, my retro-loving heart is aching for Blacklight, but I’m sure Origins will hopefully just as good. We’ll see more of both games at this years E3, which certainly will have a presence there given their fall release date.