Power of the Masses

Anyone watching the aftermath of E3 will probably agree that it did not exactly go in Microsoft’s favour in terms of public opinion. I for one could not understand why: with a slew of exclusive titles the Xbox One was on equal or better footing than the PS4. This was not what most took away from E3 (not the most vocal commenters anyway). The contents of Sony’s presentation were what caused the stir, with a short segment dedicated to essentially mocking the Xbox One’s controversial features gaining a standing ovation (the trailer summarising this basic message is below)

I for one feel pretty sorry for the Xbox One team (let’s be honest, it’s not really Microsoft proper that runs the console division), with Sony doing an incredibly vague “reveal” early on, the Xbox One surely thought that they had the console war in the bag. So soon after Xbox One did their own reveal, showing the console off in all its glory, thinking that they had the superior console. What happened next you all know. What I found interesting was how a plan that in theory should have worked really well, backfired so much. With strict anti-sharing measures the Xbox One gains favour with the all important publishers, but with it being up to the publishers to enforce them, Microsoft remains the good-guy in the public eye. Partnering with EA puts them in cahoots with the most powerful games developer / publisher in the world, a good position to be in. Needless to say, this is not how it came across. You only need to take a look at Xbox’s facebook page to see the page and pages of comments consisting of a pair of middle fingers saying “sony wins”. It was genuinely difficult to get a screenshot as the comments are being deleted regularly (names erased to protect the stupid)

Sony wins

Although this does annoy me as a pretty immature response, you can’t allow yourself to get wound up by the internet, that’s just sad. Plus Sony deserves infinite credit for playing to public opinion so well, I’m a massive Sony fan outside of the gaming industry and would always pick them over their competitors (including Microsoft), so I definitely don’t resent Sony for their success. I honestly thought that Sony had won this one outright until I saw the news this morning:

“Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.

For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future. 

Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One. 

You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.

So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:

  • An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
  • Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions. 

These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray. 

We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.

Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.”

[Source: Don Mattrick, head of interactive entertainment business, http://news.xbox.com/2013/06/update)

Microsoft caved to public opinion. All controversial features removed, demolishing Sony’s competitive advantage but also showing that Microsoft can listen when it upsets its fans to such a great extent. I have to admit, in a small way I am disappointed that they caved in. Although this does make it a better console, no question, it proves public opinion can bring even the most powerful companies to their knees. This is of course a good thing in most situations, however I do feel that this is a case of ignorance winning out against progress. Things will have to change some day in the games industry, I won’t like it and most gamer’s won’t either, but it will be necessary and this announcement is the most sensible step in the wrong direction I’ve ever seen.

Thoughts?

Unravelling the mystery – A Pokemon spin-off review

When I comes to Pokemon spin-offs I’m usually very uncertain about whether I will enjoy them or not. I’ve been a fan (well far more obsessed) of the Pokemon main series since the original Red & Blue. Being a fan I’ve usually jumped at the chance of owning/playing spin offs to get more of the critters I love. The mystery dungeon collaborations have certain been the biggest of the ‘hit and miss’ titles in my opinion. The general idea behind them sounds great (for a fan). You are a Pokemon! You get to take on other Pokemon first hand completing quests. I mean you don’t get a huge choice of which Pokemon you get to play as for the adventure, but it still should be fun right?

For some reason I’ve just never really enjoyed previous titles in the series before. I’m not sure if it is just the repetitiveness of the missions at hand or the lack of character (both in choice available or the ‘behind the bar visuals’). All these reasons had me fixed that I wouldn’t jump at getting the latest title in series ‘Gates to Infinity’ at launch, but as always screenshots/videos broke my resolve. So what do I think of it after playing through it these last few weeks?

The story:

The game starts off with you (a human, hopefully you are) being brought into the Pokemon world summoned by a mysterious voice to help save the populous. After hurtling from the sky (unexplainably surviving the fall) you blurredly see a reflection of yourself and then offered the choice of five Pokemon as to who you want to be. A friendly Pokemon is drawn to your crash site and again you choose from the remaining list of four as to who he will be.

Basically after this set up to the game’s story there’s a large amount of building up ‘Paradise’. Paradise is a large plot of land you and your friendly partner Pokemon own and expand throughout the game. Parts of the story are initially driven along by your need to find certain Pokemon to help you build things in Paradise. A few of them come along quite willingly, but others will be slightly dubious (often on the verge of being villains) and require a bit of fightin’ before they’ll join you.

Later boss battles certainly challenge your team's resolve

Later boss battles certainly challenge your team’s resolve

When the game gets back into the swing of the main story though you’re kept away from being able to expand Paradise. One major story event kept me stuck out in dungeons for a good few hours. The whole while I kept thinking to myself ‘It would be really nice if I could go back to my town and build some more stuff now’. The main reason behind this thinking was that the story isn’t particularly one of the game’s strong points. It is aimed at younger audience and it often shows as Pokemon characters seem to state the obvious quite a bit and there’s a fair few recaps of important things to job the player’s memory. The weird thing though was the fact there’s quite a big plot twist at a certain point of the story that cleverly caught me out. All through the game up until that point I just assumed what I saw was what was going to happen, so I feel I should give the story some credit there.

In all the main story lasts a good fifth teen to twenty hours, but the game easily delivers far more depth if you want to see Paradise develop to its fullest. There’s a whole host of side quests to take on and DLC available through the eshop to keep any human trapped in a Pokemon’s body happy for ages.

Gameplay:

The game is quite an interesting turn on the usual Pokemon formula. Creatures earn experience, level up and learn new moves just like they do in the main games. The problem I seemed to find though was you can only control the Pokemon you choose to play as (at the beginning of the game). So many times during dungeon encounters I found myself wondering why my fire type partner didn’t use a fire type move on a grass/bug/ice/steel type. It doesn’t matter too much though as although there are the same weaknesses/resistances they don’t generally cut your attack’s power down even when it shouldn’t be effective. This leads on to another minor fault though. There isn’t really a need to build up a tactical team of critters (I’ve used the phrase Pokemon more than I thought I would). Instead concentrating on heavy hitters with corner/room ranged attacks usually wins the day. I choose Snivy as my Pokemon (damn I said it again!) and the most tactical thing I did with him was to learn/use Giga drain against almost everything I encountered (as it heals Snivy every time he uses it, it was especially useful against a certain final boss). A lack of tactical thinking doesn’t exactly let the game down, but it would’ve been nicer to think out moves/squad types more as opposed to constantly hitting your heaviest attacks button.

Creature rooms are a genuine nightmare at times.

Creature rooms are a genuine nightmare at times.

I actually think the only real annoyance in the game for me was the fact you don’t have any kind of control over your partner (the one you choose at the start). You don’t really have any control over any of the other members of your team really, but they don’t matter quite as much as your partner. You see there’s an annoying rule within the game that if you partner (or you) faint during a dungeon/boss battle you automatically fail and are returned to the last check point area (which sometimes can be about seven floors away from where you were in a dungeon/from a boss encounter). Your character fainting sometimes happens from enemies landing critical hits on you, but you can move your character away from danger (although not on the final boss). Your partner relentlessly stands against any foe until either he or it faints. Meaning most of the time you are having to waste your attack turn to heal him up (if you are keeping a close enough eye on his health bar). A simple command to make your partner back away from danger would be an absolute god send in later dungeons.

Sum up:

I may have been pointing out a fair few negatives within the game’s mechanics, but over all I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time playing Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. Even at the points where I felt certain story related dungeons were dragging on a bit too long I somehow felt compelled to carry on. The characters look great and some conversations between certain Pocket Monsters (changing it up a little there) are genuinely funny (namely Herdier’s Scottish accent in text form). Not being a fan of these particular spin offs in the past I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed this title. It’s by no means perfect, but for any Pokemon fans out there it is quite a nice distraction until X & Y later in the year.

Score: 3.8/5

All roads lead to E3

We’ve arrived at that glorious time of wonder. That magical time of year where we (as gamers) are showered with the promise of new games to look forward to (and often obsess about) in the coming Months. Yes E3 is rolling around again and with the recent reveals of both the PS4 and Xbox one there’s a whole lot to be excited about this year.

Nintendo Direct broadcasts often reveal a whole host of new games and the E3 one has a lot to live up to.

Nintendo Direct broadcasts often reveal a whole host of new games and the E3 one has a lot to live up to.

Nintendo have a special Nintendo Direct broadcast staged for the 11th of June to show off some of their big titles for both the WiiU and 3DS. There’s already a list of games confirmed for the special event at E3 (in place of the standard conference other publishers are holding) including big names such as The Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart U and the name 3D Mario game. Hopefully these titles will also be given good air time on the Direct broadcasts to leave Nintendo fans (especially me) salivating at the good times ahead. There’s also going to be the first indications of the new Smash bros game (for WiiU and 3DS). No one is quite sure if this means screen shots, video or gameplay at the moment as there hasn’t been a great amount of detail as to how far into development the games are yet. Rest assured though is there is sufficient data on the titles I will probably drop into an excitement overload induced coma.

Smash bros and Mario aside though fans are really hoping there will be some big surprises in store from E3/the Nintendo Direct. Series such as Starfox, F-Zero and Metroid have been overlooked by Nintendo since the Gamecube era. Many gamers have been crying out for new titles in some of Nintendo’s best loved franchises for years and now with Miiverse they’ve been able to share their love/ideas with Nintendo fans across the world. Mario games are great fun, but hopefully we’ll be treated to something a little more diverse from this year’s Nintendo offerings.

Elsewhere during E3 we shall hopefully see a great deal more on Microsoft and Sony’s new consoles. RangerDave has already shared with you all what we know from the console reveals, but E3 should give us a greater indication of what games we can look forward to on these powerful new beasts. So far we’ve seen Sony showing off some footage of the new Killzone game and (new IP) Knack. Both of which look rather stunning. Hopefully there should be more information on these titles as well as a host of other surprises in store. From a Sony standpoint of Playstation exclusive titles a new Little Big Planet or Uncharted game might really get fans pumped up for the console’s launch (apparently later in the year). Sony should also be looking to explain more aspects of the PS4 during their conference as so far there are a details of what the machine can do that potential customers are unsure of.

Microsoft have got their console unveil out of the way and with the timer at the end of that presentation counting down from twenty days’ time there should hopefully be an explosion of game announced when it hits zero. The compliant many people seemed to have with the Xbox one reveal was that they didn’t talk enough about the games. Sure the presentation was set out to explain the new features of a brand new console, but yes I do agree there probably should have been a few more titles talked about. Thankfully their next presentation should be aimed at showing off new titles and what they’ll look like (hopefully without constantly skipping back the TV mode). There’s rumour going around at the moment that a Crackdown icon was visible during the console reveal (on the screen in the background). Hopefully this points to one of the big exclusives Microsoft hope to launch within the first year of the console’s lifespan.

We've seen some of the games planned for PS4, but what other nuggets can we look forward to?

We’ve seen some of the games planned for PS4, but what other nuggets can we look forward to?

My general concern with Microsoft though is that most of their exclusive content on the Xbox 360 over the last year (or so) has been timed exclusive content from third parties with very little in terms of big exclusive franchises. Halo 4 was an absolute classic, but Gears of War judgment felt like a really rushed title for the sake of being a void filler exclusive. Hopefully the promise of exclusive games on the Xbox one will live up to expectations and we should see a return to form on many existing franchises as well as some new IPs.

Well it certainly looks like we’ve all got a lot to look forward to in the next weeks. Hopefully there will be something for everyone to enjoy. What are you most looking forward to hearing about this E3? Anything dream predictions that you would like to see revealed/come true? Please share your thoughts with us.

Scribble me this – TBD in the EU

If you live in the USA or Australia (or have given in and imported it) you’ve probably experienced the joys of Scribblenauts Unlimited on the WiiU or 3DS. The game launched alongside the WiiU system in these respective territories and for some reason was later scheduled for much later release for the EU market. Understandable in a way due to the need to translate so many words for a number of different languages. So we sat and waited patiently for the end of February in order to enjoy Maxwell’s latest brand of puzzle solving adventure. The weeks rolled by and soon enough we were in sight of release day. The Miiverse community had been filling up with eager gamers drooling at the prospect of throwing jetpacks and dinosaurs into inappropriate situations. Magazines and websites ran reviews leaving us salivating at the prospect of creation, but all of dreams were set to shatter.

The WiiU version hosts a collection of exclusive Nintendo characters.

The WiiU version hosts a collection of exclusive Nintendo characters.

The game was apparently pulled from shelves (at least from the stores that had received stock) and all traces of a release date were cleared from sites. Press statements came out from Nintendo claiming that a ‘game breaking bug’ was present and that all copies needed to be pulled until the problem had been fixed. Similar statements were also (and have been constantly reused) from 5th cell (the developers) and Warner Games. The over whelming problem I have with this statement is how was the game released in two other territories with a ‘game breaking bug’? Surely by now there would have actually been some form of reaction from American/Australian gamers that their game had been corrupted, but no. The Miiverse community and the official Scribblenauts Facebook page are usually filled with ecstatic gamers singing the game’s praises and showing off their wonderful creations. Salt in the wounds?

If there truly was a bug that needed fixing surely in three months (since the apparent release date) there would be some word on how they were progressing with the problem. It seems quite insane though that all copies of the game were completely recalled from store shelves and most likely hauled into an emergency incinerator because of a bug. Bugs/glitches appear in games quite a lot these days and many big name titles are often seen getting first day patches (and beyond) to counter them. Why go through all the trouble of making and shipping thousands of copies just to have them

In Scribblenauts your imagination is the limit, well unless you live in the EU.

In Scribblenauts your imagination is the limit, well unless you live in the EU.

collect dust somewhere?

Another reason that seems to be making the rounds across social media is that 5th cell are facing legal action for the inclusion of ‘Nyan cat’ within the game and Nintendo don’t want to get ‘caught up in the problem’. Again surely a patch or some quick work could remove said character quite painlessly. The team is still working on the Scribblenauts franchise as only last week it was announced Unmasked would be coming out on the WiiU and 3DS later this year (most likely only in America/Australia again). It would be nice to get closure on whether the EU will ever see the release of Unlimited or not though. It was set to break a bleak dry spell of releases when it was aimed at the end February and many WiiU owners here are desperate to get their hands on it. If only I had Maxwell’s magic notepad. Then I could just write ‘EU release of Scribblenauts Unlimited’ and do everyone here a big favour.

PS4 v.s. Xbox One: Revealing Bloodbath?

So the cards are down. Both Sony and Microsoft have revealed what their next console will be and what their respective focus will be. Following the Xbox One reveal, Sony shares sky-rocketed (http://www.nowgamer.com/news/1934607/sonys_share_price_rises_after_xbox_one_announcement.html); gamers near to unanimously slated the new console, siding with the PS4 (see map below) and hilarious technical difficulties annoyed core xbox 360 users (http://www.polygon.com/2013/5/21/4353010/kinect-trouble-xbox-one-reveal). So what happened?Image

The truth is that I’m not entirely sure. I was left near to entirely bored by the PS4 reveal and was expecting much the same from the Xbox One. Following the Xbox One reveal, I excitedly jumped onto facebook to share my excitement for the new console. I was perplexed when I saw that I appeared to the only person on the planet that had felt that the Xbox One had blown the PS4 out of the water, rather than the other way round. I eventually found 2 friends that agreed with me and were equally baffled, but this had me thinking: what happened? I realise that the rest of the post will be highly subjective, but I wanted to do a comparison of the two new consoles from my perspective and try to explain why I think  that everyone else is wrong.

Playstation 4

Sony have done with the PS4 that which they always seem to try and do with any technology they produce. Win by brute force. The Sony principle has always been to produce the best hardware possible and through this mantra have done rather well. It may not be obvious from this post but I’ve always been a major Sony fan in all the technology I own, but I have finally abandoned them on the gaming front. The reason I don’t like the PS4 is because it’s the best console. No I’ve not gone insane and started typing gibberish. It is the best games console. It will do what the PS3 did and sit like a king on a pile of super high definition corpses, smugly satisfied with its own display of raw power. I used to think that this is the best approach, consequently I bought a PS3 years before I bought an Xbox 360. I believe that this is why the PS4 did so much better in the reveal as well. It is a console for gamers. There was heavy emphasis on how Sony cared about hardcore gamers and that they could help each other, create a stronger community and even share their videos in livestream (impressive stuff). This is why I think there’s been so much buzz, as it is gamers that will spread the word and if we’re honest, teenagers are far more likely to care enough to vote on “the best console” than young adults. So, as a gamer, why do I think the Xbox One was so much better?

Xbox One

The Xbox One is a console for the future. The reason it wasn’t a games heavy presentation is because Microsoft have realised that the fickle teenage generation isn’t the most valuable market anymore. I read a comment today saying that the Xbox One is aimed soley at 20-something males who own their own home. This is probably quite true. The appeal of the console is the ability to streamline your living room. When gaming is not all you do, being able to swap between a game and tv seemlessly is definitely beneficial. It was only a week ago that I was watching a long show and had my 360 on at the same time. My intention was to play Minecraft during the adverts or when things got a bit boring. This was a pain to do and I eventually just sat on facebook due to the inconvenience of constantly swapping between tv inputs. Being able to “snap” screens would have made my evening infinitely better. Even on the pure gaming front this is beneficial with skype being fully supported during gameplay.

There is of course the trivial yet highly important (this actually made me happier than anything) factor that your Xbox Live profile transfers to the new console. This is yet another key difference, even if it’s not obvious. The Xbox One is combining all of the features of your living room into one place (tv, music, gaming, films) whereas the PS4 is combining all of your online / social life into one place with facebook and ustream being linked to your playstation network profile; morphing your online persona and real self into one being. This is another argument for why the Xbox One is aimed at “adults” (I don’t like seeing myself as a fully certified adult), despite combining everything in your life together for the sake of convenience (adults don’t have much spare time), gaming life is kept separate. This is because gaming is escapism. I don’t want Stefan Woodhouse (yes that’s my real name) to be online, Ranger_Dave_23 is a persona I adopt in order to escape my normal life, it’s an escape from a job (I’m ID definitely doesn’t have my gamertag) and responsibilitiesImage

I realise that in writing that I have potentially alienated many a reader. I’m aware that blogs are read by the very demographic I have said that I no longer associate myself with. So I want to emphasise that I’m not criticising the younger generation. Without it the enthusiasm of the gaming community would die out, and that is something we do not need. What I want to say though, is that there is a place for both consoles. I just hope that the public as a whole sees it this way because I want to play Halo 5 whilst swearing at my friends over Skype because I’ve been stuck in a lab all day, unable to practice.

P.s. Sir Mime will be providing a post-E3 assessment of the consoles. As he is a real gamer, expect a very different article.

 

Fire Emblem Awakening – Tips for success

The brand new Fire Emblem finally launched in the EU just over a week ago and has received a host of stellar reviews across the board. For many this will probably be the first time they’ve tried a game in the franchise and although there are easy modes to aid beginners I would like to offer some helpful tips and tricks I’ve found throughout my time playing.

A real life saver

Fire Emblem is well known for its perma death mechanics in that once a character dies, they are gone for good. You won’t want any of your characters to die (because of the stories and abilities they’ll gain later on), but sometimes you might make a mistake judging an enemy’s movements or they might get a lucky critical hit on you. The easiest way to combat this is to save before you start every chapter/encounter. With a constant back-up of your progress even if a beloved comrade croaks you can just hit the ‘HOME’ button on the 3DS and reload the game to try the chapter again. It can be annoying if you have spent an hour playing through a battle only to reload, but at least you can hang onto every character this way.

Yes Sir Mime, hitting the HOME button can help save your characters.

Yes Sir Mime, hitting the HOME button can help save your characters.

A life changing experience

This Fire Emblem brings back the world map system from Sacred Stones (on the GBA, fantastic game if you get chance to play it). On the world map screen you’ll see enemies (Risen) appearing on areas you’ve already finished chapters on. Engaging these enemies is a great source of experience for characters, relationships and weapon skills. There is also an item you can buy from stores (you can visit completed chapters to go to shops and buy items) that forces Risen to appear on the current location you are standing on. This means you can start off ‘farming’ earlier levels for the weakest members of your army and then work your way up the chapters to fight increasingly stronger foes. Personally I found chapter 11 to be a particularly helpful area to strengthen my forces. There’s a good number of enemies that appear each time, they’re not too powerful and you can easily place your desired unit(s) on defence increasing forts to help them battle the monsters.

Relationships:

Getting characters to fight partnered up or next to each other in battle increases their relationship statuses. The higher the relationship status the better the chance that the units will protect each other in battle as well as help each other attack enemies. Getting a selected male and female character to marry each other offers the best stat boosts when they work together and also opens up (when you get to a certain point in the game) side missions to gain even more recruits.

When characters get closer they will marry and form strong combat boosting bonds

When characters get closer they will marry and form strong combat boosting bonds

Stick with ‘em:

Certain characters may appear to be very weak when you first encounter them. You can choose to ignore them, but every unit has the potential for greatness. Using the Risen encounter farming method you can raise all your character to level 20 quite easily. Then you can ‘class change’ them using a master seal to get the most out of their stats.

Shop till you drop:

Shops are very useful in Fire Emblem as they let you keep your army in weapons etc. Once a weapon/spell book breaks it is gone so you need to keep an eye on all your character’s equipment. Every level in the game has a different shop you can visit after completion of the chapter. It is a good idea to travel around the map and look for which place has the wares you need. A character you are training up will often require bronze equipment (or any rank E goods). Once they’ve increased their skills with their selected items you’ll be able to buy and equip them with higher ranked gear that will greatly increase the damage they can do to enemies.

Shops are also crucial for purchasing enough master seals to get all of your characters to their higher classes as well as second seals for changing them to a completely different type of class. Also if you have the spotpass data activated and lots of goods you don’t need you can sell items to earn enough money to buy the characters that appear via spotpass. Although they can’t interact with any of the main game characters they are all classic Fire Emblem characters which fans of the series will want in their army.

Hopefully these tips should help you on your way to defeating your foes and restoring peace to the lands. Hope you are all enjoying the game as much as I am…. If that’s possible haha.

Well Tharjia I'm not that devoted to Fire Emblem, only a little off though.

Well Tharjia I’m not that devoted to Fire Emblem, only a little off though.

Batman Arkham Origins new trailer and pre-order DLC

The latest edition (prequel) to the Arkham franchise has had its fair share of coverage today with the reveal of a full trailer. A teaser was released just over a week ago showing the dark knight tangle with the one man army that is Deathstroke. After seeing the forty seconds of logos flying across the screen and then about one second of fighting fans wanted to see more and so now there’s a good four minutes worth of visual cocaine available for those of us who’ve enjoyed/loved/obsessed over the previous games in the series.

There’s nothing really to go on gameplay wise, although everyone has been assured the game will follow the same lines as Rocksteady’s previous sprawling thug bashers. In terms of plot line (as I mentioned earlier) the game is set before the previous titles and sees a much younger Bruce taking on a whole host of contract killers hired by Black Mask. I love the fact he’s now made his way up to the big cheese for this installment as he’s never actually appeared in the stories of the other games (ok, you can smack him around in the Robin DLC for Arkham City). Hopefully we’ll get to see another class of criminals (see what I did there?) in this title as opposed to the regular super villains in the other games, although I would love Scarecrow to come back to send Bruce on another magical trip through the realms of insanity.

 

deathstroke

Also revealed for the game is the special and ever so tempting pre-order DLC. From what I can gather it is the same situation as the Robin DLC in that you can use Deathstroke in challenge mode and get some extra maps. I’m really looking forward to seeing some gameplay footage of him especially after playing through Injustice: Gods among us. Hopefully my hunger will be filled in the next few weeks (possibly during E3).

Batman Arkham Origins is set to release the 25th of October on PC, PS3, Xbox360 and WiiU along with the 2.5D side scroller Arkham Origins Blackgate on the 3DS and Vita.