|Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate|
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Armature Studio
Platforms: 3DS, PS Vita
Genre: Action Adventure
Release Date: October 25, 2013
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is an upcoming 2D Video Game with 3D art. It is an action Adventure video game that is currently being developed by Armature studio and is going to be published by Warner Bros Interactive.
The game will be launching on the Nintendo 3DS and the Sony PlayStation Vita. Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate is based around the DC Comics superhero “Batman”, and is the partner title to the upcoming PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game Batman Arkham Origins. The game is also going to be a part of the canonical Batman Arkham series and storyline. Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate is slated for a release date of October 25th 2013 alongside its console based partner game.
A great deal of Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate production team is from the video game studio “Retro Studios” which became famous through the Metroid Prime series and the Donkey Kong Returns series, it is expected that the game will have a very similar Metroidvania style to those games, this most likely means the fluid side scrolling action found in the Donkey Kong and the in depth exploration and investigation of Metroid Prime. The phrase “metroidvania” perfectly describes the style of Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate, so it’s fitting to have the teams that coined the phrase on board.
When Mark Pacini was asked in an interview about what he thought Armature studios could bring to the table in regards to building a brand new 2.5D side scrolling batman game, he said “They had come to us with this opportunity that they were looking to make a 2.5D-style Arkham game that was in the Metroidvania flavor and they thought we’d be a good pairing to it, since we were really familiar with that style of game. We made three of them, so it was a great fit and we were huge fans. I’m personally a huge fan of the Arkham franchise, so it just seemed like a really good fit.”
Switching up the development style of the game, rather than using the console versions assets every animation included in the game is also being made at Armature Studios and will be fully voiced. Although this game takes place after the events of the console based Batman Arkham Origins, the teams working at Armature Studios have been working closely with the staff at Warner Brothers Montreal to allow either of the games to be played in any order and not spoil anything that happens in its counterpart, regardless of which platform it is played on.
The technical director at Armature studios, Jack Matthews has gone to great lengths to make sure that neither game is going to be a direct port of its counterpart. Saying that “It’s a combined effort. Most everyone has both dev kits on their desk. Platforms too different to concentrate on one lead.” Because the game is going to be running on a modified version of the BluePoint Engine, the only difference between the two different versions of the games will be there graphical fidelity, simply saying that ““Vita has higher res assets, 3DS has 3D,”. Not long after the team at Armature stated over twitter that if they couldn’t hit a solid 30fps on the Nintendo 3DS with 3D enabled then “we’re not doing our jobs”.
While developing the game, Armature Studios went through the previous Batman games in the Arkham series to see what features that they would be able to implement in the game given the restrictions of being played on a handheld system. Naturally, some of the more basic and common features from the main console games have been carried over: grappling, gliding, crouching and climbing, the development teams then tweaked these abilities so that they would be more compatible with the game’s world. Another feature that has been carried across from the console Batman Arkham series is the combat system.
The Freeflow has been built from the ground up by Armature studios for the handheld version of the game. Batman can move freely left and right, and also have access the foreground and background of the game space. Director Mark Pacini has confirmed that the combat system will be indepth whilst maintaining infamous predator/detective mode.
Another aspect of the console based Batman Arkham games will be the inclusion of vantage points (think Assassins Creed), silent take downs, glide kicks and breakable walls, like those featured in the console Arkham series. These allow the player to approach situations from different angles, offering strategic combat situations are the option of not engaging the opponent at all and sneaking past them. Something new to the series however is the somewhat Mega-Man inspired level design, herein meaning that the player has the option of facing the games boss characters in whatever order they choose, as such the game is implementing the option of having multiple endings based on who the player confronted as the final boss of the game.
The player will also be able to see the “sightlines” of the enemies in the area somewhat similar to Metal Gear Solid’s radar. This immediately allows the player to know whether or not Batman is visible to the enemies and whether or not he has been seen. When the player activates Batman’s detective mode he will change in colour based upon his proximity to the enemy and how likely he is to being spotted by them.
Set in the DC universe city of Gotham, the game takes place roughly three months after the events of the console based game, Batman Arkham Origins. An explosion of mysterious origins has rocked the foundations of the infamous Blackgate prison allowing the prisoners to take over and control the facility, similar to the events of Batman Arkham Asylum.
It’s then up to Batman to mobilize and move in to investigate the situation and try and get to the bottom of what is going inside the walls of the prison. But upon his arrival and a quick investigation it quickly becomes apparent that this is much more going on here than your average inmate uprising. It’s around this time that Batman will also have his first encounter in the series with Catwoman, a returning character from the Batman franchise. Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate will also see Batman begin to forge is long running relationship with a then young Captain Gordon of Gothams Police Force.
The roster of characters that make an appearance in Batman Arkahm Origin Blackgate details various characters from the Batman comic book universe. Batman and Catwoman will of course be appearing, alongside recurring popular criminals The Joker and Penguin. Lesser known villains from the DC comic tale include:
- Solomon Grundy, the zombie super villain who also appeared in Batman Arkham City.
- Black Mask, a pistol carrying, hand to hand fighting and torturing villain from the DC universe.
- Deadshot, a pin point accurate assassin with a “never miss” record, Deadshot also appeared in Batman Arkham City.
- Bronze Tiger, a hyper accomplished Martial Artist Superhero with no special powers. Similar to Batman.
Some of the more iconic gadgets from the Batman series (both the video game and comics) will be making a return to Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate. The developers have intentionally limited Batman this time around, meaning the player cannot jump in the game. Because of these limitations, the grappling gun will be used instead to access higher areas and secret platforms throughout the game.
The famous Batarang is returning and can still be used as both a weapon and a tool be it against enemies or switches. And the explosive gel has been reworked to appear more like the version featured in the Dark Knight trilogy of movies, meaning that the gel can be fired more like a projectile than a detonated spray, this was put to great effect in the movie and opens up many more possibilities in-game.