Arkham Origins: New Trailer, Screens, and Playable Character
This fine day has brought with it more than enough news for true fans of the Caped Crusader to go completely bat-shit over.
First up, a full trailer depicting an eloquent exchange of fists between Batman and hired killer Deathstroke. Other personalities that make the cut — and Bruce’s life infinitely harder — are Deadshot, the marksmen that never misses, and Black Mask, the criminal ringleader that’s turned Gotham into a murder circus. Gameplay doesn’t make a cameo, unfortunately, what with the whole trailer being fancy, schmancy CGI, so your eyes will have to chow down on the screens above for now.
Pre-ordering a copy of Batman: Arkham Origins scores you the inclusion of Slade “Deathstroke” Wilson as a playable character in the game’s challenge rooms. Slade comes stocked with two of his own challenge maps and two skins.
Rounding out the rest of Origins news, let’s touch on this casting kerfuffle. Initial reports had it that longtime Batman voice actor, Kevin Conroy, would not be reprising his role in the third Arkham game. Everyone got sad, then angry, and rightfully so. Then, Mr. Conroy up and outs his involvement, stating he wasn’t able to talk about it beforehand, having had to wait until the new title’s reveal. While press quickly took this to mean Conroy would be Batsy once more, Warner Bros. squashed that insinuation into the ground.
Instead, our young Dark Knight will be voiced by Roger Craig Smith, whose laid down vocals for the likes of Ezio Auditore and Chris “Boulder Punch” Redfield, and the new Joker will be played by Troy Baker — a modern voice acting veteran most recently associated as Booker Dewitt in Bioshock Infinite and Joel from The Last of Us; more fittingly, Baker was Two-Face in Arkham City. That still leaves the matter of Kevin Conroy, his role still unannounced, but the great detective in me thinks we’ll likely hear him narrate the affair as the older, battle hardened Batman we all love and wisely fear.
Shots from C2E2 2013. Special thanks to everyone who visited the Glitch booth and allowed me to snap pics with my shitty camera; you’re all heroes (except Scarecrow and Bane…you’re villains).
Batman: Arkham Origins Announced; New Dev Handling Franchise
Once prowling the night as a rumor, Warner Bros. has outed a new installment in the critically acclaimed and publicly loved Batman: Arkham series.
Batman: Arkham Origins is, naturally, a prequel to the duo of Rocksteady developed games which will follow an inexperienced Batman during his novice caped crusading days (a la Year One). And, damn, if superhero-ing doesn’t have its share of turbulence. Gotham City PD, not overly enthused by Batman’s vigilante antics, still considers him a public menace. On the criminal end of the spectrum, Black Mask, professional mobster/megalomaniac, has put a city wide hit on the Batman, sending eight trained assassins after his cowl.
Rocksteady is taking a pass on the prequel, sadly, but Warner Bros. Montreal, an in-house studio, is taking over development reigns, utilizing their predecessors’ modified Unreal engine and assets in order to maintain that Arkham feel fans have grown so accustomed to. Self-proclaimed comic aficionado, Eric Holmes, the creative director behind Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (rad) and Prototype (not so rad), is leading the prequel.
Arkham Origins is planned for release on October 25th for all current gen consoles including the Wii U; its existence on next-gen systems hasn’t been confirmed yet. A handheld counterpart called Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, a 2.5D Metroid-vania title cobbled together by Armature Studios, is releasing for the 3DS and Vita the same day as its big console brother. Game Informer’s May issue features the game as its cover story.
Steel Yourself for Injustice’s Demo Next Week
The DC Universe is on a dastardly collision course with itself (again). Soon, comic and fighting game fans will get to have a hands-on with WB and NetherRealm’s superpowered slobber-knocker, Injustice: Gods Among Us. April 2nd sees PSN’s demo of the game while Xbox Live receives it the day after.
Featuring the Gotham City stage, players will be given Batman, Wonder Woman, and Mr. Lex Luthor to bruise up, the trio representative of the two class types characters fall into; either those imbued with powers or those reliant on gadgets. Injustice drops April 16th for the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U (no demo in sight for the system, however).
I don’t care where your fighting game loyalties lie, you can’t deny NetherRealm Studios has seriously ramped up their game in the last couple of years. Formerly Midway Games, NetherRealm floored the industry when they reinvented their bloody cash cow, Mortal Kombat, into a technically deep, graphical stunner that gave every other contender in the genre an honest run for their money. If Injustice is anywhere near sweeping distance of MK9 in terms of quality, we’ll just go ahead and exonerate NetherRealm of its past crimes.
Gaming’s Fourth Wall Has Been Shot Down: Deadpool Video Game to Blame
Finally. If there’s one thing I’d have to admit is missing from gaming, I would say it’s fits of schizophrenic, homicidal rage.
The Merc with a Mouth may not be getting his dues on the silver screen (his script gathering dust in an executive’s office as you read this) but gaming has come to its senses and plopped Deadpool in the middle of his own title. Published by Activision, High Moon Studios — the guys making all that robotic buzzing in the industry this year with their sequel Transformers: Fall of Cybertron — are crafting a faithfully gorey, juvenile exercise in third-person comic book action with Deadpool (no one could’ve guessed that name).
Voice acting vet Nolan North (I’m obligated to write “better known as Nathan Drake”) is once again the mouth behind the merc for this misadventure, having played Deadpool in other virtual Marvel entries such as Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and Marvel vs Capcom 3. Nothing really beyond this trailer was officiated by any of the parties involved save for a broad 2013 release. We don’t even know which system we should expect Wade to throttle.
Does that stifle my excitement? No, sir. Not in the goddamn least. We’ll just say it’s “coming soon” and, unlike Deadpool, try not to laugh at the fact we said “coming.”
Injustice: Gods Among Us (PS3/Wii U/X360 - 2013)
We’re still quite a while off from getting our mitts on NetherRealm Studios’ next 2D fighter, but until then we can salivate over the potential roster Injustice will pool from nearly 80 years of DC’s back issues.
Two such contestants were outed at this year’s EVO Tourney; Nightwing (aka Dick Grayson) and Cyborg (aka Cyborg) join the lineup of modern day gods. The title’s creative director, Ed Boon, has stated the roster will cap off at about thirty-plus fighters, so expect quite a few more to come. In the meanwhile, enjoy these screens of Cyborg and Nightwing snapping tendons the only way DC’s finest know how to (hint: quickly and painfully).
Rocksteady’s Next Batman Game Set in DC’s Silver Age Featuring the Justice League
According to a report from Variety, Warner Bros. is looking to poise their Justice League property as the next Avengers. Unfortunately for the studio, they don’t quite have the build Marvel did with closely plotted films that led into each other. That won’t stop WB from launching their characters in just about every other form of media, however, including video games.
Hot on the heels of their JLA gaming blitzkrieg that includes Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and next year’s head-to-head fighter Injustice: Gods Among Us, now we’ve received word that ultimate Batman purveyors, Rocksteady, are crafting a prequel to their widely acclaimed Arkham series. The stylized game will depict Batman in DC’s Silver Age (running between the 1950’s and ‘70’s) and focuses on the Dark Knight’s first encounter with the Joker.
The Justice League comes heavily into play as Bats will meet and even team-up with several members. It’s suggested that, given the setting, we might just have a hand in the fabled group’s formation. The earliest we’ll get to play Rocksteady’s fan-gasm of a game is likely 2014, but it’ll pave the way for a full-fledged Justice League film in 2015. Comic fans, it’s okay to explode now.
Archie Comics’ Mega Man (Issue #18)