The Batman Arkham video game franchise is one of the most popular series of our day. It did for comic video games what the Dark Knight did for comic films, namely, make it a real deal. Comic book films made tons of money well before 2008 when The Dark Knight came out. But that film was critically praised on a level that no comic film to date and since has earned. It was taken seriously by an industry that typically frowned on comic films. It made the world stand up and recognize the depth that comic films can offer, and things have only exploded since then. Marvel easily leads the comic film world as far as earned cash and planned titles, but DC got things going in a powerful way with that film. The same is true for Arkham Asylum. It wasn’t the first comic book video game, but it changed things for the genre. Arkham Asylum was critically praised and sold millions of units, showing success that by far hadn’t been seen until that point. Things had improved since Superman on the N64.
So it would stand to reason that such a successful game would have a sequel, Arkham City, which too set several records and continued to prove that video games based on comic books can be incredible. After the first sequel game makers Rocksteady took a break, which eventually leads us to the final Batman game by them Batman Arkham Knight. But before that happens we did get a sequel to Arkham City. Two of them in fact. One was called Batman Arkham Origins, and it featured essentially the beginning of Batman in this game’s universe. We also got Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate, which takes place after Arkham Origins. They are both fun games, to me, and both did fairly well in the ratings. Both had a few more complaints than Arkham City seemed to have though. That makes sense to me in a way. But which of these games did the worst overall of being a great sequel?
Outside of the huge amounts of bugs and glitches (which I didn’t struggle with that much on my PS3 version of Arkham Origins) I’d have to say Arkham Origins did the worst job. The only reason I say that is because of one thing: change. Arkham Origins didn’t change that much from Arkham City. Granted, I love Arkham City, so a game based closely on it isn’t a bad thing at all. Arkham Origins does change things enough that you know it’s different from previous entries, but it really felt like a bit of a let down in a way. It didn’t change the overall formula enough. If you could drive the Batmobile or something like that it would have made it better. Or even if you played a good while as an in training Bruce Wayne before becoming the Bat that would have helped. It just felt like it copied a lot from Arkham City and didn’t change enough to be the best sequel. A very enjoyable game, but not the best sequel. *This doesn’t include the online multiplayer because not everybody has the internet and can play it, and the Wii U version doesn’t even have it.*
Arkham Origins Blackgate, on the other hand, is completely different. It may not be in full 3D like the other games, which is a let down to some people. But I loved the game simply because it was different. Sure, you’re exploring a smaller area that seems to be similar to Arkham Asylum, but that’s about it. The way the game looks, with 2.5D graphics, definitely makes this game feel different. The fact that the game is portable is also a plus to me because you can take it on the road with you when you go out and about. That’s a bit of a cheat, but the other Arkham games don’t have that. But the largest thing that this game has going for it is that you can choose to fight the main enemies of the game in any order you want. You may not think that’s a big deal, but it helps with replay value. The order you choose to fight them changes the ending at least a bit, giving you more cutscenes to watch. That’s what I’m talking about with differences in sequels! I think things like these make sequels stand out that much more. While Arkham Origins Blackgate isn’t the best game of the series it offers some things that cannot be found elsewhere, and I think that’s what makes it the better sequel. Which of the two games do you think is the best overall?