You can play as Batman in multiple ways on iOS with Batman Arkham City Lockdown, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and now Batman: Arkham Origins. All three games share the same idea of head to head brawler combat with deluxe 3D graphics. Batman: Arkham Origins is based on the new console game of the same name, and presents a new storyline that pits Batman against a number of assassins with Blackmask, Deathstroke, Firefly, Copperhead, Deadshot, Electrocutioner, and Bane. The game is set-up as a series of events as you unlock four regions of Gotham City. There are story battles, daily challenges, and special five star challenges to provide a lot of content to play through.
All of the action is controlled with a simple touch control scheme, that might be too simple for its own good. Your main actions are all just single taps that can then lead to deliberate swipe actions. There are special attacks that require fast swiping, or tapping, but the majority of your actions are controlled by tapping on the right side of the screen, or tapping the block button. It’s such a rudimentary way to play a brawler with all moves boiled down to one tap, and it makes for very repetitive gameplay as every battle plays out practically the same. The boss battles have occasional special moves that are deactivated the same way you activate your own special moves leading to very little variety. There’s tons of content in the game, but there’s not much incentive to play through it, unless you like doing the same thing over, and over.
It’s interesting that Arkham Origins draws from Injustice and Arkham City Lockdown, yet lacks the various gestures and pacing of Injustice, and the variability of Lockdown. Somehow, the development has seemingly regressed with Arkham Origins, and it makes for quite a disappointing experience. To make matters worse, the free to play scheme further distracts from the experience. There is the usual two currency system for upgrades, but it’s the stamina meter that is the biggest turn off. You can only play four or five challenges, before your stamina bar depletes, and you have to wait, or spend money. Certain challenges cost two or three stamina bars to make things deplete extra quickly. There’s really not much else to be said, it’s a high profile game that is bland in most regards. There’s a high quality graphics engine, but it’s not really that different from previous Batman games on iOS. Overall, you’re left with a restrictive gaming experience that has gotten worse as the years have gone by in the App Store.
Batman: Arkham Origins (Free, Universal) is one to glide past, as this isn’t the Batman game for iOS that anyone is looking for.