EvilCast Recap - Episode 198
Sony Launches New Rewards Program

Batman: Arkham Origins Has Issues

BatmanIt would seem that Batman's greatest foe in the recently released Batman: Arkham Origins for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, and PC is not the Joker, not Deathstroke, not Deadshot, and certainly not the Electrocutioner.  No, the worst villain in the game is the collection of bugs, glitches, and other general issues that are gumming up the Gotham works.  David Houghton at GamesRadar reports on the game-breaking problems that are wrecking the fun:

Batman: Arkham Origins, as it stands now, is potentially a wreck of a game. There’s no more accurate way to put it. It isn’t going wrong for everyone, but when it does, it really does. Every sub-species of glitch is there, making up the dubious passenger list for a throbbing Noah’s Ark of technical horrors. Failed start-ups. Failed boots. Crippling frame-rate drops. Missing mission triggers. AI shutdowns. Full system crashes. Dialogue glitches. Ineffective checkpoints. A world map that loses mission waypoints at random. Corrupted save files. Any of these alone would be the big stand-out errors in any release. I suffered all of them within roughly 10 hours, spread across a single weekend’s play. A single weekend’s play that, perhaps inevitably, ended with the last, most monstrous glitch on the above list, after my fourth crash of the day, and the second requiring a pulled plug as a result of my Xbox’s on-console power button becoming unresponsive.

I'm playing a rented copy on the PS3 and haven't run into anything quite so serious (yet; knock on wood), but I have noticed some parts that are rough around the edges.  The game ocassionally freezes for up to three seconds sometimes.  The waypoint GPS has pointed me in the wrong direction more than once.  Most frustratingly, sometimes executing a silent takedown isn't so silent.  Without spoiling much, there's a mission that takes Batman into the Gotham City Police Department where he must remain as undetected as possible.  After sneaking past nearly twenty armed SWAT team members without incident, I crept behind an officer who was giving all of his attention to a vending machine.  The game recommended a silent takedown which I executed as I always have in the Arkham series, but each time I did, the cop shouted "It's the bat!" as he went under, alerting the SWAT team who would then come and shoot Batman without hesitation.  After my fifth attempt at this, I decided to ignore the game's advice and just sneak past the hungry cop.  That worked, and I continued onward.

It would seem that Warner Bros. rushed Arkham Origins to capitalize on the holiday season and beat the rush of attention to the next-generation consoles debuting next month.  The company definitely needs to patch the game and fix these problems, but I'd also like to see the developers take a few months, iron out all of the rough spots, correct every glaring flaw, and release that inevitable Game of the Year edition of Origins with all of the downloadable content included for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in addition to the existing platforms.  I'd have no problems replaying the game in a more correct, complete form, but that also doesn't make it right to leave existing customers in a lurch with a semi-broken game.  Fix the current version, get the next version right, and hopefully everyone will be happy in the end.