Electrocutioner, for all his bluster, goes down in one hit. Though this is the point.
Surprisingly, Electrocutioner manages to be an Anti-Climax boss twice! Despite it being a relatively late-game unlock, it's fairly obvious that you're going to get an electricity themed gadget at some point, and since you don't get the Shock Gloves from your first encounter with the Electrocutioner early in the game, you might be led into thinking that you'll get them after a rematch that's a "real" fight. At one point Batman has to track down a meeting of Assassins by way of tuning in to the Electrocutioner, and that seems to be priming you up for a fight with him. It turns out that it's just another trick though, as the Electrocutioner is killed before Batman can even lay a finger on him. You do get the gloves this time though.
Lady Shiva starts off as a reskinned martial artist and flanked by four ninjas; after getting her down to half of her health, she switches to a reskinned ninja flanked by three martial artists. The only difference between Shiva and the standard versions of the classes she fights as, is her immunity to Batman's stun and takedowns.
Somewhat averted in the DLC, where she is not only harder, but requires you to cape stun her to damage her, even if your Shock Gloves are active.
The real anticlimactic element comes from her character outside the game series, in which she's clearly among the people who should have a good chance of being Batman's better in pure hand-to-hand combat, leading to expectations of her as the combat version of the Mr. Freeze fight in Batman: Arkham City - or somebody you wouldn't actually beat or fight at all. At least the game seems to establish this as very early in her career, when she isn't even working on her own yet. It is actually made clear that she was only testing Batman and is the only assassin not disabled after their fight.
Copperhead can appear challenging due to the vast number of duplicates she spawns but they can be easily beaten with counters, letting the player attack her without much resistance. You can easily dispose of the duplicates by spamming Explosive Gel.
Not every fan of Bane was happy when the Rocksteady games opted for a Dumb Muscle version of the character. This game shows that Bane used to be a Genius Bruiser, and there is an in-universe reason for his later stupidity.
Awesome Bosses: If there's one thing this game was very praised for, it was for its boss battles.
While not a proper boss fight, the Mad Hatter section was considered pretty trippy and full of Nightmare Fuel.
The Deathstroke boss fight has been particularly acclaimed, as it forces the player to make sure to memorize his attack patterns rather than just spamming the attack button as well as focus on mastering the counter ability, since just rushing in and pressing it as quickly as possible will lead to a very quick death.
The battle against Firefly is rather engaging as one has to be quick to dodge his fire attacks and then be quick reeling him in with the grapple to cause any damage or one is forced to repeat the strategy. It helps the battle is stretched through the Gotham bridge, making it feel more epic.
And the fact it has Multiplayer has ticked off a few as well, while some are excited to play an "Arkham" game with friends.
It was confirmed that the Wii U version will cost less as compensation for not featuring multiplayer. While great news to Wii U owners, Arkham players who want to play the game on other platforms and do NOT care about the multiplayer are not pleased that they are being forced to pay for a feature they don't care about (although the console game's price is identical to the previous Batman titles which had no multiplayer, so arguably it is a free bonus).
The Joker being the villain, and that he ordered the assassins to go after Batman by impersonating Black Mask hasn't gone over well, because there was a lot of hype surrounding the fact that someone other than the Joker would function as the primary villain. Some people think it was a wasted opportunity and predictable, but some fans enjoy it because the game explores Joker's psyche more closely than the previous games did, and because he's a popular villain, hijack or not.
Similarly, though the devs never hyped up Anarky as a replacement for the Riddler, many commentators speculated that he was, leading to confusion on the part of gamers who never followed up on sources. Anarky gets a brief sidequest, while the true "replacement" for Riddler is... Enigma; who is the Riddler. Some are irked that another well-used villain takes the place of a lesser-known one hyped to be important, others found Anarky's shtick to be annoying, and are glad to see an origins for the Riddler, rather than having him replaced by a b-lister at best.
A more minor one in the issue of Deathstroke appearing as a high profile antagonist in the game. Some take issue with the fact Slade is a Rogues-Gallery Transplant (he's Nightwing's Arch-Enemy in comics) and he more or less comes in as a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere. While some are excited to see one of their favorite DC villains receive an Arkham debut, others find the character overexposed and annoying (especially because of his infamous exaggerated feats in Identity Crisis) and feel that his role could have been taken by Lady Shiva, who is a Batman villain and has a reduced role in comparison (and an easier boss fight). Given how he was hyped up and was the only assassin who's also playable, it comes as quite a disappointment given he could have at least had his own sidequest, if not his own playable missions like Catwoman did in Arkham City.
The lack of alternative playable characters beyond Deathstroke and Bruce Wayne (Who is somewhat of a reskin, but still noticeably different from Batman) is another. While playable in the Multiplayer, Robin isn't featured as a playable character like he was in the previous game, nor is Nightwing or Catwoman. As such, some who enjoyed them in the previous game and wanted to play them again feel disappointed, while those who didn't care for them, well, don't care. One camp notes that the multiplayer isn't canon, so none of the City's characters don't actually exist yet (Except for Catwoman, but Batman hasn't met her yet; not to mention she was an antagonist in that game), and Deathstroke already shares many moves with Robin.
Contested Sequel: Or prequel. The game was made to expand the Arkham franchise beyond Rocksteady studios, and was rushed to the point there were many bugs upon release and the actual gameplay was 90% identical to that of City (using mostly modifications of the City assets to build upon). Still, the change in production company and story writers is noticeable. Many feel that the story is simpler and more cinematic than the prior games, having a more engaging method of having Batman face off against his Rogues Gallery, while others criticize it for the retcon and changes it puts into the Lore, and more or less doing a Batman-Joker story but without the higher stakes and personal dimension that Rocksteady did in the main trilogy.
Fanon Discontinuity: Despite the fact that both Warner Bros. and Rocksteady have confirmed that Arkham Origins is a legitimate canonical prequel, some fans absolutely refuse to consider it canon to Arkham Asylum and Arkham City due to its glitches, small but noticeable continuity errorsnote Namely Young!Batman using the Grapnel Boost Upgrade when City identified it as an experimental upgrade that Bruce was field testing for the first time in that game and mainly, because it was developed by WB Montreal instead of Rocksteady. (Honest Game Trailers is especially vocal in its hatred of the game. Even stating flat out that they'll never do a parody trailer for it). Seeing that there are several Continuity Nods to Origins in Batman: Arkham Knight, it is definitely canon. However, when it was announced that Arkham Origins was excluded from the upcoming Compilation Re-release titled Return to Arkham, Origins fans are angered and believe that WB have gone back on their word and officially declared OriginsCanon Discontinuity.
Foe Yay: When The Joker's being psychoanalyzed by Harley while detained in Blackgate, he starts narrating his origin to her: being the Red Hood and the fateful bath in chemicals courtesy of Batman that transforms him into his present state. In his mind, he's imagining a horrifying ordeal; narrating it to her, Harley interprets it as him being in love with a special someone. And the dialogue even suggests that he's fully aware of such a thing, using his words to convey his true feelings about Batman while being vague enough to play on Harley's emotions.
All combat challenges become a breeze after one acquires the Shock Gloves. Once activated, they can punch through any measly defense that the mooks might have, and they double the hits in the combo counter, making it easier to pull off special combo moves. In addition, some campaigns allow you to use an ability that allows you to punch through shields, armor and batons, like in Arkham City. The difference here is that instead of just doing that, the power-up simply gives you infinite shock glove use during the fight. Combine that with the shock glove's multiplier effect, and it's not that hard to get triple the points needed to get all medals on that challenge.
A big deal was made about how hard the I Am the Night -mode was going to be, since the player has only one life to beat the game with no saves... except the developers forgot the last part, and the player can use the restart feature between checkpoints with no repercussions as long as they don't die.
The remote claw in the predator sections allows you to take out any henchman that so much as wanders near a gargoyle or other vantage point from a distance. Since they're everywhere, they make those sections a lot easier than they really should be.
If you're ever overwhelmed by groups of thugs in the streets, the Enhanced Dive Bomb makes it insanely easy to whittle down forces. Dive Bomb, grapple away, repeat. You can even use the glue mine for ensured multiple knockouts.
Goddamn Bats: Martial Artists, if only because they are immune to instant takedowns. Other than that, they aren't too annoying, even if they can counter you.
He Really Can Act: Troy Baker turned out to be an excellent Joker. He still has his detractors, but many find him to be one of the better Joker voice actors.
The Big O is often described as "Batman with giant robots". The protagonist is Roger Smith. Batman, in this game, is played by Roger Craig Smith.
Arkham City included the line "How come it all ended in a church?" while making a reference to Lost. The final confrontation with the Joker occurs in the chapel of Blackgate Penitentiary.
Additionally, the final confrontation with Black Mask happens in an actual church.
Deathstroke and Bane both play major roles in the game, with Bane eventually turning out to know who Batman is, but then loses his memory due to a combination of chemicals. Cue Beware the Batman, where Deathstroke appears... And his fate and motivation is identical to Bane's.
Speaking of Beware the Batman, Bane in the game is voiced by JB Blanc. On Beware the Batman, he's the voice of Alfred. Makes Bane almost killing Alfred ironic, doesn't it?
Commissioner Gordon's voice actor, Michael Gough, is a double-whammy of this. Not only does he share a name with the actor who played Alfred in the Burton/Schumacher Batman films, but said voice actor once voiced Deckard Cain, who's voice has been compared to a different version of Bane.
The Electrocutioner being an Anti-Climax Boss in the game is much more hilarious when his counterpart in Gotham is also taken down anti-climatically in a single hit.
Enigma being a cop on the GCPD was a strange addition to Nigma's origin, but his counterpart in Gotham is also a police worker before his Start of Darkness.
Firefly's taunt of "Feel the burn!" makes him sound like a Bernie Sanders supporter.
It's Easy, So It Sucks!: The game's predator gameplay is incredibly broken, even on harder levels, especially with the remote claw by which one can take out multiple mooks without standing directly on a single gargoyle and giving away one's position. The level design likewise doesn't have the clutter and multi-tiered level design in the Rocksteady games. Notably, players who started with Arkham Origins found Arkham Knight much harder since Rocksteady gave the stealth and predator challenges a Sequel Difficulty Spike in the latter game.
It's kind of difficult to believe that someone who claims to have mastered Arkham City's combat had such difficulty countering Deathstroke. The real issue is that where the Rocksteady games feature large arena-size rooms for the big combat encounters, Origins level designs favors smaller, tighter-rooms and spaces for the combat, which makes it feel more cramped and clumsy. The combat is not intrinsically difficult as such just not staged to a proper scale.
It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: The most prevalent complaint against the game is that it doesn't do much that the previous games hasn't done, with the game more or less composed of repurposed assets and design cues from both Asylum and City. This extends to the boss fights, which, while very well-received for the most part, did copy elements from previous boss fights in the series, including the following:
While the Mad Hatter side quest is quite creepy and memorable, the overall level is based on Scarecrow's Nightmare levels from Arkham Asylum.
Three of the game's boss-fights borrow from the Ra's Al Ghul fight in Arkham City: Deathstoke jumps out of smoke and pounces on Batman, forcing him to use his gauntlets quick-counter-style, while the Copperhead battle has Batman fighting several hallucinatory Copperheads in addition to the real deal, who makes a charge attack at Batman that must be dodged. Finally, the denouement of Mad Hatter's mission has Batman throwing a reverse Batarang at the villain holding a female hostage with a knife below her neck just like Batman resolved his fight with Ra's and Talia.
The final Bane TN-1 Predator Fight borrows from the Mr. Freeze fight in Arkham City, especially when Bane is able to short-circuit Batman's Detective mode (Mr. Freeze was able to do the same thing in the New Game Plus mode in City). The Deadshot Boss Battle is likewise a replay of the Catwoman-Two Face fight in City.
In the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC, the final battle against Mr. Freeze copied several elements of the fight against the character in Arkham City.
It Was His Sled: Anyone who's read the comics will know that Anarky's a lot younger than he appears to be, though some people may have been expecting him to get an Age Lift.
Or that Ferris Boyle isn't half as nice as he seems.
Jerkass Has a Point: One of the game's glitches relates to tagging datapacks; they won't show up on your map until you've beaten up and interrogated at least one of Enigma's mooks. In general the emphasis on Enigma has changed to initially using your map to track down and beat down every person working for him; that, the reduced complexity of his "core puzzle areas", and the increased destructiveness of your methods for solving them give his tendency in this game to refer to Batman as a "thug" some resonance.
For most of the game, Batman is this. He's somewhat rude and disrespectful to Alfred, as well as refusing any other help, but it's clear he genuinely wants to stop the Joker and the assassins who are after him, as well as the fact that he's still haunted by the death of his parents.
Anarky as well. It's clear that he's a rather angry and embittered young man who simply wants to do what he can to handle the intense injustice and corruption that permeates throughout Gotham city. When you beat him, it's kind of hard not to feel a little bad for him. However it's his extreme terrorist methods that push him into the 'jerkass' territory.
Probably most surprising of all, Black Mask of all people is one by the end of the game. His life is ruined, he's been forced to Mercy Kill his girlfriend, he's been beaten and tortured, his crew is in a bad way due to the Joker, and to top it all off, he's blamed through the game for things he never even did. When he's seen trying to build himself up again, it's really kind of sad, since he was a big-time crime boss and is now forced to do a low grade drug smuggling operation just to be noticed again.
Jim Gordon counts as the only genuinely good policeman we've seen. Despite being outright hostile to Batman and even treating him like a criminal, he has a good reason for him to see him as one (Assaulting criminals, unauthorized crime cases, and hacking into the GCPD without permission). He also has to put up crap with the corrupt cops as he tries as hard as possible to redeem Gotham's police, in the meantime he has a strained relationship with his daughter Barbara who ended up defecting to Batman.
You can also inflict this with DLC outfits in New Game Plus mode. Some of them look appropriately serious enough (Thrillkiller, Gotham by Gaslight and Blackest Night) but costumes like the Adam West batsuit and Dark Knight of the Round Table are hilariously garish enough that you can't take it too seriously when Batsy's wearing a very shiny suit of bat-armour, or a comical looking bright purple cape and cowl and the cutest bat-insignia on his chest. Even his First Appearance skin, which has an appropriate black and grey colour scheme, it still has the small, goofily spread outward cowl-ears and the Purple Fists of Justice. Oh and if you're using this outfit with the Shock Gloves powered up, the Shock Gloves' special effects don't align with the gloves too well.
The Shock Gloves aren't actually a completely new gadget. They first appeared as an upgrade in the mobile "Arkham City Lockdown" game and "Arkham City - Armored Edition". However, in those games they were only used for combat, while in Origins they're also used to solve puzzles.
The Scrappy: Tracey Buxton, due to her grating voice and dated British cockney slang that makes her a living caricature.
So Okay, It's Average: General consensus on the game appears to be that it's fun to play and has a strong story, but does little to improve on its predecessors.
Special Effect Failure: In a game that's remarkably detailed and well designed, the flat fire effects in Joker's Blackgate takeover really stand out.
That One Achievement: "I Am The Night" which requires the player to complete the Harder Than Hard "I Am The Night" mode, which challenges the player to complete the game on a single playthrough with no continues.
Bane when fighting in Blackgate Prison. His being able to make a hard turn to keep charging into you after dodging is a bit unfair.
TN-1!Bane, especially since he manages to short out Batman's Detective Vision after being electrocuted the first two times.
Deadshot can be frustrating, too. Similar to Two-Face and Harley in the DLC for City, it's a predator battle rather than a pitched fight like with the other assassins—fitting, since Deadshot is a long-range fighter. He roams around the room with his mooks, periodically threatening them, which can disrupt your efforts to eliminate them by making them suddenly turn around just as you're sneaking up for a silent takedown. Unlike his mooks, you can't disable Deadshot's weapons with your disruptor so he'll always be able to shoot at you, and you can't do ground-takedowns despite his not being as physically imposing as Bane or Deathstroke. On top of all that, if you take down all his mooks and then start working him over, he gets reinforcements when you take down half his health and, if and when you're forced to go back to the shadows because of his goons, he immediately takes the hostage and you have to sneak up on him with his mooks searching for you.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The few changes that Montreal did make to the gameplay (shock gloves, multiple special combo moves, remote claw, etc.) were deemed unnecessary by the players and that it made Batman even more overpowered than he already was.
They Copied It, So It Sucks!: The game plays almost exactly like Arkham City (hell, even half of the map is a pre-Arkham City North Gotham, albeit in better shape) and only has minor gameplay changes.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The playable characters have been criticized of being PaletteSwaps of already existing characters. Deathstroke is a glitchier version of Robin with some of Batman's tactics, and Bruce Wayne is pretty much a faster Batman.note Predator challenges also don't have announcets when playing as him They do have some differences from the originals, but still dont stand out. Deathstroke was especially criticized for lacking many of his cool lethal gadgets, being a non-lethal character, and the fact that failing to save a hostage in predator mode still fails the challenge, even though it is against Slade's character to care about their well-being. note WB Monteral at least acknowledged the complaints, as they made Knight's Red Hood campaign, which allows players to shoot enemies with reckless abandon.
Three of the eight assassins are defeated fairly early on in the story (with the first being the one who introduced the entire concept in the first place as the Warmup Boss), and two more are only Bonus Bosses.
Early on in the game Calendar Man is freed from prison during the Blackgate break-in. You'd think that since it's Christmas and that he's a Serial Killer whose murders fall on holidays, that Batman would make it a point to track him down. Instead Calendar Man just disappears from the rest of the game and Batman never tries to find him. The only thing that stops this from being a What Happened to the Mouse? moment is that we know from Batman: Arkham City that he's spending the holiday murdering Judge Harkness at the Judge's Christmas Party. But the fact that this game hyped up its Detective Gameplay you would think you would investigate said murder and bring in Calender Man. Sadly no such luck.
Similarly: The game is set on Christmas Eve, Year Two. You have a game-mode where you solve mysterious murders? Alberto Falcone is in the game. Seems like a perfect setup for something relating to The Long Halloween, right? Also with the hype having been focused on the regular criminals, neither the Falcones or the Maronis have a big impact (or barely appear), while in the comics they were the biggest foes in Batman's early career.
In the end, that means that despite being set on Christmas Eve, neither Calendar Man nor the Holiday Killer feature in the story or sidequests at all.
There were many complaints about Batman not having his first encounter with each of his rogues gallery too. The developers would have made more fans happy if they even showed origins for the villains in a game that depicts how Batman and supervillains gained power in Gotham. Unfortunately, they were unable to involve most of Batman's core villains, though it is possible that we may see more prequel games in the future.
From a gameplay perspective, many fans were hoping that a younger Batman would be more grounded with fewer gadgets and focused more on crime-solving, closer to the spirit of Year One and The Long Halloween. Many noted that the game's Casefile Crime Solving missions and its scrubbing methods was closer to this spirit than the main story arc, where Young!Batman is more or less the same as the Rocksteady!Batman, highly overpowered and over-advantaged, especially once he acquires the Shock Gloves.
Likewise, Arkham Origins is set in a populated Gotham on Christmas Eve with thugs and mooks roaming around like in Arkham City. The Rocksteady games deliberately created plots that allowed for dozens of mooks in their maps usually by evacuating the city, while in Origins the city is filled with people but we don't see Batman interact with the general population in any meaningful fashion. Granted, this is hand-waved with the explanation that Gotham is in the middle of a mandatory curfew due to the severe winter weather (which you can hear over the loudspeakers as you explore Gotham), but it still seems like a missed opportunity.
At first, Roger Craig Smith and Troy Baker appeared to be fighting an uphill battle as Batman and The Joker. Doubly so since they're playing a younger Kevin Conroy!Batman and Mark Hamill!Joker. Some of the sting is taken out of it in that they're meant to sound younger, and thus different. And indeed, both voice actors emulate Conroy and Hamill passably, but not perfectly well, enough to sound like the same character at a different age. The alternative is to give a Batman in his 20s Conroy's classic but weathered voice.
Deathstroke as part of eight assassins hunting Batman? That's understandable. As playable DLC in a Batman title? That's a new one.
Copperhead was already a fairly obscure villain (and male, to boot), so not many people expected the inclusion of this character, much less a female version. Batman even remarks that she's one of the few faces among the assassins whom he doesn't recognize.
Values Resonance: The "Cold, Cold, Heart" DLC is a direct adaptation of the classic note As in, considered to be the Growing the Beard moment for the seriesBatman: The Animated Series episode "Heart of Ice," following the same beats of the story rather closely. It even follows a lot of the most powerful emotional moments of that episode, with many pointing out this just only proves just how timeless the original story was. "Take a seat, humanitarian."
Visual Effects of Awesome: While the game looks fine on PS3 and Xbox 360, the PC version adds a few spicy new visual effects. Smoke, in particular, looks fantastic and moves realistically. It makes using the Shock Gloves very entertaining, as they too give off the smoke effect, and watching it trail around the room as Batman swings his fists looks very nice.
Joker and Batman's encounter at the Royal Hotel is simply smashing. Especially when Joker has just blown up a building, while classical music blares as the windows in the suite are completely shattered by the shock-wave of the explosion.
WTH, Casting Agency?: German dub only. The VA of Joker didn't even try to sound at least a bit different in the lines where Joker impersonated Black Mask, thus the plot was spoiled during the first 10 minutes for everyone who has an average sense of hearing and who can count two and two together.
Plus, the German dub didn't switch voice actors for Batman and Joker like the English-speaking version and stayed with the voices from the previous games, which is rather jarring for the people who care about this.
The French dub has The Dark Knight's Joker's voice as The Joker in this game. He sounds very different from his usual voice from The Animated Series, which was kept for Asylum and City.