TBH, I've finished AO and while it's a decent game, I feel it's the weakest of the 3 game Arkham games.
It feels more like a really big DLC for Arkham City, rather than a game in it's own right. I know there was a new development team and they clearly didn't want to tamper too much with the formula that made the first 2 games a success. But that being said, they've played it TOO safe and rather than expand on what's gone before they've just added to what's already been done.
I have to agree...it's like Arkham City with some only minor changes. Rocksteady took what worked in Asylum and put that in Arkham City along with new stuff that was changed for the better for the gaming experience.. on the other hand, Warner took everything from Arkham City, copypasted it, changed a few things for the worse and added unneeded things like Multiplayer and sluggish combat..
100 hit combos, get on my level. This might just be the side of me who fully completed the combat challenges in City talking but the combat is the best so far.
People went on about how the enemies in Asylum politely wait to come at you one at a time now suddenly a mob attacking as a mob should is shocking? The counters are the best part of the game for me, the more the better. I guess after all the time spent on City the harder the better in Origins. The freaking kung fu enemies are awesome.
The boss fights are some of the best this year, especially the Deathstroke one, I was never one to care about the level up system in any of the other games except the health and a few stealth ones
EDIT: Oh yeah, the bugs really are worth all the fuss. My game is currently stuck on the last Bane fight because it turns into a black screen the moment it starts while the game is still technically being played, I can move and attack and everything. Dying to it doesn't reset it either.
On an unrelated note FUCK the Deadshot fight. One thing that developers should be terrified of is the player asking, "then what?" At the tail end of the encounter, Deadshot grabs his hostage and kills him if you do... something, it's not clear exactly what triggers Deadshot to kill the hostage. The only thing the game says at this point of the fight is use "Detective Vision to locate the hostage." HEY RETARD I HAVE BEEN USING IT THIS ENTIRE FIGHT, I ALREADY KNOW WHERE THE HOSTAGE IS! HOW ABOUT YOU CLARIFY WHAT THE FUCK IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN AT THIS POINT! GODDAMN! I'm sorry, I put the game down for the night after failing it like ten times because the game wasn't clear on what I was supposed to do.
I guess you never played the one particular challenge map in City? That Deadshot fight is a near exact copy paste of a map in there and the hostage take is part of that scenario as well. He just spins in a predictable circle until you get the standard silent takedown. Yes, it's dumb that you can't punch him really quickly before he gets there but that was in City too, you can only blame them for not improving on that one small aspect. You could call them lazy for the copy paste though.
No, I haven't. I played the Deadshot side mission in the story mode which was straight-forward enough that I could take failure 'cause I knew I fucked up. This though, it feels that I'm failing to things not in my control and it is infuriating.
RJ hit the nail on the head with his first post regarding combat. I haven't finished AO yet, but have gotten quite far in the storyline and played some online. I was a Batboss at the first two games, and routinely got high 50+ combos in Arkham City without too much effort. I beat the game on Hard New Game+ as well and got 3 medals on all the Challenge maps, (Though didn't bother much with the Campaign ones) so I believe I'm extremely competent at the first two games.
I have managed to get a 50+ combo going in AO a few times, but all the tweaks spoke of already regarding the combat bogs me down and where I used to nearly never get hit in AC, even against the dangerous groups, I am hit frequently by thugs either obscured by the camera, or by enemies during my attacks. On Normal the "mash counter" issue is much less of a problem, but on Hard it seems to be the only real way to survive for long.
I also LOATHE the new Upgrade system. I used to pickup Multibatarangs as my first upgrade and wouldn't bother with Armor until I had just about everything else unlocked. But now you need 2 upgrades before you can get dual Batarangs, and while the Swarm was an upgrade you could buy immediately with your first point in AC, in AO you require 5 upgrades to unlock it, 4 of which are Ballistic Armor upgrades. The Upgrade Tree style they've gone for really takes away the replayability for me, since it's impossible to challenge myself by not getting any Armor upgrades, since they're mandatory for getting some of the important upgrades.
As for the boss fights? Meh. One fight was a Bane redux from AA, another was a Ra's clone from AC. Deathstroke was a fun battle, though I had a few issues with how it flowed, and also its timing in the story.
Surprisingly enough, I actually like the Online...when you finally get into a match, and don't suffer conmection problems. It's a lot like going to an Amusement Park on a hot Saturday afternoon, and you're waiting in line for the biggest badass roller coaster in the park. Takes forever to get to the front, but once you get there it's awesome...assuming it doesn't eject you out halfway through the ride. Nothing pisses me off more than waiting around for 20-30 minutes, finally getting a match AND getting to play as Batman or Robin, then getting disconnected for seemingly no reason. (Where I was playing had an extremely good and reliable connection.)
All that being said, AO isn't a bad game. The storyline, while at points is ridiculous, (Where'd that sweet Detective Mode Scene Reconstruction Tech you had in AO but not AA go, Bats? Alfred toss it out?) it is really engaging and keeps me wanting to move forward, and the voice actors replacing Hamill and Conroy do a great job, much to my surprise. AO just doesn't live up to the much more polished AC.
I've been playing it at a friends house on PC and i don't know what the fuss is all about. It seems to crash a lot when i'm playing it (but nobody else) and it also seems to chug a lot, especially that 100 v 1 battle in the challenges. I put both of those down to playing on a PC again, i'm sure the console versions can't be that poorly optimised.
The combat itself is very much the same as before but the counter timing is much sharper and i feel more like i'm guessing the attacks rather than watching out for them. They fixed the super stun, ground pound combo so that i have never had it fail on me whereas before it was 50/50 if it would land without a jump inbetween. The guys who throw things have an area around them where they cannot miss if they throw and you cannot counter which means the risky dodge is the only option when close. Getting upto red combo makes the game too easy whilst not being on a red combo makes the game seem extremely slow and batman feels piss poor weak. When you get hit in an attack you see to get hit over and over again, sometimes without being able to break the combo for 3 or 4 hits.
But really it feels much the same as before but with more guys to fight. Managed to get a 118 hit combo, often get to 80...not as good as i was before but i haven't had enough time on it yet. The moaners seem to be moaning about their own ability more than the game so take their opinion with a pinch of salt :p
I didn't have a single problem on the PC version. Maybe it's a console thing. And since it's running at 30fps on a console, things can seem a bit sluggish. But for me Arkham Origins runs so much better than both AA and AC. An the combat, while tougher because enemies don't just wait for their turn to attack, isn't in any way ruining my fun. In fact, I quite enjoy the challenge.
Playing on PS3 and aside from the frame rate dropping now and then, I have no problems with the combat, Batman moves a bit differently, but I think that's intentional. He isn't as experienced a crime fighter, he is a bit more of a brawler due to this lack of field experience.
To me, the combat in the Batman games isn't about the challenge of actually winning the fight but trying to pull off long and awesome freeflow combos, that's what makes it fun and challenging for me. It seems from other posters that its much too hard to keep lengthy combos going, which is very disappointing.
Well, I have the achievement for getting a x50 freeflow combo, so I'd say to people struggling to keep a combo going that it's a problem with them and not the game.
Also, a 3.5 out of 10 is a seriously unfair score.
I played the other two a lot, and I find this one a little more challenging but in a good way. Each time I get hit, I know it's my fault, I usually can be heard saying "why did I do that..." by my flat mates.
As for Jims review score, I disagree with him, but hey that's this opinion. That's the thing about people, and he is people, we all have differing opinions and ways we experience the same things like games, books, movies and so on.
I have found this to be the best written of the three (so far, I haven't finished it yet) and the boss battles to be the best in the franchise as well. You properly fight them. it's not like Bane/Ivy/Joker in Asylum, where it's dodge his charge and have him hit a wall or trigger the event that gives you the only way to hurt them. The Origins bosses I've fought so far you can punch to damage them like a regular foe, you just got to be careful not to leave yourself open, like I said though, I haven't finished it yet so that could change.
Keeping in mind this was by a different studio, they have done okay, there is this slight feeling of a lack of polish in some areas, but over all, I feel they have lived up to what I expected of an Arkham game. They haven't revolutionized the game, or made any huge changes to the formula and nor did they market it in such a way that you would think it was going to be the case. Rumor has it Rocksteady is working on another, so we'll see what's in store for us with the next title.
Like a few others I also haven't had any problems with the combat or controls with this game, for me it works just as fine as that in Arkham City.
Thats not to say that there aren't alot of problems with this game though, namely bugs and issues with the challenges and leveling but the core gameplay is certainly not one of them. WB Montreal have made a truly great here it just sucks they didn't take the time to polish it and work out the kinks before it was released.
I jumped straight from a City play through into Origins and I do notice that irritating moment in combat when Batman will just not go for the next person in freeflow, preferring instead to punch the air.
I just played through all 3.
First I'll just say I loved the story in Origins, however the game world kind of sucks the life out of it to some degree. I don't feel like the Dark Knight protecting Gotham, it's this weird world where criminals are everywhere and you beat the crap out of cops (WTF).
Anyways the combat system in 3 is, well, not as good as the other 2. Everything stated in the OP is true, I instantly had trouble transitioning between 2/3, while the the transition between 1/2 actually felt empowering. I hope they fix this because I really do love the story in Origins.
I just wish the Arkham series were moddable so the modders could do their thing.