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Nerd-boner well and truly popped over Batman: Arkham Origins

Batman Arkham Origins trailer screen cap

Aside from metal (obviously), Batman is one of the biggest uniting factors amongst the staff of The Monolith. Be it the movies, the comics/graphic novels, or the more recent video game successes, there’s at least something that most of us like, and a few of us are raving Batfanatics for sure.

On the subject of the latter of these, yesterday saw the release of the first teaser trailer for the next in line game in the Arkham series – namely Batman: Arkham Origins, which is to be the third installment. We don’t usually talk about video games on The Monolith – yet – but this is the sort of thing this column is for, so you’ll forgive me for getting excited.

The first and second installments – Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City – came in 2009 and 2011 respectively, and were very well received. They redefined what we thought could be done in Batman media, and nixed the notion that video game properties of big franchises are universally terrible. The Christopher Nolan Batman films were very popular at the time, what with the seminal The Dark Knight having come out in 2008, but whilst not a direct tie-in, this series was perfectly placed to capitalise on that, and capitalise it did.

2013 will be the year of Origins it seems, but this game, unlike the others, is not being handled by original developer Rocksteady Studios, but by Warner Bros. Games Montreal.

This is not the only change, however. Several big names are stepping back, including Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Mark Hamill as The Joker (we’re rumoured to see one of their earlier, if not first encounters). Instead we have Roger Craig Smith and Troy Baker respectively. The former of these is somewhat well known: he voiced fan-favourite Ezio Auditore in the middle Assassin’s Creed games, Steve Rogers in Avengers Assemble (the animated series), and Deidara in Naruto: Shippuden.

Origins will be set several years before the events of Arkham Asylum and will see Batman a lot less refined and accident-prone, vis-a-vis his exploits around the time of the seminal Frank Miller comic run Year One. The plot will revolve around a cast of villains, chiefly Black Mask, Penguin and Bane, but with a cast of assassins who are hired to bring down the Caped Crusader on Christmas Eve – among these Deadshot and Deathstroke, who make an appearance in the newly released trailer:

On the good side we’ll also have James Gordon, only a captain at this point, and we’ll also reportedly see more of butler Alfred Pennyworth, as the game is set to explore his and Bruce’s relationship, a more tense affair at this juncture.

I wouldn’t say I’m always easily pleased, but until we see any evidence to the contrary, I’ve got to say I’m pretty excited for this one. Release date is set as October 25th.

And now my watch begins.

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