Batman Arkham Origins: Over-Analysis Part 3

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Dec 10, 2013

Filed under: Batman 61 comments

I want to stress that the game isn’t nearly as bad as it might seem in these first three entries. Remember that we’re deliberately zooming in on stuff that WBGM changed and seeing how it worked and how it compared to the original Arkham Games.

Last time we talked about a change that probably resulted from giving the same task to a different art team. This time we’re talking about a change that someone made on purpose…


A mook, thoughtfully telegraphing his attack.

The core gameplay of the Arkham series involves large brawls against groups of mooks. You hit a guy, then spin-kick the guy behind you, then punch the guy behind him, then stun a forth, then back to the first guy for a follow-up. The longer you chain strikes together, the faster you go and the more damage you do. If you stop moving or someone hits you, then the combo is broken and you have to start over. It’s trivial to build up a big combo in the early stages of the game when you can punch dudes in any order, but then you start running into special foes. A guy with body armor needs to be stunned before you can strike him. A guy with a shield can only be attacked by jumping on his head. A guy with a stun baton can only be attacked from behind. If you fail at any of these and attack somebody in the wrong way, your combo ends and Batman slows down.

And then there’s countering. In order to keep the combo going, you have to counter incoming attacks. When a mook is about to hit you, warning lines appear over his head. You have about a second to hit the counter button, which will cause Batman to block and counter-attack the mook. If you’re too slow, you get hit. Batman can do this counter at any time. Even if he’s winding up to punch some else, he’ll interrupt that attack to do the counter. One of the great achievements of the Batman series is that this transition looks pretty seamless.


In Arkham Origins, the team took away Batman’s ability to interrupt his own attacks, meaning that if you’re already committed to a move, you can’t perform a counter. You just get hit, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Now, if the timing is right you can finish your current attack and mash the counter button afterwards, but sometimes there isn’t enough time for that. On top of this, mooks seem to have more reach. If you jump away, the attacking mook will kind of slide over to you so the attack hits anyway. That’s fine, inasmuch as Batman does that all the time, but this change makes the previous change worse, since you need more distance to avoid those annoying gotcha conditions where you both start attacking at the same time.

The blue lines mean that this dude is about to punch me. The fact that I’m in the middle of punching somebody else means that I can’t do anything about it.
The blue lines mean that this dude is about to punch me. The fact that I’m in the middle of punching somebody else means that I can’t do anything about it.

This breaks the central feedback system of the combat mechanics. In previous games, it was always clear what you did wrong. Maybe I overlooked an attack warning, or punched the wrong guy, or failed to stun somebody first. But now it’s not at all clear what my mistake was or when I made it. Clearly I shouldn’t have been in the middle of this attack when that guy punched me, but how could I have avoided that using only the information available at the time?

I’m on my second trip through the game and I’m still running into situations where I begin a strike at Mook #1 at the same time Mook #2 begins a strike on me (in programming we call this hazard a race condition) and when this happens there’s NOTHING you can do. You get hit, end of story. The Batman slows down, which lets foes crowd you, which increases the chance of it happening again. Success depends on whether you can get Batman up to speed without running into those unfortunate concurrent attacks.

It’s now way harder and a lot more random. Sometimes I’ll flawlessly ace a fight without getting touched, and the next fight will be a fumbling brawl where I get nailed every time I start getting into the flow. The game rates fights based on “threat”, but the rating doesn’t actually correlate to difficulty because the key factor now is numbers. The game claims that five ninjas is a “extreme” threat, but it’s not hard to ace that fight. But the “moderate” fight with seven random mooks with a couple of knives and shields? That’s now a pain in the ass because there are SO many people that the odds are high that some opportunist will punch you in the butt while you’re hitting someone else.

This small change had a huge impact on the difficulty of the game for me. I actually think a new player might have an easier time with Arkham Origins than an a returning player, since you won’t have all those hours of muscle memory working against you and you won’t just jam the counter button impotently when you’re about to get punched.

This change basically makes most of the attack warnings useless, since by the time they show up it’s usually too late to make a decision about what you want to do. I don’t know if I’d call the game harder in the sense of getting more game over situations, but it’s harder in the sense that I got hit more often and couldn’t see how I might have done things differently to avoid it.

Why was this change made? Is this to sell the notion that this more inexperienced Batman is a bit of a clumsy brute compared to the later version? Is this an attempt to make the game harder for the hardcore? Did the game designer just feel that being able to change your mind mid-attack was too “cheaty”?

Shield dudes can’t be counter-attacked. Counter-attacking a knife mook just dodges without countering, unless you have a special upgrade. Stun batons can’t be countered but you can jump over them. Armored dudes can be countered, unless they have a knife and you have the upgrade to… hang on. Are you getting all this? Maybe we need a flowchart.
Shield dudes can’t be counter-attacked. Counter-attacking a knife mook just dodges without countering, unless you have a special upgrade. Stun batons can’t be countered but you can jump over them. Armored dudes can be countered, unless they have a knife and you have the upgrade to… hang on. Are you getting all this? Maybe we need a flowchart.

I can’t even tell how intentional this change was. If there’s a way to avoid the simultaneous attack problem I haven’t discovered it, and the game certainly hasn’t commented on it. Avoiding race conditions is now the most important key to success in combat, and the game doesn’t discuss or even acknowledge it.

I have no idea why this was done, but now I really despise the straight-up brawls. Playing Arkham Origins feels like playing Arkham Asylum in a situation where some asshole keeps slapping the controller out of your hands every eight seconds. It’s infuriating. In earlier games I’d fight just for the fun of it. In Origins I find myself avoiding combat because it’s so frustrating.

But fine. The game is less satisfying now and you get those rewarding free-flow situations less often. I guess the game is just supposed to be harder now?


About two-thirds of the way through the game Batman gets this new ability to shock dudes as he punches them, and it completely trivializes the combat system. Shield mooks? Shock baton mooks? Armored mooks? Knives? Doesn’t matter. Just mash the attack button mindlessly without worrying about positioning.

So combat is hard and frustrating until it becomes easy and boring. This makes me think that WBGM messed with the core of the Rocksteady combat system without knowing what they were doing or understanding why the old one worked so well. That was incredibly unwise. I would have been a lot more tolerant of the rest of the game if the combat hadn’t eroded my patience.


From The Archives:

61 thoughts on “Batman Arkham Origins: Over-Analysis Part 3

  1. Rob Collini says:

    I’ve been explaining people that this game has given me “Batman fatigue” and made me leery of spending more time on the game, even though I couldn’t explain why. Upon reading this post, Shamus has completely hit the nail on the head on why this game couldn’t capture my interest.

  2. bloodsquirrel says:

    “In Arkham Origins, the team took away Batman's ability to interrupt his own attacks, meaning that if you're already committed to a move, you can't perform a counter.”

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why so many brawlers suck nowadays: they’re more focused on making the animations look cool than making sure that the core mechanics work.

    I’ve gotten so damn tired of the fact that every game that involves fighting nowadays requires me to constantly roll all over the place like a spaz to avoid being hit because any attempt to actually stand and fight means that I’ll wind up locked in an animation that gives the enemies free reign to beat the snot out of me.

    1. BruceR says:

      This. The Ryse LPs just look dumb for this reason. Roman Centurions did not “roll all over the place like a spaz” either.

  3. Steve C says:

    I’m still waiting for the Mumbles rant. Her absence is noticeably conspicuous now at three articles in. Batman criticism just isn’t Batman without a Mumbles rant.

    1. Mumbles says:

      I think maybe the most telling thing is that Mumbles has not ranted about this game or had much to say about it at all.

      1. Lalaland says:

        :D Truly her silence speaks volumes.

      2. Adam says:

        OK, but is this an “I have nothing to say” silence, or an “I am seething with barely-contained, white-hot fury” silence?

        1. Mumbles says:

          You know when you know a thing. You know this thing so well you could recite it backwards in your sleep under heavy narcotics? So, when someone makes a game about this thing you know so well you know it better than your own mother, you don’t really have anything to say about it. I mean it’s good. It’s basically a decent retelling of a thing you know. And, sometimes there’s surprises or twists, but for the most part it’s the thing.

          The thing you know.

          The thing that you could recite in your sleep.

          So what is there even to say?

  4. Brandon says:

    What I wound up doing in Origins was basically never attack an enemy that is standing next to you. Always find someone who is standing back with a gun or trying to throw a box, and try to hit them instead. You basically always have to be moving around the exterior of a group and avoid getting surrounded or cornered. I could see why they might make that choice, for “realism” or something, but it does make it a lot less fun to play, and makes Batman feel a lot less powerful.

    I loved the shock gloves because it finally made me feel like I could beat up mooks like they were just mooks and not treat them as a huge threat.

  5. Rick says:

    Hey Shamus, you were wondering why WB changed publishers, right? Well, I am fairly certain that WB views all game studios as interchangeable, and had WBGM develop it for the millions of dollars they'll get in tax returns. I do hope I'm wrong, and that they're doing something smarter, like what you suggested, but, well there's a reason WB hasn't done well in the games industry.

  6. Tizzy says:

    Given that I had little patience and interest in the combat system of the previous games, I guess I’d better give this one a miss then… What a shame!

  7. Screen Peeking says:

    I felt that I had a different experience with Arkham City and its combat. I distinctly remember not being able to action cancel out of attacking. I recall this being a factor that I had to be more aware of in new game plus. I haven’t played Origins so I can’t speak for the combat, but maybe there is now a longer wait period before you can action cancel something akin to having to wait through the whole animation of Batman’s attack to counter instead of countering at the point where the strike deals damage.

    Whether my observations are true or not, It’s interesting how small changes in timing can shift how the combat flows.

    1. Felblood says:

      In Arkham City, if you start an attack after your counter window has begin, you cannot counter until that attack is complete. That is, never do this unless you are already crazy fast, or Batman’s attack will carry you out of the attackers range.

      However, if a new counter window appears in the middle of an attack, you could counter that new attack. Watching for these counter prompts, and making sure you never start a new attack while a counter is available, is 99% of being effective in Arkham City.

      While I have not played Arkham Origins myself, the change Shamus describes would effectively put the player into the failure state of the game, at random intervals, for no reason.

      The person who made this decision should resign in shame, so someone competent can have his job.

      1. Felblood says:

        So, apparently, we can’t edit posts if they are flagged for moderation.

        These embarrassing typos will live forever, now.

        Remember to proofread, kids!

        1. mwchase says:

          I thought comment editing was disabled, period, for all of the interesting things it’s been doing to the server and the comment display.

          1. Felblood says:

            Is that what happened?

            I’d better be a lot more careful from now on.

            I’ve been crutching on comment editing, in order to not look like an illiterate tube, for a long time.

      2. N/A says:

        I never noticed being able to cancel out of an attack in this way.


        I DID notice that, if I attacked, and a mook began an attack during my attack, I had time to finish my attack and THEN counter the incoming attack.

        But, cancel out of my own attack? No. That was never a thing I found I could do.

        Note that this is, as far as I can tell, still how combat works in Arkham Origins. I am mystified by all these people claiming the system is different now, because it appears to be exactly the same to me.

        Yes, that includes the mooks ‘extra’ reach – they did the exact same thing in Arkham City, in the exact same way. It seems random, but it’s actually based on positioning. If you move directly away from a mook, they’ll ‘follow’ you, sliding along to complete their attack. But if your attacks take you past them to one side, you’ll avoid the attack.

        (Also, the shock gloves aren’t a new thing. They’re basically B.A.T. Mode from the Armoured Edition.)

        1. Nick-B says:

          Exactly what I was going to come in here and say. From what Shamus describes, the combat hasn’t changed one bit. I recall playing City again recently and sometimes get batted around a lot if I insist on trying to actually do my attacks. Instead, I get impatient and slam the attack, only to notice a thug had started attacking before I hit punch. I will desperately slam the counter button, and maybe half the time I will finish my punch in time, but the other half I don’t.

          I always attribute my failure in a fight to just not responding in time with the correct button press. The fights seem fair, but need fast reflexes if you let yourself get surrounded.

          And yes, mooks sliding to hit you even though you moved 5 feet away from them to punch another is not a new concept. Been like that for a while too.

          1. MichaelGC says:

            Maybe it’s platform-specific? I didn’t notice a huge difference at the time, but the post certainly seemed to explain a few things! So I’m basically on-the-fence… (Having played all three Arkhams only on a PS3.)

            1. MichaelGC says:

              PS: thinking further, I did notice whilst playing that the goons seemed to have a much larger slide-range. On rare occasion they would basically teleport! – I don’t remember anything quite like that in the first two.

  8. Vegedus says:

    Really?! They removed the always-counter? God… Damn. While a rather banal, simple feature, to my mind it was always one of the key features that made the combat in the Arkham stand out from every other brawler/fighting game/God of War clone. Clear visual clues, “automatic” positioning (you can punch a mook on the other side of the room with a single click if you have enough speed), nice, segueing animations and the ability to counter anytime are probably the most important features that make the combat stand out. In many other punchy games, I never block because a. it takes away from your DPS and b. if you screw up your timing, or get in these race conditions, you ALSO lose health. Often it’s more effective to battle on attrition, because blocking is a gamble. In every other game, you lose flow every time an enemy attacks because you either have to fall over or stop up and block.

    Taking out that little feature is perhaps enough to dissuade me from playing that game.

  9. Abnaxis says:


    You know, I never actually tried to counter mid-punch in the original Batman game out of genre expectations/muscle memory, and never finished the game. I should go back and try it again.

    Yeah, I definitely understand your frustrations–all the games are worse when played that way

    1. Abnaxis says:

      Double post time.

      I thought about it some more, and I think my issue with Arkham Asylum was that I tried to Assassin’s Creed it. See, I had the fighting system in the original AC down pat. I would pick fights with the city guard and leave a hundred bloody corpses in the street by the time I was done.

      The thing is, when you committed to a move in AC, you committed to it. It was hard to block or counter mid swing. But that was OK, because no matter how many guards surrounded you, generally only the one you were looking at would actually be trying to fight you, with only occasional interruptions from the gallery, usually in between swings.

      To me, not being able to block mid-punch isn’t a problem, as long as the game is balanced for it. I made fun of AC while I was playing it, because I knew if the mooks would actually attack together I would be screwed. It was only their balance-imposed stupidity that let me row through them. Arkham Asylum took a different route–the mooks aren’t above ganging up on you, but the controls are more forgiving to make up for it. Trying to Ass Creed your way through a system like that is no fun, let me tell you.

      It’s like they tried to reimpose the AC school of fighting on Origins while keeping the Arkham Asylum balance, and it didn’t fit.

  10. Corpital says:

    I usually dislike brawler-type combat, but Batman punching, kicking and jumping is just so smooth and fun, I am unable to not like it. At least it never got boring or frustrating for me and was, with multiple foes (and probably my own ineptitude at countering), still challenging throughout the games. This is extremely hard to get right and I’m not angry they messed up, but after playing it a bit at a friend, I still decided to not buy it.

    Also, I cannot help but read the warning paragraphs of the series as “They have made everything worse, but it’s still better than most games out there.”

    1. MrGuy says:

      That’s a pretty good summary of how I feel about the game, actually.

  11. Tim Keating says:

    +1 to this. This is precisely what sucked all the joy out of this game for me. I realized recently (after completing ALL the Enigma challenges… what a rip-off THAT was) that the only way to 100% this game was to play it again in Bring on the Night mode. I literally could not complete the stupid Killer Croc fight. (As an aside, why do they even LET you try to hit Croc? It just breaks your combo. And the way he cheats and smacks you anyway when you dodge sucks balls.)

    Well, I went back to Arkham City to see whether it was just me. Nope. I managed to get all the way to the Catwoman/Poison Ivy battle in Bring on the Night mode with little difficulty. (And admittedly, I had a hard time with that on REGULAR mode.)

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Actually,you cannot counter only if your attack doesnt connect.But,as soon as it connects,even if its a lengthy bone breaking animation,it will be sped up for a counter to happen.

    Also,this changes big fights from fighting those closest to you into jumping from end to end and hitting the edges first,which makes batman feel much more maneuverable.

  13. Milos says:

    Yes! So this is what has been bothering me. Throughout the game the fighting kept feeling a bit shonky and I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I did in the previous games.

    I wasn’t sure whether to attribute it to some dubious bugginess or input lag or, most likely I thought, I just became inexplicably worse at Arkham games’ fighting than I was before I even had any practice back in Asylum. But if what you say here is true then that would explain it all.

    I feel more at ease now. Not because I was terribly ashamed for under-performing in a singleplayer game, it’s simply one of those “AHA!” moments.

    1. Lalaland says:

      +1 to this I couldn’t work out why the combat felt so much ‘gloopier’ than before either. I was wondering why low threat groups seemed way harder than so-called high threat groups also, it’s the mix combined with the changes to blocking that makes life miserable. I think I’m about 66% of the way through but I just have no desire to go any further, tbh ennui had set in by half way through Arkham City but the flow of that game was so good I kept on going.

  14. MrGuy says:

    Ah, the shock gloves. They are pretty much “easy mode” for the combat in this game. And they’re so BORING.

    You get a TON of attack upgrades in this game that make combat easier. The bat swarm, the combo takedown, the disarm move. They feel like “stuff Batman would actually do.” They make Batman better by being…more Batman-y.

    The shock gloves don’t make Batman feel more like Batman. They just make the wide variety of mooks feel like the same generic mook. They take all the strategy out of the game.

    It’s like they threw these in almost to apologize to the player for having different enemies require different moves – “Sorry we made you learn the knife dodge. Here, now you won’t ever need to use it again.” The one thing that made combat interesting, and you nerf’ed it.

  15. Khazidhea says:

    This was the major problem I had with the game, though I didn’t ever fully realise what was different, I just knew that the counters felt off. It made the combat far less fun, that’s for sure, I had to be really careful with my actions, often jumping then doing a basic attack, rinse and repeat for numerous battles. Also, not sure if I’m misremembering the exact setup, but I found it really irritating to think I was targeting a mook with an attack at the same time he’s countering, thinking I’ve got the speed and the timing necessary to hit him first, and either he just hits me anyway, or even worse, I zip past him instead for a hit against the mook diagonally behind him and get while my input on the controller is pointed directly at him, and get countered anyway.

  16. MrGuy says:

    Also, the thing that irritated me to no end and you didn’t mention.

    The “aerial attack” to disarm guys with shields. About 80% of the time, I line up in front of a guy with a shield, I (finally) get the game to recognize the double space in the combo. I jump into the air facing the guy with the shield and….Batman jumps sideways and comes down from above on some other guy who has no shield and isn’t anywhere near me. ARGH!

    1. Lalaland says:

      It’s like worst parts of Assassin’s Creed combat were brought in deliberately, I almost broke a controller over this at trying to get into the police station via the garage. So many cops, so many poor choices by the auto-aim, rage

    2. Dreadjaws says:

      This! This! The controls are really unresponsive. Batman keeps attacking the wrong mooks. I knew it couldn’t only be me!

  17. Neko says:

    I wonder if it was a time constraints thing? Some animator just didn’t have time to do all the permutations of animations transitioning from the various attack moves to the various counter moves. Deadlines were looming and it was cut.

    That said, I don’t see why they couldn’t just straight-up reuse the original attack and counter animations, if that was the case.

    1. Orillion says:

      Thing is, there weren’t transition animations. The animation was just sped up when you countered if you were in the middle of an attack, and it looked perfectly fine.

  18. TheLurkerAbove says:

    The worst thing about the shock gloves (and there are lots of bad things about them) is on the M+K control scheme I would frequently activate them through normal combat actions, turning tense fights I was enjoying into boring roflstomps.

  19. Klay F. says:

    I haven’t played Origins, but what fuckin’ genius thought you shouldn’t be about to interrupt you own attacks? This is like brawler design 101. Thats pretty damn amateur. I don’t give a shit about narrative cohesiveness when basic design considerations are thrown out the window. A brawler without even basic animation canceling is like Portal without…well portals. Especially in a brawler that all about flow, not being able to cancel is so moronic it hurts.

  20. Ciennas says:

    It occurs to me though- the shock gloves would be awesome- in a Batman Beyond game. In the Beyond continuity, there were lots of baddies who could only be beaten with electrically enhanced attacks- Inque comes most readily to mind, but there were psychics and combat androids and all other sorts of shenanigans.

    Who would want to play a Beyond game?

    Also also, who would want to watch a Beyond trilogy? See, I keep pitching it like this: The Batman Trilogy that we just saw, then the Nightwing Trilogy, and finally, Beyond. A trilogy of trilogies, and each one is awesome on its own. Eh? Eh?

    1. Adrastos42 says:


      That’s all I have to add.

    2. Otters34 says:

      Not everything has to be a trilogy. Arkham Asylum was a perfectly good game and story just on its own. A game about Nightwing or McGinnis-Batman wouldn’t be improved by there being two more.

      1. Ciennas says:

        Hm? No, I meant in movie land. A trilogy of Batman Trilogy movies. Games are a different beast than movies- for one thing, they can manage more content overall without overstaying their welcome.

        I was specicifically complaining about how Hollywood’s trying to reboot Batman when they already did a perfectly good trilogy. I mean sure there were some major warts on part three, but it still was a solid experience.

        It smacks of both no confidence in your product and talking down to your audience.

        At the very least, both Nightwing and Mcginnis have enough oomph for a movie apiece, and the Nolan trilogy giftwrapped in a beautiful bow a Nightwing series. (If they wanna, this is where Batgirl would fit in as well.)

        I just have confidence in them that they could do it (And do it right,) if they wanted to, and nobody’d get their intelligence insulted like Spiderfans got with his functionally identical reboot.

  21. Lalaland says:

    Also does Arkham traversal seem more awkward in this game compared to Arkham City? Maybe it’s rose tinted glasses but I seem to remember there being a lot of corniches, gargoyles and other easy-to-boost-from attach points lying around in AC. It seems to me in AO that I keep having to land, run across a roof and jump off again compared to my soaring fairly easily over long distances in AC. This is further compounded by the change roughly 2/3 (?) way through the game when they spawn snipers and armed groups on most rooftops

    1. MichaelGC says:

      It did seem as though that happened more often in AO than AC, yes. Thinking about it now, I didn’t pay enough attention to exactly where it was happening more often, though – I wonder if it was mainly down to the design of the new north section?

    2. Factoid says:

      I don’t get why this is possible on Origins, anyway. The ability to fly endlessly through Arkham City with the Grapnel Boost was only possible because of new technology batman had JUST invented. Why does it exist in the prequel when it didn’t exist in Arkham Asylum?

    3. ccesarano says:

      There were a lot more invisible walls in Origins as well. I know I felt like Batman descended faster while gliding, but that could have been a trick of scale seeing as this is a larger world than City. However, there were definitely a lot of areas where they player as not permitted to access due to simply not being allowed there until a story segment.

      Arkham City was a lot better at hiding those moments.

  22. Neil D says:

    On a different topic, I experienced the same thing that Shamus did in his Dec. 3 tweet – I had the game on pause and when I came back it told me that I’d lost my network connection and I was back to the main menu. Did they manage to sneak in an always-on component somehow without anyone ever noticing? That would have seriously impacted my decision to buy the game.

    1. Neil D says:

      And as soon as I hit “Post”, I immediately wished I could edit to remove that horrible misuse of the word “impacted”. Total buzzword-speak.

    2. Ciennas says:

      Two points: one, your sentence is fine. It scans and reads and everything: Don’t worry about it.

      Secondly, Why do publishers think that this is a good idea? There is no multiplayer component.

      Do they believe in the ‘Jurrassic Park model of parenting’ as applied to video games? Has anyone bothered pointing out to CEO’s how well that works out for anyone?

      ‘Life will always find a way’. Be that adapting your security out or adapting your company out of their life. In either case, they lose.

  23. Dreadjaws says:

    “In Arkham Origins, the team took away Batman's ability to interrupt his own attacks, meaning that if you're already committed to a move, you can't perform a counter.”

    OH. MY. GOD. I’ve been trying for weeks to figure out what was wrong with the combat, and here it is. It’s so obvious now that I see it, I can’t believe I didn’t realize it before.

    I think that’s the reason why this game is so much popular with people who are new to the franchise. As you said, the muscle memory is a problem here. This actually makes New Game + much harder, since on top of not being able to see the counter prompts, you can’t counter effectively anyway.

    Leaving this situation aside, though, I don’t know how things are for the PC version, but I find the controls on the PS3 to be unresponsive. For instance, I’d signal Batman to attack a mook in front of him and he’ll attack one on the side instead. It happens too often for it to be a problem with me (never or rarely happened in the previous games).

    Other thing I’ve noticed is that Batman just straight out refuses to do the ground pound takedown about 90-95% of the time, according to my rough calculations (as in, it happens most of the time). In Asylum or City, whenever a mook was stunned on the ground, you could press R2+Triangle/Y to knock him out and get him out of the fight. Even if Batman was a few feet away, he’d jump and do it. Now, even if you’re right on top of the fallen enemy, Batman won’t do a thing no matter how much you press the buttons. It’s unnerving.

    “In earlier games I'd fight just for the fun of it. In Origins I find myself avoiding combat because it's so frustrating.”

    Same here. Combat was easily one of the most fun parts of the previous games. Now it’s the most annoying.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      On ground-pounding, “Press R2+Triangle to Quietly Stare Off into the Middle Distance” was particularly bad when using the shock gloves, to the point where I almost thought it was intentional.

      (It clearly wasn’t, though – as you say, it did work about 5% of the time! (I suppose the successful pounds might have the been bugs/glitches!))

  24. ccesarano says:

    Somehow my roommate and I completely missed this seemingly obvious change to the combat.

    What we DID notice, however, was that the mooks are also more tightly packed in and hostile. I had just played Asylum again before playing Origins, as well as a bit of City, and my roommate had played City for the first time, so both games were fresh in our minds when I started on Origins. It took a bit of time to notice, but the mooks and goons will close in around Batman more tightly, and there will be a smaller window of time before they start attacking.

    One trend I noticed as a result of this hostile attitude was the game would actually interrupt itself. You’d watch an unarmed goon sprinting towards Batman as you were finishing an attack, and by instinct or reflex you’d go to counter-attack. However, before you even hit that button the game said “Wait! Pick up that knife on the ground first”, and the goon would do a complete 180 in order to grab a knife. This happened to me multiple times throughout the game, and every time the goon would turn around and take two steps back in order to retrieve the weapon. Of course, not only would I ruin my combat multiplier anticipating the counter-attack icon, but I’d also suddenly be wide open for a boot to the head.

    I enjoyed the shock gloves, in so far as they were my “Finally, I can just get on with finishing this game” tool.

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