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Batman Arkham Origins Producer Takes “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” Aproach For Game Combat


Since its announcement in the previous week, the video game world has been abuzz with discussions and speculations about Batman Arkham Origins and its every little tit bit of detail that has been revealed by the combined forces of Warner Brothers and GameInformer in their publication.

The most recent bit of information has been regarding the combat system for the new game. In its conversation with Game Informer, Arkham Origin’s new development team Warner Brothers. Montreal have revealed that they are hesitant to redefine the combat system of Batman Arkham Origins and are taking the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” approach with the Arkham series, a franchise which they have inherited from Rocksteady studio.

The game’s senior producer Ben Matte’s stated that “We don’t want to invest a ton of energy into maybe improving that but maybe breaking it.” While these comments might make it seem like the studio is taking the easy way out and are going through the rehash route, the reality might be a bit different.

If we take a look at the gameplay transition that Rocksteady made from Arkham Asylum to Arkham City, the most drastic change in gameplay was not due to changes in the combat system, but the change in environment.

What Arkham City managed to do was that it was able to provide players with the same close quartered combat gameplay but now they were able to take it from closed rooms and corridors to an ‘open-world’ city.

While Arkham City did provide players with new weapons, the combat mechanics were mostly left untouched. It was, in fact, the first game; Arkham Asylum, which was the true architect of the quick combo and parry filled combat system. A mechanic that was celebrated for its intuitive and ease of use and lauded by most who played through the Arkham games.

So when we take that fact into account, the idea of maintaining the combat mechanics of the previous two games does not seem to be a bad strategy on part of the new developers.

And just like how Arkham City introduced new features to the orginal combat mechanic, Warner Brothers Montreal also aims to do the same with Arkham Origins.

Mattes goes to explain that “We definitely have introduced elements to combat that… add new layers, new opportunities, and new tactics,” one of these changes is the new aspect of the game in which Batman makes mistakes.

Explaining these changes, the game’s creative director; Eric Holmes said that “This guy makes mistakes.” Holmes noted that Batman is “not walking through doorways and trapping his cape in them, but he makes awesome mistakes by pushing things too far.” while he showed how Batman accidentally chokes out a suspect during interrogation in the demo, to which Holmes added that “These are things that he learns from as he goes through the story. He doesn’t make the same mistake twice.”

This is certainly a novel idea and plays in quite nicely with the fact that Arkham Origins is a prequel to the series and is dealing with a nascent Batman.

Batman Arkham Origins is slated for release later this year on October 25th and so far, has been confirmed for PC, PS3, WiiU and Xbox 360.