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Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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6.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 82 Ratings

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  • Summary: Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is a 2.5-D game developed by Armature Studio that brings the Batman Arkham experience for the first time to Nintendo and Sony handheld systems. A companion game to Batman: Arkham Origins, players can continue the storyline of the console version and discover more detalis of the Dark Knight's past. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 38
  2. Negative: 5 out of 38
  1. Nov 18, 2013
    80
    It's great when side games take their own direction with design but still maintain the core concepts that define a series. That's just what you'll get with Blackgate. A solid exploration/combat game that is forced to overcome a few flaws.
  2. Dec 5, 2013
    75
    Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is a good and original attempt at bringing the formula to a handheld. The interesting use of depth in this side-scroller and the implementation of the well known freeflow combat, make Blackgate a joy to play at times. Backtracking loses its appeal after a while though, as do the lack of enemies and the unintuitive map.
  3. Feb 25, 2014
    72
    Not quite up to the standard of the console versions of Batman: Arkham Origins, but not a bad game on its own.
  4. 65
    If you can get through the glitches and barebones plot, there is a good game to be played. I had fun with Blackgate. I will be playing through it again because this is the style of game I really like. It certainly could have been better, but Blackgate is still an above average experience.
  5. Oct 30, 2013
    60
    Arkham Origins: Blackgate is an interesting first entry, but it attempts to mimic its console counterpart a bit too much. Some of these elements simply don’t work in a 2D style game, and it hurts the overall experience too much at times.
  6. Nov 5, 2013
    50
    Arkham Origins serves to bring Batman back for more in an acceptable, if unbelievable narrative, but Origins Blackgate does nothing for the character, nothing for the player, and nothing to further the Arkham series. It’s not a complete and totally broken mess, but it’s not the portable game Batman deserves and it’s not the Vita game we need right now.
  7. Oct 31, 2013
    30
    The worst problem, however, is all the backtracking is needlessly empty. Once foes are defeated, they're gone for good. I'm never usually a fan of respawning enemies, but running through corridor after corridor of bleak, prison-gray nothingness just gets tedious after a while without something to do other than just traveling.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 4 out of 18
  1. Dec 17, 2013
    10
    Im sorry, but this game is being hated on for absolutely no reason. its a pretty game, it has innovative and interesting gameplay and to top it all... it is on a handheld!!! cmon guys... the vita has been suffering from mediocre reviews from critics that are totally not befitting with games that have been groundbreaking... i.e. killzone mercenaries and Uncharted Golden Compass.... I think we can all agree that the critics seem to be swayed by each other's reviews because they themselves have not played the games or know very little of gaming. Collapse
  2. Feb 11, 2014
    9
    After spending some time with this game, I feel like it was definitely worth the pickup. I am not too crazy about the console arkham games. They look and play well, but Don't seem to hold my attention. This version is great as it has similar combat and stealth, but uses a 2D platforming element instead of the 3D open world. I find myself hooked to the beautiful comic book style art in the storyline, as well as the sharp graphics on the vita's screen. Judging this game purely as it's own, and not against the console version, I feel like the developers did a fantastic job creating a portable friendly batman game. The same high quality that the other batman games possess I feel is here as well. Expand
  3. Nov 10, 2013
    8
    I liked this game on the Vita, though I am still waiting for console-level games. If Borderlands 2 is in the works for the Vita, then why not the full Arkham Origins for the Vita? Anyway, that being said, I enjoyed the similar combat style to Blackgate's console counterpart. My favorite weapon is the gel launcher, which I thought was a great addition considering the level designs in Blackgate. It's also great fun to snag ammo packs off the backs of enemies. The boss battles are puzzling and challenging, and I love Catwoman's playful banter. Following the map was a bit of a setback for me, presenting frustrating moments frequently. All in all, however, I enjoyed the game, and it's a lot of bang for your handheld buck at about 10 hrs. to complete the campaign. Expand
  4. Oct 30, 2013
    8
    I have to say, I really like this game. It's fun to play and the fighting and movement mechanics work very well on the Vita. Graphics are very good, especially given that this is running on a handheld platform, and I find the story to be well done and interesting. The game runs well and is stable. There is definitely replay value in the game and you'll get many hours of playtime as you move around the prison finding objects, gathering collectibles and upgrades, etc.

    Not really sure why so many of the industry critics gave the game average scores, but perhaps they were spending too much time focusing on what the game isn't rather than what it is. I'd personally recommend the game to any Arkham fan with a Vita.
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  5. May 11, 2014
    7
    It's not like its console relatives, but its a fun game, with innovative controls inside of its limitations. Sometimes it can be a bit repetitive, especially in its combat, but it still is a quality Batman game. Expand
  6. Dec 6, 2013
    6
    With Arkham Origins next to it, it was pretty cool to see a portable version available. However, the game was not worked on by Warner Bros. Studios, but by another company all together. With the success of Arkham Origins, both critically and commercially, Armature Studios had a lot to live up to. The game ultimately does well in establishing itself as an Arkham title, but holds itself back with painful amounts of backtracking and repetitive gameplay.

    Overall, the gameplay itself isn't bad. Combat isn't as fast and fluid as it was on the console titles, but it was good enough to carry you through the game without fault. There weren't any real flaws other than the cape stun having no reach across a wide gap. Stealth is competent enough to be considered fun. I was worried about how stealth would work out in a 2D style game, but Armature studios did a very good job of making it both accessible and fun. Unlike the other games, Detective vision isn't activated with a button press, but instead by touching the screen. Scanning is done the same way, and both mechanics are competent enough to keep the gameplay flowing. Also, gadgets are transferred successfully, and work out despite the Vita's lack of buttons.

    Another thing the game has going for it is the boss fights. Even though the first two are a little straight forward, the rest of the fights are really well done, filled with creative trial-and-error gameplay. The stealth based boss throws new gameplay features at you that don't appear through the rest of the game, nor are they explained or made obvious to the player, which makes it a little unfair. I died multiple times without knowing the exact cause of why, which caused frustration. Ultimately though, the boss fights are fun, puzzle-based, and cinematic, just like the rest of the Arkham series.

    The story itself is interesting, taking place 3 months after Arkham Origins, and centers around a prison riot at Blackgate penitentiary, in which Black Mask, Joker, and the Penguin have taken control. Somehow, Catwoman finds her way in the mix, and her and Batman form an unlikely partnership to take down the head honchos of the prison. Aside from the relationship with Catwoman, and its origins, the story doesn't have much going for it. In the end, nothing really changes, and there's no real climax or surprising plot twist in the story.

    The graphics themselves are visually satisfying, and even though they don't compare to Origins, that's to be expected. The voice acting is nice as well, with all the actors from origins and city reprising their roles.

    Even though the game has a few positives, there's a boatload of negatives in this game as well. The first is backtracking. The amount of backtracking is absolutely ridiculous. Even if you choose to ignore the limited amount of side content, the game is still almost 50% backtracking. This is mainly caused by Blackgate being divided into four areas. The lack of a gadget in one area will cause you to leave that area completely, (there's no fast travel system, you actually have to leave the area you're in), only to travel back later. Sure, there is side content, such as upgrades and detective cases, but these only add more backtracking to a game already jam-packed with it. I got so frustrated, that I actually decided to ignore the upgrades and detective case items. Ultimately the side content isn't worth it, and the game would've prospered more if it were a linear story, with upgrades being unlocked as a result of story progression. Even though I'm not particularly a fan of re-spawning enemies, there needed to be something to break the constant on-foot navigation, which is something Rocksteady managed to do in Arkham Asylum.

    Another annoyance is the lack of direction. Sure, there is a waypoint on the map, but it doesn't always help you figure out exactly which is the right path to use to get there. The game would've been a lot of better if it had something along the lines of a breadcrumb trail or a mini-map, which would've made the game easier to navigate. The map having no floor by floor navigation didn't help either. Another flaw is the lack of explosive walls that stick out, which is sometimes the only way to progress. This ultimately leaves you saying "What I do?" at multiple times. That's bad conveyance.

    What makes this game more disappointing is that it's another Triple A title that bombs on the Vita. Tons of titles including Call of Duty, Uncharted, Assassin's Creed, Resistance, and Killzone have had stand alone titles on the Vita. Even though some are considered good, they just don't stand up to the console titles.

    Ultimately, the game isn't horrible, and has both competent gameplay mechanics and boss fights that live up to the console titles. However, the ungodly amount of backtracking, crappy side content, and bad navigation make this game a frustrating experience. At it's best, the game is fun to play, but at it's worst, the game is one long, boring chore.
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  7. Jul 29, 2014
    0
    You know your batman game is bad when it's both bad as a game and bad as a Batman game. 2.5D just doesn't work with batman, by taking away your third axis not only does it complicate navigation (the horrible map not helping things either), but it takes away the entire stealth aspect of the game, despite still giving enemies weapons that, in a normal (or good) batman game you'd use stealth to avoid or take down. Stealth is not just a big part of the combat in Batman games, but It's a big part of who batman is, and taking it away makes being Batman useless. You might as well be some random guy off the street, you'd be able to combat enemies just as well.

    Now, back to navigation. This is an issue so big it needs extra coverage. This game is hell to navigate. The map is useless, because despite being able to move up and down in some areas (with branching paths that go off in different directions) the map is two-dimensional, and gives you no idea of where you are and how to reach your objectives. If anything it makes the game more difficult, making you think you're going in the right direction only to reach a dead end that, according to the map, still goes on.

    Now, if it weren't for the confusing map you might be able to navigate normally, but then there's another issue: Progressing. Yes, just trying to progress is a problem. You'll spend hours scanning every room you've been to for something to interact with because for whatever reason, Batman can't figure out how to pull a lever or open a grate or do just about anything until he takes a good long look in detective mode at what he needs to interact with. This makes getting anywhere more of a chore than it already was with the convoluted and confusing prison layout and (more often than not) incorrect map, and now you have to constantly scan your surroundings just to make any progress.

    Now for the combat. For whatever reason, the enemies (and Batman) still attack and move in three-dimensional space, though you never really control it. Normally I'd be fine with the combat, which is just like on consoles, but in this case it really bugs me. You'd think they could have done something at least a little new and innovative here, but no. For whatever reason this boring and bland formula for combat stands out much more in this game than in the others. I guess it's because for every other 2D (or 2.5D, in this case) game I've played has actual good and interesting combat.

    Now for the two issues that may break this game for many: The story and the boss battles. Boring and uninteresting storyline with absolutely no effort put into it, done in really bland, monochrome comic style cutscenes that just look plain lazy (that the developers put on the box as a feature), with voice acting that perfectly reflects the quality of this game: Terrible. All of the voice actors, including the one for Batman himself, sound bored by their job, and so the already bad story stands out even more. It sounds like they all wish they were somewhere else. Now, the bosses. There's two different kinds of bosses in this game: Combat bosses, where you have to fight them normally, but usually with a special rule or tactic you have to take to defeat them, and Interactive bosses, where you have to be constantly scanning the environment in detective mode, using gadgets on things, and interacting with things to do damage to the boss. The Interactive bosses are boring and generally follow a pattern that you can just repeat over and over and over again for an easy win, but the Combat bosses can actually be really fun and interesting. If they had shown us more of this I might be giving this game a higher score, but no luck.

    So, for 15+ hours of boring, monotonous button-mashing and screen swiping (the majority of which will be spent in detective mode looking for where to go next) you can go ahead and buy this game, but I wouldn't recommend it. I've been a Batman fan all my life, and to get this on my Vita was pure and utter disappointment.
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See all 18 User Reviews