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New York Comic Con (NYCC) has come and gone but one of the most anticipated panels of the convention, “Batman: Arkham Origins” is still being discussed especially since the game was released this Friday.
The Empire Stage in the Jacob Javitz Center on the third day (October 12, 2013) of NYCC was packed with fans. Everyone was excitedly waiting to see footage of the game as well as hear from the two new voices of Batman (Roger Craig Smith) and The Joker (Troy Baker).
That evening developer WB Games Montréal had a lot to prove to the fans of the RockSteady “Arkham” games, not only gameplay wise but of story and in terms of voice actors as well. Being a prequel, they must set the stage in a way that makes sense to fans of the previous “Arkham Games” and that shows how Batman evolved into RockSteady’s Batman.
In the “Arkham Origins” panel, creative director Eric Holmes was very adamant in making it clear that WB Games Montréal has every intention in respecting the legacy of the great games that RockSteady has produced. He went on to describe certain aspects of the new gameplay such as Batman’s new ability to gain new weapons from enemies he has defeated. Batman will also have a weapon called the Shock Gloves which Holmes stated will give Batman a chance to even the playing field with enemies that have armor or weapons.
An intriguing new aspect of “Arkham Origins” will be the mobile game that syncs with the console game to unlock new abilities. This mobile game will be developed by NetherRealm Studios, the studio that developed “Injustice: Gods Among Us.” First person gameplay will also be involved.
Batman’s various suits will also affect gameplay as each one has their own stats. The player will have to strategize and choose the right suit for any given situation. The mobile game is set to be released for iOS first and Android devices later on. Multiplayer will also be a feature of “Batman: Arkham Origins” with players choosing between the two factions of The Joker and Bane.
The highlight of the panel came from the voice actors Roger Craig Smith (“Assassin’s Creed,” “Resident Evil”) and Troy Baker (“The Last of Us,” BioShock Infinite”). The previous voice actors who have been staples to the Batman Universe (Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker) have not returned in their usual roles so there is an understandable pressure for Smith and Baker to fill the shoes of such legendary voices. Both Smith and Baker were humbled by being chosen to leave their marks on Batman and The Joker. Moreover, if this star studded cast was not enough, the legendary voice actor Steve Blum (“Cowboy Bebop,” “Batman: Arkham City”) will be the voice of the villain The Electrocutioner.
Towards the end of the panel, fans wanted Baker to say something as The Joker and Baker obliged by reciting “The Killing Joke” a famous monologue of The Joker’s. As Baker spoke, an awed silence fell upon the crowd and when he concluded, cheering erupted. Needless to say The Joker’s legacy is in good hands. Mark Hamill would be proud.
The “Arkham Origins” panel as well as Troy Baker’s recitation of “The Killing Joke” was taped and can be viewed in its entirety on their YouTube channel. “Batman: Arkham Origins” was released on October 25, 2013 on PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox 360 and the Wii U.
Image credit: Batman Arkham: Origins/Asylum/City via Facebook