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2 Batman 'Arkham Origins' Games Previewed

Fans of the Dark Knight will get to see the Ben Affleck version on the big screen in the "Man of Steel" sequel (coming in 2015). However, those who can't wait for some fresh Batman action won't have to, as WB Games will be releasing a pair of games based on his earlier days of crime fighting.

"Batman: Arkham Origins" for PC and home consoles and "Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate" for the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS are currently in development for release this October, and focus on the Dark Knight just as he's getting the hang of fighting crime under the cover of darkness. He's got his hands full in these games, as he has to contend with a group of assassins hired by the vicious crime lord Black Mask, who wants nothing more than to finish the Bat off in time for Christmas. (The games take place a day before, on Christmas Eve.)

The assassins in "Origins" are sure to be favorites with fans from the series. Deathstroke, a sword-wielding maniac, is one of the top names, and is playable in the game via downloadable content if you pre-order. Other names joining the bunch include the trigger-happy Deadshot, the mischievous Mad Hatter, the back-breaking Bane and the limber Copperhead, who was introduced in comics as a male, but, for "Origins," has become a femme fatale. 

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"Arkham Origins"

In "Origins," players will become familiar with traits that were first introduced in Batman's previous games, the 2009 release "Arkham Asylum" and 2011's "Arkham City." WB Montreal, the developer taking over for the previous producers at Rocksteady Games, stays faithful to the series' formula, giving the player nearly unlimited freedom when it comes to utilizing the Caped Crusader's capabilities. He can swoop around the city with the help of his cape, gliding towards enemies and effortlessly engaging in a fight. Once the fists come out, they'll be able to fend off multiple thugs at once, using a smooth combat system that makes Batman look unstoppable. 

Along with his fists and cape, Batman can utilize a number of tools from his utility belt, including a grappling hook that enables him to grab onto nearby buildings, as well as draw two objects together, like a pair of goons that get knocked out as a result. The Batarang and signal desynthesizer also make a return, along with exploding gel, which allows Batman to get through otherwise impenetrable areas.

With a whole new part of Gotham City to explore (WB Montreal designed the area from scratch) and hours' worth of missions to uncover, "Origins" should be a fantastic follow-up to the prior games.

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"Arkham Origins Blackgate"

Not to be outdone, Armature Studios is working on a portable version of "Origins" called "Blackgate" for the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS. The game doesn't allow for the same 3D freedom as the console versions, instead playing like a 2D side-scrolling effort. However, it's still an enjoyable experience thus far, as you can do pretty much anything with the Dark Knight as you could in "Origins." His utility belt tools are available, including that helpful grappling hook; and the combat system is well-realized, allowing you to beat up numerous cronies at once, effortlessly. For those who prefer gaming on the go, Batman will fit in nicely with your game library.

Both "Batman: Arkham Origins" and "Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate" will arrive on October 25th. "Origins" will release for PCs ($50), and Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U consoles ($60). while "Blackgate" will be available for PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS ($40).

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