BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS BLACKGATE an Intriguing Mixture of Game Genres
Screenshot from Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
The Dark Knight goes mobile and “Metroidvania” in Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, an Arkham Origins sequel/side story that will be released for PS Vita and 3DS on the same October 25, 2013 date as the major console release.
Told through motion comics drawn and animated (in 3D for the 3DS, but in higher resolution like the rest of the game on the Vita) by the in-house art team of game developer Armature Studios, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate tells the story of what happens three months after the events of Batman: Arkham Origins. After meeting Catwoman for the first time in the Arkham universe, their strange relationship is forged around a riot and takeover of the titular prison by some of the Dark Knight's key rogues.
In Blackgate, the signature combat of the Arkham games is modified to a 2.5D plane; enemies come at Batman from the left and right, but also from slightly in front or behind him, though their depth is purely an illusion as Batman will move 'back and forth' to counter and attack automatically if the button presses are entered with the correct timing. Overall the combat still has the fluid feeling of the source game rather that the 2D brawler that it appears to be.
Unlike most Metroidvania-style games the interlocking rooms of Blackgate also display depth, usually represented by the screen rotating around to show Batman going into or out of a room, or grappling 'out' to a ledge that's actually in the distant background.
The game’s Blackgate Prison is separated into three sections, the Cell Block, the Industrial Area and the Administration Offices. Each is being controlled by a different leader: Joker, Black Mask or Penguin. You can tackle them in any order, but you will be moving between all three areas constantly as you accumulate gadgets that you'll need to open up new areas in the classic genre style.
Each of the section leaders are also assisted by more rogues, some of which will be making their Arkham debut like Bronze Tiger who you'll have to battle in an arena set up by Penguin.
Fleshing out the experience a little more are the usual genre mainstays like collecting items to boost stats, there will also be side quests that will uncover the truth behind the explosion that triggered the prison riot in the first place.