Being Batman isn’t easy. To fill the Dark Knight’s boots, you need to be strong enough to stand up against the toughest enemies. You need athletic versatility in order to get around, whether it’s swooping in with a Bat-Cape or grappling onto buildings. Finally, you need the right equipment.
The toys, in this particular case, are the gadgets Batman uses to fight crime. These aren’t typical weapons like guns or swords, but rather specially modified gear that allows him to get the jump on enemies. Some of it also comes in handy for getting into a particular spot, or locating an enemy somewhere within the enormous Gotham City.
That said, here is a breakdown of the various utilities you’ll use while playing Batman: Arkham Origins. Some will be quite familiar to those who played the first two Arkham games.
With the help of this virtual system, Batman can follow a number of clues to locate his next objective. This includes tracking down a certain essence from a character – footprints, residue from someone’s pipe, a bullet’s trajectory– and use it to deduce his location.
When using this, you’ll activate a secondary view where the screen turns black and shows more sophisticated (now glowing) details. You can keep this mode turned on all the time and see enemies in X-Ray vision of sorts, as a bonus.
One new feature with Detective Mode involves rewinding and fast-forward time to play out a crime scene. With the help of the Bat-Computer, Batman recreates an event virtually, letting it play through and then going back to certain scenes to see what he missed. It’s a fantastic addition.
The Classic Favorites
Several favorites from previous Arkham games make their return in Origins, aiding Batman in getting through certain sections of the game or tracking down enemies.
First up is the Cryptographic Sequencer. With this, Batman can tune into nearby radio signals that allow him to listen in on conversations and triangulate the spot where they’re coming from. In essence, it allows him to find who he’s looking for, or catch certain pieces of a conversation that will serve him later in the game; rescuing a hostage, for example.
Next up is the Batarang. As with previous games, Batman can throw these and, while holding down a button, guide the Batarang remotely. The view switches to a near-first person perspective, so players know where the Batarang flies. This is quite helpful, especially if you’re aiming at something small/narrow, like a switch box or piece of rope.
Finally, the Explosive Gel always comes in handy. You’ll use this to spray indicated surfaces throughout the city, mainly on walls or floors. Once sprayed, Batman simply needs to hit a trigger to detonate it, creating a hole in its wake. This is also good for throwing off enemies unfortunate enough to be on the other side of the wall, knocking them out long enough for the Dark Knight to swoop in and finish them off.
There are other gadgets as well, including the grapple gun, which lets you grab onto faraway ledges and reels you in like a fishing pole; Shock Gauntlets, which increase your attacking capability; and a shock gun, which can incapacitate an enemy temporarily. Use it on puddles of water and you can get multiple foes at once.
The New Toys
The Batwing is one of the game’s new features. By calling upon this, he no longer needs to travel in real-time, as it quickly picks him up and drops him off where he needs to go. While you never get to control the Batwing directly, it’s handy when you need to cover a great distance in the shortest amount of time.
Then there’s the Remote Claw. This cable serves a dual purpose, not only allowing Batman to access areas outside of his vicinity, but also serving as a tool that can grab someone and draw them elsewhere physically – despite the size.
First off, the Claw can be used to set up a point-to-point connection across a large space. This creates a tightrope that Batman can walk across, allowing him to sneak past enemies below and possibly get the jump on them. It’s especially useful if you don’t have gargoyles to swing onto.
Second, it can be used as an offensive weapon. Shoot one end of the cable into an enemy, then the second anywhere nearby, such as a ledge or maybe even another character. After doing this, the cable retracts, drawing the two connected items together. It’s a great way to knock an enemy around before finishing him off, or distracting two alerted guards so you can clean house.
Make sure you practice with the Remote Claw every chance you get – it just might save your Bat skin.
Batman: Arkham Origins is available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Wii U.