Batman: Arkham Origins
In what has to be one of the Dark Knight’s most bizarre crossovers, DC Comics has announced a Batman: Arkham Origins level for Puzzle & Dragons, the popular free-to-play mobile game. Puzzle & Dragons really doesn’t have anything to do with Batman or even comics; think of it as Bejeweled-Pokemon hybrid.
It’s actually one of the most popular games in Japan, and it’s beginning to gain traction in the United States, but it’s somewhat of a mystery as to how Arkham Origins is a good fit for the formula. If anything, it seems like the artistic style of the Arkham universe wouldn’t really mesh with the style of Puzzle & Dragons. Players can apparently add The Joker to their monster boxes with Batman, Robin and Catwoman available through a special in-game Egg Machine.
There’s certainly an argument to be made that it gives Batman fans a chance to jump in to Puzzle & Dragons for the added benefit of playing just DC characters, but the entire dungeon goes away Nov. 12. Honestly, I’m not quite sure what the benefit is to this promotion for DC. It doesn’t really give Arkham Origins that much more exposure, and at best, it draws people into a mobile game that’s not even run by DC or Warner Bros. Maybe someone at DC just really likes Puzzle & Dragons. It could even be a response to the debut of Marvel Puzzle Quest on iOS — a Bejeweled style game with RPG elements that follows the basic story of “Dark Reign.”
No matter what the reason for it is, the Arkham Origins-themed dungeon is available now for Puzzle & Dragons.
Actor Troy Baker (Final Fantasy XIII, BioShock Infinite) has some enormous shoes to fill as he steps into the role of The Joker — a character voiced for the past two decades by Mark Hamill — in the upcoming Batman: Arkham Origins. If there were any remaining doubts as to whether Baker could embody the Clown Prince of Crime, they were likely erased during the video game’s New York Comic Con panel, where Baker performed The Joker’s monologue from Batman: The Killing Joke, to the roaring approval of a cheering crowd.
Watch the video below. Batman: Arkham Origins will be released Oct. 25.
DC Comics hasn’t had a particularly good run of things lately. To be frank, the publisher has done blown it a number of times over the past few years. But don’t worry, DC fans — I’m sure it’ll soon be Marvel’s turn, as the two rivals seem to trade off every five years or so.
I’ve been calling out DC for the past couple of weeks, but that doesn’t mean everything it does strikes me as wrong. It’s important to declare shenanigans, but it’s also important to recognize when a publisher does something that’s good for comics.
So here are six things DC is doing right:
1. Digital comics: Legends of the Dark Knight and Adventures of Superman are digital-first anthology series that feature some excellent creators (from Jeff Parker and Chris Samnee to J.M. DeMatteis and Jeff Lemire) producing completely accessible and entertaining stories that stand on their own; no college course on the New 52 or Crisis on Infinite Earths required. Yes, these stories are out of continuity — so for a percentage of readers, they don’t count. That’s a mistake, because there’s nothing wrong with a straight-up superhero tale that exists on its own terms. These two anthologies are the gems of DC’s digital-first line-up, but Batman ’66 and Batman: Li’l Gotham also offer fantastical takes on the iconic Caped Crusader that are bright and fun. For those exhausted by the angsty versions of serious stories, you owe it to yourself to check these out.
Courtesy of All Games Beta, new screenshots from Batman: Arkham Origins confirm the inclusion of the Batcave — at least in some form — in the upcoming prequel from WB Games Montreal. Neoseeker notes that these images appear to be from an in-game cutscene, so it remains unclear whether the Batcave will be an actual setting.
Arriving Oct. 25 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360, Batman: Arkham Origins is set before the rise of Gotham City’s most dangerous criminals, and features a young, unrefined Batman as he faces a defining moment in his early crime-fighting career.
Last night E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, in Los Angeles, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and WB Games Montreal debuted the first gameplay trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins, the prequel to the blockbuster video-game series.
In addition to the villains we’ve already seen — Black Mask, Deadshot, Deathstroke — the trailer provides us with the first look at Bane and the Joker. It also showcases the new crime scene-scanning feature and “Remote Claw.”
Batman: Arkham Origins arrives Oct. 25 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360.
Despite recent reports to the contrary, longtime Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy has confirmed he will return for the upcoming prequel video game Batman: Arkham Origins.
Batman News reports that while appearing over the weekend at Dallas Comic-Con, Conroy revealed he has been working on the game for the past nine or 10 months but has been prevented by a non-disclosure agreement from talking about the project.
“It’s an unbelievable game,” he told the crowd. “I still can’t say anything about it [...] but it’s amazing. It’s a huge, huge cast, and a big story, and it took almost a year to write and put together. They’ve been working on it for a long time.”
Update (8:21 a.m.): A Warner Bros. spokesman tells IGN.com that “Roger Craig Smith is confirmed as the voice of Batman and Troy Baker is confirmed as the voice of The Joker in Batman: Arkham Origins,” which could mean, as the site suggests, that Conroy is lending his voice for a framing sequence, playing another character entirely, or working on another Arkham game.
On the heels of Tuesday’s announcement that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will release a sequel in October to its blockbuster Batman: Arkham City video game, Game Informer has debuted the first screen shots from Batman: Arkham Origins.
Courtesy of Nintendo Everything, we can now see images of Batman squaring off against Deathstroke, Black Mask wielding a hatchet and forceps, Gotham City police officers in tactical gear, and the Penguin brandishing a cattle prod. As the game’s title suggests, Batman: Arkham Origins takes place before Batman: Arkham Asylum when eight of the world’s greatest assassins come to Gotham City on Christmas Eve to kill Batman.