Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced the release of Batman: Arkham Origins on Friday, the latest installment in the studio's "Batman: Arkham" action-adventure series of games. Origins follows Arkham Asylum released back in 2009, and Arkham City launched in 2011, but is actually a prequel to the 2009 game, set five years before the events in the first installment.
"Developed by WB Games Montréal, Batman: Arkham Origins is based on DC Comics’ core Batman license," reads the press release. "The game features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline set several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, the first two critically acclaimed games of the franchise. Taking place before the rise of Gotham City’s most dangerous criminals, the game showcases a young, unrefined Batman as he faces the defining moment of his early career and sets his path to becoming the Dark Knight."
Nvidia has actually talked up its involvement with Warner Bros. on the Arkham Origins game for quite a while, reporting that it features extensive use of Nvidia GPU-accelerated effects, adding extra realistic detail to the whole, "dramatically" increasing image quality. Ranging from smoke, to steam, to snow, and beyond, PhysX is one of the key differentiators between versions of the game on other platforms and non-Nvidia systems, the company claims.
"We've worked hand-in-hand with Warner Bros. to greatly enhance other elements of the game, too," reads the Geforce blog. "Batman’s cape is enhanced with detail-adding DirectX 11 Tessellation; shadowing throughout the game is enhanced with Nvidia Percentage-Closer Soft Shadows; shading is enhanced with Nvidia HBAO+ Ambient Occlusion; out of focus depth of field effects are enhanced by Nvidia’s Bokeh and Depth of Field technology; and anti-aliasing is enhanced with the addition of Nvidia TXAA, a lauded temporal anti-aliasing technology."
Nvidia has also provided a Batman: Arkham Origins Graphics & Performance Guide.
New to the franchise is an online multiplayer mode developed by Splash Damage. Players can battle in 3vs3vs2 environment that blends traditional Arkham gameplay with third-person shooter mechanics. Gamers can hunt as Batman or Robin against friends and other online gamers, or "take a walk on the dark side" as a Super-Villain Elite and be part of The Joker or Bane’s gang. Those playing as a Super-Villain Elite will also have a chance to seize control of either The Joker or Bane for a limited amount of time.
"Players looking to extend their gameplay experience can buy the Batman: Arkham Origins Season Pass now for $19.99 and receive $30 worth of content," reads the press release. "The Season Pass is comprised of five of the game’s upcoming downloadable content packs, which includes two exclusive skins, as well new content from the Batman Arkham Initiation Pack and a separate all-new story campaign."
The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are priced at $59.99, and the Wii U and Windows PC versions are priced at $49.99. Also available in limited quantities is the Batman: Arkham Origins Collector’s Edition for PS3 and Xbox 360, priced at $119.99.
Check out the Tom's Guide review of Batman: Arkham Origins here.