We break down our fears and concerns about Batman Arkham Origins multiplayer
Yesterday WB Games dropped a bomb and revealed that Batman Arkham Originis will have a multiplayer mode. They released a trailer with some gameplay on it, where you could see Joker and Bane fight three other random clown guys and then Batman and Robin join the fun and start kicking some ass too. In the trailer there was also 3v3v2 which means that the multiplayer will have 8 players, 3 to play as Joker and his crew, 3 to play as Bane and his crew and 2 play as either Batman or Robin.
Twitter exploded and many people were excited, but also many other were confused and concerned about it. I too am concerned about this multiplayer mode for a good number of reasons. The first thing is that this mode is not developed by WB Games Montreal, the guys who took the reigns of the franchise from Rocksteady to develop the singleplayer, but it is done by Splash Damage the creators of Brink (yuck). Now many of you might say "Why you b*tchin about? This is good cause it means one team is totally focused on bringing the best singleplayer and the other the best multiplayer." You see, that is the problem. Tell me what game that had two different devs working separately on singleplayer and multiplayer, had actually good multiplayer modes? Medal of Honor 2010, anyone? Modern Warfare 3, anyone? Tomb Raider, anyone? And there are many other examples. That is the first thing why I am concerned about the MP of Arkham Origins.
Second thing is that it really doesn't make any f*cking sense. Now before you go on hating, hear me out. Mass Effect 3 had a fantastic multiplayer mode that expanded the universe and was fun to play. Assassins Creed Brotherhood had also fantastic multiplayer modes that really worked and felt right in place within the AC universe. The Last of US has probably one of the best multiplayer ever created (it's f*cking awesome!). Now something that the multiplayer of all these games have in common which I really like, is that in none of them you can play as the main character of the singleplayer story. Imagine if you played as Joel in every match, killed 5 times and respawned 6 times. Or imagine playing as Commander Shepard and getting your ass kicked by enemies? Or play as Ezio or Connor and getting assassinated more than you can count? See, you don't like that and that is good. We connected to these characters and we don't want to see them fail. Now here comes Arkham Origins multiplayer. You can play as Batman, Robin, Joker, Bane and maybe all of the other assassins in the game and at the same time you can play as totally random Joker's clowns or as Bane's henchmen with shotguns, pistols, AR, rockets etc. Do you really want to play as Batman or Robin and get annihilated by a random shotgun dude and then puff, respawn? Well, I don't and this doesn't make any sense!
Playing as these characters against other random ones brings up the third thing that concerns me, balance. Batman is the apex of a human being, he is agile, tough, master of everything, has an incredible array of fantastic gadgets and can easily defeat about 30-40 enemies at once (from singleplayer), how do you think he will fare against a dude with a shotgun? Will he whoop his ass or will he die? Bane is super tough and all of those things you already know, how do you think he will fare against a dude with a baseball bat? Robin is like Batman, how do you think he will fare against a dude with an AR? See this maybe one of the biggest problems in Arkham Origins multiplayer, when you think about it. If a weapon or a character is OP, then that's it, no one will play this game.
The fourth thing is that why did they announce the multiplayer so soon? God of War Ascension did something similar and look how "well" it fared in sales. Is this a PR campaign to get as many pre-orders cause *telemarketer voice if you do you now, you get the exclusive alternative JLA FlashPoint Paradox Batman costume? Why, I mean couldn't they just say or have somebody tweet "Arkham Origins will have the best and most creative multiplayer ever!" and pull of a "The Last of Us" thing revealing the multiplayer days before release? I don't know...
I would have liked it better if it was something like this, which I said when they first announced the game. Think about this mode and tell me what you think in the comments: "The map the multiplayer takes place is the whole Gotham map from the singleplayer or maybe it but trimmed a little bit. It's a 10 players match, Batman and Robin and the other 8, each one of the 8 assassins in the game. As assassins you have the task to track and get the upper hand on Batman and Robin and deliver him to Black Mask. If you play as Batman or Robin, your task is to either run and hide till the match ends, or go on and pick off the assassins one by one. The assassins can take down each other or can partner up against Batman and Robin. For each takedown you get points, which you can spend on getting upgrades for your weapons, gadgets etc or you can call for reinforcements." So what do you think about this, does this sounds better than the current mode?
To sum up, I am more concerned than excited about the multiplayer on Arkham Origins. I really really want it to be great and all of that, but I find it hard to believe in it. Till I haven't seen more, I will continue to think of it as a tacked on mode and not fully thought and fully fledged like it should be. Or maybe I am completely wrong and it will be the best thing ever. We will all learn that on October 25th.