At this years Eurogamer Expo I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to talk to Guillaume Voghel, producer of Batman: Arkham Origins. Join us now as we chat about the influence the new 52 comic series has had on the game, the new weaponry and how much Arkham origins will differ from the previous games.
As Warnerbros Montreal is new to the Batman Arkham franchise, what was it like taking the reins from the original Arkham developers RockSteady?
It was a very humbling experience. We received a build of Arkham City a couple of months before the game was released, and we realised that it would be a great game because we are big fans of Arkham Asylum. So when we started Arkham Origins we took the reins in a very humble way. We wanted to evolve the Arkham franchise and take it a little bit further to give the players what they really wanted without any silly reinventing. We also realised that combat is key to the franchise and we were lucky enough to have a good combat core to work with. We respected that core and added more content for the players to explore.
As this is an origin story how do the weapons differ from the previous games? Would you say that the weapons have evolved or have they taken a step back?
Evolving the weapons wasn’t a plan for us as this it is an origins story, but we wanted to keep the gameplay fun. This meant that Batman had to keep most of his gadgets. We decided very early on that all of the core gadgets used in the previous games will be coming back, however we redesigned the skins of the gadgets to make them look more like early prototypes of Batman’s gadgets still with the core function that players are used to. Once we had done that and protected the core gameplay, we then added to it. For example we have the remote claw that is really useful in small rooms to stun enemies, and shock gloves that add more power into free flow combat. So it was with additions such as these we decided to add more content to the gameplay.
As the Batman franchise has a huge roster of bad guys to choose from, how did you go about selecting which villains would appear in Arkham Origins?
We went through the DC comics list and our writer Eric Holmes is super knowledgeable as he used to work in comics before he worked in videogames. So we went through and tried to choose villains that players wouldn’t necessarily know, but would work really well in a Batman game. For example Copperhead was a great choice as in the comics he is a guy in a snake suit which is a bit silly right? So we proposed to DC comics that we should change him into a woman who uses poison mixed with a MMA style of fighting. DC really liked the idea and said we should go for it and now she features in the new 52 DC comics. Then from there we had a great relationship with DC comics to choose which villains were best for the game.
Does DC’s new 52 influence Batman: Arkham Origins story, or does the game stay more loyal to the original Batman?
The new 52 definitely has an influence as we are dealing so much with DC comics and especially one of DC’s main writers, Jeff Johns. So these guys know everything there is to know about Batman. So the new 52 does influence us, but at the same time the Arkham Franchise is well installed so we do have to work against some guidelines that we wanted to respect. It was really a give and take between DC and the established Arkham Franchise. We believe we stayed true to both the new 52 and the Arkham franshise in this game.
After playing the game I noticed that the detective mode is more in depth. How has detective mode evolved since Arkham City?
Everyone knows that Bruce Wayne is an expert martial artist but some people don’t really know that he is an expert detective as well. So doing the case file investigation system was a way for us to show that Batman can take data from a crime scene and reconstruct exactly what happened based simply on what clues he can find on the ground.
And finally when is the game out?
Batman: Arkham Origins is out on the 25th of October on Xbox 360, PS3, WiiU PC. There is also Batman Origins Blackgate coming out on PS Vita.