Batman: Arkham Origins

Common Sense Media says

Fun and intense Caped Crusader romp lacks ingenuity.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

On one hand, the message is positive -- you're the Caped Crusader out to stop thugs and criminal masterminds -- but on the flipside the game focuses heavily on combat. Still, it has a positive message to stop those who do harm to others.

Positive role models

For the most part, Batman is a positive role model, but he does engage in close combat with enemies. He can punch, kick, and use weapons to clear a scene. He is noble and brave and wants to clean up Gotham City, but he does rely on combat (and exploration and detective skills) to achieve his goals. You also can play as Robin in this game. In the multiplayer version, be aware that you can also become a supervillain and be part of the Joker or Bane’s gang -- and even play as them temporarily.  

Ease of play

The game plays similarly to the two previous Arkham-branded Batman games, utilizing the dual analog sticks, face buttons, and triggers. Newcomers to the genre might have a harder time at first, but overall this game has a fairly straightforward control mechanic.

Violence

Though tamer than most other third-person action games, including "Teen"-rated ones like the Uncharted series, this game does have a lot of melee combat (mostly in the story campaign) and some ranged (firearm) combat in the shooter-like online multiplayer modes. Blood can be seen smeared on walls and floors. Some forensics scenes might be disturbing, with strewn bodies.

 

Sex

In one scene, a villain appears to be briefly groping a female character's behind.

Language

Profanity can be heard in the dialogue, including words like "s--t," "bastard," "bitch," and "ass."

Consumerism

Although not based on a particular Batman TV show, movie, or comic book, the game is closely tied to the DC Comics "Dark Knight" universe.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One scene depicts illegal narcotics with a white substance in small packets.

Privacy & safety

Creates serious privacy and safety concerns. The game offers multiplayer matches over the Internet (all versions) and supports full voice communication -- with no one monitoring or filtering the interactions among players. Therefore, it's possible to hear profanity and other inappropriate words or phrases.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is an action-heavy game with a strong emphasis on hand-to-hand combat and third-person shooter mechanics in the multiplayer modes. Players also can assume the role of the bad guys on the online games. Batman uses fists and kicks as well as special weapons to beat up the baddies. Some blood can be seen in the environment, along with dead bodies. The Joker and other characters might scare younger gamers. Finally, there is one sexually suggestive scene (a villain grabbing someone's buttocks), some profanity, and representation of illegal narcotics.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • electricity
  • physics

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence
  • strategy
  • applying information

Self-Direction

  • effort
  • time management
  • achieving goals

Emotional Development

  • handling stress
  • persevering

Collaboration

  • group projects
  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

Responsibility & Ethics

  • following codes of conduct

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The game is engaging as players will be attracted to the intense gameplay, dark atmosphere and various game modes. It's fun to be the good guy, fighting evil and protecting the city. 

 

Learning Approach

The game's detective elements challenge gamers to use their head -- when analyzing a scene and collecting evidence -- instead of just fighting abilities. It's also social because of its multiplayer options.

 

Support

A tutorial helps players familiarize themselves with the controls and mission structure. Data is given after each mission.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • electricity
  • physics

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence
  • strategy
  • applying information

Self-Direction

  • effort
  • time management
  • achieving goals

Emotional Development

  • handling stress
  • persevering

Collaboration

  • group projects
  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

Responsibility & Ethics

  • following codes of conduct

Kids can learn logical reasoning, the value of teamwork, and how to handle stress while playing this action-heavy, Caped Crusader romp. They must analyze scenes for clues and apply the information they glean to making decisions. However, a good part of the game is spent in combat. Batman: Arkham Origins can sharpen a player's sleuthing abilities, hand-eye coordination (while mastering acrobatic combat moves), and social skills when playing with others.

This Learning Rating review was written by Marc Saltzman

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS is the third official game in the popular Batman: Arkham series from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and, among other features, it delivers a larger Gotham City and online multiplayer modes for the first time in the franchise (up to eight players can be split into three teams). The story serves as a prequel to the previous games, introducing a younger and unrefined Batman as he sets out on a path to become the legendary Dark Knight. Set on Christmas Eve, the tale tells of Batman hunted by eight of the deadliest assassins from the DC Comics Universe. Be prepared to see reimagined takes of iconic villains including Bane, the Joker, Penguin, Deathstroke, Copperhead, Black Mask, Deadshot, and others. Robin, too, is playable in this multiplatform game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U, and Windows PC. A "companion" game called Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is available for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Yes, it is, but those who played the last two games -- Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City -- might get a sense of deja vu. Oh, sure, the developer added a fresh story and a couple of new mechanics, not to mention the fun online multiplayer mode, but it won't take long to question whether this is essentially the same game as its two predecessors. Still, the free-flowing third-person combat feels great, the stealth and detective elements are deliciously tense, and the well-written story has a few exciting twists and turns. And boy, is it a good-looking game: playing the Xbox 360 version on a 60-inch LED TV helped elevate the overall experience.

Bottom line? As long as you go in knowing Batman: Arkham Origins is essentially the same kind of game as the two that came before it -- but with a new story and online multiplayer -- fans of the Caped Crusader will enjoy this deliciously dark action-adventure hybrid.

Families can talk about...

  • Do gamers want more of the same with these kinds of superhero games, or do they expect a brand-new experience when they throw down up to $60 for the disc? How does a developer know what's desirable by gamers?

  • Do you play games for the action or the story?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U, Windows
Price:$49.99 - $59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:October 29, 2013
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Sports and martial arts, Superheroes, Adventures, Great boy role models, Misfits and underdogs
ESRB rating:T for Blood, Drug Reference, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence (Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Batman: Arkham Origins was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byPrice Johnson November 26, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Batman Arkham Orgins Review

Batman Arkham Orgins is the best game i bought for my Son and I to play. First i thought my 9 year old son couldnt handle it but he did! Batman Never kills which was a good thing. Not too much violence some PG13 Cursing once and a while and Levels where you need to use your brain. Just because Pegi says its 16 and up or 15 dont believe them. Trust me is not that violent.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bymad gamer November 9, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

more fun more baddies more addicting best arkham yet

game mechanics are similar to arkham city the villians in this one are more scary deranged and violent but you are a hero huge city to explore tons of puzzle solving and action so much more to do worth every cent
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byMovie Nerd November 2, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Recommended for GTA V addicts

Good for teens, it is a game that can resist us from playing GTA V! Just freaking cool and not to forget it's kind off though, competitive game too.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence

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