When Arkham Origins was released, it wasn't exactly the only Batman game to be released that day. Truth is, there was another Arkham game in development at the same time, designed to be an additional experience to go hand-in-hand with Origins, meant to continue the story and essentially just give more Batman to the fans.
This other game, however, isn't a console game, but rather handheld game for the 3DS and the Vita. It is made in the same vein as the other Arkham games, especially in spirit and feel, despite the gameplay and style being very different than what fans have come to know and love.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is a sequel to Origins, but is still a prequel to the other Arkham games. It takes place a few months after the events of Origins, which isn't a spoiler as they both take place before the older Arkham games. Surprise! The villains you had to deal with in Origins got put away in the most notoriously dangerous prison in fictional history, and of course, the story of this game revolves around them taking over the prison and attempting a full-fledged escape. Black Mask, Penguin and Joker are all back in action, leading the charge of the villainous takeover in the prison, of course. In this game, however, you meet Catwoman for the the first time, establishing the very beginning of her relationship with the Bats. This happens right at the beginning of the game, so anyone freaking out about spoilers ... chill.
This game is different in the fact that it is not open world exploration, or even 3D for that matter. It is, what we call it in the industry, a dynamic 2.5D game, where you can only really move left and right, up and down, but the camera and game will automatically swivel you around corners and turns, and also in and out of the background and foreground. So while it is a 2D platformer, it still makes you feel immersed into the environment enough to make you feel free of the 2D constraints.
Batman has the usual arsenal of gadgets, and he has to find them in locked crates throughout the prison. When it comes to gadgets and stuff, Blackgate uses the MetroidVania blueprint, where you can obtain a gadget in one part of the map, but can and have to go back to previous portions of the map you already went to in order to open up new areas, collect secrets and advance the story. A lot of backtracking, but it goes fairly quick to where it's not too annoying.
The combat system is pretty much the same, you can pull grates off walls and of course, detective mode is utilized as well. For the Vita, all you have to do is tap on the touchscreen to activate the mode, and when you hold your finger on the screen, you can scan around the room and analyze objects, secrets and clues for crime scenes that act as mini-side missions, although you just find them along your travels so they don't ever take you away from your current objective. If anything, you just waste a bunch of time scanning every room from top to bottom, if you're like me at all.
Also, the cutscenes are animated in comic book style, and the remind me a lot of the Batman Beyond animated series. They are well done and fit the feel of the game perfectly. For a handheld Batman game, I couldn't ask for anything more, to be honest.
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