Batman: Arkham Origins
Although the console version of Batman: Arkham Origins won't hit living rooms until next week, Warner Bros. Interactive has already gone ahead and launched the mobile version of the game, one which has you battling thugs and assassins throughout Gotham City.
Along the way, Batman can improve his fighting skills by picking up new abilities, not to mention new special offensive and defensive stances. There are plenty of juicy weapons and suits to unlock too.
The gameplay is really very good, with plenty of satisfying fisticuff action to get stuck into, as well as mini-games that pop up during certain fights. The touch-screen controls react very well indeed, and the unlock system for new moves and stances is deep and satisfying.
Like the publisher's previous game Injustice: Gods Among Us, Arkham Origins looks great too, with superb animations and environmental design throughout. The in-game menus are also very easy to use, so you can pick and choose missions and upgrades without skipping a beat. As for the music, it sounds just like it was taken straight from the older Batman films.
Two issues keep Batman: Arkham Origins from reaching its true potential. First, it's very repetitive. You'll fight guys in the same patterns, using taps and swipes with little diversity. Even after unlocking new moves, it still doesn't shake entirely free from that safe formula very often.
The second is the free-to-play system, and there's no avoiding the game's micro-transactions. You need game cash and WayneTech tokens to unlock new abilities and suits, and once you've run out of those, you'll have to dip into your wallet. Stamina also takes forever to refill unless you pay a fee - and you will run out eventually.
Despite feeling like a grind at times - especially when it comes to waiting on a stamina refill or buying new goods - Batman: Arkham Origins will certainly put a smile on the faces of Batman fans. A fair offering to fill the gap until the console game comes out.
Download Batman: Arkham Origins - iPhone & iPad