First off – before I saw yesterday’s newly minted trailer for the multiplayer mode coming to Batman: Arkham Origins I thought it was going to be another tacked on multiplayer mode to a series that’s done fine without it so far. I’ve played Dead Space 2 and BioShock 2… I was far from keen on multi then.
Getting it right
But – and this is a big but – I did mellow out towards multiplayer elements being added on to series with the release of Mass Effect 3. In fact the multiplayer was my favourite aspect of the entire game. Generally however, I feel a degree of mental anguish when multiplayer is proposed for series that hasn’t had it before. Just because EA and BioWare got it right once doesn’t mean that anyone else will easily be able to replicate what happened in ME3.
At least – that’s what I was thinking until I saw this:
And now… now I’m excited about a multiplayer mode being added onto a franchise – again! Then I looked at the end of the trailer a little closer.
The Wii U version of Arkham Origins wasn’t being included in the multiplayer rollout, at least according to the video. Then a statement over at Eurogamer from a Warner Brothers spokesperson confirmed this:
“The team is focusing development efforts on platforms with the largest MP audience.”
Why should I care, eh? After all, I’ve got an Xbox 360 with an up-to-date Gold subscription. Thing is: I’ve also got a Wii U and I’ve played Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition on the console, as well as playing to death the regular game on 360. Yet playing Arkham City on the Wii U was a fantastic experience due to how the game tablet made you feel like you were really Batman, pulling up interfaces and configuring gadgets.
Which to pre-order?
With the multiplayer announcement I feel like I’m being made to choose between an engaging interface and having access to what looks to be an interesting take on multiplayer. I truly do not know which format I want to pre-order it on since this announcement. And of course I’m going to play this game somehow, because I think Batman is awesome.
I could buy both formats, but that seems a ridiculous choice to be forced to make. Perhaps what annoys me most is that the Wii U being overlooked in this manner is but one instance in a long list of publisher snubbing that’s been taking place this year. Sure, Nintendo is partly to blame for the flagging sales, but even around launch third-party weren’t giving it much of a chance. The negative feedback loop that publishers are creating for the console is clearly not going to help it pick up sales and create a large “MP audience”.