Batman: Arkham Origins announced for PC, PS3, Wii U and Xbox 360

UPDATE: Black Mask is the main villain, the world will be twice as big as Arkham City.

UPDATE 2: Further details have emerged about Batman: Arkham Origins. Notably that its main antagonist is Black Mask, who orchestrates a city-wide manhunt for Batman among Gotham's outlaw population.

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Black Mask.

The game world will be approximately twice as big as it was in Arkham City. The north half of Origins' map will be similar to the setting of Arkham City, although it won't have giant prison walls surrounding it and Amusement Mile won't be flooded. There will also be more Christmas decorations, giving it a sort of Batman Returns vibe.

The south half of the map will be New Gotham, which is described as a classier part of town with more skyscrapers. Given the larger setting, players will be able to move about faster thanks to the Batwing offering a mode of fast travel. Players will need to dismantle hacked towers that emit jamming signals though before they can fly to certain regions.

While most of Batman's combat and stealth techniques will be familiar to those who played earlier games in the series, one of his new toys is the "remote claw," which allows players to shoot two targets, then pull them towards one another. This will be useful for stringing foes up, bounding two of them together at once, or making large object crash into thugs. You can also use the remote claw to set up slick traps, like dangling an explosive barrel from a perch, then luring guards under it with a sonic batarang.

Arkham Origins will feature plenty of detective work including side missions where Batman has to solve cases. These can involve watching security footage where you'll have to view the same events from different angles and slow down the playbacks until you can gather some clues.

GameInformer also released more details about Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, notably that it will feature all of its console brethren's features like detective mode, stealth, and free-flow combat. While it's a primarily 2D game, you will be able to interact with items in the foreground and background like gargoyles to perch on or explosive surfaces that could use some good old bat gel to blow up. Get a glimpse of it below.

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UPDATE: Batman: Arkham Origins is the subject of the next issue of Game Informer magazine.

Developer WB Montreal is using Rocksteady's custom modified Unreal engine to create the game, GI said. Eight assassin's come together to Gotham City on Christmas Eve to kill Batman. WB Montreal described its Gotham as a "functional city" and "not a deserted wasteland".

In the image released below we see Batman and Deathstroke, who makes his debut in a core Arkham game. The creative director is Eric Holmes, who worked on The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and Prototype.

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ORIGINAL STORY: Warner Bros. has announced Batman: Arkham Origins for the PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360. Next-generation consoles were not mentioned.

Origins is the next game in the Arkham series, and follows the release of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, according to a report by GameFocus.

Those games were developed by Rocksteady. Origins is made by WB Games Montreal. Origins is set several years before the previous Arkham games, and sees the player assume the role of a younger Batman who meets many of the series' iconic characters for the first time.

Also in development is a Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita spin-off called Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. Both Arkham Origins and Blackgate will launch on 25th October 2013.

Blackgate, a 2.5D Metroid-style game, takes place after the events of Arkham Origins and is in development at Armature Studio, the company founded by several of the people behind the Metroid Prime Trilogy at Retro.

It looks like Warner is employing a two-studio strategy for the main Batman series, alternating development duties between WB Montreal and Rocksteady. With that in mind, perhaps we'll see Rockseady's new game towards the end of 2014.

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