Batman: Arkham Origins is available in stores. With it, Warner Bros. Games, with help from WB Montreal, built a new area of Gotham City for a younger Batman to explore. He'll need to do it carefully, though, as eight assassins hired by the Black Mask will stop at nothing to bring him down.

If you're familiar with the previous games in the series – 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum and 2011's Batman: Arkham City – you'll have a clear grasp of how things work in Origins, despite slight adjustments to the items (see our Equipment Guide for more information). If not, this Beginner's Guide will help you assume the role of the Dark Knight.

Exploration

In Batman: Arkham Origins, you'll find that Gotham City is much bigger than before. That said, you'll have no problem getting around. Open objectives will immediately appear on the screen, showing how close you are. You'll also see points that you can grapple onto around the city, with clear indications of when to fire your gun and propel Batman to the nearest rooftop.

That said, feel free to explore. There's a whole lot of trouble brewing in Gotham, with civilians tormented by thugs. Rescuing them benefits you, especially if they're police officers.

The game takes place in Batman's younger days, back when the police department – Captain Gordon included – saw him as a threat. By aiding these officers, he begins to earn their trust, even if he can't convince everyone that what he's doing is for good. Hey, better to have some people on your side than none, right?

With this in mind, check out the side missions. They'll reward you in the long run.

Getting Around

When it comes to traveling around Gotham City, you'll have your grapple gun, which allows you to grab onto certain buildings. Standing on rooftops, especially on taller buildings, gives you a  lay of the land so you can fly to your next destination.

There is a "fast travel" option available with your Batwing, and it's recommended if the location you need to reach is clear across town. It could take some time doing this on foot, so when you see this option available, be sure to take it. You may need to unlock a few towers in the process – which open up the map – but it's worth it.

Otherwise, you can get around just fine using your cape. Flying via Bat-cape lets you glide with ease.

Maintaining flight is relatively easy. Stay the course as you fly around, and if you're high enough, perform a nosedive for a couple of quick seconds. Once you build speed, return to normal and you'll maintain a moderate pace to stay in the air. Keep in mind you can use your grapple gun while  flying, and you can hold down the accelerator to launch into the air again – which works just as well as dive-bombing.

Get used to flying around – it's quite fun. Plus, you can connect to a bad guy using a diving kick, throwing everyone off guard. 

Get Your Fight On

The Batman series has a terrific fighting engine, where you connect with a number of combination attacks while fending off incoming strikes with simple defensive counters. You can fight in multiple directions using the analog stick, making it easy to bring down multiple foes at once.

You'll want to get used to the fighting system right away, learning when to use counters – through "heads up" indicators that appear over Batman's head – and when to swoop in and finish off an opponent on the ground. 

General attacks are easy to use, and Batman can also swoop his cape around to temporarily disorient a group of thugs if they're too much to handle. Make sure you chain together attacks and combos efficiently to keep your flow of combat intact.

Origins introduces new enemies, including bigger foes that take longer to bring down, and martial artists who require more than one successful counter in order to strike. You'll want to practice with these guys in the Challenge Rooms whenever you can, seeing how they behave and eventually knocking them unconscious. It’s difficult at first, but the more you learn about the in-game combat, the better you eventually get. Keep at it. 

Batman: Arkham Origins is available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC.