Having studied and practiced Batman Arkham Origins extensively in order to produce my real walkthrough of the game, I ended up taking a metric ton of notes on what I considered to be the best fighting strategies. This page is a compilation of all those notes and will serve as a compendium of tips and tricks that newbies can use to take Batman successfully into combat. The following also describes in detail my counter-less fight strategy.
This article assumes that you've had a chance to go over and understand the basic Batman fighting moves described in the Core Controls Reference section of the in-game menu (Waynetech).
Easy Freeflow Starter
The easiest and quickest way to put Batman into Freeflow mode is to quick-fire a couple of Batarangs at a group of thugs and then immediately follow up with a Strike. The batarangs should quickly score 2 hits on your Combo Multiplier at which point any attack immediately following that will be able to hit an enemy much further away. So the follow-up Strike will send Batman flying into the group of thugs with a punch or a kick and just like that you've got your freeflow on.
Once you've got the Concussion Detonator (picked up in the Batcave after investigating the crime scene at Lacey Towers), a nice variation is to approach a group of thugs —keeping your distance so you don't alert them— and quick fire a concussion detonator into the group. Wait until it goes off and then do the quick fire Batarang / Strike combo as described above. Stunned from the Concussion Detonator, you'll stand a better chance of not getting hit out of your combo once you've flown into the thick of things with your Strike move.
After the initial Strike move, you can often get away with simply spamming the Strike button a couple or three times to have Batman quickly wade through the pack scoring more hits.
If you have lightning-quick reflexes rivaling that of a hummingbird on Jolt Cola, you'll be able to keep your combo going simply by watching enemy movements and doing strikes and counters as need be. On the other hand, if you're an average mere mortal like myself, you may want to take a more proactive approach.
Once you've got your freeflow combo going, a safe and easy way to keep it going is to simply use Evade (press and hold to move Batman in any direction and then double-tap the Run button) to quickly get yourself out of the group of enemies before somebody can hit you out of your combo. Typically I evade continuing in the same direction I used to enter the group which will place Batman essentially behind them. Remember, the Evade move doesn't use up what I call the time-out clock (the second or so that you're allotted between hits to keep a combo going). A number of times, I've actually managed to evade twice before doing the next hit in a combo and the combo remained unbroken.
Once you've safely evaded away from the group, quickly spin the camera around and immediately hit Strike again sending Batman flying into the group to score another hit and keep your combo alive. You don't even need to target anybody specifically, just aim generally at the group and Batman is bound to kick into a freeflow hit. As soon as you score that hit, immediately evade out and beyond the group, spin the camera around and rinse and repeat. I call this whole procedure the Hit-and-Run strategy and it is extremely effective at keeping a combo going if you're not very good at countering.
I find it best to simply keep my finger pressed on the Forward button almost the entire time throughout a fight (or keep holding the joystick forward). This way, all you have to do is rapidly tap the Run button anytime you want to Evade. This will greatly improve your reaction time. Also, for PC gamers, you might want to remap Run to the space bar instead of the default Left Shift key for the simple reason that it's a lot easier to rapidly tap with your thumb than your little finger.
Another easy way to keep a combo alive is to target two or three enemies or groups of enemies distant from one another and then just keeping alternating strikes between them. By having Batman constantly ping-ponging back and forth between distant targets, you greatly decrease your chances of getting hit out your combo simply because enemies will not have time enough to surround you and wind up for a hit.
Once you get adept at this strategy, you'll learn to always quickly spin the camera around after every freeflow hit giving you time to carefully select your next distant target. This strategy is especially useful on a group of enemies that are spaced out from one another right from the get-go before the fight begins. Jump in and get your freeflow going before they have a chance to congregate and as you continue to clobber them keeping them at bay, they'll have a hard time grouping together.
Odd Man Out
Once again, greased lightning reflexes pretty much negates any need for strategy when it comes to fisticuffs at close range with Batman. If that's you, all the power to ya.
The rest of you, follow me—
Something you'll always want to do throughout a combat encouter and especially at the beginning is to find any enemy that's standing off alone and then target him with a Cape Stun / Beatdown combo which quickly builds up your combo multiplier. Now since enemies will always rush you while you're doing a beatdown and try to hit you out of the combo you're building up, the further away they are when you start doing that, the better.
Once again, the Concussion Detonator can be used very effectively if you use it wisely. Survey a group of enemies, pick a lone target and then quick-fire the Concussion Detonator at the rest of the enemies grouped further away. Then immediately begin your Cape Stun / Beatdown combo on the lone target which typically triggers the rest of the pack to rush you. However before they can get to you, the Concussion Detonator goes off stunning many or all of them, buying you precious time to finish off your beatdown.
For this reason, it is a very good idea to complete the Anarky Most Wanted side mission as this will earn you the Concussion Detonator Blast Radius upgrade. The XP you earn while completing this side mission will also enable you to level up at which point you can spend a point on the Concussion Detonator Stun Duration upgrade (Close Combat Upgrades). Both of these will make the Concussion Detonator much more effective.
This strategy is also effective against a pair of enemies separated from the rest as the width of the Cape Stun attack can be used to stun them both simultaneously. Then do the beatdown on one while the other is stunned.
Once you get the highly recommended Special Combo Boost skill (Close Combat Upgrades) which will enable a Special Combo Takedown move after every 5 hits in a combo instead of 8, the Odd Man Out strategy becomes very powerful because you can often get your combo multiplier up to five with a single Cape Stun / Beatdown. Then as soon as you finish the Beatdown, turn on the rest of the enemies and do a Special Combo Takedown. This will quickly eliminate two enemies from the pack right from the start. Then while Batman is doing the takedown, use the time to spin the camera around to find another lone enemy. As soon as he finishes the takedown, do a Cape Stun directed at the lone enemy and then follow that up with a beatdown. Remember that while you're in Freeflow mode, a Cape Stun can be launched at enemies much further away.
Slack! Don't you ever counter?
Ha, ha, yes it's true. I've developed a counter-less fight style.
But that being said, there are times when the Counter move (counter attack) can be used exclusively as a specific strategy. This is best used when you're hopelessly surrounded by a group of enemies and you just can't get a rhythm going with your Freeflow and/or when one or more Martial Artists are present. For these situations, I use what I call the Counter Spam strategy.
To do this, simply move Batman (if not already) right into the middle of a group of enemies and turn the camera so you have a top-down point of view. Like this you'll be able to easily anticipate attacks from all sides. Then just simply wait for them to attack with your finger poised over the Counter button. When they do attack, counter and wait some more. Typically, Batman's counter attacks take a long time allowing other enemies to advance and try to attack. This is a good thing because with your Counter finger on a hair trigger, you'll be able to ward them off with little problem. You can often actually build up your combo multiplier using only counters.
When Martial Artists (red guys) are in the group of enemies, gradually push Batman towards the Martial Artist as you're countering your way through the mob and when the Martial Artist attacks, counter him as well. Since Martial Artists are very vulnerable to counter attacks, you'll finish them off very quickly. (Watch this video for a demonstration of this strategy.)
So in any group containing Martial Artists, the strategy is to go into Counter Spam mode and make the Martial Artists your number one priority. Once they're finished off, you can manage the rest a lot easier.
Stomp n' Bomb
One of my absolute favorite maneuvers is a series of moves I call the Stomp n' Bomb. You may not necessarily be able to work this into a combo but it's very effective at taking enemies quickly out of the fight.
The Stomp n' Bomb combo starts with an Aerial Attack (Cape Stun and then rapidly tap the Run button twice to have Batman climb up on an enemy and stomp him into the ground). Then immediately follow this with a quick-fire Explosive Gel which will lay the Explosive Gel charge right on top of the downed enemy. Then detonate the Explosive Gel sending the enemy flying. Follow this quickly with a Ground Takedown (Aim Gadget button + Crouch button pressed simultaneously) sending Batman leaping through the air to finish off the hapless victim you just stomped and bombed.
This is a great get-out-of-deep-doo-doo procedure because it (a) immediately downs troublesome enemies and (b) quite often takes out multiple enemies when you detonate the Explosive Gel. About the only thing you have to remember is to execute the Ground Takedown as quickly as possible after detonating the Explosive Gel as Batman can only do the Ground Takedown maneuver on downed enemies.
So there you have it, people. A quick and easy reference to the strategies I've developed that make up my Batman Arkham Origins counter-less fight style. Hope you found this interesting and until next time...