Rocksteady Studios’ Arkham games, published by Warner Bros. Interactive, finally gave a comic book superhero a video game series worthy of the character and indeed the universe they lived in. It just so happened that character was Batman, one of the most popular superheroes around.
Featuring an intuitive combat system that has been used for almost every other licensed game in Warner Bros’ roster like Mad Max and Shadow of Mordor, Arkham Asylum was a critical hit. The 2011 sequel Arkham City was just as well received by fans and continued to pit the world’s greatest detective against some of his most fearsome foes. It was no surprise that rumors and speculation fuelled reports about these titles being slated for a PS4/Xbox One remaster. After a long awaited official announcement, the speculation has been proved to be true.
Batman: Return to Arkham will include remastered versions of both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City plus all of the downloadable content that was made available for the titles. Graphically, the publisher has stated that the games are being spruced up using Unreal Engine 4. Return to Arkham will arrive July 26 and cost $49.99. The trailer confirming the release (see above) focuses on all the iconic characters that players confronted as well as the ‘genre-defining action’ in what are heralded as two of the best superhero games ever.
It’s no surprise that the most recent title, Arkham Knight has been left out of the collection as it was designed specifically for the latest console generation. What is a bigger concern for fans is why Arkham Origins is being completely ignored. The prequel title was not actually made by Rocksteady and instead was the work of WB Montreal. It is being perceived as a massive snub to that studio, especially considering that the game was not terrible and the only concern about the game was the recasting of key voice actors. It is not known whether this decision has been made by Warner Bros or from Rocksteady’s influence or even if its absence now means it is no longer officially part of the series’ canon. Arkham Origins is the one title that many missed out, first time around, so it is a big miss that it is not part of the remaster.
Rocksteady has been praised so much about how it treated the character of Batman and his world, that many fans have called on the developer to turn their attention to another of DC’s major players – Superman. Arkham Knight had a number of Easter eggs that referenced the Man of Steel, including a message left for Bruce Wayne by Lex Luthor and dialogue from a henchman sayingt the only thing the game's events are missing is if "that freak from Metropolis flew in." It's still a dream that Rocksteady would actually want to take on such a project, seeing as the cancelled Superman game taught us that making such a title is no easy task.
Batman: Return To Arkham will be available for PS4 and Xbox One starting July 26th, 2016.
Source: Rocksteady Studios