Batman: Return to Arkham Collection Might Help the Arkham Games Exit on a Higher Note

Batman: Return to Arkham Collection Might Help the Arkham Games Exit on a Higher Note

The dreadful PC launch of Batman: Arkham Knight dented the Arkham series' reputation, but the remasters of its best games should smooth things out a bit.

Tell me. Do you like re-visiting classic Batman games? You will.

On July 26, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment will release Batman: Return to Arkham, a two-game PlayStation 4 and Xbox One bundle that includes remastered versions of 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum, and 2011's Batman: Arkham City.

According to a press release distributed by Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment earlier today, the remasters are crafted with Unreal Engine 4 and include "upgraded models, environments, lighting, effects and shaders." Both remakes are based on their respective Game of the Year editions, meaning all bonuses and downloadable content are included. The suggested retail price is pegged at $49.99.

Last June's Batman: Arkham Knight generally reviewed well amongst console owners (including our own Mike, who spoke well of the PlayStation 4 version). However, the PC version of Arkham Knight was such a mess, it made Gotham's Crime Alley look like Lollipop Lane.

Warner Bros actually refunded righteously ticked-off PC players after pulling Arkham Knight off Steam for retooling. When the game returned to Steam six months later, players still weren't entirely happy with its frame rate or general performance.

Even now, it's impossible to think of Arkham Knight without remembering it's hyper-botched PC launch. The fiasco put a very ugly stain on an otherwise good game meant to close up an epic series that set a new bar for titles based on licensed properties.

So while news about the Arkham series remaster probably won't shock anyone in this age of remasters, its announcement offers more hope than cynicism. Batman: Arkham Asylum was a revolutionary game that weaved creative new mechanics like Batman's "Detective Mode" with a whole new Batman continuity that featured veteran voice actors from the animated series (why do our arguments for "Best Joker performance" so rarely include Mark Hamill?). Arkham Asylum is a game that deserves a nice make-over. And while Batman: Arkham City has its detractors, you're not going to find many people who'll say "No" to a remake.

In other words, it's probably for the best that Batman: Return to Arkham will be the last word in the Arkham series instead of Batman: Arkham Knight. Provided Return to Arkham's workmanship holds up, of course. If this is truly the game that closes the book on Rocksteady Studios' Batman legacy, it'd best be as polished as Wayne Manor's central bannister.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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