Batman: Return to Arkham Review

The Dark Knight returns….. Returns.


Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City are two of the best superhero video games ever made, so there’s no surprise the games are going to be remastered.  Batman: Return to Arkham brings the 2009 and 2011 classics, as well as all their DLC, to our current gen consoles.  However, a simple graphic update doesn’t do the games justice at all, and at the end, the once superb games seem underwhelmed in the current game standards.

Yes, the games feature a much sharper and brighter graphics.  Return to Arkham allows the games to be more detailed and things such as Batman’s suit are more defined this time around.  This is all thanks to the game being upgraded from Unreal Engine 3 to Unreal Engine 4.  Unfortunately, this also allows all the weakness of the games to become obvious.  While not necessary the case for Arkham City, the brightness and sharpness of the remastered really show how outdated Arkham Asylum can be.  The character models are stiff, and under the sharper images, you can really see how awkward some of the cut scenes are.


Not to mention, for some reason the games only run on 30 fps, instead of the standard 60.  While it still look smooth enough on Arkham City, Asylum suffers frame rate drops from time to time.  And no, the issue is not big enough to interrupt the overall gameplay, but it’s a noticeable distraction.  The game also comes with all the DLC, story pack, challenge maps, as well as the alternate skins, so you can play as the animated Batman from the get-go.  However, these are nothing different than the Game of the Year editions.  In fact, the game should come with addition contents such behind-the-scenes details that BioShock: The Collection has.  It’s really a missed opportunity.

Despite all the short comings of the remastered version, the games pretty much stay the same as their previous gen counterparts.  The story is compelling, gameplay is renovating and full of wonderful little details that widen the Batman: Arkham universe.  If you’re not interested in replaying the games, then you might want to skip this one.  However, if you’ve been meaning to revisit the classics, like me, but haven’t the opportunity yet, like me, than Batman: Return to Arkham is just for you.