‘Batman: Return to Arkham’ brings two remastered games to Xbox One and PS4

It seemed inevitable given the success of the series — and more specifically, last year’s Batman: Arkham Knight — but it has now been made official: both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are making their way to Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Remastered by Virtuos, which previously worked on the Final Fantasy X/X-2 port for PlayStation 4, Batman: Return to Arkham includes Rocksteady’s first two Caped Crusader adventures with all downloadable content.

The announcement comes with a trailer highlighting some of the best moments from the first two games (and their Metacritic scores, for some reason), including fights against Mr. Freeze, Bane, and Scarecrow, coupled with plenty of taunts from Mr. J. While the box art in the Arkham games has never been anything special before, this changes with Return to Arkham; a playing card featuring two versions of Batman is placed crookedly on the front, as if the Joker is making a statement from within the marketing team.

Arkham Knight is still one of the best-looking games on this generation of consoles, but Rocksteady still used Unreal Engine 3 to accomplish the feat. Return to Arkham remasters both games in Unreal Engine 4, which Warner Bros. says will have “upgraded models, environments, lighting, effects, and shaders.” Remastered games are very rarely visually superior to games designed for current-gen systems, but the gap might not be as wide as we’re used to.

Of course, there are two games missing from this collection that keep it from being complete: Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Origins — Blackgate, both released in 2013. While the former game had a few brilliant boss fights and the new investigative features, it was a glitchy mess with a predictable story. The latter game, developed by Armature, featured sluggish combat and a horrible finale. Perhaps it’s best they’re left out.

Batman: Return to Arkham arrives to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on July 26.

Pre-Order Batman: Return to Arkham on Amazon


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