Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham games are some of the most technically impressive titles available on console, and last year’s Arkham Knight is among the most gorgeous games of the generation, with incredibly detailed character models and a beautiful setting. Fortunately, the Batman: Return to Arkham collection looks like it will bring Rocksteady’s previous games very close to the high bar set by the finale.
In a new side-by-side video showing off the original PlayStation 3 version of Batman: Arkham Asylum compared to the remastered version on PlayStation 4, the improvements are evident almost immediately. Water now reflects an eerie, soft glow from the streetlamps above, and Batman himself looks better than ever. Rain collects on top of his cowl, and his muscles cast a shadow on him that make his suit significantly spookier than before.
Lighting effects indoors are also much more impressive in Return to Arkham, giving the game a dark, ominous atmosphere that wasn’t as pronounced in the original game. The Joker’s graffiti previously appeared to almost blend in with the wall’s textures, but it now stands out with sharper colors and a deeper green that should be easily spotted by even the speediest players.
The improvements are slightly less obvious in the game’s sequel, Arkham City, as Rocksteady’s masterpiece has held up remarkably well in the five years since its release, but fire now looks like fire instead of the “idea of fire,” and the city’s neon signs give off an intense and realistic flicker.
Batman: Return to Arkham was originally scheduled for a July release, but it suffered a last-minute delay in order to give developer Virtuous Games more time to polish it. It will now arrive for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on October 18, and includes both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City as well as all their DLC.
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