Batman: Arkham Asylum was first released in 2009 to critical acclaim, with its sequel Batman: Arkham City following two years later in 2011. Now, five years and three other games later, these two games have been updated, both graphically and technically for the newer console generation. Both original games were developed by Rocksteady Studios and WB Games Montréal and published by Warner Bros. Batman: Return to Arkham is developed by Virtuos and uses the Unreal Engine 4. The game is available on either PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.
Right out of the gate you can tell the difference in graphical quality the games have to show you. Even though they were incredibly colourful when they originally came out, they both had a sort of haze filtered over them. Now that haze seems to have been removed. The textures are sharper and there seems to be a lot less blur in the games, especially during combat. While Batman flies through the air to introduce his fist to the next unwitting thug, there would be quite a bit of movement blur, but most of that seems to have been extinguished this time around. However, the weird, choppy, broken trail following Batman, while he jumps and dodges around the fights, seems to persist, and while it isn’t a huge problem by any means, it still seems like something that could have been fixed up.
The lighting in the bundle is one of the most obvious parts to get a touch-up. The lights flicker and bounce off each different object and texture fabulously. They illuminate areas they should and project shadows perfectly. Watching the light bounce off Batman’s cape as he runs and glides around is also just great to watch.
None of the actual gameplay and mechanics seems to have been fixed or enhanced. Such as watching Batman fly across to a thug for a takedown, and then perform the takedown a good metre or two away from said thug. There weren’t a lot of issues the first time around in the games, but what issues there were, haven’t been fixed and seem to persist in the enhanced editions.
While some of the visual upgrades are rather impressive, it doesn’t seem like it was all that necessary. If you never got around to playing Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, then this is a great bundle to get you into it, but if you have, you may not feel as if it is too necessary to spend the money if you already own the originals. That said, it is a great bundle of the first two Arkham games, with upgraded visuals that are noticeable instantly. That is why we give this bundle an 8.1/10.