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Batman: Return to Arkham PS4 Game Review

October 28, 2016

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Batman: Return to Arkham PS4 Game Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Oct 28, 2016
( Rating: 5 Star Rating)

Batman: Arkham Asylum opened the Arkham series of games and Arkham City was one of the biggest superhero releases of all time. Kidzworlds review is here of these two titans on current gen consoles.

By: Max Cannon

Batman: Return to Arkham is a remaster of the first two games in the Batman: Arkham trilogy, both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are included. If you haven't played them before you missed a pair of the absolute greatest games of all time, and without a doubt some of the best superhero games of all time.

This remaster makes a couple of missteps as far as changes to the original game, but the gameplay and story are as good as ever in these fantastic games. 

Step Inside The Madhouse of Arkham Asylum

The first game in the trilogy, Batman: Arkham Asylum builds the foundation for the fantastic series in combat, stealth, and exploration. After kidnapping the Joker in a battle that seemed too easy, Batman returns him to Arkham Asylum to lock him up. However quickly in the Joker takes over the entire facility and releases an onslaught of villains to attack the Dark Knight. Trapped with the insane, Batman has to save the employees and stop the Joker in one of the worst nights of his life.

There are three main pillars to gameplay in Arkham Asylum. As earlier mentioned, the combat in the game is fantastic. Simple to understand, difficult to fully master. Pressing square will deliver a basic attack on your enemies, while triangle will counter most of the attacks your enemies will throw at you. Add in batarangs, Batman's grapple, and a few special takedowns and you have the basis for one of the most satisfying combat systems in any game.

Arkham Asylum may have weaker graphics than expected but it's not an ugly game.Arkham Asylum may have weaker graphics than expected but it's not an ugly game.Courtesy of Gamespot

Stealthy sections will drop Batman into a room full of armed attackers who have no clue where he is. Using your grapple gun to sneak around the ceiling you can grab enemies for a quiet attack, until you've picked them off one by one. Using Batman's tools to beat everything thrown at you is as exhilarating in the first room as it is the last.

The story is great, until the out of place finale, but developer Rocksteady's attention to even the smallest of details is impressive. You'll find secrets with nearly every step you take and solving all of The Riddler's challenges will take some time and a keen eye.

The Key To Arkham City

While Batman: Arkham Asylum is a much more contained game, the sequel Batman: Arkham City is much more opened up. A chunk of old Gotham City has been walled off and turned into a prison for everyone from the lowest of thugs to the most dangerous of supervillains. And in that city, Bruce Wayne has been arrested and thrown in with all of the other criminals.

The gameplay is similar but the combat is tighter than ever before. You'll get more gadgets, better controls, and better controlling counters, combos, and takedowns. Your stealth will present you with more options and obstacles than before, some rooms will have enemies that can sense you in the dark, others with jammers making it impossible to see.

Harley Quinn makes up a part of the huge roster of villains.Harley Quinn makes up a part of the huge roster of villains.Courtesy of Rocksteady

While I may have issue with the end of Arkham Asylum's story, I don't have any issue with the end of Arkham City's - in fact I love it. It gives a brave ending that most Batman stories are too afraid to do.

Grappling With The Games

The remaster doesn't look much better than the original games, sadly. While Batman's suit and cape look fantastic, the faces of both him and his enemies looks a little less detailed than before. The world has definitely had improvements throughout but not all of them work for the better. 

Frustratingly enough, the games still don't hit 60 frames. While Arkham Asylum runs at a locked 30 frames per second, which doesn't bug me as much as it would others - Arkham City runs at an unlocked and stuttery frame rate. One room will be a smooth 60 frames and the next will struggle to hit 30 frames - performance problems plague much of the game. It's nowhere near unplayable but it's not as easy on the eyes as an upgrade of a seven year old game should be.

Batman fights the Joker in Arkham Asylum.Batman fights the Joker in Arkham Asylum.Courtesy of Rocksteady

Final Thoughts

Though the issues are clearly there when it comes to performance, that doesn't take away from these fantastic games. If you love Batman you owe it to yourself to play this game. Very few games can match this series in terms of both gameplay and story. Just be prepared for it to be less remaster and more slightly better rerelease. 

Pros

  • Great Gameplay
  • Awesome Story Closing

Cons

  • Weaker Ending To Asylum
  • Perfomance Issues

Batman: Return To Arkham Game Rating:5

Available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Batman: Return To Arkham Cover ArtBatman: Return To Arkham Cover ArtCourtesy of Push Square

Batman: Return to Arkham Launch Trailer

 

Have Your Say!

Did you play the Arkham games before? Will you be picking up the remaster? Comment below!