Batman: Arkham Asylum set a new standard for both licensed and superhero games when it released back in 2009. Arkham City raised that bar even higher by breaking beyond the confines of the infamous nut house and setting players loose across a huge swath of Gotham City. Rocksteady Studios is set to complete their Batman trilogy this summer with the much-anticipated release of Batman: Arkham Knight.
Players with an itch to revisit the first two games during the lead-up to Arkham Knight might want to hold off, however. From Halo: The Master Chief Collection to The Last of Us: Remastered, giving older games a modern facelift has been all the rage for a while now — all the more so since the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One aren’t backwards compatible. Now the Dark Knight himself may be jumping on the remastering bandwagon.
IGN Italy claims that remastered versions of both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are headed for PS4 and Xbox One, and that they’ll be arriving by Christmas 2015. For the moment, Warner Bros. has yet to confirm the rumor, but the timing would make sense. Arkham Knight has been delayed several times, but Warner Bros. Interactive announced a new June 23 release date for the sequel earlier today. If remastered versions of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are in the works for a holiday 2015 release, that would be a perfect excuse to package Rocksteady’s full Batman trilogy together as a collection, just in time for Christmas.
Conspicuously absent from all this remastering talk is Batman: Arkham Origins, the one-off prequel developed by Warner Bros. Montreal. While it received decent reviews, Arkham Origins isn’t part of Rocksteady’s trilogy and generally isn’t as highly regarded as Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Origins averages in the mid 70s on Metacritic, whereas Asylum and City are both comfortably in the 90s. Given the expense of remastering a last-gen game for modern consoles, Origins is probably a longshot for an HD upgrade.
Hopefully the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City remasters will prove to be more than just idle rumor. At any rate, a “Complete Arkham Collection” seems inevitable at some point, so it might be worth waiting for that announcement for any gamers who aren’t already determined to make Arkham Knight a day-one purchase. Especially given the genuinely compelling storyline Rocksteady has crafted over the course of their Batman games, they should make for a great experience when played through back-to-back.
Batman: Arkham Knight evolves the formula begun in Arkham Asylum even further, giving players a truly massive Gotham City to explore, and throwing a playable Batmobile into the equation for the first time. Set a year after the events of Arkham City, Arkham Knight pits the Dark Knight against a cabal of villains led by the Scarecrow, as well as a mysterious new enemy from whom the game takes its name. Players will even get to take on the role of the Joker’s former main squeeze, Harley Quinn, in at least one story mission.
Batman: Arkham Knight will release for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on June 23, 2015.