Why the Arkham Trilogy should be remastered for PS4 and Xbox One

Batman+gliding+in+the+air+ready+to+take+on+crime.

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Batman gliding in the air ready to take on crime.

By: Craig Epstein, Fall Reporter

Since it is being rumored that the Arkham trilogy is going to be remastered for PS4 and Xbox One, I have decided to do a review for all three of the games. I just want to make it clear that this is strictly a rumor and it has not been confirmed by Rocksteady Studios. But with the success of all of the Arkham games it’s hard to imagine as to why Rocksteady wouldn’t do this. But again it’s strictly a rumor.

It all started off with Batman: Arkham Asylum.Released on August 25, 2009, Arkham Asylum completely changed the superhero video game genre. Before this game most superhero video games were not very successful.  Whether it was Spider-Man, Superman, or even The Dark Knight himself, superhero video games just could not escape the bad game bug. Most notably, Superman on the Nintendo 64 is widely viewed as the worst superhero video game of all time. But none of that mattered when Arkham Asylum came out.

Batman: Arkham Asylum pits The Dark Knight against his arch nemesis The Joker, along with all of the other inmates of Arkham Asylum. This includes Harley Quinn, The Riddler, Killer Croc, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Victor Zsasz, Bane, and some other villains that make minor cameos. As great as this game was at the time it seems a little bit outdated 6 years later. That is not the games fault though. Rocksteady has been raising the bar with all of these games since its beginning so of course the game is going to seem a little bit outdated. But if you like nostalgia then this is the game for you.

Some other minor problems with Arkham Asylum are a lot of the villains are identical in looks, so it’s kind of weird when you’re pummeling the same looking inmate again and again. Another problem with the game is some of the boss battles are pretty disappointing. For instance, the Killer Croc boss battle is probable the worst boss battle in all of the Arkham games. The premise of the mission is to retrieve parts of plants. The only problem is you have to move slowly and avoid Killer Croc from capturing you by throwing a batarang at his electric collar. This mission takes a long time to complete and by the end you will feel more relieved that you finished it rather than enjoying the ride while it’s happening. Also, the final boss battle with The Joker is just weird and repetitive. And my last problem with the game is you get to see the Batmobile but you never get to actually drive in it. That is saved later for Rocksteady’s third installment, Batman: Arkham Knight.

Arkham Asylum does have its fair share of problems but it also has a lot of good things too. For instance, the Scarecrow boss battles are extremely well done. It’s a cat-and-mouse game where Scarecrow is looking for you and you have to avoid his gaze or else you lose. It’s a very intense and very enjoyable boss battle that is a staple for the game. Also, this game has some great cameos from the likes of Ras Ahl Ghul, Scarface, Clayface, etc. And, there are audio recordings of a bunch of patients in Arkham Asylum that you get to listen to and from these recordings you get to hear what it’s like in for these inmates of Arkham Asylum. I give Batman: Arkham Asylum a 9 out of 10.

On October 18, 2011 the second installment of the Arkham trilogy came out, Batman: Arkham City. Simply put, Arkham City is one of the greatest games ever made. Much like the Nolan trilogy, the second installment is an absolute masterpiece. In this game Batman once again takes on his arch nemesis The Joker. Only this time, Joker is dying. The Clown Prince of Crime has a problem with his blood which is slowly but surely killing him. The only problem is, Joker not only infects Batman with his blood, but he also ships out portions of it to hospitals all over Gotham. Batman and Joker must fight to see who can get to the antidote first. There are twists and turns throughout this game that will leave you speechless.

Much like any video game Arkham City has its problems, but it has so few that it’s no wonder why it won Game of the Year. The only few that come to mind are the map is pretty small so there isn’t a lot of places to go or free roaming to do. Also, once again you cannot ride in the batmobile. But other than that, that’s it.

The highlight of Arkham City is probably the Mr. Freeze boss battle. In this mission, Mr. Freeze is trying to kill you and you are not only in his environment, but you are also terribly sick from Joker’s blood. Batman has to use his wits to defeat this formidable foe. This mission really puts you into the role as The Dark Knight and makes you think “How can I possibly defeat this guy?” By the end, you will feel like you truly accomplished something and had fun while doing it. I give Batman: Arkham City a 10 out of 10.

The third and final installment of Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy came out on June 23rd, 2015. Batman: Arkham Knight is Rocksteady’s swan song to the Arkham trilogy. The hype around this game was enormous and that’s probably why people were, for the most part, disappointed with this game. By no means is Arkham Knight a bad game, it is just a bit disappointing.

The main villain in this game is Scarecrow with his henchman who is known as the Arkham Knight, along with a litany of Gotham’s worst criminals. Scarecrow has a plan to defeat The Dark Knight that may be even too much for Batman to handle. Throughout this game, Batman is forced to confront his demons from both the past and the present. One of the hook-in lines for this game was “This is how it happened. This is how the Batman died.” If that’s not enough to get you at least interested in the game then I don’t know what is.

There are at least a number of problems with Arkham Knight but there also a number of good things that counter it. The problems with the game are there aren’t a lot of boss battles. It mostly consists of side missions and cutscenes. Also, some of the missions you are required to do are very complicated and strenuous. Another problem is, although in this game you finally get to ride in the batmobile, too much of the game involves using the batmobile. It gets to a point where you are thankful to finally do a predator mission or anything that doesn’t involve the batmobile. And finally, in order to get the complete ending you have to complete the entire game. So for anybody that isn’t a fan of the Riddler side missions, you have to beat those too in order to receive the complete ending. And to be honest, it really isn’t worth it. I would encourage you to watch the complete ending on Youtube instead.

Although Arkham Knight has a number of problems, it also has a number of things too. For instance, the storytelling is superb. You really feel like you’re there whenever a cutscene presents itself. Also, the voice acting is stellar. Kevin Conroy once again kills it as Batman, but would you expect anything less? John Noble also does the voice of Scarecrow and does a very good job of it. These two, along with many other voice actors did an absolutely marvelous job of letting their voices bring these characters to life. And finally, the graphics for this game are second to none. Batman: Arkham knight has some of the most realistic graphics I have ever seen in my life. The details Rocksteady put into this game cannot be matched and they deserve to be applauded for it. I give Batman: Arkham Knight a 9 out of 10.

To sum everything up, the Arkham trilogy ushered in a new generation for the superhero video game genre.  I hope that other companies can use these games as a model of “How to make a good and successful superhero video game.” It was sad to see this trilogy come to an end but all good things eventually end. Let’s just hope that this isn’t the end for quality superhero video games. Whether or not Rocksteady remasters the Arkham trilogy is remain to be seen. But one thing’s for sure, it would make a lot of money and make a lot of video game fans very very happy.