Fans that have been eagerly waiting for the first two games in the Batman: Arkham series to get re-mastered versions are going to have an early Christmas present. According to an image received by EuroGamer from a GameStop employee, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City are coming to current-gen consoles. Aside from containing all their respective DLC and additional post-release content, the games will also have “updated visuals optimized for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One”. The HD Collection will be available on June 10, 2016, with pre-orders available starting on April 19, 2016, according to the report.
Interestingly, the third game in the series, Batman: Arkham Origins, which serves as the prequel to series’ storyline, is not included in the collection. The first two games, along with the fourth, Batman: Arkham Knight, were all developed by Rocksteady Studios; Arkham Origins was developed by Warner Bros. Games Montréal. Although it’s safe to assume that the HD Collection is a product of Rocksteady Studios, it is still unclear why the third game was omitted. It may or may not have something to do with Arkham Origins not being well-received by critics like the other three main games.
When Batman: Arkham Asylum was released back in 2009, a new standard for video games based on the Caped Crusader was established, similar to the way Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005 -2012) set the framework on how Batman movies, and superhero movies in general, should be made. The game eventually went on to spawn three more games and numerous tie-ins. The first three games were all released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms, with the fourth game switching over to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The series features Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, who reprise their roles as the voices of Bruce Wayne/Batman and The Joker, respectively, from Batman: The Animated Series. Again, Arkham Origins is the exception, which features a different voice cast.
The Batman Arkham HD Collection keeps up with the current trend in the industry of games from previous-gen consoles getting re-mastered versions for current-gen consoles. Re-mastered games differ from remakes in that they only feature enhanced audio and visuals.