Video Game Review: Batman Return to Arkham


“You get to play as Batman. ‘Nuff said.” – Sean Central Branch

Batman: Return to Arkham is a real treasure trove revealing two beloved Batman games, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, remastered and complete with all DLC packs. The Batman games are the epitome of third-person action superhero games. You use Batman’s detective skills, stealth, and unique gadgets to gain control of Arkham Asylum and later Arkham City. 

Besides an aesthetic influenced by Frank Miller, Neal Adams, and Grant Morrison’s art, the game boasts a plot written by the likes of Paul Dini. Dini is the producer and writer of several DC animated series. To match this powerful combination, Rocksteady Studios built these games on Unreal Engine 3, an impressive gaming engine for the time, and created multiple variations to get the best gameplay possible. Interestingly enough, the fighting mechanics are so good that many action titles today base their models after these games.

The graphics aren’t that bad for an older game. It’s impressive how much texture developers were able to render with Batman working in darkness or shadows for the majority of the game. There’s so much attention to detail that Batman’s armor deteriorates over time. By the end of the game, his cape is ripped to shreds, and he looks thoroughly bruised and busted. Little things like this bring the Batman series to the next level.

Everything about these storylines feels authentic. We see the twisted obsession Joker has with Batman spotlighted. The heavily staged performances Joker puts on calls up images of The Killing Joke, a nice touch considering Oracle works as Batman’s virtual guide in these games. Specific circumstances mean that Batman has to work alone, and it reminds us of a time before the bat family’s presence. These references to Batman’s past shows us how constant and persistent Batman is. Regardless of what’s happened and who is there to help him, Batman is always there for Gotham, even when he has to dive deep into the psyche of Gotham’s biggest supervillains.

I rate this game a 10 out of 10

This game is available through our library on Xbox One

This game has an ESRB rating of T for Teen ages 13+

Posted in Reviews and Recommendations.

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