I’m back being Batman once again as I head back to the Return to Arkham package. I’ve already given the first game, Arkham Asylum a Review and it was a pleasure to be back in the madhouse. Now here I am with my Batman Arkham City Remastered review, a game that took the series to the next level in 2011.
Some would argue this is the best of the series and I certainly see why that would be the case having gone back to play once again.
Here I look at the remaster of the title and the quality of the core game once again. I’ll avoid plot spoilers here for those who are playing for the first time too, so don’t worry about reading anything controversial here.
It’s a classic game but is it worth the investment now? Let’s put it this way, I had to delete it from my system to stop me going back for more, just like Asylum! These games are still great and will keep you coming back for more.
Look and Feel – “I Have a Visual on Batman”
The original Arkham City looked very good back as it released on PS3 and Xbox 360. And the new remastered graphics give certain elements a good polish. The faces and build of the characters have a nice added level of detail along with the locations and environments.
The whole of the city comes back with a nice amount of grime everywhere as the detail is certainly increased in this remaster. Lights such as the neon around Arkham City shine that bit more and all looks very smooth.
The performance technically is very good generally but there was some noticeable frame rate stuttering at times. Especially in the open-world city, which is a shame considering the hardware it’s running on shouldn’t.
Still it isn’t enough to spoil anything, Arkham City still looks very good it’s just not quite as deep an overhaul as you may expect. Still, the locations are well designed and the original effort gone to on all the characters still works, even today.
Once again, like Asylum, the atmosphere of the madness around you is done incredibly well. The city feels a nasty place to be and you are seemingly the only one in there capable of putting things right.
Getting this now might not look the same level as Arkham Knight but you can certainly see where the features of that game came from.
Story – “Hey Bats, Miss Me?”
This time there is a lot more going on in the story with the aftermath of Asylum still a sore point for one foe. Joker is back and he’s as crazy and funny as ever. Mark Hamill once again portrays a fantastic Joker with you both really liking him and hating him at the same time.
But in City you also have Dr Hugo Strange in charge of the portion of Gotham turned into a prison/asylum. Hence the name “Arkham city”, this area houses all prisoners and mental patients in one place.
Hardly a place to take your Gran on the weekend!
The start if the game sees you take on the role of Bruce Wayne for a portion. Players of the Telltale Batman series will know all about how that feels. But here its short lived and soon you are dragged into the chaos with Strange knowing exactly who Bruce Wayne becomes at night.
He’s about to deploy protocol 10, you have no idea what it is but his motivation isn’t positive for the people of Gotham. Batman cannot leave until he knows what it is and how to stop Strange.
But the Joker is also a key player in Arkham City along with Penguin. And there is also the matter of a certain Catwoman taking on the criminals in Two Face’s gang for her own reasons.
The story this time sees you control Catwoman numerous times and it adds a nice change from just being the Dark Knight all the time. Her missions mix things up a little and really gives the game a sense of a split narrative not experienced in the first title.
All the characters are voice acted exceptionally well and the main story has so many sub-plots and little things to find you’ll find it very hard to stop. It’s one of the best action-adventure stories out there and it’s been so much fun to play again.
And if you haven’t experienced this for yourself, the story is enough to pick the game up for alone for players who enjoy a good narrative.
Gameplay – “Batman Is Taking On Multiple Maniacs… Maniacs Down, Batman Is Clear”
Where the in the last review the gameplay was showing its age a little. Here you have a title that still plays like a dream. It’s the reason people still hold Arkham City in high regard as everything is a step forward from Asylum.
And for a remastered game, it still feels very smooth to today’s standards.
The combat system is much faster and carries more of a flow this time. The original was good but this really polishes every part of the strike, counter and special move combo system. You strike with precision, take out multiple goons at once with crunching counter attacks and it all feels awesome.
Mixing in special moves also helps you maintain a combo and fight off more tricky enemies later in the game. With gadgets being more available from early in the game and more as you progress, it feels more like Batman right away.
Getting around the city is smooth with improved gliding and motion as you flow from location to location. I can’t believe there was no mini-map here either but it’s quite easy to find your way. It’s still something I’d like to have seen added, although that might have been incredibly difficult!
Missions and side quests are everywhere with lots of Easter eggs, cool locations and puzzles to solve. Detective Mode returns to help you with taking out armed enemies in the stalking missions once again.
Plus there are puzzles to sole and of course the Riddler’s trophies and problems to solve which prove VERY addictive. It’s got a bit of everything and still feels amazing to play now, with no Batmobile in sight.
You won’t want to stop if you get going once again or for the first time. It really is one of the best action adventures of all time.
It’s a game I cannot stop playing and one anyone who missed it originally should invest in. Played it before? Yes me too but I loved playing it again.
Remaster wise it’s good, looks nice and you can see an improvement. It technically lacks some performance that shouldn’t happen but it’s nothing overly serious.
The story and gameplay are outstanding by today’s standard. The Batman combat takes a step up from the original and really makes you feel like Batman.
It’s a must buy for anyone who’s missed the game and still great to return to Arkham for those who have.
Don’t forget to drop me a Disqus or Facebook Comment below with your thoughts on this game and the remaster!