The Dark Knight and his greatest ally as of yet, Rocksteady Studios, are at it again. This time the duo is looking to swing onto current-gen consoles with some extra issues of older titles in tow, but as to be expected, when in Gotham things will always take a turn for the worst. Could our heroes be facing their greatest villain yet? Could the future of the long upheld name of Rocksteady Studios be in danger? Tune in for the rest of this article to find out!
Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham series was a major hit when the first game in the trilogy debuted with Batman Arkham Asylum. Back in 2009, Batman and superheroes in general were not quite as popular as they are now; it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. During this time many people obviously knew of the Batman, but many people were not familiar with his universe. Batman Arkham Asylum was the perfect start-up to delivering a bat-fueled injection of context in order to introduce the gaming community (at least those who were not avid comic book readers) to the caped crusader’s world. The game was critically acclaimed and not only did it deliver on its promise to make you feel like you were Batman himself, but it also came with a side-order of impressive visuals, a magnificent soundtrack, brilliant voice acting, malicious puzzles and a groundbreaking hard-hitting combat system.
It was safe to say that Rocksteady had a lot going on for them at the time and throughout the years they have delivered not only one grade A Batman game, but two. All this came during a time when great superhero games didn’t exist. A good superhero game was like a good video game movie; despite everyone’s best efforts in the end, it just didn’t come out quite right. Batman Arkham Asylum changed that and set in motion a revolution for superhero games. Gamers were given the gift of a sequel that doubled in size and with it, high-flying bat adventures. Not only could you explore Gotham, beat up thugs, and take down some of Batman’s Rouges, but now you could fly through-out an open world city! There’s nothing quite like climbing to the top of a building, soaring through the air and dive bombing on unsuspecting enemies below. The first two games in the Arkham trilogy were breathtaking on the Xbox 360 and PS3, so re-releasing them on current-gen consoles was a no-brainer, especially now that we live in a gaming cycle filled with HD Remasters.
Not top long ago, however, we all learned Batman: Return to Arkham had been delayed indefinitely and its city will be forever plagued with technical errors (at least for a few months or so.) When a game gets delayed, I don’t usually start rushing for the rooftops to scream bloody murder about how upset I am about it, but in Batman’s case, I do it out of love and respect. There are two theories cropping up around the Internet in light of the game’s delay, one of which being the obvious (and hopefully most likely) that they are just refining the game in order to make it run at its absolute best. The second theory (and most sensible market-wise) is that the game was purposely derailed from its July 29 release in an attempt to release the game alongside Batman VR, which will arrive later this year in October.
If the latter were true this would spell disaster for the game’s launch and Batman: Return to Arkham will tank in sales as October this year is jammed packed full of major AAA releases such as Battlefield 1, Mafia 3, Gears of War 4, PlayStation VR, Civilization 6, The Last Guardian, Titanfall 2 and Batman: Arkham VR, among numerous other titles. June and July is the perfect time-frame to release a game like Batman: Return to Arkham, as these months are the barren wasteland months of gaming, where next to nothing is being released. Not that Batman has zero chance of preforming well releasing in the fall, but it’s going to have a huge uphill battle going up against brand new juggernaut releases. My fear is that if the game doesn’t launch in the summer, then come the fall it will disappear into a state obscurity as bigger better titles blossom around it.