Something very strange happened yesterday: the internet – and gamers in particular – were united. No dissenting voices. No trolls. Just a harmonious community celebrating the announcement, inevitable though it was, of Rocksteady and Warner Bros. decision to release a remastered version of the Arkham trilogy.
Games Pulp didn’t see a single comment online that said ‘Man, that sucks. Not another remaster!’ Maybe we weren’t looking hard enough? Maybe because the only thing we were all wondering was, ‘What took you so long?’ Maybe because deep down we all knew that this was a great decision, to replay the Arkham games – even the seriously bland and boringly Bat-mobile focused Arkham Knight.
When we first played Batman: Arkham Asylum, we were dubious. Superhero games have a tendency to be bad – more Superman 64 than 2000’s excellent Spider-man.
But then that opening sequence kicked off, and we took control of the Caped Crusader. And all we did was walk, transporting The Joker to his cell (Let’s be honest, no-one thought that would hold him, right?).
There was no zinger open. No fight scene. No Bat-gadgets flying. Just walking, cape flowing. And despite – or maybe because – of that, Games Pulp thought: I’m Batman.
That’s never happened before for anyone at Games Pulp. We never thought ‘I’m Spidey’ when we loaded up that awesome game. We never considered for a second that we were real soldiers when we started playing Call of Duty. We just took control of a character on the screen like some kind of gaming God, a puppetmaster for an on-screen avatar.
So what made Batman different?
It was Rocksteady’s attention to detail. They didn’t just love the character and his dark universe. Those collectibles that gave you a crash-course comic book education that delighted DC fans and non-fans alike.
The brawler controls were fluid, epic even, and the script and voice acting were perfectly blended – pitched somewhere in tone between the classic comics and Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.
But should it be remastered?
Remakes and remasters get a pretty raw deal from gamers. And, let’s be fair, that’s bang on. Why did Sleeping Dogs need a remake? It didn’t. Should Dishonoured have been upscaled for the next-gen consoles? Of course not. Despite being a good little game, the updated version didn’t add anything. There was no reason for Games Pulp, or anyone else, return to the world of Dunwall.
But for some reason, we’re all giving Batman a free pass here (Probably because the Dark Knight will kick your hockey pants-wearing ass if you complain).
There’s one reason why – and it’s the same reason gamers are looking forward to the Resident Evil 2 remake…
It’s a bloody solid game.
It’s a thrilling ride.
And in a world dominated by AAA titles that seem to only be on the shelves to line the pockets of companies who just don’t really care about gamers, that goes a long, long way.
What do you think – will you be Bat-grabbing the remastered Arkham trilogy when it’s released, or will you you Bat-a-ranging it back at the publishers when it releases? Let us know over at the Games Pulp Twitter.