Updated versions of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, the first two games in the franchise by Rocksteady Studios, will be coming to current consoles.
After being rumored for many months, Return to Arkham will launch on July 26 in North America at $49.99 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced on Wednesday.
The package with the two remastered Arkham games will also release in Europe on July 29.
The games are being ported to current consoles using the new Unreal Engine 4. The games were originally made with Unreal Engine 3 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. This will be the first game in the Arkham franchise made with Unreal 4. Arkham Knight, the fourth game in the series that also used Unreal 3, released in June 2015 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Return to Arkham will feature updated visuals, character models and environments as well as better shaders, lighting and effects through the new engine. Both games will also include all downloadable content and bonuses from the Game of the Year versions. The various DLC added new challenge maps in Arkham Asylum and new story missions, challenge maps, playable characters and costumes for Arkham City.
Virtuos, the team behind Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (2014) and the PS4 port of Heavy Rain this past March, is working on Return to Arkham.
Warner Bros. didn’t announce a PC version for the game. Return to Arkham will release as a retail version but the company didn’t announce if both games would be sold separately on the consoles’ digital stores.
Return to Arkham won’t include a remastered Batman: Arkham Origins, which is a prequel story to Arkham Asylum developed by Warner Bros. Games Montreal that released in October 2013. Rocksteady doesn’t consider Origins part of the franchise’s trilogy line that it created with the first two games and ended with Arkham Knight.
Arkham Asylum first released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in August 2009. Its sequel, Arkham City, first launched in October 2011 and later released for the Wii U in November 2012. The Arkham franchise is known for being some of the best licensed games because of the storylines, characters and third-person gameplay of combat and detective work. The game’s cast also features voice acting for the Joker done by Mark Hamill.
In Arkham Asylum, Batman fights through the city’s prison for its hardest criminals to bring down the Joker, who took control of the facility. Arkham City opens up the series, expanding it into the large environment of Gotham to stop another of Joker’s plots.
While Return to Arkham might not be coming to PC, Warner Bros. has had issues with releases for the platform, like Mortal Kombat X and the last Arkham game. When Warner Bros. launched the PC version of Arkham Knight last June, it was plagued with many performance issues that caused users to be unable to play the game properly. The PC version of Arkham Knight was even taken down on Steam for several months by Warner Bros. before being sold again, becoming one of the first game releases from a major publisher that highlighted the platform’s new refund policy used by consumers.
Watch Return to Arkham’s trailer: