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Batman: Arkham Trilogy

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Batman: Arkham Trilogy
Publisher: Warner Bros. Games, DC Comics
Studios: Rocksteady Studios, Turn Me Up
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: Dec. 1, 2023 (Note: Delayed from Oct. 13, 2023)
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Synopsis: Become Gotham City's ultimate protector across the iconic Batman: Arkham Trilogy. Face off against notorious DC Super-Villains: The Joker, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and more in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Step into the shadows of Batman: Arkham City's open world, the new maximum security "home" for thugs, gangsters, and insane criminal masterminds. In Batman: Arkham Knight, tear through the streets of Gotham and take on the ultimate threat in the trilogy's epic conclusion.

Experience critically acclaimed gameplay & AAA original storytelling across all 3 games, plus all DLC, in one complete package. Be the Batman...





Batman: Arkham Trilogy Review
By James Harvey

Three of the best superhero games out there, even to this day, Rocksteady Studios' Batman: Arkham Trilogy soars thanks to its incredible cast, stunning graphics, strong writing and some of the smoothest, immersive gameplay imaginable. It's a highly influential release that, almost 10 years after the Trilogy's finale, the latest action and superhero-based games are still held up to the Arkham games as the standard to reach. Now, WB Games and Turn Me Up have finally brought these classic titles to the Nintendo Switch, but the end result here is unfortunately far below the sublime experience both the games and players deserve.

Batman: Arkham Trilogy offers the chance for fans to become the Batman! Face off against notorious DC Super-Villains such The Joker, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and more in Batman: Arkham Asylum, and then step into the shadows of Batman: Arkham City's open world to face off against for thugs, gangsters, and insane criminal masterminds. Then, in Batman: Arkham Knight, tear through the streets of Gotham and take on the ultimate threat in the trilogy's epic conclusion. Experience critically acclaimed gameplay & AAA original storytelling across all three games, plus all the DLC, in Batman: Arkham Trilogy for the Nintendo Switch!

Rocksteady Studios' exceptional Batman: Arkham trilogy offers up three fantastic adventures, with each successive game growing bigger in scale and story. The stellar, claustrophobic Batman: Arkham Asylum, the open world of Batman: Arkham City, the driveable city-wide Batman: Arkham Knight, all three offered top-notch, riveting plots paired with slick combat and eye-popping visuals. These were pretty sizable games even when they first hit shelves, sometimes even pushing the hardware at the time to its limits (such as Batman: Arkham Knight infamously upon it's original rocky release), so the Switch has its work cut out for it, to say the least.

Unfortunately, WB Games and Turn Me Up's port is a mixed bag, with Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City actually performing well to varying degrees on Nintendo's popular console. However, as expected, Batman: Arkham Knight fares far, far worse with a host of issues ranging from crashes to massive frame rate drops, and almost every other problem in-between. While the shortcomings are nowhere near as catastrophic as WB Games' recent Mortal Kombat 1 release to the Switch, it's still far from an acceptable release and, at times, nearly unplayable.

Just to note, please check out the original The World's Finest reviews of Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, and Batman: Arkham Knight for a closer look at each title's respective gameplay plus story, designs and voice work. This review is focused solely on Batman: Arkham Trilogy's performance on the Switch.

When it comes to Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, both hold up well on Nintendo's aging platform. While a hilariously low-res and jagged-looking Bat-signal in the opening minutes of Asylum raises some immediate worries concerning quality, it thankfully doesn't set the pace. Both titles look and perform comparatively close to their original releases on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, respectively, with only the occasional frame dips, freezes, and delayed texture pop-ins. These issues became a little more frequent and noticeable as gaming carried on, especiall yin City, but by no means was gameplay truly impacted in any negative way. In fact, both look quite good on the Switch and play pretty well, save for the occasional bumps.

For what it's worth, being able to play Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City on the Nintendo Switch is almost worth the price of the collection alone. It was a joy to hop back into these games after so long, and refreshing and reassuring to find how well these games still hold up years later in nearly every regard. Plus, it's surprisingly fun to be able to play these titles on the go. Sure, the stutters and some slow-loading graphics can be a little annoying, but that's more the result of the Switch's capabilities than the games themselves.

However, Batman: Arkham Knight is an entirely different beast and looks visibly substandard right out of the gate. Image detail is blurry and appears toned down and/or heavily scrubbed away, and character movements look unnatural and jittery. Controls even feel impacted and a little sluggish at times, with problems exacerbated by plummeting frame rates whenever on-screen activity really picks up. And this doesn't even touch upon the aggravating Batmobile driving segments, which are beyond frustrating.

To be blunt, this port of Batman: Arkham Knight is extremely ill-advised and nothing short of a minor disaster, and one completely avoidable. It constantly stutters and locks up, frequently crashes, and features graphics that barely hold a match to the original iteration. It's baffling that WB Games thought Batman: Arkham Knight would play well here, especially when PS4s and Xbox Ones struggled with the game when it was originally released in 2015. Well, it doesn't even come remotely close. Why not just port (the vastly underrated) Batman: Arkham Origins or make this a two-game Arkham/City bundle instead?

The choice to include Batman: Arkham Knight is clear, but it doesn't make it any less a bad decision. There was no way this game was going to work on the Switch, even with the clearly making massive concessions made just so it would run, and the resulting muck-up here is proof of that. It's a substantial misfire and nearly sullies this collection as a whole. Perhaps future updates and patches will help improve Batman: Arkham Knight's extensive issues, but that won't undo its overall disappointing and shameful state.

Putting aside Batman: Arkham Knight for a moment, this collection does include two ground-breaking games that look and run satisfactorily. While Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City suffer from a handful of minor issues, they're both immensely enjoyable and sufficiently playable. Not perfect, yes, but leagues above the quality of Batman: Arkham Knight.

On the plus side, there's a couple nice additions that come included with the Batman: Arkham Trilogy Switch release, on top of this edition including all the DLC and bonus content from all three games. Up first is the cool costume skin inspired by The Batman available in Batman: Arkham Knight, which looks pretty slick. The other addition, one quite meaningful to long-time fans of the character, is the nice "In Memory of Kevin Conroy" tribute added to the end credits of each Arkham game. It's a lovely gesture from Rocksteady Studios to the late, beloved actor.

Still, it's a shame that the positive aspects of Batman: Arkham Trilogy are sullied by the shocking state of Batman: Arkham Knight. It's just so hard to discount that a one-third of this title simply doesn't work, and even moreso perplexing that it was approved for public consumption. In fact, with each of games also available separately for purchase, it's easy to suggest passing on Batman: Arkham Trilogy entirely and just scooping up Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City instead.

Batman: Arkham Trilogy is a fantastic collection brought down by apparent lack of care to the contents within. The first two Arkham games look and play fine, despite some minor issues brought on by the limits of the Nintendo Switch, but it's more than understandable if consumers pass up this collection due to the unbelievably shoddy work on Batman: Arkham Knight. It truly brings down this whole release and gives it the stink of a rush job, whether that's true or not. Batman: Arkham Trilogy is still easy to recommend for those eager to experience the first two-thirds of the epic Rocksteady Studio series, but the mess surrounding Batman: Arkham Knight makes this release ultimately feels lacking and incomplete, and fails to provide the full experience this trilogy deserves. Enter at your own Risk!


The author purchased a copy of Batman: Arkham Trilogy on the Nintendo Switch for the purposes of this review.




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