Superheroes have always been a part of society. As kids, you grow watching their movies and wishing to become one. As you grow older, superhero games become your new fairy-tale.
In the 2000s, superhero games were trendy but their success didn't last. They would stick around for some time then get replaced by another game.
However, The Batman Arkham series made it out of the abyss. It became immensely successful that it went on to follow up with a variety of franchises that were just as intriguing. Here is a quick overview of the entire Batman: Arkham series and how the sequels followed each other.
August 2009 - Batman: Arkham Asylum
Batman: Arkham Asylum was the first game in the series. The game was supported on various platforms like Xbox360, Xbox One, Windows, macOS, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.
It is based on a jailbreak orchestrated by the joker. With the help the other villains, he takes over the facility leaving Batman to restore order and resolve the situation.
With blends of simple, but exciting combat accents the game is well executed and has plenty of stealth sections incorporated. The players can choose from a sizeable number of gadgets available designed to suit the different situations.
The walls and layout of the game have plenty of details punctuated with several trophies and riddles to make the location livelier.
During the first release, the game was not available for PS4 and Xbox One or the macOS. In 2011, it was ported for MacOS, and in 2016, the game was released for PS4 and Xbox One.
October 2011 – Batman: Arkham City
The success of Arkham Asylum was followed by Batman: Arkham City. The 2011 release of the sequel was available on Gaming PCs and consoles.
Arkham City is a follow up of the events that take place at the asylum. The villains from the asylum turn part of Gotham City into Arkham City. Dr. Hugo Strange the main villain runs the city with the help of gangs and armed mercenaries after capturing Bruce Wayne and throwing him into Arkham City.
In the Arkham City follow up, most of the characters from Arkham Asylum make an appearance with the addition of a few new ones, like Cat woman. The Cat woman character is playable at different levels of the game, which is an incredible addition because she is more mobile and can reach areas that batman can't.
On his part, Batman has some new gadgets you can try out. There are no other significant changes to the game, or the gameplay and mechanics are the same. You will also notice the detailing is not the best, mainly because Arkham City is significantly larger than the asylum with more areas that require attention.
The original release was for the Xbox360, Windows and PS3. In 2012 it was ported for the Wii U and MacOS and in 2016, the game was remastered and made available on PS4 and Xbox One.
October 2013 – Batman: Arkham Origins
Two years after Arkham City, Arkham Originals was released. This was the third series into the continuing storyline of the Batman: Arkham chronicles.
As the game starts, it shows snippets of Batman’s earlier career as a young and brash Bruce Wayne in his nightly duties.
The game's main villain – Black Mask is put off by the constant interventions of Batman and puts a bounty of $50 million on Batman’s head. As a result, several professional assassins are hot on the heels of Batman.
It’s worth noting that the theme in this game has a more upbeat feel to it and feels more engaging. However, the gameplay doesn’t deviate far from the initial releases. It’s a mixture of combat and stealth manoeuvres with puzzles, gadgets and trophies along the way.
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Because the designers of the game borrowed heavily from past successes, Batman: Arkham Origins has a staler feel to it and gamers were a little fatigued with the same aesthetics and experience. The game was not as big as its predecessors.
Arkham Origins was released for PS3, Wii U, Windows and Xbox 360. The game was never remastered or ported for Mac OS.
June 2015 - Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight is the latest release in the sequel, which wasn't without a dash of controversy.
The game is a continuation of the Arkham City sequel. It picks up from the streets of Arkham and into Gotham’s Streets.
The game’s main villains are the titular Arkham night and Scarecrow. The former also serves as a dark reflection of batman.
At the climax of crime in Gotham City, a section of the city was evacuated because of the imminent threat posed by Scarecrow’s fear gas. The evacuated regions of Gotham City play location to this new release.
Unfortunately, the creators of the game didn't seem to take any lessons from the subpar performance of Batman: Arkham Origins. The gameplay remained unchanged, albeit a bit of streamlining and the highly welcome addition of the Batmobile, which made combat and transport easier and fun.
The addition of the Batmobile brought along with it unskippable sections of the new addition, which can wear down on the patience of the player after a few repetitions.
The game was designed for consoles like PS4 and Xbox One, as well as Windows. However, the Windows version was subjected to backlash because of bad performance at launch.
Even though the sequel has faced some challenges during its long run, saying it's been a success would be an understatement. It has provided years of fun and creativity to gamers and creators alike, even inspiring the creation of various spin-offs like Batman: Arkham City Lockdown and other versions that were available for mobile.
Given the short shelf life of superhero-inspired games, this Batman-inspired sequel has clearly outdone itself. It's also commendable that the game was for a long time available on multiple platforms to make it more accessible to the players. Hopefully, there will be a follow up with a better theme and enhanced graphics and detail.