Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are delaying the remastered re-release of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The reason for the delay? The remastered collection wasn't up to the quality standards that it should have been.
Game Informer is reporting that WB Games quietly took to their forums to update gamers about the news, announcing that the remastered Batman collection, known formally as Batman: Return to Arkham, is delayed indefinitely. WB Games' Steve Grayson stated in the forums...
After reviewing the progress of the project, the team at WB Games has decided to delay the release of Batman: Return to Arkham to give the team at Virtuous Games additional time to deliver a polished Batman Arkham game experience. We do not have a release date yet and will be sure to communicate that once we are sure the game will be ready. We know this is disappointing news, but we feel the extra time will allow the team to create the best gaming experience for our fans.
This is actually the best thing to happen for the series. Last year Warner Bros., reportedly rushed out Batman: Arkham Knight for PC and the whole thing stuck to the high heavens. For more than six months the game was broken on PC, and Warner Bros., ended up having to offer refunds on the game for the remainder of the year since a lot of PC gamers (even those who had the recommended requirements) couldn't run the game properly.
Iron Galaxy Studios was allegedly in charge of the PC port for Batman: Arkham Knight, and it didn't turn out so well. This was coupled with the fact that High-Voltage Software was in charge of the Mortal Kombat X port for PC and they didn't do such a hot job following on the heels of NetherRealm Studios' outing for the Xbox One and PS4. What's more is that the port of Mortal Kombat X for the Xbox 360 and PS3 was so abysmal that Warner Bros., canned it altogether.
The studio has been having problems with their ports as of late, with a lot of gamers feeling burned by the process. One of their solutions has been to simply cancel PC versions of games like Mortal Kombat XL and the upcoming Batman: Return to Arkham. However, even with the PC versions cancelled, there's still an issue of quality control for the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game. For instance, YouTube outlet Batman Arkham Videos did a comparison of the remastered version of the upcoming Batman: Return to Arkham for the PS4 and Xbox One to the 2011 release of Batman: Arkham Asylum on PC. The results in many of the comparisons are absolutely startling. Check out the video below.
As you can see, the Xbox One and PS4 renditions of Batman: Arkham Asylum suffer from lower geometry details in some of the meshes, especially the Joker, whose hair and face take a huge downgrade.
We also see that the shadows for some of the scenes also are scaled back greatly, including fewer soft-shadow passes, creating fewer layers on the character. You especially see it in action with the comparison at the 1:55 mark. Also notice that the dynamic shadows highlighting the geometry density in Batman's cowl and muscles are completely removed in the remastered version of the game. There's also toned down bloom, the removal of DOF fog effects, and they turned off the anisotropic filtering in some of the scenes, creating a blurry texture look for some of the characters.
Essentially, gamers are paying more and getting less as far as graphical fidelity is concerned.
Some people joked that Rocksteady Studios must have coded the game in Latin because it seems other studios have an impossible task of porting their games in a 1:1 ratio to other platforms.
There's no new ETA on when we can expect Batman: Return to Arkham for the PS4 and Xbox One, but it's a real shame that the games have undergone these kind of downgrades for the eighth-gen systems.