hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Is Batman: Arkham Asylum really better in 3D?

2:20 PM on 05.24.2010 // Nick Chester

Last week, Eidos Interactive released a "Game of the Year Edition" for Rocksteady Studios' critically-acclaimed Batman: Arkham Asylum, less than a year after the game's initial release.

Packed with the original game, the disc (for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) also includes additional content previously only available as downloads. The four challenge maps -- "Scarecrow Nightmare," "Crime Alley," "Totally Insane," and "Nocturnal Hunter" -- are a nice addition to the already great gaming experience. But the real extra to note here is that Batman: Arkham Asylum can now be played in 3D, on any television, using the included 3D glasses.

How does the 3D look, and does it add anything to the experience? I took it for a test run. Impressions and more after the jump.

Without going into too much technical detail, the 3D utilized in Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition is a process called TriOviz 3D. The method allows developers to implement 3D stereoscopic tech into existing titles, leveraging depth-of-field to create multi-layered effects. It requires 3D glasses with pink and green lenses, two pairs (one Batman-themed, the other "Welcome to the Madhouse" Joker-themed) of which ship with Batman: Arkham Asylum.

The 3D effects in the game are fully optional, and can be toggled on and off in the options menu at any time. But when the game booted up and I was given my initial set-up choices, I immediately flipped on the effect and (as instructed) slid on the rather silly-looking 3D glasses.

As the game's first cut-scene kicked in, I wasn't sure if it was "working." I didn't see much of a difference, but was immediately surprised that the pink and green lenses didn't interfere with the color quality much, if at all. As the camera panned across the Gotham City sky-line and the Batmobile raced through the city's streets, I started to notice the subtle 3D effects. And I seriously mean "subtle."

Because Arkham Asylum's cut-scenes were (presumably) not designed with 3D in mind, there was none of that "debris flying towards the screen" nonsense you get with content designed with 3D intentions. Instead, the Batmobile itself was felt slightly offset from the street, the buildings in the foreground of the sky-line "popped" more, and the gate leading into Arkham Asylum had clear and apparent depth.

The effect was more obvious once the game's long opening sequence kicked in. As I moved Batman down the halls of Arkham, following guards as we escorted a restrained Joker, there was some clear separation between the models and the game's environments. It's a bit of an odd effect, but surprisingly effective, almost as if you were looking at a diorama come to life on your television set.

As far as gameplay and immersion goes, once combat started up and I was controlling the on-screen action, the effects were still noticeable, but not as much. The issue here was that I was so focused on the action itself -- my button inputs and the results of them -- that I wasn't really paying attention to the 3D effect all that much. It wasn't particularly distracting either; remarkably, the hit that the image quality takes is very little. Colors are intact, if slightly muted; the overall visual quality isn't quite as sharp, but maybe that's the trade-off here for this 3D-for-all solution.

I suppose that's the question, though. Are these trade-offs -- slightly reduced image clarity and having to wear idiotic glasses on top of it -- worth the 3D experience? It's a novel effect, and I can see the appeal, but I'm not entirely sure it adds enough to the affect of the game to necessarily make it worth your time... at least in the case of Arkham Asylum, which wasn't a 3D title from the jump.



The tech industry is making a pretty big push for 3D gaming, with Killzone 3 recently confirmed and television manufacturers trying to convince me that it would be fun if it were just like sharks were swimming in my living room. (That actually frightens me.) I don't believe it's going to stop anytime soon. I know of more than a few games that are making the leap to 3D, some of them high-profile, multi-platform titles utilizing a range of 3D techniques. (Interesting note: Darkworks, the company behind the TriOviz tech used for Arkham Asylum, was at one point the developer of Ubisoft's missing-in-action title, I Am Alive.)

If I came away with one thing from playing Arkham Asylum in 3D, it's how damned good the game is, fancy glasses and effects or not. At $49.99, if you haven't played or purchased the game, here's your chance with some extra content and kinda-neat 3D for "free." (Those who already do own the game, note that your save files won't carry over; the Game of the Year Edition wanted nothing to do with my old files on my PS3.)

Photo Gallery: (4 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Editor-in-Chief @ Destructoid.com nick at destructoid.com  more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Could you stop calling Metal Gear Solid V Kojima's "swan song?" He's not retired, for crying out loud.
extatix avatarextatix
Seems rather excessive for a 3ds game. (3ds xl for scale) [img]http://i.imgur.com/DwOtP0s.jpg?1[/img]
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Tried the stealth approach for awhile, time to switch things up. *plants C4 everywhere* I'll probably toss one on the poor schmuck that delivers my copy of MGS V. For taking so long.
WryGuy avatarWryGuy
Just a quick update for folks. Phil/Mike Martin is off the streets and safe for the next month. Thanks to everyone who helped out. You can keep up to on the forums: http://www.outerheavenforums.com/showthread.php?41974-The-Save-a-Phil-Foundation
Script avatarScript
Watching Twin Peaks for the first time. Just yooou... aaaand IIII...
Perro avatarPerro
So the 3DS Dragon Quest VII remake is coming to mobile in Japan, so there's a chance that version will get ported over here. Not ideal but if we get it at all I'll be happy!
The Travisionist avatarThe Travisionist
I'm just waiting for "Mad Max: U Mad, Bro?"
gajknight avatargajknight
Put down the deposit for my new car, will probably be able to pick it up on the weekend. Insurance is pretty good too, sub £1000 which is excellent. Kinda. My mum tried to reverse in 5th gear. She drives an automatic. What a noob. :P
Bardley avatarBardley
We are Diamond Dogs.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
I get to work to stock and STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STREET DATE SEPT 4 OMG STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STREET DATE SEPT 4 STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS WHY ISN'T IT SEPT 4?
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Still waiting by the mailbox. Tranq'd a jogger and stuffed them into a locker just for fun. I keep throwing rocks to get the attention of the neighbors and then hiding in tall grass. They look noticeably upset. Probably because I kept them up all night.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Metal Gear or Mad Max? The choice is obvious. [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/obvious%20choice.jpg~original[/IMG]
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Quickpostmortem My wife´s dog died yesterday . Rest in peace Diamond Dog . [img]http://i.imgur.com/uVT3HlF.jpg[/img] Here's to you, Malu Rest forever here in our hearts The last and final moment is yours That agony is your triumph
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Xbone journey continues! I thought I would like Dead Rising 3 well enough as a huge fan of 1/2, but I must say I find it's emphasis on hard drama laughable and the game fundamentally disingenuine. Guess I'm moving on to Forza Horizon 2.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
I dig the feature in Until Dawn where, if you have the Playstation camera, it will record you briefly during jump scares for you to watch later. It's a really neat use of an underused peripheral. Too bad I'm dead inside and never react to them.
Shinta avatarShinta
[img]http://i.imgur.com/oZ7CQJa.jpg[/img]
nanashi avatarnanashi
Fallout Shelter: Impossible to Learn, Easy to Master.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Not saying this is the case, but Kojima has gone on record as being a huge Mad Max: Fury Road fan. Konami decided to release MGSV on the same day as Mad Max TVG. They're trying piss on Kojima's lawn, man.
ooktar avatarooktar
Downloading Phantom Pain. ETA, 16 hours. Just in time for lunch tomorrow.
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
OH WOW. Talk about a complete about face. After slogging through the horrid beginning and slow ass swap sequence this game picked up exponentially. So far, I'm enjoying the hell out of it now. All if forgiven. Thank you based Kojima.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -