It's not fair to expect that everyone has access to a Dolby surround sound system set up just for gaming. When you factor in the cost and required space, let alone the noise level that they reach, a surround rig could be considered a luxury for most gamers. Still, if there's one game you want to use one for, it's Batman: Arkham City. I was absolutely blown away with how much work the sound team put into the game's audio -- it's one of the best sounding games I've ever played. I wanted to know if Nick Arundel, Arkham City's audio director, felt as passionately as I do about having gamers play this his game in Dolby 5.1.
He does, he told us in an interview session at New York Comic-con, but he admits that having a surround setup is not practical for some people. For that reason, they spent a lot of time on the stereo mix. Just know that this mix is a downgrade of the original surround audio.
When asked if gamers will miss much in stereo mode, Arundel said, "Oh, you do. Totally. We use the sub so much -- it's incredible. If you can, definitely play it in surround."
He continued: "All of our atmospheres, all of our ambient sounds are recorded in 5.1. [In stereo] you're missing half of it. But I do understand that it's not practical for everyone."