Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition

By Matt Carey

Some of you may have missed it (or maybe it was just me not paying attention) but Eidos have released a “Game Of The Year” version of their, umm……game of the year, Batman: Arkham Asylum. Sneaking onto the shelves like the Dark Knight sneaks in the shadows, this extended package features not only all the DLC that has been released over the 8 months since its first release, but also features the entire game in stunning 3D!

The world and its dog seem to be going 3D crazy at the moment, which isn’t really a bad thing. Especially if you have seen Avatar in all its glory. 3D in video games has been discussed, rumoured and mentioned for the best part of 3 years now too. It seems that there are two kinds of 3D tech; the first is the one made famous by Avatar, stereogram, and the one that we remember from years ago, in films such as the appalling Jaws 3D. However, Batman implements a new one, TriOviz, a clever bit of programming which can be applied to existing titles easily with no messing around with the original code.

So how does this translate to the game? Well, I’m happy to say that the effect is fantastic. Arkham is the perfect environment for this to work. From sitting top of a gargoyle looking down on your enemies, running down a lengthy corridor, to getting outside for the first time, you cannot fail to be impressed. And as for some of the set piece boss battles, the only word that comes to mind is “wow”. It really does add a whole new dimension, if you pardon the pun. I was a bit dubious as to whether it would be that noticeable, and at first you may be forgiven for thinking “hardly worth the effort”. Believe me though, it really is. And to top it off, because this is tacked onto an already existing game, it isn’t littered with pointless “Ooh. Look at this coming out of the screen towards your face” moments. This is great, because it wouldn’t work anyway.

It isn’t one hundred percent perfect, and I wouldn’t expect it to be. It isn’t at Avatar levels either, although I would have been shocked if it was. But as a cheap and easy way for video game companies to utilize the technology without having to mess around too much, then I have no complaints.

Yeah, shelling out another 32 quid is probably a bit much to ask. I have, and that’s my choice, but I don’t regret it. As my first foray into the video game world of 3D, I’m a happy camper. The only people I can really recommend this to are those that didn’t buy Batman in the first place. And if you fall into that category, what the hell were you thinking?

If you are interested in finding out a little more about this technology, as told by people that understand it all far more than I, then check out the following link.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/12/darkworks-shows-off-trioviz-for-games-2d-to-3d-sdk-we-get-a-goo/

It has already been announced that this years’ E3 trade show will feature the new 3D DS from Nintendo, but I’m willing to bet that a whole slew of games will be announcing 3D updates via DLC, as well as some new titles too. As a demonstration of what can be achieved, Batman is a great choice and has me positively salivating at the possibilities. Modern Warfare 3D anyone?

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Filed under PS3 Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews

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