Batman: Arkham City in 3D Review
I like thousands of other Batman fans fired up Batman: Arkham City in my Xbox 360 yesterday, and right off the bat I decided to play the game in 3D. Unlike Gears of War 3, the 3D mode in Batman: AC is integrated into the game from the ground up. It will immediately identify if you have a 3DTV in the 3D settings of the game (3D can also be used on regular TV’s with a special pair of glasses that are sold separately), and if you do it’ll automatically load up the 3D view without you having to toggle your TV. Due to the way that 3D was implemented in this game I knew I’d be in for a much cleaner 3D experience than what I had in Gears of War 3.
When I first fired up Batman: AC to begin my initial play through of the game I wasn’t immediately sold on the 3D effect. It just didn’t seem to flow well during the frantic first fight you have with Two-Face’s henchmen, and I almost considered turning the 3D off in favor of the classic 2D mode. I decided to push through the feelings of brain damage and kept the 3D mode turned on as I punched and kicked my way through the first few hours of the campaign, and in the end I was mostly happy with my decision.
I’m still not sure if this type of game bodes well for 3D viewing, but once my eyes and brain got used to it I thoroughly enjoyed the effect it brought to the game. I truly do think that 3D is best realized in FPS games, but this particular 3rd person brawler seemed to handle 3D well. The reason I don’t feel like 3D suits a game of this nature is rooted in the fact that during fights the 3D effect seems to interfere with the action. The top down view that is used for brawling just doesn’t seem to fit right in a 3D environment, but outside of this one aspect of the game I really think the 3D in Batman: Arkham City shines.
Unlike Gears of War 3 there really isn’t a noticeable hit in the graphical quality of the game when the 3D mode is turned on. You might be able to argue that the 3D mode isn’t as crisp, or detailed as the 2D mode’s visuals, but you’d really have to be an anal videophile to nitpick the differences in graphical quality between the 2D and 3D modes of this game. After using the 3D mode for awhile I tried switching to 2D to get the best graphical representation that this game could put forth, but I actually found myself missing the depth that the 3D mode afforded this game.
This sense of depth really shines through when you’re traversing the city in the only way Batman knows how – with a grappling hook, and a cape that can glide. Gliding from building to building and shooting your grappling hook to keep your momentum moving like Spider-Man is only made more awesome through the 3D effect. I was blown away by how exhilarating this mode of transportation is in this game, and the act of swinging and gliding through Arkham City in 3D only made me more appreciative that I have the ability to play games in 3D now. This appreciation was validated every time I’d perch myself on one of the taller landmarks in the game to take in the view of the cityscape. The 3D effect gave this view a sense of reality that can’t be achieved in 2D, and my eyes and brain were thankful for the visual treat (after they adjusted to the stress of the 3D mode).
To summarize the 3D feature of Batman: Arkham City I’d give it an EB 8 out of 10 Buddhas. The effect works quite well even though I don’t personally feel like 3D is best suited for games of this genre. After a few shaky minutes of getting my brain and eyes adjusted to the effect the 3D mode provides, I quickly realized that playing in 3D would be my mode of choice as I pressed through this fantastic game. The thrill of flying and gliding through Arkham City in 3D is just too awesome to pass up for the slightly more crisp 2D visuals. If you have the ability to I highly recommend giving this game a spin in the 3rd dimension. Stay tuned for a full review of this game, which should be out later this week. You’ve been needing to give Batman some 3D for his utility belt…
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