I Lied To You About Batman

By Alec Meer on October 19th, 2011 at 9:12 am.

I do hope someone mods out Catwoman. Can't stand the acting or the juevenile porniness

I’m so sorry. There’s going to be a proper scandal about that. GamesIndustry.biz or Gamasutra or someone will probably run an expose about the awful corruption at RPS. Last week, I brazenly claimed, to your face, that this would be the last Batman: Arkham City trailer we’d post before the pointlessly-delayed PC release next month.

I LIED TO YOU.

Because here’s the first proper PC footage of Arkham City.

This via NVIDIA, and intended to pimp their GeForce 5x cards and that mildly irritating PhysX ‘sprays of tiny intangible things’ NVIDIA-promoted games tend to boast. Not sure who thought that music was suitably man-of-batsy, either. Oh well!

There’s more technical/promotional detail on what NVIDIA have done with B:AC:PC over here, plus a bunch of compare and contrast across newer and older NVIDIA cards screenshots. The one at the top of this post, by the way, shows off what DirectX 11 Tessellation (together with a shitload of antialiasing) does to the game. I cropped out the gratuitous cleavage to protect young minds. You may call me Alec Whitehouse.

In unhappier news, Arkham City has now been released for pre-order on Steam. But not in the UK. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH NOT AGAIN.

, , .

133 Comments »

  1. terry says:

    It’s a good thing we have retailers protecting us from the pre-ordering menace.

    • Roshin says:

      Rumour has it we (or you) can thank GAME for it.

    • GT3000 says:

      Oh boy, apparently I said something improper. Let me recolor my opinion to something a little less realistic. It’s a game. Sex sells. Equity not equality.

    • Dhatz says:

      You should rather worry how many more examples of how particles dont do absolutely anything to improve game they gonna need till they see what they done.

    • bill says:

      Preorders are dumb anyway. I remember when everyone used to laugh at people who pre-ordered… but eventually too many people fell into the retailers trap…

  2. DevilSShadoW says:

    Why must you hate on the juvenile porniness? I kinda like it. Bit of T&A between manfisting thugs in the face is just what I need. Call it a psychical change of scenery.

    • MistaJah says:

      No, it’s ridiculous.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Well, mostly because:

      1. it’s juvenile.

      2. We are grown-ups and we have seen boobs somewhere else and don’t need to have them in games.
      2.1. We actually have a girlfriend/wife and lifting her shirt is much more gratifying.
      2.2. Playing games with this kind of “juvenile porniness” usually grants you remarks and general ungladness from previously mentioned partner.

      3. It undermines games in general when you show them to non-gamer grown-ups, because it looks just juvenile, teenage-like.

    • Roshin says:

      “We are grown-ups and we have seen boobs somewhere else and don’t need to have them in games.”

      …and that’s where you lost me. There is no such thing as too many boobs.

      PC gamers seem awfully concerned about what other people will think of them!

    • mjig says:

      I think it fits in well with a franchise from a comic book. There’s always been stylized sexuality in Batman.

    • Premium User Badge

      Museli says:

      Sexuality in Batman is fine, if it’s in the right place. Sexy Catwoman seems right to me, but I have to raise an eyebrow at sexy Harley Quinn.

    • Premium User Badge

      Screwie says:

      @WhatKateDoes:
      I was about to mention those tumblr blogs! They were the first thing that sprang to mind as I read this article. Also related and recommended:

      http://eschergirls.tumblr.com/
      http://dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com/
      http://gomakemeasandwich.wordpress.com/

    • Groove says:

      The point for me is:

      “3. It undermines games in general when you show them to non-gamer grown-ups, because it looks just juvenile, teenage-like.”

      Having gratuitous sexxiness and stupid stories makes gaming incredibly embarrassing at times. I want to be able to share it with people, especially with how great gaming is these days, but it’s difficult when the prime promotional shots are softcore porn.

    • mjig says:

      @TheApologist
      Yes.

    • Bhazor says:

      OK, this is often said but never actually answered. All the people saying boobs are awesome, how old are you? Honestly.

      As for me I don’t like it because preposterous/biologically improbably characters a) break my immersion and b) I don’t find them attractive or relateable in any way. Give me Alyx or Jade or Faith any time over Ms Teaenay up there. Seriously, her butt looks like she’s smuggling two bags of sugar.

      Re: comic book proportions “Male super heroes look like what boys wish they were. Female super heroes look like what boys wish girls were”. To me that sums the issue up. Superheroes are designed as personifications of power and strength, as an all powerful supremely confident hero to right wrongs and save the day who the reader can imagine themselves as. Superheroines are designed as fuck toys.

    • afarrell says:

      What exactly is being sold by Third Wave Feminism? I don’t imagine that the profits on Fawcett Society t-shirts go that far..

      I think that the ire of Feminists is more due to the fact that women with the same degrees and qualifications as CEOs don’t end up as CEOs 19 times out of 20.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      @mjig
      The main point is, remembering the appalling and violent consequences of fascism, I’d ask you not to draw the equivalence between people who argue against the presentation of certain images of women in the media and fascists. That doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, to me.

      But, to your argument: your characterisation of feminism is, honestly, out of touch with reality. I personally don’t meet any feminists or come across any feminist writing that expresses anger that a degree didn’t net them a high-paying job. I do meet feminists who are concerned that some people are less able to get high paying jobs than others, and are rewarded less well for the jobs they have than other kinds of people, despite being just as able. A concern based on good research evidence. Similarly, recent prominent feminist movements have been about the daily treatment of people with certain kinds of bodies, i.e. women are routinely grabbed, touched, and otherwise harassed by strangers, and many experience worse kinds of violence. Feminists would argue that others are not so treated, or when they are assaulted the authorities or society in general treat them differently, and that this is unjust.

      Feminism is not about victimising men. And men are certainly not victims of women, even feminists :) The idea that feminists are at the head of some massively effective propaganda machine in a world where they so clearly experience obvious problems and injustices everyday is just not tenable. If you as a man are angry, you might well have a reason, but, with respect, feminism won’t be it.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Catwoman is meant to be all sexy. It’s her character, a sexy psychopath. Stop being so high and mighty. She dresses as a gimp for gods sake! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with tits, and nothing sexist about wanting to see them! I don’t want the game to be all porny and cringey either, but jeeesus.

    • Delusibeta says:

      That seems… about par for the course for Catwoman, to be honest. I recall the film version wearing decidedly less clothes. Don’t know why people are QQing about over-sexuality about this.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      @Bloodless – of women’s economic disadvantage? A report on some recent evidence: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14721839

      This doesn’t take into account that women more commonly take on domestic roles which are essential to society, but lose out because of conditions and levels of state pensions, for example. Nor does it take into account that recent benefits cuts disproportionately effect women.

      The ‘mythbuster’ argument you linked to doesn’t really work for several reasons. A few of which are: the pay gap is real, and they state that. To subsequently deny something they admit exists, they have to effectively argue ‘if women were men, women would earn the same as men’. I.e. they have to control for a whole series of factors – factors that are a part of women’s lives in society – in order to balance a pay gap they admit exists. This includes pretty unavoidable factors like: they have the babies.

      Second they don’t say what they are controlling for specifically. So they might be masking a greater disparity in pay even in like-for-like situations and we wouldn’t know. It US data, so I have less knowledge of it. In the UK, according to recent reports by organisations with no axe to grind, it seems to exist pretty clearly in many like-for-like roles, particularly at senior levels in companies.

      Third, they ignore questions like, why are essential professions in which women predominantly participate less well paid than we might expect given the importance of these professions?

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      Some guy named Kieron Gillen had some thoughts about this sort of thing quite recently.

      http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/10/13/female-characters-superhero-comics/

      ALSO: Grateful for this thread, because now I know who all the sexist d-bags are on RPS and can block them.

    • Faxmachinen says:

      I for one like the Catwoman character as portrayed in this game.

      Also, to my GF it’s much more important that there are playable female characters that aren’t thrown in as an afterthought (see: token black lady).

    • Zepp says:

      I like boobs in games and I don’t have a gf. Hate inc.

    • Prime says:

      Boobs in games are fine in context; as an example, I had no problem with the naked breasts on display on the statues of Japanese ladies in Alice: Madness Returns. That fit the historical aesthetic amazingly well (in addition to giving rise to some hilarious ant-headed geisha hybrids).

      On the other hand the context of boobs in 98% of games and their presentation nearly always appears to be ‘Male Drool-sponges’. This is unbalanced, and wrong, and should be fought until it is corrected. Case in point: they could have shown any number of images that described Tessellation but this one just happened to show cleavage? No jury in the world would believe that defence.

    • Prime says:

      Also, this has some relevance: http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=859

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      This pretty much says it all

    • gwathdring says:

      Ha! The college humor sketch was amusing.

      The moviebob video WhatKateDoes posted sums up my opinion on these sorts of things fairly well. I’m fine with sex and sexuality in my games when it’s handled in an interesting way. As far as Catwoman is concerned … whether or not her sexual nature is fan-service or an integral part of the character depends entirely on the writer and varies wildly from incarnation to incarnation and even from issue to issue as far as I can tell from my very limited sampling of Batman comic books. I want to believe fans and the few hints I’ve discovered on my own that more nuanced and interesting facets of Catwoman’s sexuality are indeed a commonly included pieces of her character, and don’t know enough about DC comics to argue. As such, I can’t say where they’re going with Catwoman from the image alone … but I’m comfortable saying the perpetually-dropped zipper looks ridiculous. It doesn’t say “character partially driven by sexuality” so much as “character who is overheating in a leather cat-suit and/or worried players will forget that her breasts exist.” But I guess that while I find running or doing parkour with a half-zipped sweatshirt can be annoying, I suppose when you’re doing acrobatics in a leather jumpsuit you have bigger annoyances and we’re already suspending disbelief for the material’s flexibility and may as well extend pseudo-science to the ability of the zipper and her anatomy to stay where she wants them to.

      The revealing gear would probably be fine, even, if it weren’t constantly broadcast to the camera, as the video pointed out. What makes it juvenile and annoying for me even when sexual themes and scenes aren’t out of place for the world/character is when sexuality is explicitly used to excite the player through the fourth wall with little regard for the scene or character at hand.

      And when I honestly cannot tell the in-game behavioral differences between Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman with respect to sexuality … the “sex is part of Catwoman’s character” argument just isn’t going to fly anymore.

      P.S. Perhaps I should have left it to other, more succinct people. Kurt Buseik from the Comics Alliance page posted above:

      “But if everyone gets presented the same way, it’s harder and harder for the characters to be distinctive, even the ones who _should_ be presented that way, because it’s no longer possible to tell that that’s a choice, not a default. No range, no distinctiveness. Would Catwoman need to hump Batman on a rooftop to establish how hot and sexy she is if everyone else wasn’t crowding into the “sexy” end of the scale?

      Read More: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/10/13/female-characters-superhero-comics/#ixzz1bG7Zepa3

    • rayne117 says:

      “As for me I don’t like it because preposterous/biologically improbably characters a) break my immersion”

      You know what breaks my immersion? Being the motherfucking Batman.

    • TheGameSquid says:

      I agree with most of the things that were said that defend the stance Gnoupi has taken, but I might add a little to his comment as well (and meanwhile steer the thread back into the right direction).

      You’re implying that this stuff if “for kids” and not “for the big boys”. I don’t think that’s very fair though. I’m currently 21 years old, don’t have or have ever had a girlfriend, I am as much a virgin as the holy mother Mary before she even left the womb and being in the presence of girls generally results in me getting a stroke or two and a nice bit of cancer.

      Seems like I would be the perfect fodder for some cyber-boobies, right? Nope, I have absolutely hated this sort of super-cheap exploitation for the past 10 years or so. And yes, I am most definitely very intrigued by the real-life variants of the over-sexualized subjects that so often appear in our videogames, so don’t throw any of these “unsure about your sexuality comments my way”.

      The thing is: like many people have confirmed, I have absolutely zero problems with sexual content in our video games. In fact, I think actual sex scenes should have a place in games. I have no trouble of having conversations about cocks and cunts in game. But I do have trouble with a game thinking it can cheap-shot me by including exposed tits in a game. I’m not interested in this as long as this isn’t brought into the story with some decent exposition and context. Most of the time these games don’t even ATTEMPT to treat the female body with the slightest bit of reverence or without even trying to make it genuinely sexy. It just casually tosses in nudity (which most characters in the games usually don’t notice. I guess it’s an all too common sight for them) and hopes I start salivating and and get a hard-on instantly. I suppose they actually believe a 60$ retail game is a better choice for kids than a batch of easily downloaded soft-porn on the internet?

      Anyway, it’s often an insult to my good taste and intelligence, and I dislike it for that. Come back when you’re willing to make a genuine effort.

    • gwathdring says:

      Well spoken sir.

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      As a fan of DC Comics and of Catwoman, I actually think the portrayal of her in the game is pretty spot-on (so far, anyway). I understand the complaint, I really do, but I don’t really see what else Rocksteady were supposed to do, given the character and her history.

      I think it’s useful to point out that the esteemed Mr. Gillen said this in the aforementioned link to ComicsAlliance:

      “I write the Uncanny X-Men. When the events of the recent months started to blow up, I found myself glancing at my team in Uncanny and sort of breathed a sigh of relief. My Uncanny Team for the relaunch is 50:50 in terms of gender ratio. Four men, four women and a robot. The oddest thing is that I didn’t even have to think about it. It’s the main advantage of writing Uncanny X-Men. I’m exploring the terrain populated by a lot of progressive, socially minded writers before me. I just picked the appropriate characters for what I had in mind and it creates a balanced team.

      Which isn’t to say I haven’t my own problems, and I thought it may be worthwhile to talk about a little one I deal with on a daily basis. She’s called Emma Frost.

      Emma always risks being every bad cliché about women in comics, simply because half the time she’s a tendency to look as if she’s just wandered out of a retro-themed sex party. Which she probably has. I think Emma gets away with it for a few reasons, and they’re reasons I keep in mind whenever writing pretty much anything.

      First one, is something I think is as close to objective as anything craft-based gets. It’s about storytelling. Not a character’s actions, but how you choose to frame those actions for the reader. This includes the poses a character strikes. You could have a character reciting feminist theory, but if you’ve shot them so they’re leaning over to give a cleavage shot and come-hither eyes up at the reader, it overrules anything else you could be trying to do.

      In other words, her costume’s actually a secondary concern compared to how you choose to frame the person wearing that costume. Take a look at Whedon/Cassady’s Astonishing X-men for a masterclass in Emma. She’s her usual semi-clothed self throughout, and Cassaday never does anything to draw attention to it above and beyond what the story demands.

      If you treat your characters as objects instead of characters you are, by definition, objectifying them, and if you constantly objectify your female characters you come across as sexist. Male characters, despite the similar unlikely physique, are simply not objectified in the gaze of the reader in the same way as female characters often are, to the detriment to the drama. Because if the reader is thinking “Nice ass” or “Oh God, tacky!” on a panel that’s meant to be about something emotional and true, your choices have betrayed the story.

      Second reason why Emma gets away with it links to the line-up. This is a team which includes a number of other women. In terms of my team, two are in unisex jumpsuits (Magik, Hope) and one is in something a little more elegant (Storm). We can have a character like Emma simply because not all characters are like Emma. If you dress all your characters like Emma, it sends – no pun intended — an explicit message.

      Third reason is the flip of the first reason. That was about how you choose to present the story. This is the content of the story of itself. Emma’s unique dress-sense is absolutely part of the story. It’s for a reason. It’s for a reason which other characters respond to, both positively and negatively. If you’re going to have a character like Emma, you have to accept it’s a thing and roll with it.

      In short: If you treat your characters as characters, you can get away with pretty much anything. As a final thought, it’s also worth noting that the deepest plunging cleavage in my X-Men team is actually Namor who’s close to being the masculine inverse of Emma in terms of amount of skin versus appropriateness of showing that amount of skin. Which, I suppose, is my own attempt at playful sexual egalitarianism.”

      Now, personally, I think Catwoman is in the same vein as Emma Frost. However you wanna justify it, the fact is, she is a Sexy Bad Girl with a whip, a slightly declawed (sorry) version of the classic Femme Fatale. That’s been the character’s modus operandi since her introduction in Batman #1. If you want to tell a story with a Catwoman in it who is remotely recognizable, she’s going to have to be somewhat, well, “porny”. For better or worse, that’s the character. The playful (or juvenile; season according to taste) sexual innuendo, the exhibitionism, the constantly swaying hips; those are all part of who Catwoman is as a character. That’s not all there is to her, but Rocksteady couldn’t have presented some befurried cat lady and called her Catwoman. If their goal is to “make you feel like Batman”, as I believe they’ve stated on a number of occasions, they simply can’t do Catwoman any other way. It would feel wrong.

      Now, I grant you, the level of cleavage is a bit ridiculous, but her portrayal in the game is otherwise accurate to the essence of the character. Also (again, based on what little I’ve played), she isn’t the pure-T&A blow-up doll some of the people above seem to think she is. She’s a real character with her own agenda. Furthermore, there are plenty of other female characters in the game who aren’t “porny” at all, including Vicki Vale, who’s purely an investigative journalist and anchorwoman from what I’ve seen. Which goes back to what Gillen said about Emma Frost: you can show her doing what she does and wearing what she wears because not everyone looks and acts just like her.

      Oh, and to those folks whose position seems literally to be “You can never have enough boobs”? Shush.

    • bill says:

      Come on now, if you were doing kung fu and acrobatics in a full leather outfit with a hood you’d have to unzip it too! Imagine how disgusting and stinky and sweaty she must be.

      Next thing you know people will be complaining at the part later in the game where batman unzips his top to keep cool!

    • gwathdring says:

      That’s mostly fair. And again I don’t know Catwoman well enough to say whether or not she’s handled well in the comics. But I guess I would reiterate the bit from Comics Alliance about the difference between playing to the reader and posing to the reader versus playing to other characters and posing for other characters. I also don’t buy the “this is what they have to work with” idea. Adaptations rework and revolutionize character portrayals all the time.

      Mostly I just really reject the idea that a character who throws his or her sexual weight around has to do so a) explicitly for the camera and b) has to do so via revealing clothing c) has to do so through pin-up style poses or d) has to look a particular way or even appear sexy to much of the audience. I don’t think that’s the behavior of a sexually motivated character. That’s the behavior of a character in a sexually motivated piece of media. As far as I can tell outside of films and comic books, people who are acting seductively don’t tend to pose like they’re in a photo-shoot unless they are either being sarcastic, factitious or otherwise going for the blatant “I am being stereotypically seductive” motif on purpose.

      I’m not suggesting comic books should be realistic, mind. I, for example, am real but quite boring and there’s no need to make superheroes more like me. But I think even the most outlandish fiction has to be plausible and interesting. Plausible means people act in ways that make sense given the context and the character setup. Plausible means characters act as though their world is real to them and we, the audience, don’t exist. Plausible and interesting usually means breaking the rules of your own world, creating exceptional characters, and making characters inconsistent, flawed, and varied. It’s that last one, varying characters, that comics seem to have trouble with. Especially when paired with making characters flawed.

    • Halloween Jack says:

      The recent, much-publicized and -criticized reboot of DC”s entire comics line features a Catwoman who jumps out of her bedroom window in her lacy purple underwear and does it with Batman on a rooftop. In comparison, this is just her unzipping her front a bit because she’s understandably hot and sweaty from doing all those acrobatics and MMA in a leather jumpsuit.

    • gwathdring says:

      Not to mention the dermal irritation.

    • Jake says:

      This seems like totally misdirected furore to me. Catwoman, like Emma Frost, is supposed to be an overtly sexual character. Not slutty but a femme fatale and one that is confident in how she looks and acts accordingly – she knows she can exploit her looks to distract people, especially when she goes up against rather stupid thugs or to tease Batman. The problem, as Keiron says, is that in order for this to be a defining character trait it has to be an exception rather than the rule. Personally I find it far more upsetting that Poison Ivy (a bit) and Harley (a lot) have been made into sex objects – or at least, dressed as them.

      As has been pointed out here, Harley is originally from a kid’s TV show and is completely mentally ill – I find it a bit creepy that her main role in the Batman games is to walk around without much clothing on. I have no problem with Catwoman being sexy – that’s her thing, although it’s not always written very well – but it is appalling the way Harley has been treated recently.

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      @gwathdring (did I spell that right?):

      Fair points, all. Reading my previous post now, I agree that the point I made about Rocksteady having to be faithful to the character is a little weak, particularly as I just remembered that the incarnations of Harley Quinn and Penguin presented in AC are both rather substantially different from their comic book counterparts.

      Trust me, I’m not arguing for the “oh, it’s the character, now shut up and let me have my T&A” position. In fact, having played more of the game, I find the game’s overreliance on the word “bitch” uncomfortably juvenile, and were I writing a review of the game, I would say exactly that. But I do think there should be room for a sexually charged character like Catwoman or the aforementioned Emma Frost, because there are people like that. The trick is to present it in a way that doesn’t come across like a teenage masturbatory fantasy.

      @Halloween Jack:

      Ugh, don’t remind me. I would say that issue was like a published fanfic, but I write and read fanfic (yeah, yeah), and that thing was below average for a fanfic.

    • gwathdring says:

      I haven’t experienced their Catwoman. But I can certainly understand Harely and Poison Ivy being more irritating as portrayed in these games. For example, Ivy’s in-world motivations often have little to do with the way she is sexualized in many of her incarnations.

      I’m sure in game, it’s not actually all that bad and maybe even well handled. The promotional material is obviously going to play up the fan-service elements of her design and even take moments and scenes as fan service that are not intended to be so in context. That’s how trailers work.

      Perhaps that is what makes Catwoman stand out to me. I feel like various writers wanted the character to be sexually motivated but didn’t understand how to take that idea any deeper than making the character look and act in ways that are supposed to be sexy. But that’s not what makes well done versions of characters like Emma Frost and Catwoman interesting. There’s so much room to do interesting things with a character motivated by sexuality. The character can use sexuality as a manipulative tool, get into situations where sexuality gets in the way of achievement rather than assisting it, have trouble differentiating between sexual behaviors and attitudes for their own sake and those born out of intimacy … but far more relevantly to these two characters there’s really no end to what you can do with a character who isn’t really as affected by the “save people, do good” ideal that so many comic book protagonists aspire to. I love that about characters like Catwoman. But I guess I just want to see more people who tackle the character look beyond “sexy” and “sex” when dealing with the character’s sexuality and sexual motivations. It’s just not interesting to me, otherwise.

  3. PatrickSwayze says:

    So buying a Nvidia card next time. That was quite the difference.

    • Binary77 says:

      It’s totally worth it, Arkham Asylum looked amazing with PhysX & so does this, so it seems. Seeing my console mates face’s when they saw the PC version was priceless. Some of them felt like they’d really lost out with the 360 version. And rightly so.

      I don’t understand any hate for Nvidia cards anyway. They’ve always served me well.

    • Premium User Badge

      Richard Beer says:

      It really is. I can’t remember a difference between cards before that wasn’t just about fps and generally shininess. This is next-level.

      I was totally gonna get this on my XBox for the game-pad, big TV entertainment factor. Now I’m not so sure.

    • Lukasz says:

      you need 580 for physx. 560 won’t handle it alone at high quality textures at 1080p.
      Furthermore I have problem with nvidia owning the tech. If it becomes standard it will give them too much power over the market. And that i hate the most,

    • Premium User Badge

      Phinor says:

      They could do all this with PhysX with just your CPU but… $$$ from Nvidia == they need to make the extra effort to make the effects unusable with just a CPU to promote Nvidia GPUs. Smart, isn’t it? Everyone wins except half of their customers but it’s only half so it shouldn’t matter much.

    • Premium User Badge

      The Sombrero Kid says:

      bullets accelerated physics is more comprehensive and runs on all hardware.

    • mbourgon says:

      Huh. Brave to say “that Card you bought from us? CRAP”. I even bought a 250 to get PhysX last time, which I thought was the souped-up 8800. Guess I’m screwed, then?

    • Amun says:

      There’s nothing that PhysX does that it can’t be done on a non-proprietary physics system on a CPU.

  4. Drake Sigar says:

    I don’t know what to believe anymore.

  5. by.a.teammate says:

    What has the UK done to anger Steam? do we have to throw someone in a volcano?

    • Bursar says:

      Aye. Space Marine still not available on UK Steam Store.

      We need some investigative journalism here to shine a light in the murky underworld of British retail.

    • woodsey says:

      Apparently Game have paid their way so that it won’t appear on Steam until a month after launch.

      Publishers are better to go with Steam anyway, retailers are fucking useless for PC games.

    • Premium User Badge

      MerseyMal says:

      Personally I prefer to buy from retailers because they’re generally a lot cheaper than via Steam. However I prefer the games to have Steamworks integrated so that I can add them to my account.

      In my experience Game is perfectly fine for buying PC games from. Yes their high street stores are shit for us, but who doesn’t buy online these days?

  6. mjig says:

    I wonder how much extra dev time it takes to add in physx. If it’s more than a couple of days it can’t possibly be worth it. I’m beginning to think it may be to blame for the delay.

    • Premium User Badge

      The Sombrero Kid says:

      To add it in a meaningful way it’d take bloody ages, to just ramp up your particle system like they’ve done it takes about 30 seconds.
      Ohh and the money nVidia paid them to do it would’ve been quite significant.

  7. kael13 says:

    What was Catwoman like in the animated series? I can’t recall.

    • Prime says:

      Slutty, but haunted.

    • Masked Dave says:

      Like this:

      http://www.cosplayisland.co.uk/files/costumes/3421/28997/i-classiccat.jpg

      Also, Catwoman has never been /slutty/, she’s always just been incredibly flirtatious. There’s a difference.

    • mjig says:

      Wasn’t she a prostitute in Year One?

    • hardboiledgregg says:

      Year One was by Frank Miller. To that guy, every female is a prostitute.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Catwoman has always been sexual and sexualised. Even in the childrens cartoon where they had to curtail that.

      This is a twisted marriage between the the animated series and the comics, and the comics have always been decidedly more mature. People need to realize Batman isn’t exactly kids entertainment.

      We have:

      An upperclass white male whose parents were MURDERED INFRONT OF HIM dressing up in an armored costume zipping around a city MERCILESSLY BEATING criminal offenders so much so that several of his villains exist singly because he has GIVEN THEM A COMPLEX regaurding him.

      A young pyschologist who, while intelligent, is strongly suggested to have USED SEXUAL FAVORS to graduate her classes, then was driven insane by a patient and partakes in a SADO-MASCHOCHISTIC SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP with a pyschotic clown who physically abuses her resulting in an ABUSED HOUSEWIFE RELATIONSHIP.

      And a young woman who, being abandoned to the streets STOLE TO SURVIVE and employed herself as a DOMINATRIX for some time. She also had an ABUSIVE WEALTHY HUSBAND who was the first person she robbed professionally. Also she has a CLINICAL FIXATION ON CATS.

      Yes. Catwoman has always been ‘slutty’. That costume? Taken directly from the comics.

      PS: This is also aimed at all the “too many boobs!” people above – you may notice the OTHER female characters (such as the doctor) are entirely sanely dressed, and act in reasonable ways. The boobtastic women in the game are -all crazy- in the CLINICAL sense.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      @TsunamiWombat:

      A young pyschologist who, while intelligent, is strongly suggested to have USED SEXUAL FAVORS to graduate her classes, then was driven insane by a patient and partakes in a SADO-MASCHOCHISTIC SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP with a pyschotic clown who physically abuses her resulting in an ABUSED HOUSEWIFE RELATIONSHIP.

      Interesting you bring her up, because she was actually created in the 90′s cartoon and was proved so popular that she became part of the general Batman canon.

      The animated cartoon (aka, what you called “kids material”) is FAR more mature than you’re trying to give it credit for. It created one of the characters you’re using as an example of how dark the Batman IP is.

  8. Premium User Badge

    TheApologist says:

    Does my boring old Ati5870 do any of this?

    • mjig says:

      Nvidia cards only.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      A pack of glitter dust and you’ll probably be able to make your own over-abundant particle effects.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      Biff…pow…

      /opens bag of glitter

      Aaaaaaannnd….SPARKLES!

    • LimeWarrior says:

      Funny thing is, PhysX still kills your FPS on a single mid-range nvidia card. So, the only way to use PhysX is buy top-of-the line or SLI. But, I only buy mid-range cards because that’s all I can afford.

      My most recent card is AMD, and despite their driver hiccups, it is a consistently better card for the same price. Funny how when you get the best performance for your buck, PhysX seems insignificant.

      Tessellation is what I’m interested in (i always hated polygonal edges). Luckily, that’s not a “nvidia only” tech.

    • BrotherCabbage says:

      LimeWarrior: I found I could use PhysX in Arkham Asylum with a single 8800GT, albeit with the physics set to “low”, on a dual-core CPU with no real issues. It’s just setting all the physics options to maximum that really kills it.

    • ttcfcl says:

      Technically you can if you have a spare Nvidia card. Google “Hybrid PhysX” and youll find info on patches for the Nvidia drivers to prevent it from disabling PhysX when it detects a nonNvidia card as the main GPU.

  9. Premium User Badge

    jezcentral says:

    Dear RPS, us Brits would love to know what is up with Steam. Can you find out, please, ‘cos we really, really want to know?

    • Tomsky says:

      GAME won’t stock it in stores if it’s available for pre-order on steam, at least that’s why we couldn’t get Space Marine.

    • Meat Circus says:

      Is that true? Jesus, Game are terrible cunts aren’t they?

    • Milky1985 says:

      @Tomsky

      “GAME won’t stock it in stores if it’s available for pre-order on steam, at least that’s why we couldn’t get Space Marine.”

      Got any proof of this?

      Seen this wild conspiracy theory a bit around but as far as i can remember game specifically denied this, now in the business world this says something. If they had just ignored and put out a no comment (otherwise known as “the apple”) I would say this is true but denying it tends to mean that they didn’t do it. Mainly because they are a public company and investors don’t like companies being hit with massive fraud lawsuits for lying through there teeth so they will limit the risk as much as possible (also the whole anti competitve alwsuit thing that would bankrupt them).

      You might hate game (personally i don’t at least they have games at launch in general, unlike HMV who decided to not even bother to get 1 copy iof the ico collection on release) but why assume its game.

      Anyway why game? Shurly someone like tesco has more pull on publishers, and THEY were the first ones to actually get exclusive DLC in the UK when it was annouced.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      Aren’t there rules against this sort of thing? I thought markets weren’t supposed to work this way. Can a friendly capitalist tell me why this isn’t anti-competitive anti-consumer naughtiness?

    • Alec Meer says:

      I have enquired, just as we always enquire, but no-one will talk about it. We need a mole :(

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      Whoever it is, why aren’t they doing it in other countries? If it works in the UK, you’d have thought one of the Euro-mainland companies would try the same thing.

    • Alec Meer says:

      Maybe other countries’ retailers are just less evil.

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      Of course, I’m sure you’re right. :)

    • Premium User Badge

      The Sombrero Kid says:

      Retailers do a lot of the videogame promotion & there’s nothing illegal about them requiring an exclusive in exchange for promotion, whether or not they are doing that is up in the air, although imo it’s obvious that they are & that it’s a reason not to use their services, it’s also worth remembering that it’s the publisher who makes the call and ultimately is to blame, even if game is asking for these kinds of terms.

    • Orba says:

      So does this mean that Arkham City will use steamworks? As far as I can remember every other time a game has been blocked from Steam UK it has been a steamworks game (Spacemarine, Brink, Saint’s Row, etc).

    • _PixelNinja says:

      Arkham City uses GFWL and at the same time Steamworks features — the Steam page shows Steam Achievements and Steam Cloud. Which is, to say the least, weird.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Makes no sense for it to be GAME. They flat out denied it and they barely sell PC games in store. Amazon and Play.com are surely the UK’s largest PC boxed-game retailers by far?

  10. Item! says:

    Worst thing about this is that I have it pre-ordered already on GreenMan…but being an impatient type and desperate for some Bat-biff, I will be picking up my XBox 360 copy today.

    *sigh*

    • mjig says:

      Normally I’d think that was crazy, but I have been considering doing the same thing even though I preordered on steam already.

      AA was one of my favorite games of all time, and this looks to be better in every way except for the fact that they have replaced Harley’s voice actor. I still don’t know why they did that, whether it was on their part or hers.

    • Premium User Badge

      FunkyB says:

      Errr, surely you doing such madness is what ENCOURAGES them to pull this crap. There are loads of great games about. I’m eager for some face punching too, but I’m sure you can wait a month.

    • Premium User Badge

      The Sombrero Kid says:

      & they say people can be trusted to protect their own interests.

  11. Urthman says:

    Can’t say that I’m at all disappointed in how the game looks on a venerable 8800GT.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Yeah, I was just about to say that. The game runs surprisingly well on just a 8800.

      I don’t know if I’m happy or sad about the fact that the increasing trend towads “console-ization,” while stifling innovation on the PC, has also had the nicer side effect of making video cards last longer.

      I’ve had the same GTX285 for like 3 years now. I’d up grade, but in all honesty I’ve yet to encounter a game it can’t run. But 10 years ago I remember upgrading every 2 years.

      It can’t be very good for Nvidia, though, that the only difference between one of their 5 year old cards and one of their new high end cards is a few extra particles.

  12. Squishpoke says:

    The real question is, how often has RPS lied to us? If they have done it now, surely they have done so in the past.

    The world is crashing around my ears….

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Well, we know for a fact they were founded in 1873, so that’s at least 140 years of lying!

  13. Arnisarus says:

    Yea, did anyone else notice that they are comparing a 8800GT and a GTX 560 !? and really other than they extra physics it looks pretty damn similar?!

    Don’t get me wrong all those pretty particles really do look nice, but i’m sure 8800 is like 4 years old now

    • Hoaxfish says:

      but 560 is a smaller number!

      (seriously though, could they sort out their stupid naming convention?)

    • cjlr says:

      It has an X, though, which is totally worth several numbers.

  14. Optimaximal says:

    The whole effect of this trailer is undone at 00:30 when Bats slide-kicks a wall of ice and it just explodes with no debris.

  15. Premium User Badge

    felisc says:

    “B:AC:PC” is the coolest name ever. Sounds like a first person puzzle rts.

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      Finally, a rival to the CODBLOPS acronymn: BACkPaCk: The game.

    • Bhazor says:

      Batman: Assasin Creed: Precious Cargo

      Batman travels back in time to embody a pregnant woman. It’s a third person cover based shooter.

      It’s PC release is delayed two months.

  16. Ross Angus says:

    But with PhysX turned on, who’s going to tidy up all those wee bits?

  17. Orija says:

    Those eyebrows…

  18. Cyberpope says:

    ok i heard some rumblings last night on the internet but googles failing to give me answers this morning. Does anyone know if its true this games got steamworks, gfwl AND securom on it?

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      No Steamworks. Yes GFWL. Don’t know about SecuROM.

      At least, that was the state of affairs last time I heard.

      EDIT: People not in the UK who can see the game in their Steam Store mutter about Steam Achievements. Time may well have made me mistaken.

    • beloid says:

      steam copies use both steamworks for achievements and cloud saving and gfwl

    • Cyberpope says:

      nice one chaps ta for the info.

      regarding steam i find it higly amusing us UK types can see the special offer for 20% off City if we buy lego batman and asylum, but we cant actually get it. oh the fun of it all

  19. Prime says:

    *braces self for Rage style ATI driver fubar*

  20. DickSocrates says:

    Can I have the non-PhysX version now, please? Because I can’t run anything with it on. Sorry I’m not enthusiast or hardcore enough!

    I’ll upgrade once my laptop suffers from more than not being able to run PhysX, as £1000 for real-time paper deformation and volumetric clouds of dry ice seems a little excessive to me. Especially when these effects could have been easily faked with minimal performance hit. PhysX allows developer to do simple things in the most intensive way possible.

  21. CaspianRoach says:

    So PhysX makes the game harder to play by cluttering your screen with random glittering garbage? Noted, turning it off when I get my hands on the game.

    • Xan says:

      You’re gonna be playing the game in Detective Mode 90% of the time so you won’t see the glittering garbage anyways.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      Fair point. They really need to make it less useful.

    • Deano2099 says:

      By getting rid of the map and waypoints in detective mode maybe?

    • Zenicetus says:

      That was my reaction too. Seems very distracting, and will lose the gee-whiz! effect after you see it a few times. I think we’re in Tech Demo territory here.

    • Outright Villainy says:

      “By getting rid of the map and waypoints in detective mode maybe?”

      You can only get the map by pressing select. And yes, actually it does get rid of the way points this time round, so you’re encouraged to zip around the city without it. I usually find fights a lot easier with it off too, easier to read enemies. ‘just me i guess.

  22. Khemm says:

    Oh no, what is this? The Steam page says B:AC has Steam Cloud and Achievements. Does that mean it’ll use Steam as DRM even if I buy the retail version or from gamersgate?
    It alreay uses GFWL, I don’t want ANOTHER DRM LAYER, especially as intrusive as Steam! Tell me only the Steam version will be Valve DRM’d, Dawn of War 2 used both Steam and GFWL and that was retarded, don’t repeat that mistake.

    Concerning PhysX – it’s garbage and will always be. Eats framerate like crazy and it’s pointless if you don’t have a dedicated nVidia card – enabling it makes Mirror’s Edge barely playable on AMD cards. We need a vendor-neutral physics solution, like havok.

    • Delusibeta says:

      My working assumption is that it’s a World of Goo-type situation. As in, you only get Steamworks if you buy from Steam, otherwise you won’t (I assume it’s all GfWL everywhere, however). Then again, it’s being blocked from UK Steam (working assumption: GAME paid them off) which is a sign of Steamworks. So, who knows?

  23. WMain00 says:

    My copy is tucked away on my Steam list already, awaiting the day I can download it.

    Thanks new 560 graphics card!

  24. povu says:

    Ah, Nvidia and their PhysX comparisons. With PhysX: Cool fog effects! Without PhysX: No fog at all! Wait, why?

  25. R_Yell says:

    So multi-core CPU these days can’t process particles at some degree? Marketing driven features FTW

  26. MuscleHorse says:

    Judging from what I’ve seen of Catwoman in the trailers, I hope there’s an option to turn her off. Whoever wrote her dialogue should be shot.

  27. Premium User Badge

    matte_k says:

    Any comments on the reveal that the Catwoman content is only available as DLC from either new purchase or a $10 passcode, if you buy preowned? They kept that one under wraps until late in the PR. Won’t bother most peeps on here i’ll wager, but isn’t the principle a bit off? Surely if it’s DLC, and you’re making a big publicity investment on the character appearing in game, you would mention it from the start?

    • Nova says:

      Yeah it’s true. You don’t have to activate the DLC. The part where you play as Catwoman gets skipped then.

    • Emeraude says:

      Still waiting on news about the PC release, but the console one has been less than satisfactory on the DLC front:

      http://www.vg247.com/2011/10/19/batman-arkham-city-plagued-by-dlc-code-snafu/

    • Outright Villainy says:

      Yeah, that was a big load of… poop. I was pretty mad at that, even though I’m getting the pc version. It’s just such a horrible business practice, it really doesn’t sit with me at all.
      Even more bizarrely, gamestop are allowed to give the codes in pre-owned copies. So they just want to screw out some smaller retailers of second hand sales? Or just create unnecessary hassle for paying customers?

  28. Lukasz says:

    no. unless your monitor is small.

  29. Sami H says:

    Running an old 5:4 at 1280×1024 – with a 460GTX (I know I know, one upgrade at a time). Will that be doable?

  30. Gameishi says:

    Just checked the steam page out of curiosity. I can confirm SecuROM, steam achievements and steam cloud.

  31. db1331 says:

    Don’t forget that you get 20% off a pre-order if you have Arkham Asylum or Lego Batman on your Steam account. I’ve got Arkham Asylum and the game shows up as $40 for me. I think I’ll get it and play it when I come down from my Skyrim/BF3 high.

  32. Optimaximal says:

    Interestingly, has anyone actually been to the Steam Achievements page yet?

    http://steamcommunity.com/stats/57400/achievements

    Apparently, people are already earning Steam Achievements for the game, despite it not being out for a month.

    NDA’d review copies?

    • db1331 says:

      Not surprising. The game is finished and is no doubt already packed for digital distribution. You don’t think they delayed it one month because they’re still working on it, do you?

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      I’d hazard a guess they delayed it a month so they can do a near simultanious (off by a couple days prob) release of Arkham City globally.

      IE – blame GAME for buying that 1 month “fuck you steam” period.

  33. Jake says:

    Has anyone tried using a second card alongside their ATI card just for PhysX? I would go to great lengths for Batman.

  34. deadstoned says:

    Nice graphics shame about GFWL though…

  35. Juan Carlo says:

    More likely just beta testers.

  36. matrices says:

    Add a note about Phsyx here since I am the Batman of PC enthusiasts: the key is to offload Physx onto a separate card. Pop a GT 240 in there with your GTX 580, your game will run faster. Run two GTX 580s in non-SLI mode, with one card dedicated to Physx, your game will run faster. It’s half the reason I still have a GT 240 in my Tri-SLI GTX 580 system. (The other half is that it gives me two extra output ports.)