The Bat And The Beautiful: Arkham Origins’ PC Pretties

Aha! Now to tickle him to death from behind!

I wonder if, back in the day, when Batman’s creators were first putting ink to paper and bat to man, they thought to themselves, “OK, this is cool, but we won’t be truly satisfied until we can add Nvidia PhysX, realistic fog effects, and DirectX 11 tessellation.” I bet that’s exactly where their minds drifted as they imagined a future of chrome jumpsuits, cities in the sky, and people with slug-like appendages instead of legs. And now, finally, their dreams have come true. Batman: Arkham Origins‘ PC utility belt is loaded with more bells and whistles than a Shiny Things And Loud Noises factory, and Gotham’s looking quite spiffy as a result. By which I of course mean dingy, frigid, and crime-ridden. Also foggy. We cannot forget the fog. We can never forget the fog.

Details! The weather effects look neat, as does the new and improved ultra-flappy bat cape. And then, yeah, the presenter sure does like talking about those fog effects, doesn’t he?

It all looks nice enough, I suppose, but I think I’ll be fine with or without it. It is a bit weird that, say, people with AMD cards don’t get any kind of fog (even non-physics-based), but there you go. Marketing partnerships, aren’t they grand? At least PC gets the prettiest version in some fashion, I guess. Anyway, Batman. How do you like them apples Arkham Oranges?


  1. InnerPartisan says:

    I hope everyone will agree to leave, for the time being, Batman be Batman*, and focus on the more pressing issue at hand:

    I, uhm, kinda like it. I think. I’ll have to give it some time.

    I’m sure, however, that the famously curmudgeonly commentariat around here will scream bloody murder, because change, how DARE you change anything, and what are all those children doing on their collective lawns?
    I shudder to think what the Lord Smingleigh’s response might be. SHUDDER!

    (*: That guy’s kind of a dick anyway. I mean – dressing up like a bat? What’s his problem? And I’ve heard he’s been hanging around with that Bieber kid lately. Can’t trust anyone who keeps such company!)

    • Orazio Zorzotto says:

      Will this be the new layout thread?
      I like the idea of it, but it looks horribly unfinished. Seriously, what is up with the gap between the banner and the
      stories? There are a lot of weird gaps everywhere actually. And the text style doesn’t gel too well with the new look.
      Despite ALL the complaining, I want to reiterate that I like the idea of it. It just needs some work.

      • supernorn says:

        What I liked about the site before was how all the content was right in the middle of the screen. Now it’s all aligned to the left for no reason.

        • luukdeman111 says:

          You’ll get used to that. Remember when Youtube was suddenly aligned left? It still is, but you simply stop noticing.

          But i agree… it reaaaaallyyy annoys me right now… just like youtube did when it just changed… kinda strange actually , how our brains work sometimes

      • Rikard Peterson says:

        I suspect the empty spaces will be filled with ads.

        I prefer the old look, but I don’t know if that’s simply because that’s what I’m used to.

        Edit: Now an ad showed up, but it’s almost all behind the content, and most of the empty space is still there. My guess is that it wasn’t meant to go live. Somebody probably just pressed the wrong button. Either that, or maybe it looks good in IE, and hasn’t been tested in other browsers, but I prefer the mistake theory.

        Edit 2: Or maybe it looks decent in huge window sizes.

        • Lambchops says:

          Yeah, have a glance at Eurogamer and you’ll get an idea how things are meant to look.

          Still means there’s a big empty ugly space once you scroll down a bit though.

        • Orazio Zorzotto says:

          Yeah, thought it might be ads, but the column on the right is still totally fugly.

      • Sir Buildbot Winslave says:

        The gap seems to be for ads (it’s a div with the class “ad-desktop”/”ad-mobile”).

        Damn, ninja’d by Rikard.

      • Talon2000uk says:

        My Advice to all is to use Chrome, hold down Ctrl and use the mouse wheel to scroll to 125% of screen size. No more white space. :D

        • jrodman says:

          This works in firefox as well but makes the text rather too large.

          Fixed-width layouts are so 1990s.

      • Jazzyboy says:

        The gaps are mostly filled by ads, as I discovered after turning off Adblock since the gaps are glaringly obvious and the site now looks horrible without ads.

        Which is one damn clever tactic. Darn. Round 1 to you, whoever designs RPS.

    • Lambchops says:

      I assume if you think it’s OK you must be looking on a phone. I can imagine it looking OK on a phone but it’s looking a bit iffy on the monitor.

    • Chris Wray says:

      I’ve got no aversion to change, but my first impressions of the new layout aren’t good. Maybe it’ll grow on me, we’ll see!

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Looks a bit too.. white to me. That and the blank spaces in the new layout are a bit odd and impractical.

      In the end I suspect we will get the layout we deserve rather than the one we need.

      • Lycan says:

        I see what you did there. Nice. Subtle.

        As for the layout, we shall see – I would have preferred that they fix the annoying “feature” where if you log in it dumps you back on to the home page. Kind of defeats the purpose of the “Login to Reply” button…

    • Chris D says:

      Is this a deliberate layout change? I ask because it looks a bit like things just got…squished…somehow.

      • Chris D says:

        I don’t like it, I’m afraid. The old layout felt like a big friendly dog. This feels like a clinical scientist in a lab coat who never smiles or blinks and probably does experiments on orphans. In his spare time.

    • Pharos says:

      It was really classy to pre-emptively denigrate anyone who might not like the new look. Is this now the new meta?

      Every improvement may be a change, but not every change is an improvement. For some reason, the content is squashed up against the left side of the screen, leaving about 300 pixels of dead space that’s serving no purpose — and I’m on a 5:4 monitor; I dread to think what the widescreen crowd will have to put up with.

      It would be a lot better if the content box was moved right. It would help cover the obvious blank space. Actually, the whole site seems to just abruptly end at a certain point, so maybe consider extending the menu bar out. Just please do something to make the site look like it isn’t designed for a 720p monitor on its side.

      Looks like September is now bad interface month. Have you seen what Youtube have inflicted on us? Ugh.

      • BooleanBob says:

        This I can get used to, but
        the new youtube UI vacates
        a good 45% of my screen,
        and all of that on the
        right hand side.

        (Amended my comment
        to better befit the new

      • Lambchops says:

        I hadn’t noticed that Youtube one (having mostly been watching embedded videos). It’s a terrible use of space to the point that I was instantly looking for some way to change it. In what world would I want everything squished into the left side of the screen with text so small I can barely read it?

        It’s worst than this is by a fair margin.

      • InnerPartisan says:

        It was really classy to pre-emptively denigrate anyone who might not like the new look. Is this now the new meta?

        Sorry, that wasn’t my intention. Just a stupid joke. As I said, I’m not really sure I like it myself.

        • jrodman says:

          I read it as a joke, fwiw, but I don’t think it was super clear.

          • Lycan says:

            I not only read it as a joke, I laughed too – the “get off my lawn” reference was my cue to guffaw :D No need to be so hard on yourself. Indeed, the “curmudgeonly” adjective demonstrated itself quite well…

      • SominiTheCommenter says:

        I haven’t seen the default Youtube layout for months.
        link to

    • Syra says:

      New layout? It looks to me like an error. I’ve been having the same error in chrome for ages when I min/max/snap the window with RPS in it it all just sort of leaves gaps and stretches out the text across the whole of my screen.

    • Eagle0600 says:

      I don’t really like the new layout, mostly because it feels like everything is pushed really far to the left. It’s really kinda uncomfortable.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        Stupid joke about RPS writers leaning too far to the left. Ahahaha hahahahaa ho hee ha ha hoo hee ha aha.

  2. Humppakummitus says:

    Are the PhysX guys perhaps running out of ideas a bit? It’s always fog, sparkles and billowing cloths. (And goo water, although not present this time) I keep wondering what this kind of hardware could do to games like Pixeljunk Shooter where the physics modelling is the basis for gameplay.

    • Syra says:

      Yeah they are basically doing the same thing they have done with every game in the last 5 years as far as I can see… though their tech looks to be entirely cosmetic, it probably wouldn’t affect gameplay in games like you mentioned.

      • Humppakummitus says:

        I think it’s cosmetic only because the game doesn’t require physics calculation hardware. Cellfactor had levels that did, and it still looks impressive today, although it’s old as balls.

    • povu says:

      Since PhysX tends to run like crap on anything that doesn’t have a Nvidia card (such as consoles) we’ll never see advanced PhysX stuff used for anything important in Triple A games.

      • lordfrikk says:

        Exactly, that’s why having it available only for certain customers is fucking bad in this case. If ever GPU supported advanced physics I imagine people would go “yay” instead of the usual “ugh, PhysX”.

        • zakihashi says:

          But do they really care tho? With Intel eating up more and more of the market share of AMD, and Nvidia eating up more and more of Intel’s? Intel grows a little by little, AMD shrinks, and Nvidia eats it way even more over 50% market share sitting at 52.38%, while AMD is at 33.06%. It is really looking like Nvidia get’s less and less reason to really care, cause whatever they are doing, from what they can see, they are doing it right. And for gamers, steam statistics are completely legit to use.

          Another question is tho, how many of those Intel users have a desktop computer with a Nvidia or AMD gpu in it? I know I am one of them, I never game on my laptop, but I use Steam a lot with it.

      • marach says:

        Physx will be a joke until it (like most other physics engines are doing already) moves over to opencl (hell even directcompute would work) and remove the artificial software blocks that stop it working if it detects an AMD GPU in the system.

    • Henke says:

      Err, surely it’s up to the developers to implement those kinds of features, not the Physx guys?

  3. Screamer says:

    Oooo Id like to see PhysX enabled oranges in fog! Better than real life I’d imagine!

  4. Lambchops says:

    Speaking of how things look, is everyone else seeing the wonky looking layout of RPS this morning?

    I presume this is some transitional thing as it looks terrible!

  5. phelix says:

    It looks more like they gimped effects for non-PhysX rather than actually add anything substantial.

    • povu says:

      This happens in those PhysX comparisons every time.

      PhysX: Nice physics based fog effect!
      No PhysX: No fog whatsoever! Man, what a difference!

  6. akstro says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the city looks less detailed in this game than in City? Before every building looked different with great details and neon lights and now its just a random urban city and doesnt feel like Gotham.

  7. MeestaNob says:

    It looks nice I suppose, but it isn’t nearly enough to make me buy into nVidia’s proprietary tech stupidity.

    Has there been any progress in getting ATi cards to do these calculations faster than the basic drivers do?

  8. denizsi says:

    2:01 >> “on the left, it’s kind of jaggy … on the right, it’s totally smoothed out with nVidia TXAA”

    Blurred out textures are now a feature! That’s some smooth talking.

    • MeestaNob says:

      Indeed. I don’t know what possessed them to draw attention to that ‘feature’.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      So it wasn’t just me, prefered the off look myself!

    • DanMan says:

      The problem is that in movement and/or at certain angles you’ll get (temporal) noise. Unfortunately, there are currently only two solutions: blur it (through all anti-aliasing but super-sampling) or increase screen resolution. The former makes it blurry *duh*, and the latter costs much more performance. So if you haven’t got a really fast PC, blurry is your best chance – unless you don’t mind all the flickering.

  9. Optimaximal says:

    Remember when they released Arkham City for PC with all those DirectX 11 features, which didn’t work properly and never got fixed it.

  10. Viroso says:

    It’s crazy. CRAZY!

  11. Beernut says:

    For Opera users who don’t like the left-shifted layout, I wrote this litte script which centers everything again:
    link to
    Would have made it compatible with tampermonkey and greasemonkey as well, but couldn’t figure out how to get jquery to work there yet.

    • seamoss says:

      As the other Opera user on RPS, thank you. I don’t understand the justification (ha!) for shifting everything to the left – probably for mobile…

      Edit: The script doesn’t seem to make any difference but that’s probably my installation.

      • Beernut says:

        You’re welcome. In other news: I’m a dumbass and should finally learn how to code javascript instead of just fiddling around. Gave up on jQuery and manipulated the elements the way god intended! Now works for Firefox and Greasemonkey as well. :D

        EDIT: Don’t know why it’s not working for you.
        Is opera:config#UserPrefs|UserJavaScript activated for you?
        Is the script lying in the directory specified by opera:config#UserPrefs|UserJavaScriptFile ?

    • DanMan says:

      Opera up to v12 has user stylesheets, so you don’t need to use Javascript, but simply CSS.

      Site-specific settings -> display -> custom CSS file.

      You also don’t need to listen for the DOMReady event in Greasemonkey scripts, since they always work that way.

      • Beernut says:

        Nice, didn’t know about the site-specific css. I added the wait for the domloaded-event, because opera as opposed to greasemonkey doesn’t run the scripts when the site has finished loading. So the script ended up trying to modify settings of objects on the site, when there wasn’t even a body to begin with.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    Well, all this trailer did for me, was making me want to sneak into their offices with some dry ice and a wind machine, start repeatedly flipping the switch while yelling “ON! OFF!” at the top of my lungs.

  13. Warduke says:

    His cape looks a little off to me in that video.

  14. GameDreamer says:

    This looks really good. I can’t wait.

    Buy Batman Arkham Origins