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Batman: Arkham Asylum quick PhysX comparison

Posted by: John at 9/7/2009 3:00 AM
Batman: Arkham Asylum's PC release was delayed a few weeks after the console release to get some polishing up. While the news was disappointing as I am looking forward to the PC version of the game, I'd rather see a solid release than one that's in need of patching. One of the things being touted for in the PC release is the inclusion of PhysX. With PhysX by NVIDIA, you'll see a lot more effects in play such as papers flying about, smoke bellowing from places, and little bits flying off of areas where you hit your grappling hook. The demo for Batman: Arkham Asylum does show what's in store for you if you have a NVIDIA setup but it's hard to know what's been added if you don't know what it's like without PhysX enabled. Below are two quick videos showing off what you see with and without PhysX enabled. I'll have a lot more detailed look once the full game is released but take a look below.

Here we have the beginning where Batman just finished off a few inmates and is running down a hallway towards a downed guard. This is without PhysX turned on and as you can see you can look all the way down the hallway without any issues. Pay particular attention to the middle of the hallway.


No PhysX Enabled
 
Turning on PhysX, you can see that the end of the hallway's view is now obstructed by smoke coming from the middle of the area. If this was say in another area where they might be enemies lurking, you can see how PhysX would make a difference. Without any smoke to hinder your view, you can plan out your attack or see who's coming after you very easily. With PhysX, it becomes a little bit different situation as there could be one or more enemies near the end and you wouldn't know it until you got through. A few might catch you off guard which can in turn do some damage to you. I tried spinning around to see if there was any differences with the cape but I couldn't tell. It's not all about smoke though as you could see in the trailer but I'll go more in depth with the final version of the game.


With PhysX Enabled

Tomorrow, I'll be showing off PhysX in action along with how the performances stack up using a single GPU or a dedicated PhysX card in a brand new unreleased game. When Batman: Arkham Asylum I'll delve deeper into that game as well.