Giant Bomb News

69 Comments

X-Ray Vision Mode To Be Toned Down In Batman Sequel

More like augmented reality next time, says art director David Hego.

You did it. I did it. We played Batman: Arkham Asylum with detective mode on for the vast majority of the experience. It was handy. It allowed us to see through walls and scope out enemy positions. It let us track DNA and even highlighted ventilation ducts to play wolf inside. But our heavy use--which I suppose could be dubbed as "abuse"--of the device made one man feel a little sad on the inside, and it's even spurring a needed change in the game's follow-up.

At the Develop conference, Batman: Arkham Asylum's art director David Hego spoke about the usage of detective mode in the game (via GameSpot), jokingly saying that hearing about a person playing through the entire game with it on made him "want to cry a little bit."   



If you've ever turned it on (or gandered above), you'll see why. It drapes everything in the game in hues of red and blue, diminishing the hard work artists like Hego put into the textures and details of objects, people, and even environments.

Chances are that these faux-heartbreaking stories won't come out of personal narratives for the game's sequel, though. Hego said that the team is going "to try to not do that mistake again" by making detective mode "more like augmented reality" in the game's follow-up, which may or may not be called Batman: Arkham Asylum 2.    
69 Comments
  • 69 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by BradNicholson

You did it. I did it. We played Batman: Arkham Asylum with detective mode on for the vast majority of the experience. It was handy. It allowed us to see through walls and scope out enemy positions. It let us track DNA and even highlighted ventilation ducts to play wolf inside. But our heavy use--which I suppose could be dubbed as "abuse"--of the device made one man feel a little sad on the inside, and it's even spurring a needed change in the game's follow-up.

At the Develop conference, Batman: Arkham Asylum's art director David Hego spoke about the usage of detective mode in the game (via GameSpot), jokingly saying that hearing about a person playing through the entire game with it on made him "want to cry a little bit."   



If you've ever turned it on (or gandered above), you'll see why. It drapes everything in the game in hues of red and blue, diminishing the hard work artists like Hego put into the textures and details of objects, people, and even environments.

Chances are that these faux-heartbreaking stories won't come out of personal narratives for the game's sequel, though. Hego said that the team is going "to try to not do that mistake again" by making detective mode "more like augmented reality" in the game's follow-up, which may or may not be called Batman: Arkham Asylum 2.    
Edited by zombiesatemycereal

I liked detective mode but I can see why they're doing this.

Edited by zonerover

While I understand why they're doing this and its ultimately a good decision, they should just tweak a few annoying things and add some logical extensions onto the core game such that it doesn't force you to play the game differently to how you did it first time round.

Posted by fwylo

Sounds like a good idea. 

Posted by eroticfishcake

Good to know that they're aware of it. Arkham Asylum had this wonderful, dirty, gritty look to.

Posted by skrutop

That will be a welcome change.  Arkham Asylum looked fantastic, but the Detective Mode was just too useful to turn off.  I trust that they'll find an acceptable middle ground.

Posted by dbz1995

You lie, Brad, sir. I did not do it. Still, good-they needed to improve on this.

Posted by memo

I abuse the hell of this system.  Glad they are going fix it, cause the level designs were beautiful but never really got to enjoy it cause of detective mode. Bad ass game though non the less.

Posted by slowbird

nooooooooo

Posted by Icil
@fwylo said:
" Sounds like a good idea.  "
Word. I felt like they made a lot of good decisions in the first Arkham Asylum. That game was really polished.
 
Can't wait for the sequel. Give the combat system more depth (but same controls). Less zombies, too.
Posted by Crushed
Posted by RadicalBigDaddy

I can really understand why they are doing this - I really like the look of the game but it was so much easier to play the game with the X-ray vision on that I would forget to turn it off.

Posted by Burns098356GX

I hope they spruce up the melee combat as well. I found it boring.

Posted by Hamz

It's true, I spent most of that game with Detective Mode turned on and very few times did I get to appreciate the beauty of the game world design.
 
Although I blame that partly on the game focusing everything so heavily on Detective Mode. Hopefully a sequel manages to utilise it for key areas and moments only instead of requiring it almost all the time.

Edited by dvorak

If it made the game more fun (it did) for the player then why change it for the sake of making sure everyone takes in the awesome art. I certainly came out of the game really enjoying all the great texture work and modeling. It didn't diminish anything. 
 
Seeing through walls constantly, and planning stuff out was one of the best parts of the game.

Posted by Yeahbuhwhat

This is sad news. Less options is exactly the opposite of what i look for in sequels.

Posted by GaZZuM

It did feel a little bit like it should have been a sort of final upgrade, maybe if in Arkham Asylum 2 Batman's Detective Mode can get damaged at the start of the game (not destroyed, it will till work but not as uberly as before) and then at the end of the game they can give it back to you so you feel all epic and unstoppable.

Posted by Toxin066

This is kind of a bummer. One of the parts I enjoyed about detective mode was not having to worry about it running out.

Edited by gosukiller

BatmanBatmanBatmanBatman.com
The 4th Batman would be Splinter Cell night-vision/sonar inspired.

Posted by Crash_Happy

Sounds the way to go to me. No reason they couldn't have layered the effect onto the normal vision mode last time. 

Posted by Binman88

Holy fuck. People spent the majority of the game playing in detective mode? The Arkham Asylum I played on the PC looked so good that I made sure to only use it when I really had to.

Posted by Peacemaker
@Toxin066: I don't see anything about them putting a limit on it.  From the article it seems like it would be like the regular game world, just with maybe an overlay of data and stuffs.  I think that would be a nicer addition, especially since it was such a great looking game.   
 
I can't wait to see more about the game. 
Posted by TadThuggish

I had to force myself out of Detective mode sometimes.  It was useful enough that it was handier to always have on instead of keep flipping on and off.  But whenever I got into a new area, or didn't have a lot of fighting to do, I had to remember to look at the beautiful lighting and design that could only be seen through normal vision.

Edited by CL60

Good. Even on my second playthrough, I found myself always having detective mode on.

Posted by Toxin066
@Peacemaker:  I hope that's the route they go. When I read that it was "diminishing the hard work 
artists like Hego put into the textures and details of objects, people, and even environments," in my head, all I saw them doing was putting in some kind of meter to prevent overuse. 
Posted by WinterSnowblind

Good news.  I tried to turn it off whenever I could, but the mode was just far too useful.. It gave you an almost necessary edge in combat, and even when you knew there were no enemies around, it had to be used to find clues to progress the story or secrets.  There was literally no reason to have it off, besides appreciating the games art direction.  Very glad they're fixing this.

Posted by TadThuggish
@Sharkington said:
" This is sad news. Less options is exactly the opposite of what i look for in sequels. "
You're right.  Making games better is an attack on consumers.  Maybe to make up for it Rocksteady can spend development money and time putting in Tony Hawk: Ride controller support, you know, just in case!  Choices!
Edited by Olivaw
@Toxin066 said:

" This is kind of a bummer. One of the parts I enjoyed about detective mode was not having to worry about it running out. "

@Sharkington said:

" This is sad news. Less options is exactly the opposite of what i look for in sequels. "

What are you people talking about? They're not taking it out or changing it. They're just adjusting the LOOK of it. You know, so it doesn't ruin all the work of the artists.
Posted by DiscoDuck8k

Fine by me. I only used it when necessary.

Posted by CandleJakk

I barely used Detective mode, unless I was stuck for options that I could see in the normal graphics. That game was far too good looking to play the whole thing in detective mode.
 
The fact that it gave me headaches after a couple of minutes didn't help much either.

Posted by hermes

I kind of understand the problem... Detective mode has so many advantages over normal vision, and so little disadvantages (nothing with the blue and red filter), that I had it on far more than needed, and felt like I was fighting skeletons most of the times...
Posted by HandsomeDead

I think I had that on for near enough the entire game so I can see why it would be changed. The big problem for me though were that near enough all the other visors were useless besides for the one contextual setting for them. Pointless and gamey.

Posted by swamplord666

Love the people coming in saying "Huh, I never used it anyway". Like the guy saying "Yeah I love Twilight too" just to get the girl. 
I am two sided about this: 
- They could implement it so it's more streamlined and gives us the same enjoyment as before 
- They force you to not use it and therefore makes the game less enjoyable. 

Posted by ProfessorEss

Yeah I always struggled with detective mode. 

It worked so well and looked cool in and of itself, but I really found that I had to constantly force myself to turn it off to appreciate how incredible the game looked without it.

Posted by yevinorion

I abused it on my first playthrough for sure. My subsequent ones though I mostly just used it in predator areas and tried to make myself consciously use it less. Any streamlining they do to allow you to still get the benefits of detective mode without having to sacrifice the art design would be a welcome change.

Posted by TheFreeMan

I tried not to play with Detective Mode on too much, since I really loved the game's look. But it was too useful at times, so I abused it a bit (especially on my run around to 100% the Riddler stuff).
 
Good to hear that they're toning it down a bit, since hopefully it'll make the game more challenging. But what the hell does "augmented reality" mean?

Edited by Brackynews

Every time I play the game I tend to use it less and less.  Keeping it off does help the framerate, and I do love all the texture details. The most difficult thug rooms are fairly industrial looking, so in those cases I choose god-damn-badassery.  Gun toting hoodlums soaked in the fear of a vigilante that can see through walls and come from any direction... delicious.
 
Batmanbatmanbatman

Posted by Xin415

I think its a good thing actually.  I played the majority of the game with it on, and while it was awesome and useful, whenever I turned it off and relished in the beauty of the game, it made me regret having to turn it back on.  But damn, it helped a ton

Posted by Det1

I'm interested in how they'll alert you to enemies around the corners now.  X-ray very much simplified the game when it came to that aspect, and limiting it very much might give the sequel's enemies a monster closet feel.
Can you imagine doing an isolation-and-haunt section without x-ray mission? memorization wasn't necessary in BMAA.
Well, I think BMAA was good enough that I can give these guys the benefit of the doubt. Probably yelling enemies or something along the line.

Posted by Nadafinga

I always felt that detective vision should have had a timer on it in the first game, or just been a pulse or something...it was too easy to just leave it on.

Posted by Ronald

I like the idea of using it as an augmented reality. Where you might get highlights of someone around a corner in your vision, without blanking out the entire screen in blue and red.

Edited by fedorajay

Just get rid of all the glowing. Show bad guys with skeletons instead of just skeletons. I agree with others who have said just to have it as an overlapping layer instead of having you look through blue night goggles. Problem solved.

Posted by Deusoma

Detective Mode was hell of handy, that's for sure, but basically for the reasons that made that man cry, I made myself leave it off most of the time, unless I was unsure if there were dudes nearby or I was especially confused as to what to do next.

Posted by EightBitShik
@zombiesatemycereal: You took the words right out of my mouth. I honestly did not think about it because I did run through every spot at least once with the mode off. This was one of my favorite games last year.
Posted by natetodamax

batmanbatmanbatmanbatmanbatmanbatmanbatmanbatmanbatman

Posted by sublime90

people played most of the game in that mode? the hell? i only did it when i really needed it, so its fine by me if they tone it down.

Posted by YoungFrey

Not that it's in the same league as Batman, but Wolverine had the same issue.  Playing with Feral Senses on just made it easier (and gave an achievement).  Enemies were easier to see and secrets were vastly more visible.  And it made the game look way worse than Detective Vision did.  At least Detective Vision looked cool in its own way.
 
In both cases its a design failure.  Making the player pick between utility and art.  They should make it so you give some gameplay up to use DV.  Like you walk at 1/4 speed.  You'll still flip it on all the time to scope things out.  But you won't live in it. 

Posted by Nephrahim

Personally,  I always found the combat a lot harder with the detective vision on.  IT seemed harder to tell when people were about to strike.

Posted by Toms115
@Binman88 said:
" Holy fuck. People spent the majority of the game playing in detective mode? The Arkham Asylum I played on the PC looked so good that I made sure to only use it when I really had to. "
same here. it was hella useful, but i couldn't play through the entire game with it turned on.
Posted by Waffles13

I hear that in BatmanBatmanBatman, the entire game is played in Detective Mode, but you have an option to overlay Detective Mode Detective Mode over your Detective Mode.

  • 69 results
  • 1
  • 2