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Rocksteady: Detective Mode In Batman Was Overpowered

Batman: Arkham Asylum was one of the best games of 2009. But even the best of the best make a few mistakes.

During a recent speech at the Develop conference, Arkham Asylum art director David Hego said he regretted implementing the "detective vision" mode in last year's Game of the Year contender. He said that when he heard people would play through the whole game in that X-ray-like mode, he'd "want to cry a little bit." The problem wasn't in the concept, said Hego, but more in the power of the option: "It was a gameplay decision to make detective vision so strong...we're going to try not to make that mistake again." In the upcoming sequel, Rocksteady plans to keep the mode, but to make it "more like augmented reality." Thing is, they don't want to upset that excellent environment; Hego spoke about the game's utilization of light and shadow to keep a player's attention. He also said the exaggerated features and authentic textures of the character models were a sort of "hyperrealism:"

"One of the big advantages of the stylised realism was we were jumping across the uncanny valley… By making [the characters] so stylised, you can forget about uncanny valley because you accept that it's not real."

Well, it's always good to hear a talented studio wishes to work on past mistakes and make a better game the second time around. The first Batman was pretty damn good, though, so they shouldn't sell themselves short. And when they're done with Arkham Asylum 2, they've said they won't continue in the Batman realm...Superman, anyone?

Related Game(s): Batman: Arkham Asylum

Tags: batman, arkham asylum, rocksteady

7/19/2010 10:38:38 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (41 posts)

Jawknee
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 10:57:15 AM
Reply

I agree. I tried to force myself to go without it to add a bit more challenge to the game but when ever i got even a little frustrated i would turn it on. I do know people how played the game from beginning to end without turning the mode off. Kinda took some of the suspense out of the game.

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Doosharm
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 11:18:37 AM

I was the same way. I loved the look of the game so I tried to stay out of Detective mode as much as possible but it was just too tempting whenever I started to get frustrated.

Heh, you know, I never realized the similarities between our avatars. I made this zombified South Park-style version of myself years ago but even the shape of the hair looks similar. Weird.

Last edited by Doosharm on 7/19/2010 11:20:40 AM

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Jawknee
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 11:23:30 AM

Ha, i used some generic South Park creator tool on the web that some fan made.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 4:48:09 AM

Me too! Fun to see there are other gamers out there who enjoy the games as much as making "obstacles for themselves" to get more out of the gaming experience, rather than racing through. The detective mode was too powerful though, it "dumbed down" the entire game imo - but I thought that was fully intentional, in this day and age of twitching gameplay.

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ABUrabad
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 11:03:07 AM
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thats all true
with that mode the game on most difficult setting was too easy

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JPBooch
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 11:14:35 AM
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The hardest part of that game were the challenge rooms, particularly the ones where you needed a combo score. Detective mode couldn't save you in that, lol. I didn't use it that much since I rather see the game how it was meant. It just felt like cheating using it.

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Zorigo
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 11:23:26 AM
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i just need to get the batmans and and assasins creed (all of them)

Last edited by Zorigo on 7/19/2010 11:23:42 AM

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kraygen
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 6:33:27 PM

If you haven't, I wouldn't worry, batman and Ac are overrated. I haven't played ac2, but the first one was a snore fest.

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naruto316
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 11:35:54 AM
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ok i can understand what he is saying but in my opinion he is very wrong just because you had the detective vision on for the all game did not make it less challenging. having that on made the game so much fun fun to play cause you could now try to set up traps and sneak attacks. besides just cause you knew where the bad guys were does mean that it would work out in your favor all the time. the mode almost made you have to really think of how to get past the bad guys like batman himself would, watching their patterns and stuff. again just my opinion but i hope they do not mess with that mode at all

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Kiryu
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 11:56:12 AM
Reply

I didn't use detective mode too much.It's okay if they keep it.
They should make a meaningful superman game after BAA 2.


Last edited by Kiryu on 7/19/2010 11:58:14 AM

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frostface
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 11:59:09 AM
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I only just mentioned this one the forums last week. A great game but there should of been parts of the game were for some odd reason, (that could of been explained in the game), you just couldn't use the detective mode at all.
I didn't even like using the detective mode, it meant missing out on how good the rest of the game looked. I'm really happy to see it hasn't gone unnoticed and will be improved upon in the sequel!
Lets get the hype train going on this one! This'll be a bad ass game!

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NiteKrawler
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 5:17:01 PM

Or you could just get to certain parts of the game and make up some crazy reason why it wouldn't work and pretend and just not use it...

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fluffer nutter
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 12:06:16 PM
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Yeah, this feature did make the game easier for me but I liked it since I'm not the greatest video game player around. I need to go back and finally finish the game.

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Sancho
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 12:55:04 PM
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I think the only time I was in the detective mode constantly is when I finished the game and was looking for all the riddler clues. It was a great game for sure.

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Alienange
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 12:55:32 PM
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We finally get the best Batman game ever made and they're only making ONE sequel? Damn.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 2:45:15 PM

maybe they wanna let it rest and come back after making different game.

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Danny007
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 12:57:29 PM
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Please Please Please don't do anything to ruin the game. And yes Ben, lets watch Rocksteady make the best Superman game. I want to see that. Good idea Ben, I like the way you think.

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Shams
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 1:20:22 PM
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It sported some of the best multiplatform visuals, with no slow-down (that I can distinctly remember) nor screen-tearing, with exceptional Tony-Jaa-esque fighting animations. It had thick atmosphere. The voice acting was Hollywood calibre. And it had some clever gameplay variety, with the use of detective mode, explosives, grappling hooks, line cables, and puzzles. All excellent ingredients. I just felt the total package came across as flat. Was it the ending that was rather anti-climactic? Was it the fighting, the core gameplay, that felt slightly uninvolving, being mostly a one-button affair? Or was it that I played through the game on easy? Probably a little of all 3.

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NazzyQ
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 1:27:28 PM
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A superman game would be pretty challenging to create. Apart from his kryptonite weakness, superman is almost invincible: He can fly, he has super strength, you name it. Rocksteady would need to prevent him from being overpowered, yet at the same time they have to convince the player that they aren't stripping away his abilities for the sake of actually providing a challenge to the player. A tough task indeed.

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Godslim
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 3:37:33 PM

yeh exactly nuthing would be able to hurt him.....i hate the way in the games big robots still can

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Alienange
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 6:17:58 PM

A Superman game just doesn't lend itself to 'fun.' I mean if Rocksteady thought detective vision was overpowered...

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kraygen
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 6:37:18 PM

Superman has become one of the most boring characters ever. What's exciting about a guy who's never in danger.

It's so hard to do superman, in a game, or even in the comics.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 2:48:32 PM
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Never liked Superman. It's too bad Actipoopyvision has the Spiderman license. How about a super "stylized" female superhero?

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johnld
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 3:18:00 PM
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I disagree, it wasnt too powerful. it wasnt like it knocked out an enemy when you use it. as for me, i just used it to plan my attacks by watching their movements. its basically no different from standing on gargoyles. without detective mode, it wouldve been really damn hard to beat those missions where the gargoyles explode since you wont really get a good view of your surroundings especially when you're in the grates. i believe its more about using it the whole game and missing every other detail. I played the regular batman game relying heavily on detective mode. when i got the game of the year edition, i'm starting to hate that term because there should only be one game of the year but now theres multiple game of the year editions for games coming in the same year, i tried to minimize detective mode use. I got a suggestion though, take a page out of kojimas book, tie detective mode with a battery like the solid eye. that way it wont be abused and also it feels like another one of batmans gadgets.

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JDC80
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 6:35:56 PM

I mostly use Detective mode to keep tracks on numbers of thugs and their location in a room on top of looking for Riddler's clues.

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___________
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 3:07:15 AM

it is too powerful because it allows you to see your enemies from so far away.
the whole point of the game is to hide from your enemies and plan your attack.
if your so far away from them but can still see them than whats the point?
it destroys the tension created.
id much rather be far away from a enemy, and think to myself should i move closer and risk being seen, or should i sit put.
suspense, not knowing whats going to happen next is the best part of the game, the whole point!
if you can see your enemies every move, than what is the point?

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NiteKrawler
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 5:21:00 PM

Yeah, because Batman always just stumbles around and his enemies always have the drop on him. The game is about being Batman. And being Batman is being a predator. You know where they are, they never know where you are. THAT'S the point.

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swapnilgyani
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 3:20:53 PM
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I generally only used the detective vision to scan the environment as I entered each level, and then played through the rest of it in normal mode. The way the game looked was just too incredible for me to miss.

There were times where I'd just stop playing and drool over how amazing the environment (especially outdoors) and the characters (Batman, Joker, Ivy's curves!) looked.

Certainly one of my favourite games this generation. I was a bit disappointed with the end though...almost felt blooper-esque! Also, while the voice acting was superb, the dialogue felt cheesy at times (especially Batman's).

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LittleBigMidget
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 3:25:56 PM
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Female superhero? Lmao, no thanks.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 5:59:16 PM

"stylized"

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Jonesy555
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 4:01:42 PM
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The game was so beautiful I didn't wanna even put detective mode on! But definitely needed to at points...

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kraygen
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 6:48:29 PM
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"Batman: Arkham Asylum was one of the best games of 2009."

I'm sorry I must disagree. I will say that it was the best batman game ever made, not that that would be difficult.

I didn't really see why everyone was so enamored with this, it ok at best. Batman controlled like all unreal engine characters, over-sized, bulky, clumsy character who gets stuck on every object.

The game was super easy, combat system was flawed, 75% of the game is searching for riddler ?'s, story wasn't very interesting, and the lack of boss fights was ridiculous. 1 boss fight in the entire game?

In my opinion the game was mediocre at best, just a lot of hype due to it being a big budget batman game. I could make a list a mile long of the flaws in this game, but most ppl probably know.

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Danny007
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 6:58:35 PM

I liked the story a lot. The cutscenes were cool. I like the Batman movies though. Have you seen any of them?

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Kangasfwa
Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 8:43:28 PM

You realize the Riddler's "?'s" are completely optional, right? If you really spent 75% of your gameplay time searching for those then that was your choice.

I agree Batman had the Darth Vader walk but I don't remember ever getting caught on anything during my gameplay time.

How was the combat flawed? I thought it worked wonderfully. If you don't pay attention or you button-mash, you'll very likely get your ass kicked.

And where are you getting one boss fight? What about Bane or Harley Quinn? Sure, they weren't *traditional* boss fights, but they were still boss fights.

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kraygen
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 12:27:38 AM

@ Kangasfwa

Well as for the riddler ?'s, thats how you get the majority of your xp in the game, sure you could skip them, but then you could beat the game in like 4 hours, but you wouldn't have hardly any upgrades.

Well I can't say why you don't remember him snagging on every corner, but I just finished playing this game a few days ago and during a lot of the platforming, when you're jumping from ledge to ledge, if you even touch anything, he automatically falls straight down.
He's batman for crying out loud.

Combat flaws, well no you don't want to do button mashing, even tho you can with little consequence, but one of the upgrades you get tells you that you must time your attacks correctly, well as I explained in a previous post, when the combat itself alters time at random, it is impossible to time all of your attacks, hence flawed combat. Some can still be timed, but half of the time you can't due to slow mo mode, does that look cool to watch, heck yeah, just screws up your time tho.

As for the boss fights, well I could consider Bane a boss fight if it wasn't for the fact that you fight several guys in the exact same way and Boss fights are supposed to be hard, Bane was a cakewalk on any difficulty. Harley, you don't fight Harley, she messes with the floor while you fight regular henchmen, how is that a boss fight if you don't ever actually fight the boss? The only real boss fight in the game was Poison Ivy and it was great, but the rest were lacking anything boss about them.

@ Danny007

I have seen every batman movie ever made, including the one starring Adam West. I really like Batman Begins and The dark knight, they were taken from some of the best batman comics ever. The 90's batman movies are ok for a laugh, kinda like the adam west batman movie.

The story was ok, it just lacked originality. They come out with a batman game not tied to any movie and could essentially write their own story and they use the bane serum line which has been drummed up in the comics on multiple occasions and was easy to do, because it allowed for lots of strong enemies without having to think up anything complicated.

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___________
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 3:04:45 AM

did you even play the game?
play it on hard, then tell me its easy!
you get hit 3 times your dead, plus they remove the alert system you get in other modes.
3 times may sound like allot, but when your surrounded by enemies coming at you from multiple directions its not!

1 boss battle?
you got harley quin, the joker, the crock, poison ivy and the scarecrow, thats just from memory im sure theres more in there.

yes batman controlled like he was soaked in Lucite!
he was extremely over muscled, but what did you expect it is a unreal engine 3.5 game.

the story was brilliant, how the joker deliberately got the prisoners moved to arkham, set up batman, the part where he dies than punches through the dirt BRILLIANT!
plus the part where you wake up in the bat mobile and the joker reels you into arkham.
the storys no MGS or AC but its pretty good!

hype?
what hype!?
everyone was expecting it to be another flop like all movie games.
when people said transformers war for cybertron is 2010s batman AA they were not saying that because it was a good game.
they were saying that because it did what batman AA did.
it proved games based on movies dont have to suck!
there was barley any hype on AA what so ever, only when reviews started coming in did the hype train build up but why wouldent it people were giving it 9s and up!

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kraygen
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 3:04:40 PM

As I explained there is no harley quin boss fight, you never fight her. Croc isn't a boss fight, it's running, and there is no scarecrow boss fight either. Joker's boss fight was a joke, it was easier than the bane fight.

I played the game twice in a row, I don't think you should have to play the game on hard to keep it from being super easy.

If that's what you consider a brilliant story, you need to read a book. It never shows anything about joker getting everyone there, it just says he did, that's vague at best. Never explains how they managed to all escape and take control, joker shows up and they just have control of arkham already.

As I explained before the bane syrum is the focus of the story and it's weak, it's been way over done before this game and it took no creativity whatsoever.

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NiteKrawler
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 8:02:28 PM

@kraygen: You don't seem to understand what a boss fight is. In the classic Turtles in Time game on the arcade and snes, there is a fight with Shredder in which you are fighting foot clan soldiers and have to throw them to hit his machine while is claws at you. It's a boss fight, but you don't fight him. At the end of LBP, you fight the little guy in his machine. Still a boss fight. And you listed Ivy as the only boss? The Joker at the end isn't? Please. None of the bosses are that hard on normal but they are still bosses. Silly.

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___________
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 @ 9:27:56 AM

they actually do explain why all the prisinors got exported to arkham, you need to find all the riddler marks and the arkham head stone thingys.
it even goes to the extent of giving you a backstory of arkham asylum, if thats not a good storyline than i dont know what is!

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___________
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 2:56:15 AM
Reply

it did make the game a little easy.
id make it that it does not detect enemies, just use it for what its made for detective work.
the whole point of the game is to hide from your enemies, it kinda makes it a little too easy if you know where everyone is, takes away from the tension.

anyway, i really wish they would announce some new details for it.
i mean its been announced since december and we have not heard boo about it!
same goes for starwars the force unleashed 2, im starting to get worried about TFU2 normally when we dont see any info for a game and its due out in 3 months it means the game sucks.
not always but thats normally the trend, like look at AVP, alpha protocol, rouge warrior, the avatar.
all those games 3 or so months up too release we barley had any info on those games, we maybe had a preview and 3 or so trailers.
but look at infamous 2, that has been announced for like 2 months, like 5 months after TFU2 was announced and we know more about infamous 2 than star wars the force unleashed 2.
i hope im wrong, i really enjoyed the first one though it was deeply flawed it was a really fun game so im expecting allot from this!

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RebelJD
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 6:18:05 AM
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Superman? Superman???? The super hero of all heroes doesn't even get a mention or consideration now a days. Seriously. Apparently no one knows how to make a great Super Man movie, let alone a Super Man video game. I enjoyed Arkham Asylum and look forward to part 2.

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