Batman: Arkham Asylum - Physx benchmarks with comparison shots and video
Batman Arkham Asylum has received a lot of good reviews and besides that it makes use of Nvidia's Physx technology. PC Games Hardware took comparative screenshots and checked the impact on the performance.
Finally Batman came back to the PC. After Arkham Asylum had been published for the consoles some time ago and is regarded to be one of the best games currently on the market.
The PC version of Batman: Arkham Asylum offers support for 3D Vision and additional Physx effects like GPU accelerated fog, cobwebs, flittering papers and shattering tiles or glass. While the Physx effects are moderately used in normal levels, there are a lot of them in the boss fights.
PC Games Hardware has checked how the additional effects affect the performance of the game and assembled comparison screenshots that demonstrate the visual difference.
For the benchmarks we used the integrated flyby sequence of the game, which you can see in the video at the end of the page. First of all we tested the Geforce GTX 285 and the Radeon HD 4890 with deactivated Physx effects. After that the Geforce had to deal with the additional challenge.
If you are using a Nvidia graphics card, Multisampling Anti Aliasing is offered in the Batman Launcher, while you have to force it in the Catalyst control Center if you are using a Radeon card. Surprisingly enough this works well as long as you don't activate any additional Physx effects - if you do Multisampling on the Radeon cards just doesn't work.
It almost seems like the Physx options have been named the wrong way: The "normal” (Medium) Physx effects are mainly represented by waft of mist which the player can walk through leaving trails in the fog. Apparently those cost a lot of performance given the drop of the fps-rate. For the 2High” settings, which Nvidia recommends an additional Geforce 9800 GT as Physx card for, don't need too much additional graphics power - in the benchmark you only have additional cloth effects (represented by the flags and banners).
In the game itself, especially in the first Scarecrow level, the visual appearance is enhanced by lots of flying debris. In areas with plants or wherever there is paper lying around the Physx effects make leaves or paper shavings fly around - a nice looking gimmick.
All in all Batman: Arkham Asylum is the game in which the Physx implementation can be regarded as the best up to now - especially the fog fits perfectly into the dark and gloomy atmosphere of East Arkham.