Batman Vengeance shapes up

Ubi Soft shows the latest version of Batman Vengeance for the PS2, which is looking better than ever. New details and screens inside.

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At its ongoing gamers week event, Ubi Soft unveiled the latest build of its upcoming PlayStation 2 game, Batman: Vengeance. The version shown has improved significantly since last we saw it, particularly in its visuals. The character models are now beautifully animated as even the most insignificant enemy thug now sports a variety of moves. Rather than using motion capture, Ubi Soft hand-animated all of the characters in the game--Batman has over 500 animations and even his cape is individually animated. According to the game's producer, Reid Schneider, the characters in the game were hand-animated rather than motion-captured because it gave the developer more freedom to create exaggerated superhero moves. Aside from the animation routines, other graphical effects such as motion-blur during specific fight sequences, volumetric lighting, and per-character real-time shadowing have been implemented in the game.

Batman: Vengeance is intended to be a truly cinematic experience, as the development team is attempting to re-create to the film-noir style of the animated show. To that end, the game will feature more than 30 minutes of both real-time and pre-rendered cut-scenes. Additionally, several members of the voice cast from the animated show, including Kevin Connor's Batman and Mark Hammil's Joker, will be featured in the game. "We wanted to do justice to the Batman license and make a game that is fun to play," Schneider said about the team's desire to seamlessly combine an interesting story with solid gameplay.

Batman: Vengeance has been in development for more than 2 years, by a team of 65 developers. Currently, the game is in the final debugging stages and will be released on the PS2 in October. Although only the PS2 version was shown, Ubi Soft said that the Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo GameCube versions of the game will include additional features and visual enhancements.

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