Getting nominated for the Best Multi-platform Game of 2009 is a tough gig. Not only does the game have to be excellent, but it has to be excellent across all platforms. And that is no easy feat. It has to look good, control right and, if possible, build upon the strengths of each platform as well. Let’s take a look at our nominees and find out why they got the nod over other equally good games.
Borderlands was a bit of a dark horse. Not many people were following it before release, but once word of mouth got around, a lot of people ended up picking up (and loving) the game. Built upon the already successful UE3, it looked absolutely stunning across all the three platforms, thanks to its cel shaded visual style. It ran smoothly as well without any noticeable tearing or slowdowns. Modern warfare 2 was always going to be a nominee. It not only managed to look stunning across both the consoles, but ran at a dreamlike 60 FPS. On the PC side of things, it might have fallen out of favour because of its lack of dedicated servers, but its excellent Steam integration managed to bring back a lot of faithful fans.
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (a perennially underrated game across all our GOTY lists) was an absolute stunner. It was (and still is) one of the best looking games to be released in recent times. Even more astonishingly, such graphics didn’t come at the expense of performance and you can max it out even on a modest PC rig resulting in some memorable vistas. Resident Evil 5 might have been delayed for the PC, but more than made up for it by being one of the first few games to support Nvidia 3D; a perfect example of building upon each platform’s strengths. Street Fighter IV was another delayed release for the PC, but was nearly flawless in its execution across all platforms.
But it was Batman: Arkham Asylum that won the staff and readers’ pick for Best Multi-platform Game of 2009. Not only was it one of the best games of the year, it was also one of the best looking games. It ran smoothly across both the console platforms and had great PhysX support on the PC. And the post-launch support from the developers was truly exemplary. In a time when most publishers are looking to wring every last cent out of consumers, Rocksteady and Eidos not only released DLC across all the three platforms, but actually offered it for free. It is with good reason that Arkham Asylum is the undisputed best multi-platform game of the year. Here is hoping more developers take that as an example for the coming year.
IVG Staff Pick: Batman: Arkham Asylum