Oh hey, would you look at that. Arkham Knight, previously pulled from Steam for being a fat load of broken garbage, is now back on the marketplace. Furthermore, it appears some of the game’s more glaring issues have been patched, including missing effects, stuttering, and a capped framerate. Hooray!
Ok, maybe celebrating is a bit premature, as it appears the latest version of the game has a host of problems all its own. Here are the big ones to watch out for:
- Hard drive paging issues, which force users to restart the game periodically. This seems to mostly affect users running Windows 7…
- 12GBs of suggested RAM for computers running Windows 10 in order to ensure a smoother performance and prevent similar paging issues to those experienced by Windows 7 users. (This was put out by Warner Bros but at the time of this writing is not reflected on the game’s steam page.)
- No SLI support because what year did you think this was?
- Although not reported by Warner Bros. directly, there are reports of others experiencing stuttering during cutscenes, the game failing to launch, and in general continuing to be kind of a mess.
The icing on the cake: reviews dated before the 28th of October on the Steam page for Arkham Knight are now being listed as “pre-release” reviews, even though the game totally released prior to now. At this time, it’s not clear exactly who is tagging these reviews as being for a pre-release title, or whether or not it’s the byproduct of the game being delisted and then returning. All things considered, though, it’s patently erroneous. (Update: it looks like these tags are now being removed, although if you still want your sweet delicious icing, you can read this Digital Foundry report that states nothing about Arkham Knight has been improved since the September interim patch.)
If you’re wondering what our review score is for the PC version of Arkham Knight, it’s a 1/10, with zero bloodstained crowbars out of a possible 5 for a combined total of Burn This Game in a Garbage Heap.
I don’t have an image to represent that, so this’ll have to do.
I mean it, I’m almost out of relevant Batman pictures.
Awwwww here we go.
Just a little over a month ago, Rocksteady assured those who have been eagerly anticipating a working version of Arkham Knight on PC that an interim patch would be out in August. Most sensible people took this to mean that a patch would likely come just as the month is closing out, since putting it in such broad terms allows for some flexibility while not going against their promise.
As you’ve probably already figured out by this point, Rocksteady does not anticipate they’ll even meet that mark. In a statement posted on the Steam page for Arkham Knight, Rocksteady says that they have begun testing the first major patch, and intend to report back “in the next two weeks” with probably another vague estimate on when it might drop.
The patch will include numerous fixes, such as:
- Improved VRAM usage
- Reduced hitching
- Ability to up the frame rate to 60 and 90
- Toggles for motion blur, chromatic aberration, and film grain
- A high texture value
- Adaptive v-sync for NVIDIA cards
- VRAM usage meter (which I wish more games would include)
- Fixes to texture resolution bugs
- Fixes to hitching when reading off a mechanical hard drive
Rocksteady has also promised that the team is continuing to work hard on a fix that allows users to skip the boot/splash screens that doesn’t require editing the .ini file, a photo mode not unlike the one recently added to console versions of the game, and of course that hot hot DLC you probably shouldn’t buy.
It’s all closed out with a nice friendly thank you for everybody’s patience, followed by hundreds of angry comments about how WB is fucking people yet again.
Truly, it’s a never ending story.
Rocksteady pushed out a patch today for the troubled PC port of Arkham Knight. The patch addresses some – though certainly not all – of the game’s issues, including a bug that caused Steam to completely reinstall the game when attempting to verify files, a bug that caused the game to crash once motion blur is activated, and adding ambient occlusion and water dripping effects on the Batsuit and Batmobile back in.
More patches are on the way for those who are still playing the game on PC, though there’s no date set for future patches or when the game will go back up for sale.
“The work is significant and while we are making good progress on improving performance, it will take some time to ensure that we get the right fixes in place.”
Rocksteady also outlined exactly what they are aiming to fix in future patches, which includes:
- Support for frame rates above 30FPS in the graphics setting menu
- Fix for low resolution texture bug
- Improve overall performance and framerate hitches
- Add more options to the graphics settings menu
- improvements to hard drive streaming and hitches
- Address full screen rendering bug on gaming laptops
- Improvements to system memory and VRAM usage
- NVIDIA SLI bug fixes
- Enabling AMD crossfire
- NVIDIA and AMD updated drivers
Something worth pointing out is that the lack of dripping water effects, ambient occlusion, and high-res textures is attributed to various bugs, rather than them straight up not being included in the game, which is… suspect, but I’m honestly not savvy enough to see whether or not that’s the case. For the time being, water effects have been improved and look on par with the PS4 version, so that’s something at least.
Rocksteady also thanked fans for their patience and “invaluable feedback,” which more or less amounts to frustrated screaming on message boards.
Look at me, I’m a regular Arkham Knight news machine. Bleep bloop, activating bad news servos.
Rocksteady, amid numerous bad reviews, and some hilariously terrible advised settings (see the post below this), has just gone ahead and yanked Arkham Knight from Steam until further notice.
UPDATE: It looks like WB is also requesting the game be removed from the Humble Store. It’s likely other online storefronts may follow.
Additionally, you can no longer purchase the season pass on Steam.
Correction: You can purchase the season pass. Either Steam’s store page didn’t fully load, or it was briefly taken down, but when I checked while writing this article it didn’t show any price listed for the season pass. DLC for the PC version, however, has been delayed. So maybe don’t buy that season pass.
You can read Rocksteady’s statement after the break.
Earlier today, Rocksteady posted advised settings for Arkham Knight on Steam. In it, the developer suggests maybe just turn all the settings on low and quit messing with the ini files while you’re at it.
Here is what they recommend:
- Resolution: 1280×720
- V-Sync: Off
- Anti-aliasing: Off
- Texture resolution: Low
- Shadow Quality: Low
- Level of Detail: Low
- Interactive fog/smoke: Off
- Interactive paper debris: Off
- Enhanced rain: Off
- Enhanced light shafts: Off
Expected: 30fps (capped)
For those with GTX970 cards or better, you can turn everything on “normal”, but you should still leave gameworks off. While turning gameworks off is generally good advice for increasing performance, the fact that some of the most top of the line cards on the market can’t manage 30fps with them on is pretty embarrassing.
My favorite bit is how they list system requirements for “ultra” settings, which in absolutely no way exists in the game.
There’s no word yet if there’s a patch coming, or if one will simply improve performance or add in features that were nixed from the PC port of the game (which include higher resolution textures and water dripping effects on the batsuit and batmobile.)
In case you haven’t heard over the course of the last day, Arkham Knight is pretty much busted on PC. The game lacks many graphics options, encounters frequent stuttering, will likely max out your VRAM no matter what graphics card you have (all 4GB on my 980 are put to use with texture quality on “normal”), and – unless you edit an ini file – it will run at 30fps tops.
Earlier today, Rocksteady posted the following statement on their forum concerning the quality of the PC port:
We’re aware that some users are reporting performance issues with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. This is something that Rocksteady takes very seriously. We are working closely with our external PC development partner to make sure these issues get resolved as quickly as possible.
We’ll update this thread when we’ve got more info to share.
Sefton Hill took to Twitter to reiterate that the developer is looking to quickly resolve the problems owners of the game are facing, and confirmed that the port was outsourced to Iron Galaxy.
Like Assassin’s Creed: Unity, however, it seems most of the damage has probably already been done. The Steam page for Arkham Knight is absolutely flooded with negative reviews warning potential customers to steer clear until the game is fixed, or to just get it on the PS4 instead, which by all accounts seems to run much better. Thankfully, if you’ve spent less than two hours in the game thus far and purchased it through Steam, you can get a refund.
Gamestop’s pre-order bonuses for Arkham Knight were revealed a little earlier than intended in the form of the leaked advertisement above. While Harley Quinn’s challenge maps have been known for some time, pre-ordering the game at Gamestop will also net you some Red Hood story missions. Red Hood, apparently, now just Jason Todd in a red hoodie. Very on the nose.
Say what you will about Uncharted 4, or Bloodborne, but the highlight of the Sony conference for me was finally getting to see a substantial amount of Arkham Knight gameplay. While freeflow combat wasn’t shown off, we did get to see how the Batmobile will operate, as well as the scope of Gotham City.
Arkham Knight was due out this October, but was recently pushed back to 2015. Time to take your Waitmate™.