Batman

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Telltale has released a few screenshots of their upcoming Batman game, along with information on the game’s cast.

Troy Baker will be taking on the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne, alongside Laura Bailey as Catwoman/Selina Kyle, Travis Willingham as Harvey Dent, Erin Yvette as Vicki Vale, Enn Reitel as Alfred, Murphey Guyer as James Gordon, and Richard McGonagle as Carmine Falcone.

That cast is oddly similar to Year One, though there’s no confirmation on whether not Telltale’s take on Batman will pull any influence from Frank Miller’s story. They do however seem to be talking up the fractured nature of Bruce’s psyche, and that players can choose to go through some sections of the game as either Bruce Wayne or Batman.

Ed Boon has been teasing as something on Twitter over the last few days, having changed his avatar to the roman numeral for 2, strongly hinting at a sequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us. Or The Grid, depending on where your priorities are. Sure enough, a follow up to Injustice is in the works. It will have your Batmen, your Flashes, and Supermans, probably a Wonder Woman and a Harley Quinn too.

Not a whole lot is known about the game outside of what has been shown int he above trailer. Superheroes are going to beat each other up, you can count on at least that much, and maybe that’s all you really need.

I mean it, I'm almost out of relevant Batman pictures.

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.

 

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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.

sefton

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.

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sadbat

Oh boy.

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.)

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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:

Hi all

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.

The latest Arkham Knight trailer may just be my favorite so far, because it actually shows off how Rocksteady is improving the combat and stealth that the Arkham series is known for. It seems there will be a lot more interactive objects in the environment, which reminds me a lot of Sleeping Dogs. It appears you can chain stealth takedowns too.

The end of the video teases further reveals for the first of next month.

The USPS takes Batman VERY seriously, thank you

The USPS takes Batman VERY seriously, thank you

Up until now, stamps have mostly featured ducks, and flags, and dead people, and sometimes characters from The Peanuts. You know, things old people love. So it should come as no surprise that something as daring and contemporary as Batman is causing stamp collectors to  freak the hell out. Apparently it’s all a ploy to appeal to a younger audience of would-be stamp enthusiasts, corrupting the once time honored tradition of stamp hoarding by inviting youths into the  philatelic fold. Disgusting.

This August, former U.S. Postmaster General Benjamin Bailer resigned from the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee due to his outrage over Batman and Harry Potter stamps.  “They have really ruined the stamp program,” said Bailer. He continued in the least childlike manner possible by stating, “they have prostituted it in an effort to make money.”

Ironically, the USPS defaulted four years in a row on a $5 billion payment to the U.S Treasury to cover retiree health benefit costs, so it could probably use the money those stamps stand to make.

This image contains all the character depth Victor Zsasz has. A rich exciting conclusion to the world of Gotham, Mondays at 8 on FOX!

This image contains all the character depth Victor Zsasz has. A rich exciting inclusion to the world of Gotham, Mondays at 8 on FOX!

In an interview with IGN, Executive Producer of Gotham, Danny Cannon (director of Judge Dredd (1995)), revealed three characters that will soon be appearing in the series: Victor Zsasz, Leslie Thompkins, and Thomas Elliot. Long time Batman fans will easily recognize these characters, but for those who are casually watching the series, they might be a bit obscure.

For those not in the know, Dr.Leslie Thompkins is essentially a surrogate mother to Bruce Wayne in the same way Alfred is a stand-in father figure. Thomas Elliot is a childhood friend of Bruce’s who murders his own parents and one day becomes Hush, a terrible villain who has been the focal point of more bad stories than good.

Meanwhile, there’s Zsasz, who has always been a total b-lister, and will join Renee Montoya, The Riddler, and Harvey Dent as a character who is cast as being much older than they should be for the time period in which Gotham takes place. It’s almost as if Danny Cannon is just throwing characters at the screen and hoping, desperately, something will stick.