In case you’ve been living as a nomad for the last few years, you might have realised that it’s 2015 and that this year has been a great one for gaming, with the release of games like Kerbal Space Program (after 3 years in Early Access), GTA V for the PC & Cities: Skylines, a better city builder than the 2013 Sim City ever could be. This run of great games has given me cause for annoyance with the release of the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight.
Check out my rant of the situation after the break! (And yes, this is a PC article on a Nintendo blog… go figure!)
I love the Arkham series of games, it is by no stretch of the imagination a perfect series, origins felt more like an expansion pack and the characters all have the Uncanny Valley face combined with Batman’s…not amazing voice acting, but the combat feels amazing and the world felt real and immersive. The thing is, this is still the case in Knight, and if anything it feels even better than it has done before, Batman himself still needs to learn how to emote instead of delivering every line like an amateur dramatics performance in an asylum (maybe he’s spent some time in Arkham himself) and characters frequently seem to be looking in the distance as if they have PTSD, but by now that’s part of the charm of the series and can provide a few moments of unintentional comedy.
So there is the basis of a good game here, actually an amazing game, it really could be one of the best games of the year, but here is the crux of the matter, the PC version has been crippled beyond belief. The FPS has been capped to 30 which is unforgivable now, there is no reason for a FPS limit in this day and age other than crippling a PC game to make the console versions look comparable. You can get rid of the cap by changing a config file, but the thing is, it shouldn’t have been done in the first place. Now before you pounce down my oesophagus like a hungry panther to tell me that after changing the config that the game runs horribly, I will say this in repost. If your game runs like shit above 30 fps, there are better ways of fixing this than capping the framerate, take some time and fix your issues instead of doing something that a lot of PC gamers will hate you for.
Other problems include artificial graphical restrictions, not allowing me to test the limits of my PC for fear that it will rip a hole in the space time continuum, at least that’s the most reasonable explanation I could come up with. For some reason they have also decided to not include an option to disable motion blur, a moronic decision since I don’t know a single person who likes motion blur on, and combine that with the fact that your eyes will do that on a screen anyway. And finally the Batmobile, it controls okay once you get used to it, but trying to move at any sort of speed in it will tank the already restricted framerate. For those of you wondering, I have a pretty high end rig, on the low end of high but none the less, this game’s performance is unacceptable on a machine like this. The worst part is, I think I got it lucky compared to some other people who appear to be having a much worse time of it than me.
This brings me to my point, I mentioned earlier that you should take time to fix a game’s problems and with Knight, it seems that they didn’t. In fact, Rocksteady appear to not have known about any of these problems before launch, so that means one of two things. Either they didn’t know and therefore did no PC testing before wheeling it out, or they did know and hoped that it would go unnoticed by everyone and are having to backtrack to save face. In any case they have released a statement saying they are trying to fix the issues as I’m writing this, but this statement seems hollow when they could have postponed the release, saying that the game wasn’t ready and I would have been fine with it, as it stands however, they’ve made a massive cock up, released a broken game and deserve no sympathy for it.
Conclusion: wait until it’s patched, I certainly will be.
A lifelong gamer, weaned onto it from a young age through the Gameboy and gradually onto other platforms. I am now a mostly PC gamer but my pet franchise remains to be (somewhat appropriately) Pokémon.