Arkham Knight PC Disaster Watch: Day 2

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Arkham Knight PC Disaster Watch: Day Two

Batman: Arkham Knight still doesn't run well on PC, and it's not clear when (or if) that might change anytime soon. The public statements from Warner Bros. aren't helping matters, either.

If you're just catching up with this story, here's the short version: Arkham Knight runs like crap on the PC. It doesn't matter if you're using an AMD or Nvidia card, the experience is terrible on everything but the beefiest machines around. Most telling? The game is locked to 30 frames-per-second, unless you dig into the game's INI files and manually unlock the frame rate.

Personally, I played 60 hours of The Witcher 3 at 60 frames-per-second with most settings turned up, and I'm barely able to maintain 30 frames-per-second in Arkham Knight. The moment I'm inside the batmobile, it's not surprising to see it dip to 15 frames-per-second.

Can I play the game? Sure. Is what players should settle for? Definitely not.

Warner Bros. told players it was working to "make sure these issues get resolved as quickly as possible," in a statement yesterday, but it didn't provide a timeline for a patch. That hasn't changed. The company has issued a second statement, one that tries to clarify what settings players should be playing the game on, but that's mostly succeeded at inciting more anger.

First, there's the vague acknowledgement of what's going on without getting into any specifics.

"We are aware that there are performance issues for some users playing Batman: Arkham Knight on PC. WB Games is working diligently with our development teams, NVIDIA and AMD, to identify and fix the issues as quickly as possible.

What follows is a list of recommended settings to play the game at -- each one capped at 30-frames-per-second, mind you -- that feel disproportionate to what should actually be required.

Here's what they're saying about "minimum":

  • Resolution: 1280x720

  • V-Sync: Off

  • Anti-Aliasing: Off

  • Texture Resolution: Low

  • Shadow Quality: Low

  • Level of Detail: Low

  • Interactive Smoke/Fog: Off

  • Interactive Paper Debris: Off

  • Enhanced Rain: Off

  • Enhanced Light Shafts: Off

And these are the specs being recommended to play the game at 720p resolution:

  • OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required)

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom II X4 965, 3.4 GHz

  • Memory: 6 GB RAM

  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 (2 GB Memory Minimum) | AMD Radeon HD 7950 (3 GB Memory Minimum)

  • DirectX: Version 11

  • Network: Broadband Internet connection required

  • Hard Drive: 45 GB available space

That's not a shitty machine. You shouldn't expect to be playing at the best settings, but below 1080p and every available setting at low seems...extreme. I'm more than hitting the recommended requirements and my frame rate is all over the dang place.

Even though both Nvidia and AMD users are having issues (for the record, I'm sporting an Nvidia GTX 970), it does seem there are even more serious issues on the AMD end:

With these settings on Min Spec AMD GPU's, users can expect some minor texture pops, occasional loading symbols during fast-paced scenarios, and some hitches & stuttering when gliding or driving the Batmobile.

With these settings on Rec Spec AMD GPUs, users can expect some minor texture pops, occasional loading symbols during fast-paced scenarios, and some hitches & stuttering when gliding or driving the Batmobile. To help alleviate this, AMD users using Rec Spec GPU's should turn Texture Resolution, Shadow Quality, and Level of Detail to Low. We continue to work closely with AMD to resolve these issues as soon as possible; make sure you have the most current drivers and check back here for updates on when the next driver version is available.

Like I said, we still don't know when a patch might arrive -- it could still be a few days -- but they have promised to address streaming performance on mechanical hard drives. They do recommend people install the game on a SSD, if they can. (I need to buy a bigger SSD...)

To Warner Bros.' credit, the company actively points people to Steam's refund page, in the event they're unsatisfied with their copy of Arkham Knight:

If you purchased your copy of the game through Steam and are not satisfied with your experience, you can request a refund at help.steampowered.com (Steam refund policies can be found here: http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds).

And it appears Steam's recent refund decisions may start moving the needle at other online retailers. Green Man Gaming isn't quite offering refunds just yet, but the company announced it would offer them if Warner Bros. is unable to get the game running smoother through patches:

We're aware that a number of users have been having issues with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight, and we're talking to Warner Bros who are resolved to address these concerns. You can find WB's official response to the issues here.

Warner Bros. are currently working on a patch which we are hoping will be released soon. We want you to enjoy your game, but if after the fix has been released, you still cannot play your game, we will process refund requests for the game.

It'd be nicer if Green Man Gaming just outright offered refunds for a game that runs badly right now, but hey, progress is progress.

PC owners find themselves at a frustrating impasse, especially if they don't have access to a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. (The game is supposed to be spectacular on PS4.) If you want to play Arkham Knight, you're stuck with a busted version of the game. If you want to make a statement, you can ask for a refund, but you can't play the game you've been psyched for.

Bummer.


Comments

    It kinda goes beyond the 30fps lock, the stutter and other bugs that may be present (most can't go beyond the stutter) - the game also appears to be missing important basic features that are in the console version; like AO, wet rain textures and textures in general on seemingly random items in the world (could be an LOD issue, but I'm pretty sure it isn't).

    A lot of stutter issues can be alleviated by disabling Nvidia smoke and debris (not ideal) and/or not using Sli (because it doesn't work anyway).

    I have it on both PC and PS4, so I'm going to do more analysis myself - but looking at Digital Foundry's examination, the PS4 version is prime. I will say that Arkham City and Origins actually has the same stutter issue (also borderlands series) which is caused mainly by Physx (all of which are Unreal engine games).

    So you have to set the specs to be lower than playing it on the PS4?

    Master race

    *sniggers

      Really, one shitty port and the PS4 is better?

      Bunch of crybabies more like it

        Well my copy was unplayable, it'd lock up on the menu and then crash every single time. But that makes me a crybaby. Ok.

      I don't recall people saying things like "Haha you shouldn't have bought a PS3" when the Skyrim port was abysmal.

      Most people blame the people responsible for the terrible port. Also when you get a terrible port on PC you are likely to have it fixed after the company has given up on it by the modding community.

      While I will admit the "Master Race" is far from perfect it is this attitude that keeps games releasing like this.

      Whether PS4, Xbox or PC... gamers seem to laugh at other platforms misfortunes instead of banding together, if a release is shit on one platform all should vow not to buy it, this would send shock waves through the Publishers community, that bad releases are no longer tolerated.

      It highlights the attitude, "if it works for me then who cares". This is the case in PC gaming too, due to the platforms massive diversity in hardware what works for Gamer A might run terrible for Gamer B, instead of everyone banding together you have the people who got screwed over screaming for help or refunds (now then get can them) and the other group saying... "well it works for me... so that justifies my purchase". The only real winner is the Publishers who get away with it.

      Last edited 25/06/15 4:23 pm

        lol attitudes have nothing to do with it otherwise TW3 would have been awful on all platforms also. It was just a colossal screw up and now it's been pulled. Gotta troll with the times my friend.

    Check out the Eurogamer followup article, apparently there are a number of graphics features in the PS4 version missing from the PC version.

    I heard that Iron Galaxy did the port? I vaguely recall hearing they ported the previous one (Origins)... And that WB declared they would not fix glaring bugs in that game, but instead focus on DLC.

    Hopefully this is a sign that WB is changing its stance on post release bug fixing. I don't understand why the PC version is missing graphics features though. Perplexing and disappointing.

    It's still playable... and even at its reduced 30 fps... it's manageable. I haven't gotten far enough yet to see how bad it can really become... *gulp. Framerate dips are noticeable though.

      That's the thing, it's still playable at 30fps. However that's not good enough for the "PC Master Race". They expect everything to be native 4K/100fps minimum nowadays.... Ok, a minimum of 1080p/60fps for now.

        More like they expect it to run at a rate that matches the quality of their hardware. If I have hardware that is 3 times more powerful than the PS4 then I would expect a certain level of performance above the PS4.

        Certainly not under it.

          And that expectation has made them a bunch of crybabies.

          How about instead of obsessing over the resolution and frames, they just... I dunno... Enjoy the game like the rest of gamers are doing?

            There is a difference between reasonable expectations and platform ignorance with regards to capabilities. This game clearly falls into the former. There is nothing about Arkham Knight that would cause the highest end of hardware to drop bellow a frame rate of 30. API limitations included a machine with a current model intel CPU and either GPU manufacturers latest top end offering runs circles around a Playstation 4 with regards to hardware capabilities. The fact that the game runs how it runs it demonstrates a complete lack of effort or allotted time on WB's half.

            Please keep your glib comments to yourself, you're not proving anything to anyone.

          With missing features that the PS4 version has as well!

          It's shocking that the same guys that screwed up the Handsom Jack collection for PS4/X1 and delivered a whopping 8-20FPS in Borderlands 2 on Vita were even considered to do this port IMO.

          It's the same as Mass Media who Sony keep hiring to do ports when the Jack collection and the physical version of Ratchet 2 still have problems on Vita.

          At least Iron Galaxy address 'some' issues sometimes... unless they move onto DLC rather like they did with Arkham Origins.

          Poor show.

    Pc gaming strife "consoles" me

      There are good jokes. Then there are bad jokes. Then there are jokes so bad that they're good... and then there's yours.

    This is quite a LOL, is the marketing department putting on glasses and calling themselves the test team?

    Good thing I only paid $37 for it. Thanks Oz Gameshop :)

    I'm in the middle of trying to get a refund from GMG, I got a copy of that form letter last night, so we'll see how it goes.

    If I was part of the Master race I'd be pissed. I love beautiful graphics and shit that I see on high end rigs but I'm happy to remain a console peasant though. Things just work.

      They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.

      Last edited 25/06/15 11:11 pm

    I just want to thank Rocksteady and Iron Galaxy Studios, now that my exact processor (i5-750) and graphics card (Radeon HD 7950) are being listed as the minimum requirements for a major new game I have a really good excuse now to plan my next upgrade. My honour as an elitist PC gamer depends on it.

    Last edited 25/06/15 2:25 pm

    thank god my copy was free with my GTX980ti, shame it runs like I've got a Geforce FX

      Did they give you the Harley Quinn DLC? I heard some people saying they didn't give it to them if they got it with their video card even though they technically owned it before release day.

        I wouldn't have a clue. I literally fired up the game, ran the benchmarks, got lower than expected scores, remembered I still haven't played Origins, shut it down. Was I meant to?

        I got my 970 from the states so got a code for TW3 and Arkham. I got the new 52 skins pack and nothing else.

        As far as the game goes: I'm in the awfully unlucky camp of people who's download restarts all the time and never finishes. (After getting to 19gb and then restarting I decided I'll wait it out instead)

        So, while I was hoping to get the HQ dlc for having it before release, I'd settle for a working game first ;)

        Side note: Way to showcase you GPU's nVidia haha.

    .......Think I'll wait for the budget GOTY edition that'll be out in ~12 months, with any/all patches and DLC slipstreamed in.

    Boggles my mind about the graphics card requirements.. by all accounts, a PS4 has an AMD HD7870 with 2GB of ram.. so why then does the PC version require a 7950 with 3GB? I'd say that currently a majority of PC users have some form of 2GB card.. and if this was some PC game that was exclusively PC and revolutionary or niche.. maybe, just maybe you could develop it with high-end cards in mind.. but this is Batman... and while it should be able to make use of high-end cards, that majority of PC owners should really be able to run it at a respectable level..

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