Beware The Batman, Arkham Knight Runs Horribly On PC
While every interested party is busy creaming their pants for the release of Batman: Arkham Knight today, and well-equipped PC owners have pre-loaded the game by now and are ready before anyone else to be the Batman, all hell is breaking loose on the internet. It would appear that Warner Bros has struck again after Mortal Kombat X, and Batman: Arkham Knight is being panned as a terrible PC port.
It’s not just words on the internet. I myself have first hand experience from my first hour with the game to confirm many of the issues, and we’re going to dissect them here as well as talk about some temporary fixes that can be done to help your game at least become playable.
It’s a terrible shame, because Batman: Arkham Knight is one beautiful game. The first time I gained control of Batman and took in Gotham City and – my god – them cape details, I nearly lost my marbles. However it wasn’t long before my trusty Steam FPS counter reported that I was only getting 30. Considering I outright defeat the Ultra requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight with the only difference being I have a GTX 970 and not a 980, this surely should have been impossible.
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It turns out that after some research, the internet is ablaze with people reporting issues. It’s the classic case of bad PC port people, because the game looks fantastic but runs like crap. I should have known the first major warning sign was the extremely limited graphical options, which barely let you tweak anything.
The issues include a 30 FPS lock despite the Benchmark Test deceiving everyone, stuttering, crashes, memory leaks, heavy frame rate drops even without Nvidia Gameworks features disabled and even worse stories for AMD users. This is all in spite of the obligatory new Nvidia drivers which apparently make the game run better. There’s an entire reddit thread where people are in metaphorical tears over the PC port of this game, utterly confused as to why it’s running so badly. It’s so bad in fact that people with Nvidia’s Titan graphics card can’t even get a stable framerate.
At present only the 30 FPS lock has a fix, and it’s a rather easy one at that. All you need to do is open the “BmSystemSettings” INI file with notepad located in C/Program Files (x86)/Steam/Steamapps/common/Batman Arkham Knight/BMGame/Config and press control + F to search for “MaxFPS=30.000000”. Change the ’30’ to ’60’ and you’re set. It’s that easy.
As soon as I did the above fix, my frame rate shot up to 60 and I could at last appreciate the beauty of the game in fluid motion. However I’m still suffering unacceptable frame rate drops when powering through the world, especially at high speeds in the Batmobile. I’ve seen my frame rate drop as low as 37 during the worst moments, but more often than not my PC maintained above 50, which means the game is at least playable once you do this fix – if you have the rig for it.
The scandal doesn’t end there apparently. According to TotalBiscuit, no PC review codes for Arkham Knight are being handed out.
FYI there’s no PC review code for Arkham Knight as far as we know. Thou shalt not preorderr
— John Bain (@Totalbiscuit) June 19, 2015
Just when you thought the bullshit meter was at maximum, I’m afraid there’s more. Asidcast is reporting that apparently the Batman Arkham Knight PC port contains the Denuvo DRM which might just be the culprit for all the performance issues.
The final nail in the coffin, that should make you pissed the hell off if you’re a PC gamer, is that according to the reddit thread mentioned above reviews are temporarily blocked for Batman: Arkham Knight on Steam. I suppose thanks to the large influx of negative ‘pre-release reviews’ from those expecting a patch of some kind to arrive. While I can’t confirm how true this is, the game hasn’t got any new reviews in the last few hours according to Asidcast, so there’s that.
What to do about all this? Well firstly tell Warner Bros to fuck off. Then if you’re impatient you’re going to have to get the game on console where only good reviews exist, otherwise it may be best to wait for patches before you play. I’m sure the issues will be fixed, it’s Warner Bros’ biggest game of the year after all, but there is no doubt at all that this is a downright unacceptable state for the game to launch in. If you’re angered enough, demand a Steam refund and don’t feel one bit bad about it. It’s a crying shame that Rocksteady (if they’re innocent of this farce) have to suffer because of Warner Bros.
It really is a fucking tragedy that we’re in 2015 and this can still happen with one of the biggest games of the year. There are no acceptable excuses for it.
Fix your shit, Warner Bros.