There is a reason Batman: Arkham Knight is getting a joint review. You’ve probably guessed the reason as to why. One of us here owns the game on Steam while the other owns it on the PS4. Needless to say, our experiences with Arkham Knight is vastly different, with one of us enjoying it while the other tears his hair out with frustration and with much gnashing of teeth. Before we get into the game proper though, we’re going to run through some of the problems that plagues the PC port of Arkham Knight.
So….where do we begin with the problems Arkham Knight PC has? Booting the game up sounds like a good place to start so let’s go with that. Our problems with Arkham Knight PC began as soon as we clicked the Play button on Steam. Immediately, the game boots up and caused our laptop’s monitor to flicker uncontrollably. During this time, we tried to Alt-Tab into other programs but it doesn’t work.
Then we tried to Ctrl-Alt-Del in order to reach the Task Manager, but that didn’t work either as the screen continues to flash when we hit the Desktop. Nothing else allowed us to shut down the game properly so we’re forced to hard reset the entire laptop. That was attempt number one in trying to run Arkham Knight. Now that the laptop has been restarted, we figured that maybe Arkham Knight has some corrupt files that needed to be reinstalled, so we decided to verify the integrity of the cache file.
This simple act resulted in the ENTIRE GAME getting DELETED and us having to REDOWNLOAD all 30+GB of game data. So after leaving the laptop overnight to download the game data for a second time, we returned to the office expecting to be able to get another shot at booting the game. But of course, that would be too easy as the log shows that our download was interrupted at the 90% mark due to some connectivity issues. This caused the entire second download to cancel out immediately, meaning we had to REDOWNLOAD THE WHOLE DAMN GAME FOR A THIRD TIME.
Figuring that we really don’t care about the proverb where time is money or something of the sort, we’ve decided to give the game another chance and download it again. So the game was successfully installed and downloaded this time and we gave it another go, but again, that screen flickering thing persisted. We went through the Steam forums trying to look for a solution to that problem and it turns out that the game has issues with mobile graphic cards. Keep in mind that we are installing and running the game on a laptop so the graphic cards are of the M variety.
The solution to this was to add a line in the launch command to force it into Windowed mode. This finally allows the game to boot up properly and we managed to reach the Main Menu of the game. Time taken to get it to work: 3 days.
Break It All
But that’s just part one of the issues we had with the PC port of Arkham Knight. While we’d like to go through the problem with the PC port of the game in much detail, it would just turn this review into a four-page rant of the game without actually reaching the gameplay.
Instead we’ll just give you a list of issues that we encountered when playing the game. They are: locked 30 FPS framerate, poor performances on top of the line NVidia and AMD cards (980 TI and Titan X included), random crashes, frequent slowdowns, and general sluggishness. In short, it was a horrible experience altogether and the outcry was so bad that Warner Bros has pulled the game from Steam, meaning you can’t buy it out of morbid curiosity even if you wanted to. Seeing as our attempt to review Arkham Knight on the PC was a bust, we decided to review it for the consoles instead, and we regretted not doing so in the first place, as it would’ve saved a lot of anger, hate, disappointment and time.
Do You Know Fear?
Now that we’ve worked the anger off our system, let’s talk about Arkham Knight. Arkham Knight is the third instalment of Rocksteady’s trilogy of Batman games. Yes, there is Arkham Origins, but that isn’t made by Rocksteady so it doesn’t count. The events of Arkham Knight occurs a few months after Arkham City. Scarecrow is back in town and has managed to unite most of Batman’s enemies into a tense truce in order to take out everybody’s favourite bat-themed vigilante. He has also threatened to release his newly created fear toxins onto Gotham City, causing all the civilians to evacuate the city. With Gotham completely evacuated, the city itself is now a playground for the likes of Two-Face, the Penguin, Scarecrow and others to run amuck. Besides the villains that you know and love, another character that goes by the name of the Arkham Knight is overseeing Scarecrow’s operation and has a major bone to pick with Batman. You, being Batman, must see to it that they are back behind bars, and you’ll do so by breaking bones and causing a serious amount of pain.
Crack Some Skulls
By this point, we would already be highly familiar with the combat system in the Arkham games. Aside from some welcomed improvements and additions, Rocksteady didn’t mess with the formula for Arkham Knight as the combat feels slicker, fluid and slightly more polished than it was in Arkham City. Chaining together a long combo feels just as satisfying as the previous games and a huge chunk of the gadgets are available from the start of the game, meaning you can start combo-ing fisticuffs and gadgets immediately. Predator mode is largely unchanged as well, but now the mooks in the game are much, much wiser than the previous games. When cautious, they would actively stick in groups, report in with each other, and generally make themselves less vulnerable than in the previous games. The Knight’s personal militia, on the other hand, adds more variety and challenge by planting mines near grates or vantage points, set up sentry guns, command drones to scan areas, revive KO-ed teammates, and even jam Batman’s detective vision. Intimidated? Don’t be. You’re Batman.
Byline : by Sia Zhen Ning and Rul MK
…Continued in second part: The Batmobile V8