Thursday, June 25, 2015

Batman: Arkham Knight PC Performance - A short rant

By now, many PC gamers are complaining about serious PC performance issues with Batman: Arkham Knight. In short, it's an extremely poor quality port. My two cents on the matter.

It's very disappointing to see such a lacklustre port of an otherwise solid game, and a technical marvel, especially on PS4. Eurogamer has done an awesome tech analysis on how impressive the PS4 version is on a technical and graphics level.

It's looks great on current gen consoles, and it runs smoothly with barely any frame drops and hitching, which is baffling, because why then does the game drop below 30 fps at just 1080p on my new $1000 Geforce GTX Titan X graphics card? Just take a look at the footage below that I've recorded with ShadowPlay and just see the performance for yourself. The framerate drops are especially apparent when you are flying, or on the Batmobile.

And then you have the controversy that the game is locked at 30fps unless you change some settings in the INI files. Why do we have to do this "hack" when Nvidia were so proudly showing off some 60fps footage in their Arkham Knight Gameworks trailer on their YouTube channel? Why is this option not even in the menus? Seems a bit contradictory, isn't it?

Now, I wouldn't be pissed off that much if the game can look much better than the console versions as a trade off for a bit of performance. But what hit the final nail in the coffin for me, and what truly angered me about this port, is that certain graphical features on the console versions are downright missing on the PC. Stuff like ambient occlusion and depth-of-field effects are missing! Allow me to bring another Eurogamer Digital Foundry analysis for reference. Not to mention some horrendous looking texture quality on certain walls, which makes no sense at all for a PC game that has such high system requirements. And why does texture settings only go to normal? High or Very High settings for textures are apparently missing as well. So essentially, you have a PC game that not only looks worse than the console versions, but performs even worse, a double whammy of poor quality.

Well, things have got so bad on Steam that Rocksteady Games have decided to suspend their PC sales of the game until this has been fixed. In my honest opinion, they should have delayed the PC version and at least be honest and tell the consumers that they are polishing the PC port. Rockstar Games did that for Grand Theft Auto V, and the result is a very good PC port. I would tell you to hold off buying the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight until this is fixed, but I guess with the PC sales suspended for now, there's no point telling you now.

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