Thursday, July 2, 2015

Arkham Knight: Thoughts So Far

Disclaimer: I have not yet beat Arkham Knight, so I haven't experienced everything this game has to offer. I am also playing the PC port.

     Batman Arkham Knight released on June 23 on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. While the PS4 and Xbox One versions worked fine, the PC version was plagued with bugs, downgrades, and performance issues. Since its release, there has been fan outcry against Rocksteady and WB Entertainment (Developer and Producer respectively) and the game was even pulled from Steam to prevent even more negative press. I will try not to let these factors affect my thoughts on the game (but they probably will).

The Good:

     Gameplay: The fast and responsive attacks, gadgets, and navigation make this game a good experience. The attacks feel powerful but not too heavy, the gadgets are cool and inventive, and the navigation (while it revolves around the batmobile) makes it fun to explore Gotham city on foot and in the air.

    Batmobile: The new Batmobile has received a lot of negative press due to the amount it is used, and while I understand those complaints, it is still a well designed mechanic and vehicle. You feel powerful in the Batmobile and it is fast and fun to drive.

     Story and Characters: So far, about 4 hours in, the story is pretty cool, although a little cliche and the Arkham Knight is a great, menacing character. Though DC Comics have had about 50 years to build up a lore and story around Batman, this game expands on it in a great way.

The Not-So-Good:

     Performance Issues: The game is buggy though none so far affected gameplay in a huge way, mostly just weird physics on things. With my PC build, I should be able to run this game at 60fps with no frame rate issues hitching, yet, the optimization in this port is so bad I can't run it for more than 4 hours continuously without it crashing (i.e I'm running it at 48fps with interactive fog turned off to prevent frame rate hitching). Also, some textures have been downgraded and this game looks like it would run fine on last-gen consoles.

    Batmobile: Simply too much content and missions revolve around the batmobile, and while it makes sense story wise, it gets a little stale using the same mechanics over and over again.

The Ruling So Far:

     This port is Bad; there is hardly any optimization, it was very obviously downgraded to meet time constraints, and we had another AAA title release in terrible condition. I have faith that in a few months this game will be in great condition, and if you can stand the performance issues, occasional crashing, and the negative press around this game I would certainly play this game.

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