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Batman: Arkham Knight: How bad are the issues? Pretty bad.

Gordon Mah Ung | June 26, 2015
PC gamers, we should have expected this.

PC gamers, we should have expected this.

Despite this year being our year, with our own dedicated PC-gaming show at E3, Batman: Arkham Knight is an unkindly reminder of where we stand with game developers: Console gamers got a brilliantly crafted game while we're stuck with a standard-issue, glitch-filled port.

At least that's what nearly 8,000 and counting people on Steam are saying about this brand-new game. The torches and pitchforks became numerous enough by Wednesday night that WB Games made the nearly unprecedented decision to indefinitely suspended sales of the PC version of Arkham Knight until its problems can be resolved.

As one of the hottest games of the season, Batman: Arkham Knight had big marketing dollars behind it and a strong Metacritic score of 89 filling its sails. Every one of those critics, however, reviewed the PlayStation 4 version. No reviews of the PC port were published before the game was shipped.

With thousands of people who purchased the PC version filing complaints about texture flashing, crashing, stuttering, and terrible frame rates, Batman: Arkham Knight is what's technically called a hot stinking mess.

To find out just how bad it was, I fired up Batman: Arkham Knight on the most powerful gaming PC I had on hand: a 4-way SLI GeForce Titan X rig with a Core i7-5960X overclocked to 4.5GHz, RAIDed SSDs, and 16GB of DDR4/2666 RAM. What does $11,000 worth of fire-breathing, meat-eating metal get you? How about 30 frames per second? (insert needle-scratch sound).

And no, that's not at surround 4K or straighforward 4K resolution. WB Games decided to lock Arkham Knight down to 30 fps no matter what hardware you're running. Whether it's a GeForce GTX 960 or a four-way GeForce Titan X setup, this game will max out at 30 frames per second running on a PC.

The good news is there's a workaround, but you'll need to dig into an INI file rather than, oh, use an in-game switch.

Backup your game first, and then dig into C:\ProgramFiles(x86)\Steam\ steamapps\common\Batman Arkham Knight\BMGame\Config, and then open BmSystemSettings.ini in Notepad and look for the line that says MaxFPS=30.000000. Changing that to either 60 or 120 will allow the game to run at higher frame rates. 

But then there's crashing too

On my 4-way system, I initially ran the game at 1080p to see if issues would crop up; but once I'd changed that .INI file, I decided to let it run in its full 4K glory: I was immediately greeted with the game crashing as soon as I tried to run it in benchmark mode. After that crash, it never went back to working without mucking around. Even setting the .INI file back to a maximum of 30 fps didn't help.

 

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