[UPDATE 6/25] Warner Bros. and Rocksteady have announced they will be suspending Arkham Knight sales on PC while they look for solutions to the large amount of performance problems users have been experiencing. While it’s good to see the developers looking to solve the issue, we have no idea how the game was ever released in this state. There are very few games that have ever been recalled like this, and even at that, it’s usually for an oversight on a social issue, rarely for unplayability.

Original Story:

In case you haven’t heard, Arkham Knight released yesterday and has generally received much critical acclaim…except from one group.

One quick look at any review aggregate site will reveal that the black sheep of the generally warm response belongs to Steam, where the game currently holds a “Mostly Negative” review score. If you’re thinking ahead, you probably already know the reason for this discrepancy.

Poor optimization.

It would appear that regardless of which GPU company you’ve sworn allegiance to or how smooth you can run The Witcher 3 on ultra, Batman: Arkham Knight will struggle to run at a consistent 30 fps.

PC users are not unfamiliar with poor releases. The first Dark Souls was only saved by some user created patches, and Assassin’s Creed Unity can still make even the mightiest of rigs sweat. The real question is why Warner Bros. would allow a terrible release of a much anticipated title to see the light of day. While they have taken note of the issue and are working on a solution, they’ve released a recommended settings list to get the most out of the game. We’ll pull out the relevant info for you:

Recommended Hardware Specs

(or equivalent)

  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • V-Sync: On
  • Anti-Aliasing: On
  • Texture Resolution: Normal
  • Shadow Quality: Normal
  • Level of Detail: Normal
  • Interactive Smoke/Fog: Off
  • Interactive Paper Debris: Off
  • Enhanced Rain: Off
  • Enhanced Light Shafts: Off


Expected: 30fps (capped)

PC users are pretty realistic about the limitations of their hardware, but these specs are a low-blow to those who have components that exceed those recommended by Warner Bros. Even The Witcher 3 can soar past 30 fps with almost every setting on Ultra with a modest setup. Compare this to the port of Alien: Isolation (granted, not the best looking game of the bunch) that can run on max settings on almost downright ancient GPUs.

Still, we suppose now is a good a time as any to try out Steam’s new refund policy.

Or while you wait for a patch, you can replay Arkham City, which we happened to just review for you in anticipation of Arkham Knight:

Steve Dixon

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