Contrite Crusader: Rocksteady ‘Working Like Crazy’ On Fix

I doubt we’ll hear news of exactly how and when harmony will be restored to Gotham City for a few days yet, but after yesterday’s shock withdrawal from Steam, it does at least appear that all hands are on deck to rescue Arkham Knight PC from its doldrums. Rocksteady big boss Sefton Hill has confirmed that his studio is pitching in, rather than leaving it in the hands of initial PC porter Iron Galaxy, and even revealed that console updates are on the back burner until the wonkily-performing PC port’s in hand again.

Hopefully both studios being on the case bodes well for relatively rapid fixes. Hill also mentioned this in a reply to a request for more console challenge map stuff and things:

 

 

Meantime, it’s not just the download version of the game which has been withdrawn from sale for the time being, but also physical copies: you can’t buy it in branches of GAME in the UK now. “We have the stock,” an employee told Eurogamer, “but I’m not allowed to sell it you.” While many have wondered if the pulling is because a publisher seemingly doesn’t get Steam’s cut of a sale returned if someone asks for a refund, this wholesale withdrawal perhaps suggests it’s an even wider panic than that.

What about those of you who’ve already bought it? Are you persevering, or hanging on for a patch? It’s mostly OK for me and my GeForce after a bit of tinkering and compromising, so I’ll probably push on with it over the weekend, but I hear AMDfolk tend to have it quite a bit worse.

72 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    Batman sure looks like an overstuffed sausage in that suit.
    I understand why he feels more comfortable in his Iron Batman getup.

    • w0bbl3r says:

      Sarcasm?
      Or you don’t know that’s the dark knight returns costume, where an ageing Bruce Wayne comes out of retirement to face an ageing Joker.
      I honestly loved that idea as a story, but actually couldn’t finish it since it was so boring.

      • Premium User Badge

        Earl-Grey says:

        I am well aware of the suits origin.
        It does not change the fact that Batman looks like a fat old man in a sausage skin.

        • montorsi says:

          I hope I’m that fat when I’m an old man. Sweet baby jesus.

          • Premium User Badge

            Earl-Grey says:

            I hope I have better taste in superhero outfits when I’m that old.
            Dress to terrify, Batman, not to amuse.

      • Freezern says:

        You got it backwards actually.
        An ageing Joker comes out of “retirement” to face an ageing Batman.

        Batman returns to crimefighting before Joker returns to batfighting, it’s even shown that Joker is revitalized from a near catatonic state by the news reporting on Batman’s return.

    • jonahcutter says:

      That’s his Frank Miller “Dark Knight Return” comic design.

      I was thinking that because his getup looks so costume-y, but also from the shot’s staging, it appears a bit like a couple of cosplayers are about to get their kink on.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        I was gonna say: It looks like Batman’s been doing some…strenuous arm exercises, and necro-lady-Joker or whoever that is in the foreground just walked in on him dressing up as himself. Those beady white “omgwtf” anime eyes with the illusorily raised eyebrows and the slight, yet horrified frown really seal the deal.

    • Chaz says:

      looks like he’s been hitting the steroids pretty bad to me.

      • Xzi says:

        Well, if that does come from the Frank Miller Batman, it’s actually underplaying his size a bit. I forget which animated movie that batman is in, but he’s absolutely monstrous. He fights superman and actually seems to have a chance of winning (albeit with a mech suit that makes him even larger, as well as, naturally, kryptonite).

        • subedii says:

          The 90’s Batman: TAS actually did a show that was basically an excuse to have different incarnations of Batman. DKR Batman was one of them (the other was the more camp 1960’s version)

          link to youtube.com

          I was really surprised to see that whole comic book sequence get an animated treatment.

  2. noamjamski says:

    I’m one of the lucky ones. I have one of the new Alienware Area 51 PCs running two 980s in SLI.

    This is powering a 3440×1440 34″ 21:9 monitor. I have everything turned up all the way and all gameworks settings on.

    For me the game is running very smooth about 90% of the time capped at 30FPS. The only animation that really slows down for whatever reason is jumping into the batmobile.

    In about 15 or so hours with the game, only one mission was unplayable and I failed because of extreme slowdown, which is the side mission to catch Firebug. Otherwise I’m smooth sailing and absolutely LOVING the game.

    • nearly says:

      have you tried turning off the cap? the performance in general isn’t what it should be, but I average 40-50 with the cap off and the slowdown / stutters are no more or less frequent. it’s just nicer to have higher average frames.

      I don’t have nearly your rig but I’ve found it fairly stable after updating drivers. it’s not perfect and shouldn’t run like this at all, but it’s playable for me.

      • noamjamski says:

        I don’t want to jinx anything by removing the cap. Everything is running fine and I am having no texture pop issues (which might be because I am running the game off an SSD). I ran their internal benchmark test and I was averaging between 40-50 FPS, so I figured 30FPS and V-sync would eliminate any issues with tearing.

        Do you see enough of a positive difference at 40 or 45 FPS?

        • nearly says:

          before driver updates, the batmobile was my biggest issue, as it killed framerates and the game would perform that way even after leaving it. now, I get drops in the batmobile, but that’s about it and they’re nowhere near as severe/frequent.

          I may be an odd duck, but I’ve had no crashes at all. running a 2600k and r9 280x with 16gb ram on beta drivers, no overclocks. I did have issues turning off motion blur, but I’ve seen no effect with cap off other than frames going above 30. otherwise, it’s been the same performance with drops at the same rate with/without.

      • frymaster says:

        The cap isn’t for some tinfoil-hattery reason of not exposing the low FPS, it’s because the game tends to crash without it.

        Whether that makes it better or worse is open to interpretation…

        • nearly says:

          sure, but for what it’s worth, I’ve had no crashes at all. apparently I have a magical and lucky hardware configuration, but after updating amd drivers to beta, I have the same exact performance with and without the cap on, the only difference being that it goes above 30 with the cap off and averages about 40-50.

          I did have a lot more stability messing with other settings, like motion blur. easy enough to test and revert if it doesnt work out.

        • Asurmen says:

          Is it? Anecdotal, but the FPS is the ONLY option I can change and it not crash,

    • golem09 says:

      Thing is, with that setup you should easily get a steady 60fps instead of 30fps 90% of the time.

    • anthonyp452 says:

      The game would run that way for most people if they left the cap on, but most PC gamers (myself included) can’t stand 30fps therefore leaving the cap on isn’t a viable way to play the game

  3. almostDead says:

    On the bright side, if you are an engineer at Rocksteady and you are crunching your life away, you at least know you’re their ‘best’.

    On the bright side, if you are an engineer at Rocksteady you know you’re not their ‘best’ if you get a weekend. But you get a weekend.

    • Premium User Badge

      Earl-Grey says:

      You don’t think it’s reasonable that people sacrifice their private lives and personal relationships for this?
      Don’t you understand?!
      If they don’t suffer, we don’t get to play our game!
      Surely nothing can be more important. Screw life, all is fuel for the engines of industry in times of need.

      Oh no, Nurse is coming back, I refuse to take more of her bitter pills!

      • subedii says:

        People payed for a product. They are very “reasonable” in wanting a product that’s fit for purpose after having done so.

        Does it suck that they have to work overtime because of this kerfuffle? Yes.

        Does it suck that the underlings basically get it in the neck with crunch time that’s following more crunch time? Yes.

        It’s a sucky situation. OK?

        The people that paid for their product are still owed what they paid for.

        In most any other industry I can think of or care to mention, if a company put out a broken product, it would basically be all hands on deck and overtime to try and fix it, at least if the company was the least bit responsible.

        • Premium User Badge

          Earl-Grey says:

          I see you and I will not see eye to eye in this matter.
          Unless said “product” is something of actual importance, say some software infrastructure needed to handle vital information like emergency communications or navigational systems, mandated overtime and weekend work is nigh on inhumane.

          • subedii says:

            I’ve spoken endlessly about how horrible crunch time is, especially in the games industry. There’s a reason it has such a ridiculous burnout rate.

            However I also view breaking your deal with your paying customers as freaking terrible as well. They earned their money, and they bought your product. Guess what? You didn’t deliver.

            I mean with Arkham Origins it was literally left broken, and the only reason I can see that doesn’t seem to be happening here is because Warner Brothers are for the first time being hit in the wallet over this. Even continuing to sell broken is no longer an option. To me, that’s a good thing.

            The reason I say it’s a good thing is that come next release I imagine they’re going to want to make REAL sure that they’ve got everything in order. Because the next time this happens, the refund situation isn’t going to be as bad for them. It’ll be probably worse.

            What THAT means is that hopefully, instead of the idiotic scenario we’ve got now, the devs can release and then kick back in a job well done instead of having to fight fires because of a publisher trying to cut corners, shorten dev time, or take the easy way out, resulting in the catastrophe we’re seeing now.

            Now that the game’s been released broken, nothing can turn back that clock. But hopefully it’ll result in something better in the future for everyone concerned.

            Speaking personally for a moment, in every company I’ve ever worked for, if there’s been a case where we haven’t delivered, you’d better believe we busted hump to make sure we did as soon as possible. And then following that, we talk it through, understand WHAT went wrong, and try to FIX the underlying issues. Yeah in the short term it’s painful. In the long term, it’s made things better, with better work practices and acknowledging that sometimes things WILL take longer to do properly, but that this is better than the alternative.

            The problem doesn’t go away simply by ignoring it, and the customer hates you all the more if you do. Arkham Knight is largely proof of that. It’s not an isolated incident, but the latest in a LONG line of failures stemming from the same issues. And by appearances, it’s one of the rare occasions where it’s getting kick-back. What I’m hoping is that this leads to improvements for everyone in future, because the publisher can no longer just plug their ears and ignore the results.

          • Xzi says:

            Well I’m sure none of the people working on this want to see their game review-bombed and trashed on the internet for the rest of time. One weekend of extra work is not too much to ask. After all, they could have just handled this themselves from the get-go, and maybe should have delayed the PC version a bit. They made this extra work for themselves.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            I am deeply saddened that you actually think anybody that’s doing useful work on this game right now got a word edgewise about whether it was fit to be released.

          • czerro says:

            I love people like you. Your argument can always be easily validated by ‘starving children in Fantasystan that you will never notably impact by action or inaction, allows some commercial company magical leeway to sell you coal’. Sure, that reasoning is sound and connective….

            I love Moral High Ground Fallacy, because it requires that your investment be exactly what you are deriding and exposing your own double standard: starving children in Fantasystan, just kinda don’t matter, because, despite being bilked, Arkham Knight is ‘good enough’ for you. Bizarrely, you don’t have to wrestle with your moral quandry over it’s worth getting worked up over a game, cause you got so worked up about it that ‘Fantasystan’ don’t matter no more.

          • Bluestormzion says:

            It doesn’t matter if the product is important or not. What matters is that the product was paid for.

            I sell flowers. Those things not being “important” doesn’t give me the right to sell people things that are dead or diseased. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t spread the fungus, when things go wrong I have a responsibility to right them. That’s just reality. You are responsible for the things you do.

        • aleander says:

          Yes, it’s a “sucky situation”, but “sucky situation” is no justification for crunch. Crunch is for situation that create danger. I’m all for allowing refunds and being angry at their management, but there is no justification for pulling the rank and file from their rest to fix a computer game.

          • Xzi says:

            I don’t understand. What else does the “rank and file” do other than work on computer games? I don’t think Rocksteady was busy maintaining the US government’s firewall against the Chinese when they were told the PC version of Arkham Kerniggut needed fixing.

          • Scelous says:

            Xzi, for the record, I agree with you completely. But I assume what aleander is saying is the other thing that the “rank and file” does besides work on computer games is spend time with friends and family and enjoy life.

          • Xzi says:

            Well, if Rocksteady were to be fair about it, they’d give those employees who have to work through the weekend two days off during the following week. They’ll probably be giving the entire team a fair amount of time off after a smooth release has been introduced to all three platforms. Assuming there are no major/game-breaking bugs in the release version, anyway.

          • DrollRemark says:

            Oh sure, I bet they’ll give a bunch of employees a whole load of time off after they’re done re-releasing the game.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            The really lucky ones will get to go to a farm upstate, where they can run and be free.

          • Xzi says:

            I’m sure all involved would prefer we not consider that initial disaster to be the actual release of the game on PC. Including all the hard-at-work software engineers who wanted their names on a memorable, enjoyable game. So if you want to support the working man in this case, the best way to go about it is not to cry him a river, but rather to give the game a chance when it’s fixed.

      • SuicideKing says:

        To be fair, people work hard so that they can afford to pay $60 for a luxury like a video game.

        And frankly if Rocksteady/WB/Iron Galaxy had planned and managed properly, no one would be suffering.

        • hemmer says:

          The thing is: The ones who mismanaged the whole thing are almost certainly not the ones crunching their sanity away right now.

          That’s what really irks me in these scenarios. :\

  4. w0bbl3r says:

    Using AMD 8350 4Ghz 8 core CPU, 8GB RAM and an nvidia GTX960 4GB card, I get mostly good play. I get stutters when entering the batmobile and going into a glide at high altitude and speed, but other than that it’s pretty good, except for the texture load-in, which happens mostly during dialogue scenes, especially the firefighters when I rescue them.
    I get some random stutter in the batmobile as well, but this is rare and brief. Game is not perfect by any means, but it’s more than playable.
    I do feel for the others though, who can’t play it at all.
    What makes this launch especially annoying is that the game itself is actually fantastic, and seems to be an awesome finale to the story they have been telling since the asylum

  5. best_jeppe says:

    Well, never really started playing it but have uninstalled it waiting for them to fix the game. Considering it took them 6+ months to patch and fix Arkham City back in the day I am assuming it will take about as long time to fix Arkham Knight.

  6. FadedEchos says:

    Lucky one here! Playing on a 4690k oc’d to 4.5, and a gtx 970, installed on an SSD, 8gb ram -> Shadows on normal, fancy fog and paper off, running slightly above 1080p and it goes fine. Turn on the the fancies and it gets occasional chop while gliding but that’s all, still playable.

  7. Synesthesia says:

    Fuck crunch and everything about this. We need proper words about this.

  8. xGryfter says:

    Other than some occasional texture streaming issues on low priority objects the game is running beautifully for me. I’m generally pretty lucky when it comes to PC gaming, I rarely have to deal with bugs in my games, common or otherwise. Maybe it’s my choice in hardware when I’m building my systems or maybe it’s just pure luck but whatever it is sometimes I feel like I’m the only PC gamer not having to deal with this BS.

    It really is a shame this is happening because it truly is a great game, hopefully this will be a good lesson for all PC developers and more importantly for PC publishers. While I enjoyed City and Origins quite a bit Arkham Asylum has always been my favorite Batman game of the series, until now. I think Knight manages to capture the tight story telling of the original with a better open world design. This game is an absolute must play for fans of the series so I really hope RockSteady and company get their shit together quickly, not only for their sake but for the sake of the fans.

  9. montorsi says:

    Still playing it. While the visual fidelity is disappointing, I’ve been able to use a shader suite to implement some light AO and Nvidia Inspector to boost AA/AF for a somewhat better experience.

    The gameplay itself is fantastic. Shame about the port. It’s the best 2015 game I’ve played not named Invisible Inc.

  10. aircool says:

    Shouldn’t have been on the shelves in the first place.

  11. Hobbes says:

    What amuses me is that the metacritic score was more or less entirely based initially on the PS4 version. This has to be one of the greatest examples of “Curated reviewing” I’ve seen. When a game that nails a metacritic for a multiplatform release of 89 or so does so because it sent out review copies -exclusively- for one platform (PS4), and at least at the time of writing there’s scarcely half a dozen PC reviews (which, incidentally, is getting panned, no surprises) and even less for Xbox one, it doesn’t take a genius to work out what’s happened here.

    “Give us an overall score based on the PS4 version?”
    “But what about the Xbox one and PC Versions?”
    “They’ll be fine, honest.”
    “Oh, okay. We’ll take the review copy.”

    Review sites that deal in multiplatform releases should be ashamed of themselves, they saw this coming and turned a blind eye. *Facepalms*

    • fish99 says:

      Metacritic scores the versions separately.

      • Hobbes says:

        Except the site review scores are generally treated as broad swathes. When you google up Arkham knight, at least until recently Metacritic wouldn’t even GIVE you a score for the other two versions (I wonder why…), and if you headed to any site that deals in multiplat review, their primary score was based entirely on the strength of the PS4 review.

        Like I said. Not the best of showings this time around. They should have waited and done a check to make sure the XBone and PC versions passed muster before blindly stamping high scores on it. (Considering Warner Brothers strongarm tactics for PR in the light of the Shadow of Mordor mess, this doesn’t surprise me one bit).

  12. Premium User Badge

    jythanatos says:

    I know I am lucky, and seemingly in the minority, but it runs fine for me.
    Granted, I have a pretty hefty system, but I have very little issue with this game at
    System:
    i7-4790 @4.00 GHz
    16 GB Ram
    AMD R290 GPU

    I run it at.
    2560 x 1440
    Shadows -Low
    Most everything else at Medium.

    It’s very playable for me with almost no drop in the frame rate. The only times I really notice it is when the game goes into slo-mo for the last hit when fighting a group of guys. Batmobile and gliding works fine for me.
    With everything going on, I feel extremely lucky, as I am enjoying it quite a bit.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    With this release and other high profile fails recently, it looks like the big publishers may finally be listening.
    EA are now claiming they will delay Battlefront if it’s not right.
    link to mcvuk.com

    • jonahcutter says:

      If this debacle has the bigger publishers running scared away from their hard release dates and towards more solid, functional releases, it’s a big net plus.

  14. Simon_Scott says:

    Presumably, though, if the game doesn’t work on PC, people who bought physical copies would be in their rights to return them and get their money back too. Are physical copies distributed “sale or return”? Doesn’t the Steam returns policy level the playing field (and presumably, you know, complies with distance selling regulation)?

  15. Smuckers says:

    I’m mostly just dissapointed at the shoddy port, rather than angry. I can run it at a mostly locked 30 without the fog effects (970, i5 4.2 oc), but it eats my ram. I decided to just wait until it gets better instead of returning it. I really can’t bring myself to play it until the missing ao and rain effects are patched in, and the performance gets much better. Oh well, it’s kinda shocking how bad the port is considering iron galaxy did a decent job on the arkham oranges port. That game definitely had some bugs, but it performed better than arkham city did when it launched. I hope we don’t have to wait too long to see kernigghts in better shape.

  16. fish99 says:

    Mine was running great after unlocking the framerate and putting the latest drivers on, but since I’ve still only played an hour or so, I can’t say anything conclusive at all.

    • fish99 says:

      Played the first 3 hours and it still seems pretty good. Tiny bit of stuttering here and there, and some occasions where the FPS would drop to 30-40, but only when driving the batmobile. Seems pretty decent for how good it looks, but if they can optimize it further that’ll only make it better.

  17. zat0ichi says:

    The industry really is not giving PC gamers much of a break. This is just another title to add to the list.

  18. Diziet Sma says:

    It’s completely unplayable for me, I’m just waiting patiently on a fix. I’m fairly sure they’ll get it into a playable state before the refund window is up.

  19. Judas says:

    How can these glaring PC issues not be revealed in QA?

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Others have pointed this out, but generally these things *are* revealed by QA in extensive detail and devs would like nothing more than to fix them, but when you have a hard deadline at some point a decision is made to ship (by the publisher, not the devs) and you never get to fix or add everything. Where that line is is a matter of time and budget.

  20. Insidious Rex says:

    I’m one of the lucky ones and it runs perfectly fine for me (only at the locked 30fps mind) I’ve got an AMD card too, a 7970 GHZ.

    The game is fantastic too, nearly finished it after playing it for way too long today.

  21. JiminyJickers says:

    I’m only expecting them to optimise it for 30 fps, so I got a refund. I bought the PS4 version instead, which runs and looks better (crazy as it sounds). I will eventually buy the GOTY edition down the line for PC if they ever fix it, but only at a very high discount.

  22. Smeghead says:

    I’d imagine that if I could even buy the game, my poor little GTX660 would require me to turn the settings so far down to attain “smoothness” that the result would look something like this:

    link to s6.postimg.org

    In the grand scheme of things, it looks like Steam’s timing on refunds was brilliant bordering on sublime. The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if Valve got an early look at how the PC version was running and foresaw the shitstorm that was brewing…

  23. It's not me it's you says:

    Apart from the framerate suffering when the game suddenly has to generate Cool NVidia Smoke(tm), the whole thing runs very nicely for me, I’ve been playing a good bit of it the last few days with everything on high.

    Am greatly enjoying my time with the game, happy to have pre-ordered at a decent discount, Would Do So Again.

  24. stoner says:

    I love how Rockstar stepped up early in the fray to address the issue. They quickly admitted there was a problem and didn’t side-step it. Compare Rockstar’s response to the EA’s botched and total incompetence when launching SimCity, where they blamed the user, not their crappy game.

    Rockstar’s response to this launch is a role model for devs and publishers.

    • fish99 says:

      Ahem…..RockSteady.

      Don’t worry, it’s a common mistake, even the RPS staff have been at it :)

  25. fish99 says:

    First patch is out which fixes the missing wet effects and AO, fixes the crash on exit and the crash if you turn off motion blur in the ini. Tiny steps….