The Red-Faced Knight Returns: Batman's Back On Steam
So, let's try this again. After a three and a half month hiatus, Batman: Arkham Knight [official site] is now available on Steam again. It was pulled off sale in July after criticisms of the PC version's poor performance reached fever pitch, but I don't think any of us really expected it would take this long to return. But now it has, along with all the DLC released for the untroubled console versions in the meantime. Warner are also offering all previous Arkham games for free to folk who purchased Arkham Knight between its initial release and November 16, along with a forthcoming Community Challenge Pack DLC and "Batman: Arkham inspired Team Fortress 2 items created by the Batman: Arkham community."
The re-release hasn't gone completely smoothly, however. SLI and Crossfire aren't playing nice, and some folk with single GPUs are even reporting issues on newer drivers. Meanwhile, "For Windows 10 users, we’ve found that having at least 12GB of system RAM on a PC allows the game to operate without paging and provides a smoother gameplay experience." Holy high disposable incomes, Batman - 12 Gigabytes?
That's the first time a game's ever asked for that much, isn't it? I've 'only' got 8, and all my RAM slots are full so going to 12 would be a pretty major undertaking. I, er, might just put up with a bit of stuttering, I guess. Earlier Windowses doesn't have quite such eye-watering requirements, but "a hard drive paging issue with some GPUs on Windows 7 may occur after extended gameplay sessions. If you encounter this, simply re-launching the game will resolve the issue." The devs also say they're working with NVIDIA and AMD to sort out the SLI and driver issues. A few more details on that are here.
As for the freebies, they comprise Steam codes for Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY, Batman: Arkham City GOTY, Batman: Arkham Origins, and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. I'm guessing quite a few Arkham Knight players own those already, so it strikes me that offering free season passes for Arkham Knight DLC might have been wiser?
However, anyone who bought or buys Knight before Nov 16 will also get the aforementioned Community Challenge map pack, and the PC playerbase as a whole will have access to that a week before consoleland does. The Team Fortress 2 stuff relates to a contest Valve and Warner are running, in which people can submit Batman-themed items to Steam's Team Fortress 2 Workshop. Winning entries will receive a whole raft of Warner games, as well as "being featured as the Genuine-quality items awarded for Arkham Knight Steam purchase." And, quite possibly, a wodge of cash if the items sell well after the Nov 16 window closes and anyone what then wants them has to pay. More details here. I'm relying on you to make a Danny DeVito/Oswald Cobblepot outfit for The Heavy.
We'll delve into the re-released Arkham Knight to see how its second time in the sun is working out ASAP, but in the meantime I'm delighted to see all those Michael Keaton and Adam West costumes now available, along with three chunks of story DLC. It's a shame that stuff isn't freesies for first-time-around-the-block purchasers, but hey, at least the thing's back at last.