Very disheartening news for PC gamers: Batman: Arkham Knight is slightly improved over its release in June but you'll need the mythical $3,000 super-rig to run it at 1080p and 60fps... and even then you're not guaranteed a solid experience. That's according to a new performance analysis.
Richard Leadbetter from Digital Foundry did a detailed analysis on the re-release of Batman: Arkham Knight for PC, detailing all of the incremental changes that occurred for the game.
Following the interim patch that was supposed to help with Batman: Arkham Knight's performance on PC back in September, Warner Bros worked with the developers to further enhance the game and improve stability across low, medium and high-tier hardware. However, the game's performance hasn't really increased all that much.
According to the Digital Foundry analysis, you'll need a GTX 960 or R9 280X at the minimum to run the game at 1080p locked at 30fps. If you don't mind 30fps with some occasional screen-tearing then Nvidia's mid-tier Maxwell card will do you well. If you're running Windows 10 then you'll need at least 12GB of RAM to play the game. Even then you'll still have to turn down the texture quality and shadows to get a stable boost in performance.
If you want to run the gamut of high-end visuals, you'll need a lot more than a $300 card. According to the Digital Foundry piece, Batman: Arkham Knight will require a GTX 980 with 4GB of VRAM, an i7 4790K and 16GB of RAM to hit 60fps at 1080p with all the graphics turned up. However, even with a high-end setup it was reported that the game still had dips below 60fps. With a GTX 970 the game dipped down to 57 through 59fps regularly and on a R9 290X they dipped down below 53fps on occasion with tearing.
The whole thing is a mess, despite spending four months attempting to fix the game.
It really is a slap in the face to gamers who wanted to purchase the title only to find that they would need a supercomputer to play it. But as noted by Digital Foundry, even spending money on a top-end computer doesn't net you a complete experience. You'll still have to turn down graphics, modify settings in the Nvidia control panel or tweak with the game's graphics.
Batman: Arkham Knight is definitely more playable now than it was back in June, but it's not really optimized.
It's a disappointing state of affairs because rightfully point out that this sort of thing can seriously hurt the reputation of Warner Bros., Interactive Entertainment moving forward. Instead of gamers trusting that they will get a decent, well-rounded gaming experience from the publisher, they'll automatically assume that the game may launch broken. In fact, this was a common concern amongst PC gamers when Mad Max was launching back in the early parts of September. This is despite the fact that Avalanche Studios is well known for having very optimized PC ports.
At this junction it's hard to see Batman: Arkham Knight ever living up to its true potential on PC, but hopefully the game will continue to get optimized and fixed until it does.