Does It Run Crysis? Batman Publisher Fixes Bugs With Lower Settings, No Fix for Fridging

Bruce Wayne does pretty well for himself in the videogame world, with eleven authorized Batman games released in the last six years. Of those eleven, six of them have been in the Batman: Arkham series. Arkham Asylum, the first installation in the series, holds the Guinness World Record for “Most critically acclaimed superhero videogame.” So, you would think that the developer, Rocksteady Studios, would have it down to a science at this point. Yet fans are very unhappy with yesterday’s PC release of Batman: Arkham Knight due to problems with the audio, frame rate stuttering, and more glitches. The publisher, Warner Bros., suggestion? Turn your settings down.

UPDATE: The game has been pulled until they fix the problem.

The graphics card companies AMD and Nvidia have released patches in the hours since the release, hoping to help solve the problem, some retailers have offered a refund if the next patch doesn’t fix the issues, and somewhat reassuring statements have been made by both Rocksteady and Warner Bros. The most major development in all of this is that WB has suggested that players turn their settings down until a more substantial patch can be made. And yet.

I know that the development process of a game is complex and highly nuanced. I know that mistakes happen. But AMD and Nvidia are major video card companies. How did this escape the testers in Quality Control? The release of this fourth major addition to the series was highly anticipated and the players’ disappointment at being unable to enjoy it is very understandable.

When I am paying $59.99 USD, before tax, for a game I want it to be as pretty, if not more, than the console version for the same price. In fact, a great many gamers decide to play games on PC rather than consoles so that they can have the best-looking experience possible. They upgrade their machines with better (possibly AMD or Nvidia) graphics card, buy the newest processors, add a stick of ram, do a bunch of computer magic so that they can play these games on high-resolution settings. Rocksteady knows that, but somehow came to the ring unprepared on this, their third major fight.

If you’re one of the poor souls that is stuck in glitch hell, here are the recommended settings for playing your game:

Minimum Hardware Specs (or equivalent)

  • Resolution: 1280×720
  • V-Sync: Off
  • Anti-Aliasing: Off
  • Texture Resolution: Low
  • Shadow Quality: Low
  • Level of Detail: Low
  • Interactive Smoke/Fog: Off
  • Interactive Paper Debris: Off
  • Enhanced Rain: Off
  • Enhanced Light Shafts: Off

Expected:  30fps (capped)


And all of this to play a game that’s apparently incredibly violent toward women. Yes, I’m talking about Barbara Gordon being shot down in order to become Oracle. DC Women Kicking Ass shared her thoughts about the situation here. The most upsetting scene in which Batman hallucinates (under Scarecrow’s gas) that Oracle shoots herself in the head while tied to her wheelchair. The audience does not see her pull the trigger, but they see her holding the gun to her head and her limp body afterward.

So while I’m sure the too little too late patch will fix the bugs sooner rather than later, players still must watch a young woman shot, then robbed of her agency, used as a pawn, and then kill herself. All for the sake of “punishing” a (Bat)man.

  1. Joshua L. D.

    June 24, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Are you seriously complaining about this game subverting Oracles fridging? The hallucination is just that. This is a game where Batman’s complete and utter failure as a hero is being demonstrated. He failed to save Barbara from Joker. He failed to save Jason from Joker. He (psychotically) recruited Tim Drake before he even found Jason Todd before his death. This is a game where them using Oracle and Barabara’s back story is a major part of the theme of the whole Arkhamverse, something you and I both know another person wrote years ago. Them using Oracle specifically mirrors the Arkham Knight, both brutalized by the Joker (who in this universe has subjugated everyone not just women and that itself is major criticism of every game in the Arkham series, too much Joker prevents other characters development and expansion) Basically I can’t believe your ignorance in this article when you instead could have included and discussed the themes of the entire series, the Joker and exploitation, and also reflected on why it is they decided to include Batgirl as the headline DLC if they are just going to repeat her most maligned (DC’s/Alan Moore’s) arc.

    1. Al

      June 25, 2015 at 11:11 am

      Joshua – If I was doing an in-depth analysis of this game and I left out “the themes of the entire series, the Joker and exploitation…” etc etc, I would understand your frustration.

      However, this is a news post reporting on (1) the bugs in the PC version of the game, (2) others’ frustration with the treatment of a female character.

      Barbara Gordon is still injured, tied to a chair, used as a pawn, and we watch her (whether in a hallucination or not) hold a gun to her head. Those are things that happen in the game.

  2. Noyemi K

    June 25, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Does it really count as the character losing their agency when they’re a hallucination?


    1. Claire Napier

      June 26, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks for your input

    2. Al

      June 26, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Hey Noyemi,

      Have you played the game? Because I’m referring to her being tied to a wheelchair and used as a pawn between her father, Batman, and Scarecrow on a rooftop as the loss of her agency.
      That parts not a hallucination.

      Thanks for your thoughtful inquiry though.

  3. lily

    June 27, 2015 at 11:30 am

    And this is why we need more women writing these things, so this doesn’t keep happening. Good Lord men, can you not think of a way to write a woman character where she’s not just a tool to advance the main guys plot? I’m so tired of seeing the hero man’s girlfriend used just so she can be raped or brutalized to mess with the guy. How about a woman who grows organically through life’s trials [whether war or civilization] like the men?

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