It looks like the long-running Batman: Arkham Knight debacle might finally be coming to an end. Warner Bros Interactive has been very quiet about the troubled PC release of Arkham Knight, and this latest announcement has been no exception. In a press release announcing the last Arkham Knight DLC for September, Warner Bros snuck in the news that the PC re-release would be happening "in the coming weeks".
Back in June, Arkham Knight was released on console and PC and, almost immediately, the PC version was pulled amidst reports of performance so buggy that the game was rendered virtually unplayable. Amidst an online furor, the PC version disappeared from Steam and other retailers while Warner Bros and Rocksteady went back to the drawing board. According to the International Business Times, it was subsequently revealed that Arkham Knight's PC development had been outsourced to a smaller, third party organization while Rocksteady focused on the console versions. Gamers took to the net to express their displeasure, especially those who had bought not only the game, but the season pass. PC patches released earlier this month fixed some of the problems, but not all of them. The fact that the patch included extra customization options for graphics, allowing players to elect for lower visual quality settings, seemed to be a tacit acknowledgement of this. Batman fans were also not a little disgruntled at the fact that the patch was released barely a month before the term of the season pass was due to expire.
All of this is something of a shame, as critics and reviewers have mostly been very positive about Batman: Arkham Knight. Even traditionally harsh critics like IGN gave the game a four and a half star rating. It would seem that Rocksteady got everything right except their choice of hire for the PC version. Many reviewers have praised the game's combat and look, presumably on console, as well as its take on open world gaming. Endgadget's review remarked on the fact that Rocksteady's characteristic linearity was actually something of a bonus, making for an experience that lacks the "open world ADD" of games like GTA V.
The next two DLC packs look like they do more than just provide new skins and challenges. As reported previously by the Inquisitr, the GCPD Lockdown story DLC will be the first in a series of mini-story extensions coming through the year. Highly anticipated additions like Christian Bale's Batman costume will also be coming out, with Rocksteady putting it to the fans to tell them whether they want the Batman Begins or Dark Knight batsuits. On top of this, there will be new challenges for Batman, Robin, Catwoman, Nightwing, and the Batmobile. And even at the most pessimistic interpretation of what "the coming weeks" actually means, it seems likely that the PC re-release should be in time for some of Arkham Knight's most exciting new DLC content.
October's DLC packs look good as well, with Warner Bros announcing a classic TV Series pack, with skins and vehicles from the 1960 Batman TV show. All the usual new AR challenges will drop, except for Catwoman, who will instead feature in a new story DLC which follows up from the single player plotline. This rich stream of new content is possibly, in part, intended to soothe ruffled PC gamer feathers. It is yet to be seen whether it will work, especially as the PC port continues to be patched. Rocksteady says it has been working closely with its third party partner to fix Arkham Knight's PC woes and, although reactions have been a little mixed, most gamers are taking to the forums to say that the patches have resulted in significant improvements.
Players are now speculating as to the price, with some gamers on the Arkham Knight forums hinting that a release at full price would not be well received. Whatever happens, the re-release of Batman: Arkham Knight is probably good news for the progress of Rocksteady's efforts to fix up the PC version, and even better news for those PC gamers who have opted to wait for the re-release.
[Pictures courtesy of Warner Bros]