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According to our 'Batman: Arkham games ranked from worst to best' list, the running order of Warner Bros' caped crusading games on merit reads as follows: City, Asylum, Knight, Origins. According to Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman himself, this list will remain forever unchanged because the publisher is done with the series.
Story-wise, Arkham Knight definitively concluded all that had come before it, however Arkham Origins—developed by WB Games Montreal and not Rocksteady—provided a side venture the main series failed to explore. The idea that similar games could surface down the line isn't implausible, then, however Conroy is sure WB has left the series behind.
When asked by a crowd member at last weekend's Nashville Wizard World Comic Con if Warner Brothers was working on the Arkham series or if it had plans to expand the existing ones, Conroy said: "You know, I can’t believe that they’re not going to do another one, but they’re not. Isn’t that amazing? It's… they made literally billions of dollars on those games. But, no, there's no plan to do another one. Sorry."
Twitter user Matt Sifford caught Conroy's comments live:
Thanks, Batman News.
It's been a couple of years since the last entry in the Arkham series of Batman games. Andy's review says it's not quite as good as the older ones, however it's certainly still worth a look. It's especially worth considering today, as you can get it for 75 percent off over at Bundle Stars.
The final chapter of the Arkham series introduced a large emphasis on the Batmobile for the first time, but it's still the feeling you get from just being Batman in these games that's the main draw. Thankfully, the performance issues the PC version faced in the past seem be mostly long gone now.
You get a 75 percent off the base price at Bundle Stars (the Steam Summer Sale only has 60 percent off right now), and you can also get an extra 5 percent off that when you enter the code RED5 at checkout. This deal is disappearing into the darkness tomorrow though.
Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.
Want to pick up Batman: Arkham Knight on the serious cheap? Bundle Stars has it on sale, until 11 am ET on February 17 for just $5/£4/€5, the lowest the price has ever gone.
The Bat bargain is a "Star Deal," which Bundle Stars describes as "24-hour-only flash discounts which offer Steam games at best ever prices." Your fiver gets you a legitimate Steam key for the full game, the only catch being that they're available in limited quantities, so if they run out before the 24 hours is up, you miss out.
Arkham Knight had an infamously rocky launch, and while subsequent efforts to fix it up weren't exactly a master class of invisible mending, it looks like the game is finally in fighting form. Steam user reviews overall are "mixed" (there's a lot of of bad history to overcome), but recent reviews are "very positive." And hey, it's five bucks. Fill your boots over at bundlestars.com.
Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.
Now that our are out of the way, we can get to the serious stuff: ventilation shafts. They’re a pillar of modern game design, shunting players from one level to the next, telling spy wannabes that a square aluminum tunnel is all espionage requires, and giving the hunted a temporary haven from their mouth-breathing pursuers. The most iconic protagonists in PC gaming depend on inexplicably designed air convection systems to save the world time and time again.I'm going to revisit a few of the most recognizable vents from PC gaming history and evaluate them based on rules I’m making up as I go. One lucky duct will win the coveted PC Gamer Gust of Approval for best vent.
Gif sourceThe original Deus Ex invented the concept of ventilation shafts, and as a result is exempt from competing. Unfortunately, further iterations of ventilation shafts from the new handlers at Square Enix didn’t do much to blend them into the environments or make them feel like genuine air ducts. Instead, they serve as well-lit (somehow), long graves where you hide your dead. How many bodies can you fit in an impossible space? Deus Ex: Human Revolution steps beyond the veil.Even worse, the vents aren’t in compliance with the ASHRAE standards for acceptable air quality. According to section 5.1.1 of the guidelines, “Where interior spaces without direct openings to the outdoors are ventilated through adjoining rooms, the opening between rooms shall be permanently unobstructed.” These dead bodies are breaking the law.
They are deeper, wider, and more Jensen-sized. Seriously, they’re massive. And they’re always hiding behind vending machines and small crates, leading directly to and fro with plenty of slats along the way just in case you need to see where all the guards are hanging. Subtlety doesn’t circulate in the near future, I suppose. Air isn’t getting through those suckers in a sensible way. It’s a fact: these vents blow.
Pitiful, but so pitiful, I can’t help but love it. There’s been no effort made to hide that this vent in a multi-billion dollar tech company building was built specifically for drone passage. (Just a heads up, this is how you get raccoons.) Watch Dogs 2 makes little effort to mask its videogame vents as anything but transparent chunks of level design. It’s one of the bigger problems I had with the game, that it promises options for infiltration, but vent layouts are so arbitrary and assured to lead directly between points of interest that they start to feel like a big billboard, stating ‘Sneak here!’
Gif sourceOK, so it’s more of a drainage system, but it might also push some air around. Note the more rectangular design gives the impression that they’re a tighter fit than most videogame vents, which makes for a more immersive ventilation shaft experience. Were I in a crime film, I’d consider using such a discreet, small passage as a good place to hide the murder weapon. Were I in a videogame, I’d glitch through the floor and fire my weapon with reckless abandon. In conclusion, I love the compress of MGS5’s passages, but otherwise, they rarely make sense. Often, they’ll just lead from a hole outside a building in a direct line inside. You’re going to get raccoons, damnit.
So very, very dark. Like a damn vent should be! If I’m supposed to suspend my disbelief that these big metallic crawlspaces are mean for air circulation and not hiding headcrabs, I want them to at least distract me with tension. The vents are otherwise featureless, vanilla shafts. Four walls, grey, nothing particularly special about them. At least they acknowledge you’re going to get critters with such impractical vents, even if they’re interdimensional face suckers.
Talk about sequelitis! No innovation. Expect more flat, boxy aluminum textures, more headcrabs popping out to say hello, and most grievous, of course, are the impractical air convection layouts. The thought makes me shiver, not because it’s abhorrent, but because damn, it’s cold in here, Gordon!
Gotham’s vents are comically large. Bruce Wayne isn’t a small man, especially with an extra few inches thanks to bat ears. And crouching isn’t easy in all that armor—it’s going to bunch up, Bruce. I’m sorry but your tummy is getting pinched beneath those plates. God forbid you drop a quarter. To accommodate all that batmass, the vents essentially serve as a venue for badguy shadow puppets and an echochamber for the Joker’s prolonged loudspeaker monologues. They’re a nice place to hide in if you’ve been spotted, but their design won’t win any awards from us. Often they serve as a comically short passage between two rooms, ensuring the only air they’re circulating is Wayne’s big ego.
We Alien's production design during release, and Creative Assembly's extraordinary attention to environment detail extends to the design of its vents. The aperture entrance to each vent is accompanied by a slick cylindrical animation and shrill soundbite that sounds like a sword being pulled from its sheath. Foreboding, a bit, considering there’s probably a hungry alien in there.Isolation’s detailed lighting and shadows give the impression that Sevastopol is a hulking, intricate tangle of retro-futurist industrial design. As you crawl through every vent and maintenance shaft, you’ll get small glimpses into the guts of the station, a smoky mess of pipes and dim lights and scattered tools. The result is a space station that feels so vast and cobbled together that its tiny passages and maintenance systems feel plausible. Vents that don’t make sense, make sense on Sevastopol.To the team at Creative Assembly, you’ve creatively assembled good passages behind the walls for players to bonk around in that don’t feel like a mad maintenance man’s pet project. Your congratulatory PC Gamer Gust of Approval should make it your way soon.
Andy: Origins isn’t a terrible game, but it’s clear throughout that it wasn’t developed by Rocksteady. The new sections of the city are pretty uninspiring, particularly the industrial district and that tediously long bridge you have to travel back and forth across. And there’s no feeling of flow as you navigate the world either. I constantly find myself with nothing to grapple or land on, halting my momentum, which never happens in the other games.
Samuel: The city suffered from feeling anonymous. It may be my imagination, too, but I swear there was something off about the timing of counters compared to Rocksteady's Batman games—the same muscle memory felt like it didn't serve me well in Origins' combat. Having said that, I loved the crime scene investigations they added to Origins, which I (think) Arkham Knight ended up borrowing when you had to track down Oracle after she'd been kidnapped. They were probably the best bits of detective work in the series, and I did enjoy the one in Black Mask's penthouse.
Andy: I noticed the weird timing of the combat too when I reviewed it for PC Gamer. I looked into it at the time, and apparently WB Montreal had to recreate the combat system from scratch for some reason. Which may explain why it feels a bit like a bad cover version of a great song.
Samuel: It's definitely a thing. I rinsed the challenge rooms in Arkham City and can still get a high score in every single one when I pick them up now—they feel irritatingly different. One thing I did like about Origins was the way the Cold, Cold Heart DLC adapted the classic Batman Animated Series episode 'Heart of Ice'. While WB Montreal's game mostly lacked the big hitter villains, I still felt like it was a worthy contribution to the games' own Batman canon. Troy Baker was an impressive Joker, and I enjoyed the fiery young version of Bruce Wayne, too, who knocks out an early villain in one punch instead of the whole thing turning into a boss battle.
Andy: I do like the younger, angrier Batman we get to play as in Origins. Kevin Conroy’s version of the character always sounds totally in control of his emotions. A mature, level-headed veteran of the crime-fightin’ business. But in this game he’s shouty and short-tempered, frequently arguing with Alfred, which is a nice way of making a familiar character feel different.
Tom S: There are some decent isolated bits of Origins, probably enough to make it worth playing for Batman fans—the tower converted into the Joker’s theme park, for example. However there is a sense that Origins is scraping around for new ideas. They expanded Gotham city and added… a warehouse district. The glue grenades and the non-lethal lightning fists feel like the sort of upgrades you might see on a cheap Batman toy rather than anything the Dark Knight would actually use. If you’ve completed every sidequest in Arkham Knight, crave more Bats, and don’t mind putting up with slightly-wrong combat then play this I guess?
Phil: I haven't played Origins yet, but, based on your recommendation there, Tom, I'm… well, still not sure if I'll bother.
Samuel: It shows you can take the basic elements of a great game and make a comparably weaker product out of it, which is largely how I felt about what I played of Wolfenstein: The New Order's Old Blood expansion.
Andy: The batmobile really is a piece of shit. Those sections where you’re forced to fight dozens of identical drones with overly-telegraphed attacks is utterly mind-numbing. But when you’re doing what Batman does best, namely skulking around in the shadows and terrifying goons, Knight is a really, really good Arkham game, if a little too familiar at times.
Phil: The Batmobile churn really hurts Knight. There are some cool ideas here, like the military outposts—the best of which are mini-puzzles, challenging you to work out which of Batman's ever-growing toolset is key to clearing away the specific configuration of guards. That stuff is great, as are about half of the sidequests, the main mission design and so much of the writing. Best of all is the dual combat encounters, which turn the fluid dance of Batman's combat into a brutal duet. But then you're back in the Batmobile, side-dodging away from predictable fire patterns, or circling round a tiny bit of the city, trying to endure the incredibly dumb stealth sections.
Samuel: I didn't like the tank combat sections, particularly the stealth parts—but driving that thing around the city feels great. It's a gorgeously animated, hefty piece of machinery. It completes the Batman fantasy, in my opinion. In the post-game, with the city cleared of robot tanks, just bombing around and taking out clumps of criminals feels like the beginning of a Batman comic in motion. I've softened to Knight over time. The titular villain isn't particularly good, and they recast the Scarecrow in a way that made him sound way too similar to Hugo Strange in Arkham City, meaning the main narrative lacked a bit of City's menace and direction.
Andy: Yeah, the Arkham Knight himself is an incredibly lame villain. Troy Baker does his best with the script, but he isn’t intimidating at all. He sounds like a Californian surfer. Whenever he showed up, taunting me from his big dumb tank, I just felt annoyed. “Not this asshole again.” But I did love the section where Batman and Robin team up, even though it was criminally short-lived. The double-takedowns were really well animated and fun to pull off, and I think they tossed that idea out far too quickly.
Samuel: Totally with you on the Robin bits—phenomenal, especially The Joker singing to Batman while Robin sneaks around the stage in the background. I think Telltale's Batman game shows you can miss the mark with adapting the Dark Knight for a game and miss the most exciting parts of his universe and lore. The interactions between Batman and Robin, Oracle or Nightwing demonstrate a total understanding of why all the individual pieces of his world are so exciting. Those co-op moves with his allies are the perfect extension of those character relationships. The sidequests are more of a mixed bag. Chasing after Firefly in the Batmobile was just poor filler, but Man-Bat offered quite a spectacle, while Two-Face's heists were a nice remix of the game's existing stealth elements.
Phil: I don't know Batlore, but I liked the freaky pig-dude. He was messed up.
Samuel: By far my favourite sidequest in the game. The way they used the music and lights to point you towards where another body had been found. Doing those autopsies was disturbing, and even as someone who's read a bunch of comics featuring Professor Pyg, his reveal was a total surprise. Rocksteady isn't afraid of deep cuts in Batman lore. While it was only a momentary bit of narrative, the Hush sidequest had a neat and clever resolution, too.
Tom S: Arkham Knight has some of the best individual moments of the whole series—including the spectacular Robin co-op level and the levels that let you seamlessly infiltrate a couple of blimps in mid-air. Sadly it is a more inconsistent game overall. Everyone rightly hates the interminable tank sections (which get ridiculous towards the end of the game), and the PC version’s terrible launch didn’t help matters. It’s definitely worth playing if you enjoyed City, but it’s not the best Arkham game.
Andy: The later games refined the brutal, rhythmic combat to something approaching perfection, and improved on almost everything else in some way, but I’ll always prefer Asylum’s focus on a single, wonderfully fleshed-out location over the sprawling open-world bloat of the sequels.
Samuel: I get that this focus (and the brilliant, memorable Scarecrow sequences) makes Asylum a popular choice, but it's a flawed game compared to the others in my opinion. This becomes apparent in the final third of the story where it feels like you're fighting versions of the Bane boss fight over and over again with those giant titan guys. The final fight with The Joker is kind of bad. The Killer Croc section drags on well past its welcome, too. There are no good boss battles in Asylum—nothing remotely close to the clever, Metal Gear-ish scrap with Mister Freeze in City.
City's paced so it keeps building in energy to its final act, and constantly showing you new parts of the world. Cutting out repetition and throwing in new ideas was essential for the series to grow, in my opinion, and while bigger doesn't always equal better, the escalation in ambition between the games is staggering. Few knew who Rocksteady were when Asylum was released. Now they're world beaters. To go from making the BioShock-y corridors of Arkham Asylum to building the Blade Runner-esque nighttime sprawl of Knight in just six years is absurdly impressive.
Phil: I think I might prefer City, but that's largely because I've never liked Metroidvania design. This is a very, very good version of it, but ultimately it's still a lot of back-and-forth between the same few areas. (You could argue the same for open-world Arkham, albeit on a bigger scale, but I think the way you traverse the larger space makes all the difference.) There are some incredibly accomplished setpieces here, and I love the simplicity of the combat before the extra gadgets of the later games. But Samuel's right about its pacing problems. Even some of its best sections—the weird, fourth-wall breaking Scarecrow vignettes—are lessened by the rubbish searchlight-based stealth puzzles that follow.
Samuel: For the time, it was a real surprise that someone had made a Batman game that good—the last decent effort dates back to the SNES. Its counter-focused melee combat system was deservedly influential, on the surface lacking the frantic speed and necessary button presses of something like Devil May Cry, but gradually growing in complexity as they weave more of the Dark Knight's tools into your arsenal. I've made this observation before on PCG, so apologies, but I remember feeling like Rocksteady had almost used as their starting point for Batman's melee and stealth abilities in the Arkham games.
Andy: I’ve always been a fan of fiction that takes place in one location, so that’s why I think Asylum is still my favourite. Rocksteady absolutely stuffed that place with history and detail, and I like that the more time you spend there, the more familiar it becomes. I finished City and Knight and by the end of both I didn’t feel like I connected with the setting as much. I also like how lean Asylum is compared to the sequels, with simpler combat and fewer sidequests. It feels more elegant and streamlined than the busy open-world games. And there aren’t as many distractions being constantly thrown at you, which makes for a better-paced, more focused story overall.
Tom S: I liked the bit when you hit Bane with the Batmobile. That was some excellent Batman.
Andy: For me, City is when the Arkham series really started to feel like a Batman simulator. Being able to freely run, glide, and grapple around the rooftops of Gotham is brilliantly empowering, although I do find the constant chatter of bad guys in your ear massively annoying.
Samuel: When City was released, I remember thinking, 'this is all I've ever wanted from a Batman game'. Like you say, Andy, being able to glide around and grapple felt fantastic, both of which were elements of limited usage in Asylum. I loved the upgrades and momentum tweaks they made to the gliding—getting around that city felt phenomenal. It's also a very complete-feeling vision of Batman's universe, which I appreciate. Everyone from Mister Freeze to Calendar Man to Hush makes an appearance, complete with a not-embarrassing version of Robin. The Mad Hatter sidequest is brilliantly trippy. Rocksteady just get why Batman is so cool. Hugo Strange is a tremendous and very specific choice of (the apparent) main villain, too, offering a menacing tonal contrast to the Joker in Asylum.
Phil: I love any open-world game with good traversal. I even love Prototype, which I know is a bit rubbish. Arkham City isn't rubbish, and, as Andy and Sam have already mentioned, its grappling hook/glide combo is top notch. It makes for a stronger core Batman fantasy than in Asylum—now you're hunting high above the thugs, free to engage or ignore them. In some ways it's a baggier game—that's inevitable given the structure—but it still holds true to everything that made Asylum great, and offers, to my mind, a better roster of villains and a more interesting story.
Tom S: The Mr. Freeze fight is ace, and an example of how Arkham City evolved beyond the ideas introduced in Arkham Asylum. The open world and the traversal have since become an integral part of the Batman fantasy for me—I can’t go back to Asylum—but City also has better storytelling (when it’s not just shouting exposition at you through loudspeakers). It’s the most complete and well-paced game of the series, with a brave and interesting ending. Some of the boss fights are absolute pants, though.
Samuel: Whereas I felt like the Riddles were a little exhausting in Knight, in City they were spot-on as neat visual or logic puzzles I could solve while travelling between parts of the story. The combat was significantly improved over Asylum, too, and mastering Batman's sets of tools in the challenge rooms—like Mr Freeze's ice bomb—meant that I ended up playing the post-game content for a lot longer than the story.
Shoutout to Rocksteady's artists, too, who created the most gorgeous, fan service-y alternate costumes for the Arkham games. I'm sure The Batman Incorporated skin in City was included just for me. While I think City is the most consistent of the four games, they've all got individually interesting elements, and Origins aside, I consider them all wonderful in their own way.
Every so often we get a reminder of the Bad Old Days. A wobbly port like Arkham Knight or, more recently, No Man s Sky, that reminds us PC gaming was once the seven-toed forgotten child of formats, scuttling around in the crawlspace of our hobby, screaming for the love so cruelly denied to it.
Sometimes we need to revisit those dark times, lest we forget how handsome, well-adjusted and lucky we are now. That s not to suggest things are perfect you re right to look red-faced, Mortal Kombat X but consider it a lesson in humility. A way of reminding us how things used to be much, much worse.
Three years. That s how long Ninja Theory had to make a PC port of lush, post-apocalyptic Andy Serkis chimp em up Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. It was released on consoles in 2010 but didn t arrive on PC until 2013, in a state that s since become the metric for measuring lazy PC conversions: low res assets, capped at 30fps, no VSync option in the settings, enforced motion blur. There are certainly far worse conversions on this list, but Enslaved is bad in a specifically disappointing, you could have been so much more kinda way.
The PC port of Arkham Knight is like a warning a hitching, stuttering bat-symbol burned into the back of our retinas. A caution that should we ever become complacent, the forces of darkness will rise again, and we ll end up with past-generation half-ports of games we ve waited years to adore. Running Arkham Knight on Windows 10 with less than 12GB of RAM is like trying to fight the Dark Knight after an evening spent watching street fights on YouTube. It simply won t work.
Even if it s (kind of) fixed now, Arkham Knight forever stained with the ignominy of being pulled from Steam. A sad end to a great series.
We asked for this. I mean, we literally asked for it. In fact, we begged From Software for a PC port of Dark Souls. The result was like a Faustian pact from an Amicus horror film. Yes, we got what we asked, but in a way that was so twisted and hopeless as to be barely recognisable. PC hero Durante patched terrible audio and resolution issues in the vanilla version of the game, but we re still allowed to marvel at how badly it missed the mark. On the bright side, From Software's ports of Dark Souls 2 and 3 have been fantastic in comparison, and Dark Souls inspired a skilled modding community to tinker for years, even altering its 30 fps cap.
Most games on this list get kicked for being shitty versions of console games. Spider-Man 2 wasn t even that. It was literally a different game. Instead of the Teyarch-developed movie tie-in, Texas studio Fizz Factor (Fizz Factor!) made a game more suitable for children. Or, to be more accurate, nobody ever.
The open, web-swinging console game was replaced with automated heroism: you simply clicked on enemies and buildings to interact to them. A point-and-click Spider-man should be amazing, but this was one step removed from holding the right mouse button to have a stumbling pubescent relationship with Mary Jane Watson. Worst of all, the differences weren t made abundantly clear during development, so anyone who bought the PC version expecting a crisp console conversion got burned. The most significant creative misstep since Tobey Maguire s evil dance in Spider-Man 3 (which was so bad, it warped the very concept of time to make this joke work).
The PC port of Saint s Row 2 is so bad it s passed into legend. If someone had set out to make something this disastrous, they d deserve some kind of terrible, shitty medal. But they didn t, so they deserve nothing. Saint s Row developer Volition had little to do with the port. Instead, it was done by CD Projekt Localisation Team (part of the same parent company as CD Projekt Red). The game was developed with a specific Xbox 360 CPU clock speed of 3.2Ghz in mind. The further away you get from that, higher or lower, the worse the game runs. That s right: PC owners were essentially being punished for having better machines. (And worse ones too, but I m skipping over that inconvenient truth.) Even if you re playing on a machine with RAM to spare, Saint s Row 2 ignores it, like a vegan refusing to eat his way out of a cage of chops.
The PC port of Street Fighter 2 could be a whole feature on its own. It looks handsome enough, but everything else is an abomination. There s the music, which sounds like a doomed robot armpit farting the funeral march on a sinking cruise vessel; the jumping, which displays the same swaggering disregard for gravity normally reserved for Dragon Ball Z games; and the backgrounds, which features onlookers frozen in time, staring helplessly, trapped like temporal sweetcorn in this eternal turd of a port. Forget locked frame rates or shoddy netcode: everything about Street Fighter on PC is wrong.
Even people who ve completed Dark Souls using a Rock Band guitar/dance mat/USB toaster can t handle the controls in the PC version of Resi 4. They re terrible. Whoever did the key binding can only have read stories about PC gaming painted onto the walls of prehistoric caves. It doesn t support mouse aiming, and the key choices for the actions resemble a puzzle at the end of an Indiana Jones movie. Hold Left Shift to use your knife. Right Shift for your gun. Enter to attack. Shift and right Control to reload. Shift and rat-a-tat-tat on Number Lock to use a herb. (Only the last one is a joke, tragically.)
Worst of all, if you tweaked your key bindings it wouldn t tell you when quick-time events happened, making it a test of memory, reactions and your infinite patience as a noble PC gamer.
Years later, the Resident Evil 4 HD port fixed most of these issues and is now our favorite way to play the game. Aww, happy endings.
Splinter Cell may be known first and foremost as an Xbox series, but Sam Fisher was an experienced PC spy, too. Pandora tomorrow had some issues, but the series mostly made the jump from console to PC unscathed in its early years. That changed with the console port of 2006's Double Agent, the first released on Xbox 360. Steam reviews tell a pretty consistent story, criticizing constant crashing, poor controller support, and game-breaking bugs. Most damning: the lighting didn't work properly for some players. In a stealth game. Where hiding in shadows is, well, literally the point. Might as well give up the whole superspy thing and go cry into a mai tai on a well-lit beach, Sam.
Apparently lighting problems afflicted the older Splinter Cell games, too, depending on the hardware, but in Double Agent it was the most egregious of many, many issues adding up to a woeful port.
Devil May Cry 3 is part of the Holy Trinity of Dogshit Capcom Ports, alongside Resi 4 and Onimusha 3 (although the ports were actually handled by a company called SourceNext and published by Ubisoft). It automatically defaults to windowed mode, and you need to switch the axis on your controller because it defaults to the right-hand stick. Or, you could just try it that way, like an 8-year-old playing Micro Machines on the SEGA Genesis. Like almost every game on this list, most of these problems can be fixed by imaginative Googling and fan patches, but in order to avoid framerate issues you actually have delete music and menu sounds yourself. How did it come to this?
It s no surprise that a game designed to embrace all the idiosyncrasies of the PS2 was hit-and-miss on PC. Even Sony developers struggled to comprehend the PS2 s arcane infrastructure, so what hope did we have? MGS 2 worked fine on some systems, but on others you could expect flickering textures, disappearing shadows, missing effects, frequent crashes and flaky audio. It used the new analogue buttons on the PS2 Dualshock, but didn t bother to adjust this for keyboard controls; if a section required pressure sensitive actions, you were bollocksed. It s also a mighty 7GB install, when similar games at the time weighed in at around 1.5-2GB. As unwieldy and overblown as MGS 4.
PC gamers have it easy these days. Properly optimised, there s every reason the PC version of a game should be the best. Terrible ports can be blamed on the conversion, not the hardware. But it wasn t always like this. Back in the late 80s, PC hardware couldn t always keep up with consoles, which is why our gaming forefathers ended up struggling through monstrous conversions like Mega Man. Oh, the humanity.
This was released the same year id released Commander Keen which was itself born out of an attempt to port Mario 3 so we can t blame it all on feeble hardware.
Batman: Arkham Knight was a decent game, but on PC it was an abominable port. It was so bad that publisher Warner Bros. was compelled to remove it from sale weeks after its release, offering refunds to anyone unfortunate enough to buy in early. Nowadays it runs a lot better, but it's fair to say the whole situation was quite traumatic. As of December it was still being patched up, following its October re-release.
Whether that trauma has anything to do with the Mac and Linux versions of Arkham Knight being canceled, I don't know. The cancellation was announced on Steam today in as blunt a manner as possible.
"We are very sorry to confirm that Batman: Arkham Knight will no longer be coming to Mac and Linux," the post reads. "If you have pre-ordered Batman: Arkham Knight for Mac or Linux, please apply for a refund via Steam."
Despite the game still being a bit rough around the edges on PC, Warner Bros. started selling DLC for it back in December. It's a shame the launch was so poor, because beneath the technical shortcomings there's an okay game, hampered somewhat by annoying Batmobile sequences. In his review, Andy Kelly wrote that it's "an entertaining superhero power fantasy, let down by awful Batmobile combat, a laughable villain, and serious performance issues."
On the topic of bad ports, this recent Durante rundown of the disastrous Tales of Symphonia release is well worth ten minutes.