So, after a mere 4 months, I can play Arkham Knight. I had to upgrade the power supply and graphics card for my computer even to start the game.  (I have an AMD Radeon R9 380 now.)  Then, even with the re-release, I could start the story, and then the game would hang and crash as soon as I tried the grapple hook.  This seems to be a common unfixed problem for people with AMD cards.

Gotta admit it's pretty

Gotta admit it’s pretty

I found a fix that works for me, crazy as it sounds:

  1. Open the AMD Catalyst Control Center.
  2. Select My Digital Flat Panels.
  3. Turn on “Enable virtual super resolution”.
  4. Select Desktop Management, then Desktop Properties.
  5. Select 2560 x 1440 resolution.  Exit the app.
  6. Now run Arkham Knight, and change the resolution to 2560×1440.

Weirdly, turning down the resolution, even as low as possible, didn’t fix it, but turning it up to a higher resolution than the monitor actually supports does.

Anyway, so I can play now.  I’m about six hours in; I’ll have more of a review later.  It’s very pretty, and it’s fun as usual to beat up thugs and flit among the high points.

The biggest new thing is the Batmobile. I’m undecided on this.  The Batmobile sections feel a little like Grand Theft Auto, which is a weird stylistic shift: you can knock into things, smash down streetlights, make the pedestrian thugs run for cover.  And blow up tanks and planes, which we are helpfully informed are unmanned drones, but it’s still a bit weird for Batman to be shooting up the place.

Plus I miss Catwoman.  I understand she turns up later, so judgment reserved.  I played the short Harley Quinn challenge– kind of fun, but I dislike the way the game makes its low opinion of Harley known.

We actually get to meet and see Oracle this game.  What’s more baffling is that even as the situation escalates into a paramilitary uprising, Batman refuses to let Nightwing help.  Dude has issues.

Edit: What also has issues, still, is the game.  It crashed about four times tonight, in as many hours.

Plus… there’s a lot of annoying bits.  Riddler’s Batmobile challenges are really fiddly, and force you to replay long swatches if you fail them. Batmobile chases are about as horrid as GTAIV chases.  It’s dispiriting that the plot can’t think of what to do with its female characters except to kidnap them. Plus, I dunno, does Bats have to be such a complete dick to his helpers?  Arkham City’s Batman had a hint of a dry sense of humor, at least.