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The Switch version of Batman: Arkham Knight is an “unmitigated disaster”, according to a new technical analysis by Digital Foundry.
Ported by Turn Me Up Games, which previously handled Switch versions of It Takes Two, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 and Borderlands Legendary Collection, the trilogy consists of the first three games in the series – Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Arkham Knight – bundled with all previously released DLC.
After early comparison videos were posted by various YouTubers shortly before the game’s release, the general reaction among commenters was cautiously positive, with users accepting that the Switch would never have been able to match more powerful consoles.
However, Digital Foundry’s Oliver Mackenzie says the performance of Arkham Knight on Switch in particular is a major issue.
As previously shown in the pre-release video comparisons, the game aims for a frame rate of 30 frames per second but struggles to hit it, frequently reaching 20-25 fps while gliding.
While this in itself wouldn’t be disastrous – hence the generally optimistic comments posted under these videos – Mackenzie says that the frame delivery is “highly variable”, meaning “the game feels subjectively worse than the average frame-rate would indicate”.
He adds that it gets worse during the Batmobile sections with “an even bigger frame-rate tumble, with a wildly inconsistent frame-time readout”.
“Arkham Knight is legitimately quite challenging to play here with all of the constant stuttering,” he explains.
“It’s hard to express how poor the game actually feels to control – even a locked 20fps, for instance, would feel worlds better than this. I suspect the game’s streaming systems are causing serious issues here.”
As for the other two games in the trilogy, Mackenzie says both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City suffer from framerate dips, noting: “I don’t understand why this title is running so poorly considering its 2009 vintage and its cramped indoor setting.”
He concludes: “At this point, I have to mark the Batman: Arkham Trilogy as a failure. None of the games here live up to expectations – and Arkham Knight is just atrocious.”