Batman Arkham Knight Visuals and GPU Performance
Visually, Batman Arkham Knight looks good, though not all that different from the previous titles—it's still dark and brooding, with some enhancements to lighting, shadows, fog and draw distance. However, Gotham never looked more like a living breathing entity than it does here. You can see police vehicles in pursuit of cars filled with enemy goons, remaining citizens and baddies running amok and more. Get up close though, and textures on walls and some surfaces do lose a bit of detail.
That said, the game is decked out with NVIDIA GameWorks support. This includes interactive smoke and fog PhysX effects, most seen emitting from the Batmobile’s tires when screeching around corners and such. Interactive paper debris send scattered papers flying around from explosions or hand-to-hand skirmishes. There is also a host of other supported visual goodies like enhanced rain conditions, cloth physics and more. It all works well to immerse the player in the world. Sadly, though much of this is restricted to NVIDIA GPU hardware.
Performance wise, Batman Arkham Knight is a complete mess. Gamers playing on hardware within the prescribed system requirements from both AMD and NVIDIA are experiencing unplayable performance, subpar framerates, crashes and more. While it has been pulled from store shelves, developer Rocksteady has released this statement to encourage disgruntled PC players, “Totally supported decision to suspend PC version. We have our best engineers at Rocksteady working like crazy to help fix the issues ASAP.” Fortunately our experience was far more favorable, allowing us to show you just how Batman Arkham Knight performs on the following NVIDIA GPUs.
The following tests were conducted with all settings at their max values. Nonetheless, you can see things are not too pretty. The holy grail of 60fps is only achievable via the Titan X. That’s definitely not ideal or intended. Moreover, take note of the poor SLI scaling and support. Our dual GTX 980 card setup performs below a single GTX 980, in all but 1080p.
Surely we will want to revisit this performance analysis once Rocksteady has worked out the technical kinks. Until then we will let the benchmarks speak for themselves. One takeaway of note: look at the EVGA GTX 970 SSC go! If you're sporting such or a similar GTX 970, you definitely have the most value-oriented solution for 1080p - 1440p resolutions.