Batman Arkham Knight Visual Analysis: PS4 vs. Xbox One vs. PC

The Dark Knight rises on consoles but falls on PC.

Posted By | On 26th, Jun. 2015 Under Article, Graphics Analysis


Over the months, it was impressive to note what Rocksteady was doing with Batman: Arkham Knight. Unlike so many other games, both great and not so great, the studio’s graphical vision for the triumphant conclusion to the saga has stayed constant since its announcement. It’s even more amazing when you consider that Batman: Arkham Knight is a current gen exclusive game running on Unreal Engine 3. Yes, that’s the engine that decidedly isn’t suited to the PS4 and Xbox One but Rocksteady has undoubtedly pushed the limits of what it can do. Could this be the best that games running on modified UE3 will possibly look? We say yes and the only natural step after this is jumping to Unreal Engine 4.

That being said, if you’ve been keeping track of the news lately, you’ll know that not all versions of Batman: Arkham Knight are the same. How is the overall frame rate performance on consoles? What exactly is wrong with the PC version? Find out here.

Right off the bat, the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game maintain a stunning level of parity in terms of texture quality and level of detail in many core assets. You’ll be hard-pressed to tell the different, quality-wise, between the console versions. The only real difference is in the native resolution – the PS4 version runs at 1920×1080 resolution while the Xbox One version runs at 1600×900 resolution. So it’s a given that the PS4 version looks better overall, boasting a superior image quality.

That being said, it’s hard to not marvel at what Rocksteady has done with both console versions. Motion blur per object and for the entire screen with depth of field and a range of post-processing effects in light shafts, lens flares, physics effects and bloom make the game look great. There are some relatively noticeable pratfalls – for instance, the faster you race through the game’s world, the more obvious some of the streaming problems and level of detail issues from the relative lack of memory become.

Some texture pop-in problems are seen but the draw distance is still impressive overall. And damn if Arkham Knight doesn’t boast some of the best particle effects we’ve seen in a long time. Screen space reflections and strong facial capture work help bring scenes like Batman and Commissioner Gordon rendezvousing on a rooftop in Gotham City to life. One will stop to admire the skyline more often than not. Loading screens are completely absent and Rocksteady has done a great job with pre-loading assets in the background.

In terms of atmospheric effects, one will notice the rainfall and smog of the city as they traverse through it in real time, conveying a cinematic look that would make previous gen Arkham games conspicuous by its absence. The developer hasn’t cut corners in how drenched it wants Gotham City to come across as and both rain/water react realistically with the environment. Splashes and ripples can be seen on damp roads while the rain is shaded by lighting. If you observe it closely near a neon colour, then the rain will refract those colours naturally. It’s a significant step up from the snowfall in Arkham City for sure.

All of these effects would normally hit the frame rate hard, even if both the PS4 and Xbox One versions are running at 30 frames per second. The good news is that the game tends to stay at 30 FPS whenever possible but when drops occur, the engine does it hardest to stabilize it, which results in screen tearing. This doesn’t occur often and the highest frame drops can be seen when racing in the Batmobile when the frame rate can hit the mid 20s. The PS4 version is better at maintaining a steady 30 FPS frame rate and this is the only real difference, along with resolution, from the Xbox One version.

What can really be said about the PC version? Shaders are missing for some objects, rain textures are absent in certain places like Batman’s mask (whereas said textures are present in the console versions), ambient occlusion is missing, bokeh depth of field is only used occasionally and so on. This isn’t to say bokeh DOF is missing but along with rain textures/shaders, it’s fairly underused when compared to the consoles.

Also, for the PC version of a current gen game, it’s amazing how the textures seem to be of a lower quality than the PS4 version. Could this have been due to the build currently available on Steam? A hefty amount of LOD is also used, resulting in pop-ins galore, while the story mode is locked at 30 FPS from the outset. This can be unlocked by editing the game’s .ini files but it’s incredibly telling that even with Nvidia GameWorks disabled, we couldn’t maintain a constant 60 frames per second even on Low settings. That just goes to show that even high-end systems aren’t safe from the PC version’s terrible optimization. Frame rate fluctuations are most noticeable when driving the Batmobile but can be very random at times.

Enabling GameWorks doesn’t add much to the overall visual quality and weighs heavily on performance. Paper scraps flying around, dense smoke effects with shadowed particles that interact with external factors and a heavy atmosphere increase also require heavy resources.

Benchmarks across a variety of GPUs revealed the following average frame rates. [We used Intel Core i7-5960X and 16 GB RAM]

Nvidia GTX 980: 77 FPS

Radeon R9 290 X  : 74 FPS

Radeon R9 290: 65 FPS

Nvidia GTX 960: 57 FPS

Nvidia GTX 770 : 49 FPS

Batman: Arkham Knight is a multi-layered tale of triumphs and failures, depending on which version you purchase. What should have been a release to celebrate current PC technology instead shipped with numerous frame rate fluctuations, several high end features missing and effects that can bring even the most powerful rig to its knees with few returns. Instead, we have a game that showcases the capabilities of the PS4 and Xbox One in delivering a strong visual experience with nary any difference in effects and assets between them. The PS4 version is recommended for its native 1080p resolution and near constant 30 FPS experience but the Xbox One version doesn’t fair badly at all. Regardless, Rocksteady has a ton of work ahead to justify this release for PC gamers.

Analysis performed by Bill Smith. PC analysis provided by freelancer Luke Evans.


Awesome Stuff that you might be interested in

  • Deeboy

    LOL. At these comparisons from gaming bolt. These type of comparisons done on this site is more of a take our word situation rather than actual evidence.

    • damian

      Well I noticed the Xbox version misses some random assets every now and again. Namely bat man and the car. No real biggie, it only happens for 3-5 minutes at a time. Seriously though, it looks, sounds and feels amazing to play, when its not glitchy. Its arkham asylum smooth with epic stages. So many tactics my old arthritic fingers”can’t even”

    • Deeboy

      I assume all versions will have some pop in and out. Comparisons never cover the entire game just sections. That said I’m glad to hear that none of this breaks the overall game experience. From what I seen on twitch the game looks fantastic.

    • Naughty Shinobi

      So I take it you completely ignored how drastically borked the PC version is graphically? Because thats actual evidence in my opinion, especially when the difference is so…OBVIOUS.

    • Deeboy

      Nah I didn’t noticed obviously from my comment.

  • Dr. MKhalil

    Thanks for amaizing review ,,,

  • Ricoh123

    Vsync doesn’t result in screen tearing.

    This is shoddy journalism with lack of understanding and makes the whole article questionable to me.

  • 2econd gpu unlocking

    We never wanted 1080p anyway so that’s not an issue for us.

    • Sabih Ijaz

      Actually, people would prefer 1080p. However, what should be said is that the other graphical features have rendered it less important now.

    • 2econd gpu unlocking

      We actually preferred Kinect and 720p at launch.
      Only Sony fans complaining about better sales than the eye did they reduce the hardware recourses reserved for Kinect to show 1080p is possible.
      Overall xbox users would still choose Kinect and 900p over no Kinect and 1080p. Witcher 3 is the best example.

    • Sabih Ijaz

      Overall people don’t care for Kinect. All it does is inflate the price of the Xbox One and is a gimmick.

    • 2econd gpu unlocking

      It has 100% attachment rate for the first 6 months. Sony can only dream of those figures for the Sony Eye.

    • Rebel XD 3 x Guinness records

      Dude, I had a Kinect for the 360 and at best it was used as a mic when I didn’t have one. I think it is a waste of space and I am so glad they decided to make it optional because it will never enter my home, EVER.

    • 2econd gpu unlocking

      Sony fans are very salty of the Kinect sales vs Sony eye

    • JURIM-KILLZONE

      LOL

      I’m remembered when you said that with DX12 your Xbone will hit 1080p/120fps..

      There’s no way to take you seriously after that… LOL

    • 2econd gpu unlocking

      We agreed it’s best keeping it locked out. Sony needs to recover so Apple doesn’t enter the market.

    • JURIM-KILLZONE
    • Sabih Ijaz

      I’m not comparing with Sony. I’ve never had a PlayStation, and I own an Xbox One and a 360. People only use it because it came in the box for a while. No2, even Microsoft doesn’t care anymore. It’s a dead piece of tech from a gaming standpoint because the motion control experiment has ended in failure.

    • Rebel XD 3 x Guinness records

      No, WE would NOT. Speak for yourself and stop saying WE as if it is some fan boy get together. I am am Xbox owner admitting to having the less power system. I want 1080p and f#ck a Kinect.

    • 2econd gpu unlocking

      Your not a true fan and we don’t speak you, only the true fans.
      More power has yet to be professionally unlocked. It does not have less power. Faster bus speed 272GB vs PS4 172gb
      Faster CPU at 1.75GHz with more ops per cycle vs 1.5Ghz
      Faster GPU at 853Mhz (2x GPU. 1 is now virtual & professionally locked out vs 800Mhz PS4 bottlenecked by the onion bus.
      Only console than can multi-task with snap and Live TV function.
      Kinect is the iteration system we asked for.
      Only system you can switch on or off AV receiver and TV with voice

    • Nilesh Zagade

      Its difficult to use ESRAM only Forza Ive seen are using it properly

    • JURIM-KILLZONE

      OMG!!!

      Pony Gaffer Hive-Mind, are you?!?!

    • 2econd gpu unlocking

      We are them

    • JURIM-KILLZONE

      In fact, you and your alter-ego are crazy!!

      LOL

    • 2econd gpu unlocking

      No we are not

  • *Also On PC

    Consoles rely so much on timed exclusive that even this “PS4 win” is only just a timed exclusive till the PC version is fixed.

    • Jay

      You make no sense

    • XbotMK1

      And if consoles weren’t around, the PC version wouldn’t get fixed at all because there wouldn’t be anything to compare it’s performance to.

    • *Also On PC

      Funny how the PC community springs into action on every broken game either getting the publisher to fix it or fixing it themselves.

      You defend broken games like DowngradeClub, John Derp. The PC master race doesn’t stand them. Even if consoles didn’t exist, the PC Master Race would still get it done. Stay mad :^)

  • JURIM-KILLZONE

    LOL

    Our illustrious comrade “Flat Out Wrong” with his “powerfull PC” approves this news!!!

    • *Also On PC

      Unlike your garbage hardware console. The PC version will be fixed.

      Your POS4 never will be fixed :^)

    • illuminati

      Bashes on a apu because it isn’t a 980 #pcgamerlogic.

    • *Also On PC

      Buying an APU based underpowered console #ConsolePeasantLogic

    • illuminati

      under powered for $400. What is a shity dual threaded cpu build going to take the cake when a shity game optimized for 4 threadeds comes out. Then those peasant builds have to get a third party patch. Well at least pc has 4k right? O right most still can’t do 1080p. http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey
      Well look on the bright side you still got steam sales…wait hold on didn’t PlayStation also just had a summer sale?
      Benefits of being a hybrid no shity optimized games, free PSN games and steam sales.

    • *Also On PC

      Still runs games better on two threads than the POS4 can run on six threads :^)

    • illuminati

      That’s even debatable as these POS 2 threaded builds typically get 1 gb of vram and in a game like GTA 5 GG enjoy that low distance rendering. Well look on the bright side at least you got higher FPS.

    • *Also On PC

      No it’s just fact. Two threads will run it better than the POS4 with higher clock speed.

      Oh and even with 1GB of vram. GTA V has a higher draw distance and LOD than the POS4 version :^)

    • JURIM-KILLZONE
    • *Also On PC

      Nice bullshots taken on a PC there. Meanwhile, in reality….

    • JURIM-KILLZONE

      LOL

      Taking pics of DC before the updates is very convenient isn’t?!

      And about The Order, even these pics is far ahead of every games of your PC in terms of graphics and Realism!!

      PS: I was thinking that you had better games of your PC to show it, but…

    • *Also On PC

      The drivedud shills always claiming “The update fixed it” before posting photomode Bullshots will always be the most hilarious since it didn’t fix anything and those shots come direct from Replay mode which was released AFTER the weather update.

      Stay salty at 30FPS, shills

    • JURIM-KILLZONE

      OMG…

      You are a “fake” account of the moron “Flat out wrong”…

      AWESOME, hiding behind your own alter-ego… GENIUS!!!!

      LOOOOOOOOLLLL!!!

    • *Also On PC

      Poor shills losing their mind :^)

    • JURIM-KILLZONE

      “Poor shills losing their mind :^)”

      Exactly what i mean, you lose your mind “hiding behind your own alter-ego”.

      LMAO… XD…

    • isochronous

      http://imgur.com/a/939zA

      Also, THIS IS A STUPID ARGUMENT.

    • JURIM-KILLZONE
    • 2econd gpu unlocking

      -Never wanted drive club because wehave forza series.
      -Don’ want order 1886 because its forced boardered quicktiming 5hr game and watch.
      -Never see us salty for or port beg for Horizon

    • JURIM-KILLZONE

      No, you never wanted these games because your Xbone can’t able to play them!!

      Accept that bro, your Xbone is too much weak for this!! LOL

    • 2econd gpu unlocking

      The Xbox is over 5TF system with true DX12 and with 100% professionally unlocking.
      Have agree to play weak to allow for Sony’s recovery from near bankruptcy, as we have agreed it’s better than Apple taking their place.

    • JURIM-KILLZONE
    • isochronous

      OH MY GOD WHO CARES PLAY ON WHATEVER YOU ENJOY PLAYING ON

    • JURIM-KILLZONE

      CAPS LOCK BROKEN DETECTED!!! LOL

      Sorry for this… LOL

  • XbotMK1

    Batman Arkham Knight performance review:

    PS4 > Xbone > PC

    Dumb PC peasants.

    • *Also On PC

      *Timed exclusive

      lol

  • Cenk Algu

    Visualy as always X1 version is the definitive console version:Better textures,much better AF and betetr effects and better fps.

    “The PS4 version is better at maintaining a steady 30 FPS frame rate and this is the only real difference, along with resolution, from the Xbox One version.”

    lol!!! this must be a joke because the only fps drops in Batmobile scenes other that that it is sticky,silky smooth 30fps which is the S4 has the same drops in those secenes.Go check NX’s face off.He says the game is looking and performing totally the same on both consoles except resolution

    By the way what happend to N4G? I guess hacked by a very pssed off Xbox fan lol!!!haha

  • What a terribly written, error filled article…

  • Abineily

    Batman Tweak FPS 0.46
    http://goo.gl/RNtRi2


 

Copyright © 2009-2017 GamingBolt.com. All Rights Reserved.