Batman: Arkham Trilogy recently arrived on Nintendo Switch, containing Rocksteady’s critically acclaimed trilogy of Batman games including Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Arkham Knight. Naturally, Digital Foundry ran an analysis for the collection to see how well it performs on the near-outdated Switch hardware, revealing that Arkham Knight is an ‘unmitigated disaster’ in terms of technical issues and woes.
For the most part, both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City seem to run okay on Nintendo Switch. Instead of using the remastered versions of the games featured in the Return to Arkham bundle for PS4 and Xbox One, the Arkham Trilogy uses the upscaled PC settings of the original games (released way back in the PS3/Xbox 360 era). However, Digital Foundry was still disappointed that games from as early as 2009 were still suffering framerate dips and performance issues on the Switch.
However, things get much uglier with Arkham Knight on Switch. Digital Foundry’s Oliver Mackenzie says that the game aims for a steady 30FPS but constantly struggles to hit it, bouncing around the 20-25FPS mark and even dropping down to single digits and complete freeze frames in some instances. The framerate holds steady during in-door sections but plummets when Batman goes outdoors, especially driving around Gotham in the Batmobile and Tank.
Digital Foundry added that Arkham Knight is “quite challenging to play here with all of the constant stuttering”, explaining that the game has a tendency to frequently stutter and compared it to lag in online games. The game’s low textures were also heavily criticised as Rocksteady had to make some cutbacks to important environmental details – including changing the entire skyline of the city in the background – to work around delivering a smoother experience.
“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,” Mackenzie added. “I suspect the game’s streaming systems are causing serious issues here.”
The team concluded by calling Batman: Arkham Trilogy on Switch a “failure”, adding “none of the games here live up to expectations – and Arkham Knight is just atrocious.”
Source: Digital Foundry