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Batman: Arkham Knight Mod Lets You Explore Gotham With Catwoman, Joker, and Others

Batman: Arkham Knight’s launch on PC was a total mess, but when its issues will get fixed, it’ll be the only platform where you’ll be able to mod the game for some interesting new ways to play.

One mod that’s already out there, allows PC players to explore Gotham with characters other than Batman in the game’s Free Roam mode.

The mod lets you play as Red Hood, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, Robin, Azrael, Bruce Wayne, Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon, Joker, and GCPD Officer Owens.

You can find the mod and instructions on how to use in the description below the video here. Keep in mind that the modder highly recommends you backup your files and saves before applying the mod.

The PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight launched last week with so many performance issues that publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment eventually decided to pull it from Steam. Graphics card giant Nvidia has said it is offering its QA and technical assistance to help quell the problem, and Rocksteady co-founder and director of the Batman: Arkham series Sefton Hill said the studio has its “best engineers” on the case.

Yesterday, the game got a patch, which fixes a bug that disabled the game’s rain effects and other issues.

“Rocksteady is leading our team of developers and partners as we work on the PC performance issues that players have been encountering,” Warner Bros. said. “The work is significant and while we are making good progress on improving performance, it will take some time to ensure that we get the right fixes in place.”

Mario Looks Very Sharp in Unreal Engine 4

If you always wanted Nintendo to make a 3D Mario game using some of the best technology in the games industry, you’re going to want to watch this video.

YouTube user aryoksini has uploaded a video of the iconic plumber running on Epic’s Unreal Engine 4.

“All the environment assets were taken from the Unreal marketplace, all the character actions were scripted using blueprints only, all animations were re-created from scratch as well as the PBR ready textures,” aryoksini said in the video’s description.

It’s pretty cool to see Mario running around environments that look as sharp as the best looking PC games out there, but Mario, of course, is more than just his looks. You’d have to make those environments fun to play before you’ll get a proper game, and don’t expect anyone to take up that task anytime soon.

Recently, a Super Mario 64 fan project that made the game playable in your browser was, unsurprisingly, been shut down by Nintendo. Any projects that use Nintendo’s IP without permission will inevitably be taken down as well.

Batman: Arkham Knight PC Patch Fixes Rain Effects and More

Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developer Rocksteady have released a patch for the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight which fixes a bug that disabled the game’s rain effects and other issues, the companies have announced.

Warner Bros. Community Admin Yorick said that the patch is being released now, and that the companies will continue to release interim patches while it continues to work on improving performance issues the game suffered from since it launched on PC last week.

Updates in the first patch include:

  • Fixed a crash that was happening for some users when exiting the game
  • Fixed a bug which disabled rain effects and ambient occlusion. We are actively looking into fixing other bugs to improve this further
  • Corrected an issue that was causing Steam to re-download the game when verifying the integrity of the game cache through the Steam client
  • Fixed a bug that caused the game to crash when turning off Motion Blur in BmSystemSettings.ini. A future patch will enable this in the graphics settings menu

“Rocksteady is leading our team of developers and partners as we work on the PC performance issues that players have been encountering,” Warner Bros. said. “The work is significant and while we are making good progress on improving performance, it will take some time to ensure that we get the right fixes in place “

These are the issues that Warner Bros. said it’s dedicating its resournces to in order to improve the game:

  • Support for frame rates above 30FPS in the graphics settings menu
  • Fix for low resolution texture bug
  • Improve overall performance and framerate hitches
  • Add more options to the graphics settings menu
  • Improvements to hard drive streaming and hitches
  • Address full screen rendering bug on gaming laptop
  • Improvements to system memory and VRAM usage
  • NVIDIA SLI bug fixes
  • Enabling AMD Crossfire
  • NVIDIA and AMD updated drivers

Warner Bros. suspended sales of the PC version of the game last week until these issues are fixed. Graphics card giant Nvidia has said it is offering its QA and technical assistance to help quell the problem.

Posting on Twitter, studio co-founder and director of the Batman: Arkham series, Sefton Hill, also said the studio has its “best engineers” helping to fix the issues.

Civil War Game Featuring Confederate Flag Back on Apple’s App Store

Earlier this week, Apple started removing games from the iTunes App Store “because [they] include images of the Confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways.” Yesterday, the developer of the critically acclaimed Civil War game Ultimate General: Gettysburg announced that it was allowed back in the the App Store.

“Ultimate General is back! Unchanged,” developer Games-Lab said on its official website. “After several late night phone calls with Apple yesterday and today the game has returned to AppStore the way it was… in 1863.”

Though Apple originally said it would only remove apps from the store that used the Confederate flag in an offensive ways, even games about the Civil War that included it to be historically accurate were removed.

“We accept Apple’s decision and understand that this is a sensitive issue for the American Nation,” Games-Lab said after its game was removed. “We wanted our game to be the most accurate, historical, playable reference of the Battle of Gettysburg.”

An Apple spokesperson later said that the company would reinstate some games that were wrongly removed, and given the news about Ultimate General: Gettysburg, it seems like it is.

Watch the New Trailer for Bombshell, the Game That Could Have Been Duke Nukem

3D Realms and developer Interceptor have released the E3 2015 trailer for Bombshell, an upcoming top-down action role-playing game.

Bombshell was originally conceived as Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, and would have starred the titular, cigar chomping protagonist. However, a lawsuit from Gearbox Software, the current holder of the Duke Nukem IP, made Intercept put that game on hold and eventually reintroduce it as Bombshell.

This is the first look we’ve had at Bombshell gameplay since March, and in this video the game’s Duke Nukem roots are pretty obvious. Last month, a court document from the Gearbox lawsuit showed us some early images of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, including one of Duke standing next to a black Global Defense Forces truck. You can see the same truck at the 0:09 mark in the video above.

Bombshell will be released in 2015 on PC, PlayStation 4, and the Xbox One. 3D Realms that it will let people play the game for the first time at QuakeCon, which takes place in Dallas, Texas in July.

iPhone 6+ and Other Big Phones Won’t Fit Fallout 4 Special Edition Pip-Boy

The Fallout 4 special edition includes a replica Pip-Boy that can hold your phone, allowing you to run the Fallout 4 companion app as you play. But if you’re going to spend $120 on the special edition, you better make sure you have a phone that can fit inside the Pip-Boy first.

A post to the Bethesda Blog confirmed that the replica Pip-Boy will have foam inserts that fit iPhone 6, iPhone 5/5s, iPhone 4/4S, Samsung Galaxy 5, Samsung Galaxy 4, and most smartphones of a similar size. Larger smartphones like the iPhone 6+ will still let you run the companion app, but won’t fit inside the Pip-Boy.

“As we wanted to stay faithful to the dimensions of the in-game model, any smartphones larger than the models listed will not fit inside the wearable device,” Bethesda said. “For these larger devices, our Pip-Boy companion app will still be available.”

Fallout 4 launches November 10 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. It’ll be 1080p and 30 frames per second on consoles, but unrestricted on PC. While you wait for its release, check out our interview with game director Todd Howard.

Batman: Arkham Knight Publisher Suggests Lowering Settings to Deal With Issues

The PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight has had a rough launch this week, with noticeable bugs, glitches, and other performance issues.

Warner Bros. Interactive is still trying to resolve these issues, but in the meantime, the publisher has provided recommended, in-game graphical settings for those with minimum and recommended specs hardware that it believes “may help” alleviate some of the most frequent problems.

The recommended settings are:

Minimum Hardware Specs (or equivalent)

  • Resolution: 1280×720
  • V-Sync: Off
  • Anti-Aliasing: Off
  • Texture Resolution: Low
  • Shadow Quality: Low
  • Level of Detail: Low
  • Interactive Smoke/Fog: Off
  • Interactive Paper Debris: Off
  • Enhanced Rain: Off
  • Enhanced Light Shafts: Off

Warner Bros. added that it’s incredibly important that users with video cards with 2 GB of dedicated VRAM, or 3GB on AMD, keep the resolution low to avoid significant performance issues. Even with these settings, users with AMD GPUs that only meet the minimum hardware specs can expect minor texture pops, occasional loading, and some hitches and stuttering when gliding or driving the Batmobile.

Recommended Hardware Specs (or equivalent)

  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • V-Sync: On
  • Anti-Aliasing: On
  • Texture Resolution: Normal
  • Shadow Quality: Normal
  • Level of Detail: Normal
  • Interactive Smoke/Fog: Off
  • Interactive Paper Debris: Off
  • Enhanced Rain: Off
  • Enhanced Light Shafts: Off

Here too, users with AMD GPUs who meet the recommended hardware specs can expect minor texture pops, occasional loading, and some hitches and stuttering when gliding or driving the Batmobile.

“We continue to work closely with AMD to resolve these issues as soon as possible; make sure you have the most current drivers and check back here for updates on when the next driver version is available,” Warner Bros. said.

Note that both of these recommended settings will result in an expected 30fps.

“Please know that we value input from those who are playing the game and we are continuously monitoring all threads posted in the Official Batman: Arkham Knight Community and Steam forums, as well as any issues logged with our Customer Support,” Warner Bros. said. “If you are experiencing any issues with the game, please be sure to report it to support.wbgames.com.”

You can find additional recommendations on how to mitigate technical issues here.

The PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight was ported by Iron Galaxy Studios. It previously worked on the PC port of Batman: Arkham Origins, which had a similarly rocky launch on the platform.

Batman: Arkham Knight shipped across North America and Europe on June 23.

GameSpot’s Batman: Arkham Knight review was praiseworthy overall, but aired many reservations.

“There’s No Pay to Win Option” in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Dev Says

Konami has released a 40 minute Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain gameplay video with developer commentary during E3 2015, and it starts by addressing the issue of microtransactions, a new addition to the series that’s been worrying fans.

“While it is true that a few microtransactions option due exists, the entire game has been carefully balanced to be fair and enjoyable with or without using these options,” Konami said. “There’s no pay to win option. Rest assured that every single item, weapon, and mission in the game is available to all players without paying a single cent.”

“However, due to the sheer scale of the game and the time required to explore it all, microtransactions were added as a completely optional feature for players who might not be able to spend as much time with the game, nothing more, nothing less.”

Commentary about microtransactions aside, the video is well worth watching if you’re curious about The Phantom Pain. It give us a comprehensive look at the game’s buddy system, side missions, dynamic weather, and many other system new to the series.

Konami added that more information on how all this will work will be announced in the future.

GameSpot recently got its hands on a portion of The Phantom Pain; you can read our impressions here.

The Phantom Pain launches worldwide on September 1 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. According to sources, Kojima will leave Konami when the game ships.

Remember Me and Life Is Strange Dev Announces Vampyr

Dontnod, the French developer which previously released Remember Me and Life Is Strange has announced its next game at E3 2015, Vampyr, a role-playing game for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC that will use Unreal Engine 4.

Vampyr is set in set in an early 20th century Britain, which is thrown into chaos by a lethal Spanish Flu, and vampires that haunt the streets at night. Player will take on the role of Jonathan E. Reid, a military surgeon that becomes a vampire when he returns home from the war.

During the game, players will explore London, accept missions, and eventually have to decide who they’ll feed on.

“Absolutely all characters in the game are potential victims of your vampiric lust,” the developer said in a release. “Carefully study the habits of your next victim, his or her relationships with other characters, and set up your strategy to feed, unnoticed: seduce them, change their daily habits, or make sure they end up alone in a dark street.”

Vampyr’s combat includes, melee, shooting mechanics, and supernatural vampire abilities that’ll help you take on different species of vampire creatures as well as vampire hunters. Player will also be able to create their own weapons using a deep crafting system and materials looted from defeated enemies.

Vampyr will be published by Focus Home Interactive in 2017.

GameSpot -- 7/10

"Arkham Knight is constantly trying to justify the Batmobile's presence, forcing it upon you at nearly every opportunity." - Kevin VanOrd [Full review]

IGN -- 9.2/10

"The addition of tank combat thematically clashes with everything Batman stands for, but it is fun, and having access to the Batmobile for the first time gives us a new world of possibilities for interacting with Gotham City. Arkham Knight is an outstanding game on almost every level" - Dan Stapleton [Full review]

Polygon -- 10/10

"After Arkham Knight, Batman has been perfected — and the end result is the best game of this console generation." - Justin McElroy [Full review]

Batman: Arkham Knight -- 9.5/10

"Rocksteady built a special experience that dazzles with its cleverness, intelligence, and ability to shift from kick-ass Batman moments to emotional gut punches to scenes stripped straight from some of Batman's greatest comic book stories. Lock yourself away, avoid social media and friends, and finish this game. You won't want this one spoiled for you." - Andrew Reiner [Full review]

USGamer -- 4/5

"Rocksteady absolutely nailed the feeling of being Batman and Arkham Knight only increases the scope of the original games. Yes, I got annoyed, but the moment-to-moment play of Batman: Arkham Knight is still amazing. If you've saved the Asylum and cleaned up the City, it's worth finishing the Knight off." - Mike Williams [Full review]

GamesRadar+ -- 4/5

"An ambitious and successful end to Rocksteady’s trilogy, with a standard-setting open world you must experience. A superior main story and less Batmobile combat would’ve made a huge difference." - Sam Roberts [Full review]

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Batman: Arkham Knight Review Roundup

After two delays, developer Rocksteady and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are finally ready to release Batman: Arkham Knight on June 23.

Critics already got a chance to play the game before release and publish their reviews, and so far the general consensus is that Batman: Arkham Knight is an excellent game.

The most criticized part of the game is the sections requiring players to use the Batmobile, which is a new addition to the series.

Check out a sampling of review scores and editor opinions below. And be sure to visit GameSpot sister site Metacritic for even more on the game’s critical reception.

  • Game: Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Developer: Rocksteady Studios
  • Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
  • Release Date: June 23
  • Price: $60

GameSpot — 7/10

“Arkham Knight is constantly trying to justify the Batmobile’s presence, forcing it upon you at nearly every opportunity.” – Kevin VanOrd [Full review]

IGN — 9.2/10

“The addition of tank combat thematically clashes with everything Batman stands for, but it is fun, and having access to the Batmobile for the first time gives us a new world of possibilities for interacting with Gotham City. Arkham Knight is an outstanding game on almost every level” – Dan Stapleton [Full review]

Polygon — 10/10

“After Arkham Knight, Batman has been perfected — and the end result is the best game of this console generation.” – Justin McElroy [Full review]

Batman: Arkham Knight — 9.5/10

“Rocksteady built a special experience that dazzles with its cleverness, intelligence, and ability to shift from kick-ass Batman moments to emotional gut punches to scenes stripped straight from some of Batman’s greatest comic book stories. Lock yourself away, avoid social media and friends, and finish this game. You won’t want this one spoiled for you.” – Andrew Reiner [Full review]

USGamer — 4/5

“Rocksteady absolutely nailed the feeling of being Batman and Arkham Knight only increases the scope of the original games. Yes, I got annoyed, but the moment-to-moment play of Batman: Arkham Knight is still amazing. If you’ve saved the Asylum and cleaned up the City, it’s worth finishing the Knight off.” – Mike Williams [Full review]

GamesRadar+ — 4/5

“An ambitious and successful end to Rocksteady’s trilogy, with a standard-setting open world you must experience. A superior main story and less Batmobile combat would’ve made a huge difference.” – Sam Roberts [Full review]