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Warner Apologizes for Batman's Bugs; Fixes Incoming

If you've been troubled by Arkham Origins' technical issues, fear not; fixes are on the way.

News by Pete Davison, .

Although at heart a solid game, players of Batman: Arkham Origins have discovered the Dark Knight's latest adventure to be a bit of a bug-riddled mess, regardless of which platform you play it on.

Fortunately, the team at Warner Bros. Montreal has been paying close attention to fan feedback on the game's official forums, and is moving to address some of the most pressing issues having issued an official apology. An initial update will be available for all platforms this week, with an additional update to follow for Xbox 360 owners when some further issues have been successfully tracked down and stamped out.

This week's update will address three main problems: a bug that causes some players to be "stuck in an endless loop of falling" or drop through the world; another bug that prevents the "Continue" option from sometimes appearing in the main menu when attempting to pick up where you left off; and an issue whereby FreeFlow Focus mode would not unlock upon reaching Shadow Vigilante rank 3. PC players get an additional fix: those who have found their progress stymied by the Burnley Tower should find themselves able to continue as normal following the fix.

Two Xbox 360 issues remain outstanding, however, and they're big problems in their own right: corrupted saves and crashes. In both cases, Warner Bros. claims to know what is causing the problems, but notes that a "few more days" are needed to validate the problems before releasing the fixes; in the meantime, the team notes that the freezing issues can sometimes be circumvented by playing while not connected to the Internet.

These bugs are all showstoppers that have blocked many players' progress through the game's single-player campaign. Although, as we noted in our review, the core game itself is solid (and possibly the third-best Batman game ever made), it's always extremely disappointing when a game releases on to store shelves and digital storefronts in a state which doesn't reflect well on the developer and publisher. It is good that Warner Bros. is moving to fix the issues as promptly as possible, but for some -- particularly those who have deleted seemingly corrupted saves and started again -- the damage may already have been done.

This incident is the latest in a long line of occasions that beg an interesting question: is it even worth picking up games the moment they're released any more? Arkham Origins' bugs should have been caught and fixed prior to release; instead, Warner Bros. shipped a game with significant issues to be fixed at a later date -- hardly confidence-inspiring, though it is at least gratifying that the problems are being fixed quickly. Couple that with the increasing number of games who follow up their release with swathes of DLC and then an almost-inevitable Game of the Year rerelease down the road, and it's worth asking whether or not it's worth playing something on "day one" these days, or whether it's worth giving big games a few weeks or months to stew. And this isn't even taking into account those who don't, for whatever reason, have their consoles connected to the Internet; they're stuck with an inferior experience until they go online.

What's your take? Is being able to play something the moment it's released worth the troubles that high-profile titles like Arkham Origins sometimes come bundled with? Or would you rather wait until you know the experience is the best it's going to be?

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Comments 11

  • Avatar for renatocosta90 #1 renatocosta90 3 years ago
    I miss the time when developers actually bug tested the games, instead of dealing with day one patches.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #2 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @renatocosta90 On the other hand, the "good ol' days" were balanced out by games that shipped with major bugs and simply couldn't be fixed.
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  • Avatar for GustinHardy #3 GustinHardy 3 years ago
    I ended up picking up the Wii U version of the game and had to hard reset about 6 times so far. Far from acceptable.

    Also, I'm fine with patches that fix bugs that come up later on that couldn't be seen in testing, but this goes far beyond that.

    Still, it's not a terrible game, but Mediocre/Good + Bugs = Lost Faith in the BrandEdited November 2013 by GustinHardy
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  • Avatar for touchofkiel #4 touchofkiel 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish It's a double edged sword for sure, but there's no denying that the ability to patch has certainly made bug testing less of a priority for devs.

    Of course, older games couldn't be patched... and newer games are infinitely more complex and expensive... but the things I've been hearing about certain versions of Batman, well, that's just lazy, plain and simple.
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  • Avatar for renatocosta90 #5 renatocosta90 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Indeed. I guess I was a bit reductive in my post, but surely people have been pushing for less and less quality control over the span of this last generation. I live in a place with terrible internet connection, and sometimes the patches are just slow torture.

    Just to illustrate my point, the 1.0 version of God of War: Ascension, had a bug that rendered the last boss unbeatable. You could pummel it into oblivion, you could restart, reload, play the previous section again, but it wouldn't go through (at least in my experience). I had to wait a couple of days until my internet connection was stable so I could patch the game and finish it. I could never see, say, a rockman game or something simply refusing to let me damage Dr. Wily because it was buggy.

    To sum it up, it's nice that we can actually get a better game over time, but it seems the dev teams are just going "Whatever, let's publish this and patch it later, our time is up!".
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #6 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @touchofkiel No, point taken -- though I wouldn't characterize Origins' bugs as "lazy" as they're probably due to the publishers' time table rather than the developers' lack of competence -- but I also think there's some self-correction in the business. When publishers rely on patches to justify rushing games to market, a people notice. There are certainly a number of publishers whose games I won't buy on day one... and with the day-one purchase impulse stifled, I generally wait until they drop in price. Or skip them altogether.
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  • Avatar for renatocosta90 #7 renatocosta90 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Or the inevitable steam sale price drop
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  • Avatar for transmet2033 #8 transmet2033 3 years ago
    With the game taking place on Christmas Eve, I am a little surprised that they shipped the game in October. I wonder if that would have made much of a difference.
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  • Avatar for UnknownJones #9 UnknownJones 3 years ago
    I generally avoid launch day (unless there's a must-have collector's edition) to purchase a game. But even if I buy it on Day One, I often wait to play it until I'm sure other users have play-tested it and it's been patched. Playing at launch just doesn't matter to me.
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  • Avatar for touchofkiel #10 touchofkiel 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Yep, and there's another factor entirely - the publisher. Because games are so much more complex and expensive, not only is there more room for bugs, but there's less time to fix them as publishers insist on pushing the game out the door.

    So I guess I was wrong - I wouldn't call Batman:AO's bugs to be lazy, because that leaves the devs to blame, when the publisher is the real culprit here.

    And yep, it's a perfect reason to wait for a price drop.
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  • Avatar for MattG #11 MattG 3 years ago
    I didn't buy Arkham Origins because I expect a cheaper GotY version down the road with all the DLC and fixes included. It's the first Arkham game I haven't bought on release because WB has trained me not to through their own Batman and Mortal Kombat/Injustice releases. Heck, I'm even holding out hope for a PS4 version of Origins. In the meantime, I rented the PS3 version. I'll play it, finish the story, and send it back.
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